Today’s Question: What currently available Bible translation is the ONLY one considered to be infallible and inerrant, according to the Council of Trent and the Holy Catholic Church?

Question: What currently available Bible translation is the ONLY one considered to be infallible and inerrant, according to the Council of Trent (and hence, officially, by the Holy Catholic Church)?

Answer: The Church has already stated, extraordinarily at the Council of Trent and ordinarily through constant usage, that the Old Vulgate is “authentic” and “free from error”.

Therefore, the only edition of Sacred Scripture we should be using for anything is either the Old Vulgate itself, or if you can’t functionally understand Latin, a translation of that text. Anything else is simply not guaranteed.

Trent, Session IV “Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod … has decided and declares that the said old Vulgate edition, which has been approved by the Church itself through long usage for so many centuries in public lectures, disputations, sermons, and expositions, be considered authentic, and that no one under any pretext whatsoever dare to presume or reject it.

See the entire article here. Be sure also, to view all the comments, since that’s where the two above passages, are located.

Also note that the Catholic Church of that time was standing up for the truth of the Old Latin Vulgate, as opposed to many of the “new” Protestant translation efforts that were underway, at the time. Of course, none of our current, English language Catholic Bible translations existed back then, either.

This writer agrees with the author of the article that one of the the worst Bible translations of all time (even with most Protestant efforts included) is probably the disgraceful, vapid and totally uninspiring, “Catholic In Name Only” New American Bible.

“We Catholics are the schmucks.” (Why do we tolerate this stuff?)

The devil is in the footnotes.

Well, not quite the devil, and not only in this footnote. I mean a footnote to the New American Bible, the translation endorsed by the American Catholic bishops and the only one offered on the website of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  (It is also the English Bible offered on the Vatican website.)

These footnotes often infuriate me.

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A Good Catholic Alternative To The New American Bible

B.D. writes:
I have my master’s in theology from Steubenville and Bible translations are my full-time job … in that I have a Web site that sells the Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition, the only Catholic literal translation of the Bible in modern English. (I also sell some Douay-Rheims Bibles, the older literal translation.)

The RSV-CE is the only version the Vatican uses in its translations of official documents into English. There are many other reasons it is the only good modern translation. Could you please mention my site on your blog, as a follow-up?

New American Bible officially adopts falacious Jewish/Protestant views. Catholic bishops apparently unconcerned.

“Not so holy” Bible

I still haven’t been able to figure out why the New American Bible “scholars” … with approval from the Catholic bishops … recently decided to translate the term “almah” (from Isaiah 7:14) … as “young girl” … instead of “virgin”. It makes absolutely no sense!

But after some additional research, I’ve discovered a distinct Protestant bias (really, outright heresy) in what should be a thoroughly Catholic Bible.

Historical Background:

About 500 years ago, the Protestant reformers decided to use the Hebrew canon (7 books “short” … and as we can see … also poorly translated) in order to help differentiate their new “Bible based” faith tradition … from authentic Catholicism.

Only the Hebrew version of Isaiah … the one the Protestants adopted for their abbreviated Old Testament … translates the word “almah” as meaning “young girl” … rather than “virgin” … and for obvious reasons: Jews don’t believe in Jesus Christ, as the fulfillment of OT prophecies, and there’s obviously a lot of Protestants who aren’t too certain about the virgin birth!

Catholics have always relied on the (Greek) Septuagint version of the Old Testament … the same translation used by Jesus and the apostles. The complete canon … containing all of the inspired OT books. The one that Jesus himself authoritatively proclaimed in the synagogue, and the one that correctly translates the Hebrew word “almah” as “virgin”.

At least until now …

Now, we have the people from the New American Bible … whoever they are … with the express approval of the bishops of the Catholic Church … adopting a distinctly Protestant Bible hermeneutic … and unilaterally imposing it upon Catholics living in the United States!

What are these people thinking! If this isn’t a gross, corrupt, totally abominable, public heresy, then I don’t know what is!

All the more reason for Catholics to “deep six” the New American Bible … and demand an immediate retraction and correction from their local bishops … as well as the apparently shameless USCCB.

Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel. (Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)

Click here to email your bishop

Additional study:

Wolf in Calfskin: The Rampant Liberalism of the New American Bible

One more reason to “deep-six” the New American Bible

Writer explains why liberal Bible studies can be hazardous to your Catholic faith

More reasons it’s time to “junk” the NAB Bible translation

Beware the rampant liberalism in the (Catholic) New American Bible

USSCB spokesman: Catholic doctrine will “probably” stand until the end of time.

“The effort in this translation was to be as faithful to the original Hebrew as possible,” says the USCCB’s Mary Elizabeth Speers. “It doesn’t mean the bishops are changing their mind on the virgin birth of Jesus or the perpetual virginity of Mary. That doctrine stands, and will probably stand until the end of time.”

