my translation of Sacred Scripture

From March 14th of 2004 to March 28th of 2009, just over 5 years, I spent nearly every day working on a new translation of the Bible. The source text was the Clementine Vulgate, the primary Latin version of the Bible in the Church for almost 400 years. My translation used the Challoner version of the Douay Bible as a guide. My approach was to translate the Latin fairly literally, and without inclusive language, or political correctness. The Old Testament was translated in the light of the New Testament. Both Testaments were translated in the light of the Roman Catholic Faith. My translation pays attention to both the literal/figurative level of meaning, and the spiritual level of meaning.

I have placed the entire translation, called the Catholic Public Domain Version (CPDV) in the public domain. Anyone may use it, publish it online or in print, edit it, make a new version based on it, as they see fit, without permission or restriction. The version is free from copyright and trademark and other restrictions. It is my gift to the Church and to the world.

I have heard from some of my fellow Catholics that they like the CPDV, and that they use it in private study and devotion. I have been encouraged by many persons, Catholic and some Protestant, in my work translating the Bible.

What I don’t understand is why some of my brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow Catholics not Protestants, treat this translation with disdain, and speak as if my work translating the Bible should be counted against me, as if it were an offense. (More on this point in subsequent posts.)

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2 Responses to my translation of Sacred Scripture

  1. Mike Price says:

    Here is an excerpt from an article from catholicity.com full article at http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/carlin/05386.html

    I’m not sure if Roman Catholics would like this article posted on a Catholic website, but from personal experience it is very accurate.

    Quoting the article “Far more disturbing was the poll result that showed that 44 percent of Catholics “rarely or never” read the Bible”

    If you read the article, one of the reasons he mentions is inertia. From your bio, I am assuming you are not a member of the clergy. There is a veil of mystery (it is analgous to the fact that the priest was the only one to enter into the Holiest of Holies once a year) and Catholics are typically under the same mindset that the clergy are the only ones able to enter into the Holiest of Holies, without in many cases understanding what actually happened when the veil of the temple was torn in two when Jesus Christ died.

    If you don’t understand why your Catholic brothers and sisters would be upset with could it not be because what you have done is that you have in a way stepped into the Holiest of Holies without the the accompanying priest? As you know, the Holiest of Holies was the representation of the Glory of God, which of course we can one day behold through the blood of Christ, if we believe. So through Christ, our High Priest, we have access to the Holiest of Holies.

    Remember 44 percent of those brothers and sisters have not been compelled by the Church to read Scripture and you have the audacity to actually translate this without even being a member of the clergy. In escence, I would say that by doing so, you are entering into “the priesthood of believers”(to borrow a term), which is typically unacceptable among Catholics.

    As with the 44 percent who rarely or never read the Word of God, they may not understand what it means to have access to the Holiest of Holies, but I would assume that they believe a non-clergy brother has no business being in there regardless of their level of understanding.

    I personally am excited to see a devout Roman Catholic doing this and hope it allows for a closer reliance upon the exclusive saving grace of Jesus Christ our Lord and our God.

  2. ronconte says:

    Thanks for your encouragement.

    The priesthood of all believers includes all the baptized: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, an acquired people, so that you may announce the virtues of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (2 Peter 2:9) A person enters that priesthood by baptism, and continues in it by believing and living the Faith.

    A Christian need not be a priest in order to be a Bible translator; there is no such rule in the Church.

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