King James Version Bible editions better than Catholic versions. Why?

DorothyFan1 03-10-2006 06:38 PM
I don't understand this. I'm Catholic so I'm really surprised Catholic publications of the Bible look so terrible in comparison to the King James Versions out there.

For instance, I've NEVER seen a Catholic NAB Bible with imitation leather with a slip tab closure sown into the binding. Never. I've checked Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Zippo. Only the Protestant versions have these beautiful covers. Catholic Bibles use strictly either black vinyl or hard covers. Very unappealing because they're either slippery or extremely bulky.

Another thing. Fonts used by King James editions are far superior to the Catholic versions. King James edition Bibles use Fairfield Medium 55 in point size 7 for the carry case versions of their Bible editions. Fantastic font to readings in the Bible. Makes it more attractive to the eye and catchier too. One other point...King James editions have words of Christ in red lettering. Catholic editions eschew this and all the text is in black lettering. I've only seen a few Catholic editions use this convention but these are extemely hard to find. Nevertheless, the ones I've seen aren't worth getting based on my problems with the production values put into their design.

Fonts in Catholic editions are terrible. Plain Ariel or New Times Roman. Horrible font for reading blocks of text. Another problem with Catholic editions is the layout of the paragraphs used. Catholic editions don't use two column layouts for easier reading. Extended readings of paragraphs from one side to the other is very tiresome. This is from glancing at the Catholic edition samples out in bookstores. King James Version editions have much better readability with the two column layouts for easier reading.

So...based on my studies between the differences of production designs between Protestant and Catholic Bible editions published in the US...I've purchased a KJV edition of the Bible for my personal use. Better production value for the purchase price. Yeah...I know I'm "missing" a few deutecanonical titles from the KJV edition because I'm Catholic but these are minor quibbles. I can always read the missing ones from the oversized blocky version I have on the shelf.

Peace out.
RoseRose 03-10-2006 06:53 PM
KJV errors

I'm not saying the KJV is all wrong, I'm saying, I think you should look at multiple ones. The Old Testament in the KJV has a few errors that are pretty important. Old Testament Lucifer

There are some other ones, too. If it's for just personal use, it shouldn't make much of a difference, but if you're doing any analytical study, I recommend having a couple different versions.
Mike 03-10-2006 06:56 PM
I think it's because Protestants tend to study the the Bible in a more hardcore fashion than Catholics.
Randolph 03-10-2006 06:59 PM
You also have to consider some books of the Bible
simply don't exist anymore. They were destroyed in the flames
by the family who discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Well, it's been agreed upon for more than just the reasons you stated
that the King James version is superior.
There's been a lot of talk about various other versions editing out
important facets of the narrative, such as the Virgin Birth of Christ and virtue of the Blood of Christ, among others.
The Fallen Phoenix 03-10-2006 07:15 PM
Honestly, I think you are focusing a little too much on petty aesthetics...as RoseRose mentioned, the King James' Bible is not universally agreed to be the ideal Bible for any meaningful study. I remember my theology teacher in my Sophomore year of High School (it was a Biblical study course) was very explicit about that.

Of course, I also reiterate what RoseRose said: if it is for your own personal use, by all means purchase (and use) whichever Bible is most comfortable for you. In that regard, there really is no "right" or "wrong " translation (because despite the variances with the Mosaic text, I will concede that the King James' Bible is not nearly as wrong as some other (usually more recent) Biblical translations).
Sharpshooter005 03-10-2006 07:24 PM
I was going to go try and confirm the things said about the quality of printing in the KJV bible.

I then realized thats not a bible on the shelf next to me, it's the 1928 book of common prayer. Whoops.

quote:
There's been a lot of talk about various other versions editing out


I'm assuming we're talking about the apocrypha.
Randolph 03-10-2006 07:31 PM
Apocrypha... not ringing any bells. Sorry.
Never mind, I'll just drop that subject. I don't think I know enough about those supposed edits to talk about them meaningfully.
Sharpshooter005 03-10-2006 07:33 PM
This

The only one I'm...VAGUELY familiar with is the infancy gospel of james, and mainly because the history channel dosen't shut up about it.