Editor’s note: What’s with the “probably” nonsense? And what business do the “scholars” of the New American Bible have, publishing a translation for the Catholic Church, that is in direct opposition to the words of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church? And how can the bishops of the United States even think of permitting such a thing?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Mary’s virginity

496 From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived “by the Holy Spirit without human seed”.146 The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own. Thus St. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says:

You are firmly convinced about our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin,. . . he was truly nailed to a tree for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate. . . he truly suffered, as he is also truly risen.147

497 The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility:148 “That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”, said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee.149 The Church sees here the fulfillment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.”150

498 People are sometimes troubled by the silence of St. Mark’s Gospel and the New Testament Epistles about Jesus’ virginal conception. Some might wonder if we were merely dealing with legends or theological constructs not claiming to be history. To this we must respond: Faith in the virginal conception of Jesus met with the lively opposition, mockery or incomprehension of non-believers, Jews and pagans alike;151 so it could hardly have been motivated by pagan mythology or by some adaptation to the ideas of the age. The meaning of this event is accessible only to faith, which understands in it the “connection of these mysteries with one another”152 in the totality of Christ’s mysteries, from his Incarnation to his Passover. St. Ignatius of Antioch already bears witness to this connection: “Mary’s virginity and giving birth, and even the Lord’s death escaped the notice of the prince of this world: these three mysteries worthy of proclamation were accomplished in God’s silence.”153

Mary – “ever-virgin”

499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.154 In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.”155 And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin”.156

500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus.157 The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus”, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary”.158 They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.159

501 Jesus is Mary’s only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: “The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother’s love.”160

Mary’s virginal motherhood in God’s plan

502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.

503 Mary’s virginity manifests God’s absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. “He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed. . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures.”161

504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.”162 From his conception, Christ’s humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God “gives him the Spirit without measure.”163 From “his fullness” as the head of redeemed humanity “we have all received, grace upon grace.”164

505 By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. “How can this be?”165 Participation in the divine life arises “not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”.166 The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit’s gift to man. The spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God167 is fulfilled perfectly in Mary’s virginal motherhood.

506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith “unadulterated by any doubt”, and of her undivided gift of herself to God’s will.168 It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Savior: “Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ.”169

507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: “the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse.”170

Link to story

Link to Catechism

One more reason to “deep-six” the New American Bible.

The 2011 version also replaces the word “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14 with “the young woman,” explaining the original Hebrew word, almah, may or may not refer to a virgin.

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Editor’s note: What are these guys thinking? Catholics know that “almah” does indeed refer to a virgin, since 1) there’s nothing very unusual or significant about a young woman conceiving a child in her womb; and 2) The eternal virginity of Mary, the Mother of God, is the only possible object of Isaiah’s prophetic word, and that is a settled matter of Catholic dogma!

Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel. (Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)

Wolf in Calfskin: The Rampant Liberalism of the New American Bible

The Catholic Biblical Association of America and its New American Bible, or NAB, in many places, daringly redacts, rearranges, or otherwise mistranslates the sacred text, and it does so in the service of the modernist critical hermeneutic which is revealed in its “perverse” introductions and commentary.

These comments repeatedly contradict or call into question the Catholic dogma of the plenary inspiration and inerrancy of Sacred Scripture, as well as raising grave doubts about the Catholic dogmas of Christology and Mariology.

The NAB refuses Scripture the submission which is due to it according to the Catholic saints: “Holy Scripture is in such sort the rule of the Christian faith that we are obliged by every kind of obligation to believe most exactly all that it contains, and not to believe anything which may be ever so little contrary to it.”

Indeed, it freely confesses that Scripture is wrong in places and freely disagrees. The NAB charges the Bible with contradiction, concerning which Oecumenius may be quoted as representative of the faith of the whole world: “For nothing could be contradictory in the mouth of the one and the same Spirit.” Yet more, it seems that the NAB would have our Lord in ignorance and our Lady in doubt of her faith, which can only eventuate in Catholic readers doubting theirs.

This Bible is a danger to the faith of Catholics; it is a near occasion for sin.

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More reasons it’s time to “junk” the NAB Bible translation

We have discussed before some concerns about the New American Bible (NAB) and how it vaguely translates the Greek word  πορνείᾳ (porneia)  which specifically refers to sexual immorality, but which the NAB translates only as “immorality.” Of course immorality could mean just about anything. You can read more of this rather serious problem here: NAB and Porneia

In this post I’d like to explore another problem with the NAB that was also called to my attention by one of you. There are problematic footnotes which do not always reflect Catholic teaching. One I’d like to look at is a flawed footnote on 1 Corinthians 3:15. The issue concerns how this text has been understood to refer to purgatory. The footnote in the current NAB denies that it is a reference to purgatory. Let’s look at the text and then the footnote.

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USCCB in financial dispute with New American Bible (NAB) “scholars”

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has stopped paying the Catholic Biblical Association of America its traditional 25 percent share of royalties for the New American Bible and other publications that use that translation.

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Editor’s note: A quick review of the many footnotes accompanying various iterations of the NAB translation turns up scores of comments that can easily be termed “heretical”. Rather than negotiating a new royalty agreement with the bible association, we would probably be much better off demanding a full refund and going back to the old Douay-Rheims translation!

Read more about the many problems with the NAB here