While using Goggle, one comes across a write-up on a certain print of the Bible , which contained some glaring errors. The copy of the Bible now referred to as `The Wicked Bible, has only 10 copies left of the 1,000 printed in 1631 in England. The printers, Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, were brought to court and fined by King Charles I of England, and they lost their printing licenses. Barker later died in debtor’s prison. I wish to know how the Catholic Church view such incidences where the Holy Bible was printed with glaring errors, as in the case of The Wicked Bible.

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    Why should the Catholic Church have a position on an English Bible printed with typos in a time and place where they had no authority because the Church of England was long independent? – curiousdannii Jun 22 at 5:21
  • I have since revised the question. In fact, I have quoted the `Wicked Bible'as an example only. Please google for more. – Kadalikatt Joseph Sibichan Jun 22 at 6:30
  • Even if you aren't asking specifically about the "Wicked Bible", it remains unclear why you think the Catholic Church should have a particular position on Bibles printed with errors in England no less. – eques Jun 22 at 13:44
  • Are you asking what they teach about the bibles themselves, or whether they would punish the people who printed them? – DJClayworth Jun 22 at 14:47
  • @curiousdannii But King James of England was Catholic with full authority in place! He was succeeded by Charles I of England who was Anglican. “Long independent” would need to be redefined. – Ken Graham Jun 22 at 23:30

What is the Catholic Church's take on copies of Bible printed with errors?

There is no one copy Bible that is perfect. As long as a Bible is approved by ecclesiastical authority and free inaccuracy and excessive bias, it is fine for Catholics to read and/or publish.

According to some Catholic scholars and teachers, there is no one “best” Bible for Catholics, but several versions are suitable. Often, it depends on the individual, his background in Bible reading and study, and the way he wishes to use the Good Book.

“Of those many contemporary translations of the Bible into English, only a few are officially approved by the Catholic Church to be free from inaccuracy and excessive bias,” Binz said. “Among these are the New American Bible, the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, the New Jerusalem Bible, the Contemporary English Bible, and the Good News Bible. The first three of these uses a kind of translation called ‘formal equivalence’ and the last three use a more informal style called ‘dynamic equivalence.’ I always recommend the first three for Catholic Bible study because they translate from the original languages in a way that is more word-for-word from the original languages, however the others sometimes makes for smoother reading.

“The Catholic Church does not prefer one over the other, but allows for all of them to be read for different reasons,” Binz said. “The New American Bible has been chosen for the official texts of the readings for Mass in the United States. The New Revised Standard Version is used for the Mass in Canada, and the Jerusalem Bible for the Mass in the UK and Ireland. The best way to tell if a translation has been approved or not is to look for the words ‘Catholic Edition’ on the cover. This will let you know not only that it is an approved translation, but also that all 73 books of the Catholic Bible are include, not just the 66 books of Protestant editions. - What is the best edition of the Bible for Catholics?

Canon Law allows the Apostolic See or the national conference of bishops to publish vernacular translations. This would require an imprimatur if done by the local conference of bishops to ensure there is no glaring errors or bias translations!

Can. 825 §1. Books of the sacred scriptures cannot be published unless the Apostolic See or the conference of bishops has approved them. For the publication of their translations into the vernacular, it is also required that they be approved by the same authority and provided with necessary and sufficient annotations.

§2. With the permission of the conference of bishops, Catholic members of the Christian faithful in collaboration with separated brothers and sisters can prepare and publish translations of the sacred scriptures provided with appropriate annotations.

Bibles were translated in Catholic countries prior to Martin Luther’s first published bible.

After the invention of the printing press, prior to Luther's Bible being published in German, there had been over 20 versions of the whole Bible translated into the various German dialects (High and Low) by Catholics. Similarly, there were several vernacular versions of the Bible published in other languages both before and after the Reformation. The Church did condemn certain vernacular translations because of what it felt were bad translations and anti-Catholic notes (vernacular means native to a region or country). - Did the Catholic Church forbid Bible reading?

Two such examples of bibles contain glaring errors or bias translations in the eyes of the Church are The Wicked Bible and the Tyndale Bible.

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  • Thanks. I am interested in knowing as to whose intervention, the glaring errors in printing are attributed by the Catholic Church. For instance, the dropping of NOT in the Sixth Commandment , as it appears in the Wicked Bible, could be explained as just as an inadvertent error OR, as an example of practical joke that someone played at the intervention of The Enemy. Please elucidate. – Kadalikatt Joseph Sibichan Jun 24 at 9:23

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