And by vaguely, I mean if a gun was put to my head, I could probably APPEAR somewhat knowledgable on it...maybe.
DorothyFan1 03-10-2006 10:56 PM
From the responses so far...I seem to be getting impressions I'm after "Scriptural accuracy". Let me be clear on this point: I'm NOT after "pure" in the sense of getting the "correct" edition of the Bible. I'm using the KJV...which in my camp (being Catholic and all) would get me in an embarrassing situation if I showed my copy to the local parish priest. No...I'm referring to the fact that the PRODUCTION VALUE of the Protestant editions of the Bible is superior...(layout, font, red lettering for Christ, even the paper used for the volumes are superior than Catholic editions)...there are several out there from different publishing houses that manufacture Bibles for purchase.

In case you're wondering I'm using this one:

ISBN 158640146-7 called "The Holman Pocket-Size Bible Classic Edition by Holman Bible Publishers released back in 2004. Very recent.

P.S. I'm also getting from your responses...especially the reference to the Gospel of James and other non canonical works...that you may be referring to a version of the Bible that COMBINES both the Protestant and Catholic traditions in one volume. I've heard about this version but the production value for this one suffers...unfortunately. I've seen them and they don't hold up too well compared to the pure Protestant versions I've studied from a purely artistic point of view.

One final note: I've also noted that Catholic versions of the Bible are not practical for everyday use. Very big and bulky. The so called "get up and go" Catholic versions are laughably thick and too big to even be put in a backpack. Again, here Protestant versions I've seen are way more practical for everyday usage than Catholic ones. The one I'm using qualifies as being far more practical than the Catholic bricks being sold. I'm not denigrating the Catholic faith...just the shoddy production value put in Catholic editions of the Bible. It's funny because when I went to Catholic high school...the bible they had in the library was the KJV (I didn't mention this to the school librarian) so I got a first hand look at how the superior quality of the Protestant version compared to the Catholic edition right in my face during my school days.
Sharpshooter005 03-10-2006 11:00 PM
quote:
I'm referring to the fact that the PRODUCTION VALUE of the Protestant editions of the Bible is superior


I can only speak for the Episcopalians when I say....the reason we have better bibles, is our impeccable taste and also our vast financial resources.

(Everyone else maybe is just swimming in our wake? Tongue )
The Fallen Phoenix 03-10-2006 11:15 PM
Yes, I know--and I am of the opinion that production value isn't as important as scriptual accuracy.

If you want better production value, that is fine. I think the reason why Catholic Bibles do not seem to have the same production value (or quality) as Protestant Bibles...well, I am not entirely sure there is a specific reason. If I had to hazard a guess, it just is not something that seems particularly important...

...actually, Sharpshooter could be on to something, too. Just from a pure cost-perspective: the Catholic Church, despite its criticisms, does pour a lot of money into social programs and the like. It could be (again, only a theory), that producing more expensive (but higher aesthetic quality) Bibles just is not a priority for the Catholic Church...

Although I am sure there are some beautiful Catholic Bibles out there (probably hiding in the Vatican Tongue )...but again, it just does not seem to be something that would be particularly important. Again, just my own personal opinion: people are more than free to disagree with me. I called such aesthetics petty in my previous post because, to me, they are.
Generalissimo D 03-10-2006 11:19 PM
Aesthetics, aesthetics.

KJV is an inherently flawed version, as the english had a hand in it. Quality wise, it really depends on what you get. It doesnt matter the type of binding as long as you can read it.


Shouldn't this thread go in the Library of Lost Memories?
DorothyFan1 03-10-2006 11:58 PM
quote:
Aesthetics, aesthetics.

KJV is an inherently flawed version, as the english had a hand in it. Quality wise, it really depends on what you get. It doesnt matter the type of binding as long as you can read it.


Shouldn't this thread go in the Library of Lost Memories?


Well, to answer the last question first...I think I'll leave that up to the administrators. I just posted the topic here because I didn't know whether this thread belonged in there or not. So...if it's moved there...then so be it.

I'm not particularly up in understanding why the KJV is "flawed" or not...as I'm sure any or all editions of the Bible contain controversial translations that beg explaining...aka the story of David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, Christ's references to eunuchs and men carrying water vases, etc.
A Clockwork Tomato 03-11-2006 10:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by The Fallen Phoenix
Honestly, I think you are focusing a little too much on petty aesthetics...


We might be seeing the effects of competition and supply and demand here. In the Protestant world, the family bible has been a mainstay of worship and social respectability for around 500 years, and for most of that period printers have been engaged in cut-throat competition for who can produce editions with the best combination of impressiveness, usefulness, comfort, and convenience.

