Do Catholics use the King James Bible?

Catholics do not use the King James Version of the Bible. The official Bible of the Catholic Church is the Vulgate, which was translated from the original Hebrew and Greek into Latin by St. Jerome in the 4th century. 

In the present day, Catholics make use of The New American Bible. The Vulgate and the New American Bible are actually different translations of the Bible. The Vulgate is the traditional Latin translation of the Bible, which was completed by St. Jerome in the late 4th century. 

The Vulgate is considered the official Bible of the Catholic Church, and it was used for centuries as the primary source of Scripture for Catholics. 

However, as languages and scholarship evolved, the Vulgate became increasingly difficult to understand for the average person. To address this issue, the Catholic Church commissioned a new English translation of the Bible in the 20th century. 

This translation is known as the New American Bible, and it was first published in 1970. 

The New American Bible is considered a modern translation that is based on the best available manuscripts and scholarship. The Vulgate still has a special place in the Church’s history and tradition even while the New American Bible is the primary translation used in the Catholic Church today.

The King James Version was translated from the original Hebrew and Greek into English in the early 17th century. 

The King James Version is one of the most influential translations of the Bible. It was commissioned by King James I of England in 1604, and it was completed in 1611. 

The King James Version is significant because it was the first translation of the Bible into English that was widely available to the public. Before the King James Version, most people only had access to Latin translations of the Bible. 

The King James Version was written in a style that was easy to understand and read. It used beautiful language and poetic phrasing that made it a joy to read.

However, some scholars believe that the poetic language of the King James Version can sometimes obscure the original meaning of the text. Additionally, the King James Version uses some archaic language like “thou”, “thee”, “sayeth” etc which may be difficult for modern readers to understand. 

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Despite these issues, the King James Version has had a lasting impact on the way the Bible is understood and read. Many other translations, including the New International Version and the English Standard Version, were influenced by the poetic style of the King James Version.

Did the Catholic ban the King James Version Bible?

The King James Version is not banned in the Catholic Church. In fact, the Catholic Church has no official policy against any particular translation of the Bible. 

Though the Catholic Church has its official translation of the Bible, called the New American Bible, it does not discourage people from reading other translations. Many Catholics still read the King James Version, as well as other popular translations like the New International Version and the English Standard Version.

While the King James Version is not the official translation of the Catholic Church, it is still considered a valid translation and can be used for sermons and personal study.

The Catholic Church values the diversity of Bible translations and encourages people to read and study the Bible in the translation that works best for them.

The most important thing is to choose a translation that is faithful to the original text and to use it in a way that brings you closer to God and helps you to understand the teachings of the Church. 

The major difference between Catholic preferred translation and the King James Bible

There are several significant differences between the New American Bible and the King James Bible. 

  1. First, as mentioned, the New American Bible is a modern translation, while the King James Bible is based on an older translation. This means that the language used in the New American Bible is more similar to modern English, while the King James Bible has a more archaic style.
  1. The New American Bible is based on more recent scholarship and manuscripts, while the King James Bible is based on older sources.  
  1. The New American Bible and the King James Bible approach text differently. The New American Bible is considered a dynamic equivalence translation, meaning that it tries to convey the meaning of the text in a way that is understandable to modern readers. 

The King James Bible, on the other hand, is considered a formal equivalence translation, which means that it tries to preserve the exact wording of the original text, even if it is difficult to understand for modern readers.

  1. The New American Bible includes some books that are not found in the King James Bible, such as the Deuterocanonical books.

The Deuterocanonical books are a group of books that are found in the Catholic Bible but not in the Protestant Bible. These books are known as the Deuterocanonical books because they were considered part of the canon, or official list of books, by the Catholic Church in the second century. 

The Deuterocanonical books include books like Tobit, Judith, and Sirach, as well as the books of Wisdom and Maccabees. While these books are not considered canon by Protestants, they are considered part of the official canon by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The reason why the Protestant Church does not include the Deuterocanonical books in its Bible is due to a disagreement about the canon, or list of official books, of the Bible. In the 16th century, during the Protestant Reformation, Protestant reformers like Martin Luther argued that only the books that were found in the Hebrew Bible should be considered canon. 

The Hebrew Bible does not include the Deuterocanonical books, and so these books were removed from the Protestant Bible.

However, the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church have always considered the Deuterocanonical books to be part of the Bible. They believe that these books were originally written in Hebrew and then translated into Greek. 

They argue that these books were widely used and accepted by the early Church and that they contain important teachings and traditions that should be included in the canon. They also argue that the books were inspired by God and therefore should be considered part of the Bible.

The Deuterocanonical books were not written by prophets like Moses. Instead, they were written by Jewish scholars and religious leaders who were seeking to preserve and interpret the traditions and teachings of the Hebrew Bible. 

These books often contain stories and teachings that are not found in the Hebrew Bible, but they are considered to be inspired by God and to be valuable for understanding the faith and traditions of the Church.

The impact of having various Bible translations on the Christian faith 

The New American Bible is often used in Catholic and mainline Protestant churches, while the King James Version is more commonly used in evangelical churches. 

Each translation reflects the beliefs and values of the people who created it, and this can have a significant impact on how the Bible is interpreted. For example, some translations use the word “lord” to refer to God, while others use the word “Yahweh.” These differences can have an impact on how Christians understand and relate to God.

The various translations of the Bible have contributed to the wide variety of beliefs within Christianity as each translation reflects the worldview and theological views of the people who created it. 

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So, Christians who use different translations often have different perspectives on key theological issues. For example, some translations use gender-neutral language, while others use more traditional language. This can lead to different interpretations of passages that refer to gender roles or sexuality.

Some modern translations, like the New International Version, use gender-neutral language when referring to people or God. For example, they might use the word “human” instead of “man” or “humanity” instead of “mankind.” 

This is done to be more inclusive and to avoid implying that only men are important in the Bible. Other translations, like the New King James Version, use more traditional language and retain gender-specific terms like “man” and “mankind.” This is done to preserve the traditional language of the Bible. Both approaches have their own merits and are used by different groups of Christians.


Though the Catholic church uses The New American Bible, it does not mandate a particular translation of the Bible. Instead, it encourages people to use a variety of translations in order to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible. 

This is because each translation has its strengths and weaknesses, and using multiple translations can help to fill in the gaps and provide a more complete picture of the Bible’s message. 

It also places a strong emphasis on the tradition of the Church, which includes the teaching of the Church Fathers and the guidance of the Magisterium. This helps to provide a clearer context for understanding the Bible.

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