Because many Protestant sects stated that bible-reading could replace ALL of the hierarchy and ritual of the church, people wanted bibles that were printed so impressively that could almost be a church in miniature. At the same time, the drive to put bibles into the hands of everyone made cheap editions essential. After 500 years of practice, the printers have achieved an enormous amount of impressiveness per dollar.

The Catholic church, on the other hand, has discouraged individual bible reading for most of this period, and this refining process hasn't taken place. For them, the bible may have gone from taboo object to just another book on religion without transition.

quote:

Of course, I also reiterate what RoseRose said: if it is for your own personal use, by all means purchase (and use) whichever Bible is most comfortable for you. In that regard, there really is no "right" or "wrong " translation (because despite the variances with the Mosaic text, I will concede that the King James' Bible is not nearly as wrong as some other (usually more recent) Biblical translations).


Of course some bibles are more right than others! It's always possible to make something worse, and, setting aside the issue of interpretation, some editions contain a lot more stupid little errors than others.

The real problem with the King James bible isn't its accuracy, but that it's written in a now-archaic version of English that makes it inaccessible. Combined with the tendency to quote little passages out of context rather than trying to figure out the gist of the entire chapter, the whole thing ends up being treated more like a sequence of fortune cookies than a narrative.
The Fallen Phoenix 03-11-2006 02:06 PM
quote:
Originally posted by A Clockwork Tomato
The Catholic church, on the other hand, has discouraged individual bible reading for most of this period, and this refining process hasn't taken place. For them, the bible may have gone from taboo object to just another book on religion without transition.


Individual interpretation moreso than reading, although I feel your point.
RoseRose 03-11-2006 02:32 PM
The Old Testament part of the KJV actually has some translations that are VERY controversial, and also quite a few inaccuracies due to the translators' lesser knowledge of ancient Hebrew than some later versions. The New Testament, I believe it's more accurate for that, but for the Old, there are numerous errors (check the links I gave in my earlier post, especially the second one, and the rest of that website).
ScionofDestiny 04-07-2006 09:25 AM
I heard someone mention the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are predominantly Jewish - along with a few other Mediterranean based religions - in origin. They hold the oldest Old Testament texts that still exist, and tell of a prophetical savior to come (or so I hear) - but are not Christian in scripture or writing. They came at least a hundred years before Christ was even born.

The people of the scrolls were seen as backward by the mainstream Jewry. They persisted in following ancient beliefs - I believe Lilith was one of them - whereas the "modern" Jewry were moving onward. Their texts are the oldest we have.

It isn't right to say that the neo-Gnostics or the conventional christians weren't effected by the discovery of the scrolls - it is a landmark discovery - but while Gnosticism is mainly about being progressive, futuristic, and using discovered knowledge as a means of becoming closer to God, the Dead Sea Scrolls are trying to go backwards. Also, I don't think that the Dead Sea Scrolls would contain much info about the afterlife - a primary concern in almost any Christian faith.

The people who will benefit most from the discovery will be the impartial Bible and religious scholars.
Shadow dorothy 05-22-2006 03:51 PM
Are they? If they are it might not be acutre because of it's harded to translate something at least 600 years old, words change a lot right or is that just me?
Mike 05-22-2006 04:19 PM
I don't think the age of the Dead Sea Scrolls makes it hard to translate, as much as the huge chunks missing do.
Diverse Considerations 05-22-2006 04:28 PM
As an Anglican, I use the KJV. DorothyFan has it right, the KJV is a very asthetically pleasing volume. It looks nice, has nice font, good paper, sewn in page marks, and gold edging (or whatever you call it) on the edge of the paper.

On the asthetics point, ACT has some good reasons. But we should also remember that the Bible in any version is a major religious text and, as such, should look in a manner befitting it. Jewish synagouges use only perfect Torah scrolls, if any are damaged in any way they are retired for use in another purpose. (I think I'm right about that, if anyone knows better don't hesitate to correct me.) Therefore it makes sense that the Bible should look impressive, even if it's just a small softcover that you carry around with you in your backpack.

As for it being in old English, that's just something you get used to. You listen to the services and readings like that and you start to enjoy hearing thee and thou and sore afraid. It becomes comfortable and familiar.

As for it being inaccurate, probably. It's entirely possible the most modern version currently in print is inaccurate as well. Who knows? Researchers, scholars, and archaeologists are always digging up new things that help us understand our past better.