I'm trying to track down a Catholic bible translation. I saw a screenshot of it online (a picture of a physical copy) a few months ago but have yet to identify which translation it is.

The key thing that was highlighted in the meme pic was that the translators had inserted "One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic" into Christs words in chapter 16, such that Christ ends up saying "on this rock I will build my one, holy, catholic, apostolic church."

I'm super curious to track down this translation because I find it somewhat humourous but I also think there could be some actual value in it, on a sociological level at least.

Does anyone know which translation this could be? I suspect it's one of the following but can't find online copies to confirm:

  • St. Paul Catholic Edition
  • Alba House New Testament
  • New Community Bible: Catholic Edition (NCB)
  • New Living Translation Catholic Edition (NLT-CE)

1 Answer 1


The source image

I found what maybe the picture of a physical copy that you referred to, in a Facebook post. Screen snapshot of the Facebook post below:

Matt 16:18 in Confraternity Version

Finding the 1963 Confraternity version

The caption says: "Holy Bible Textbook Edition Confraternity Version" which maybe the one that is sold here at Amazon, published by the Catholic Book Publishing Company in 1963. A scanned version can be viewed at archive.org, with that verse in this page.

But the picture is most likely doctored !

BUT, if we trust the integrity of the digital version in archive.org more (which was based on a 2011 physical scan of a donated copy from Toronto Book Drive), you will see that the image in the Facebook post was doctored !! Below is my screen snapshot of the archive.org viewer of the full 2 side by side pages that contains Matt 16:18.

Matt 15:33 to Matt 17:22 from the archive.org scan

I give the one who photoshopped the picture thumbs up though, as it was done very well, paying attention to minute level of details:

  • the font of the doctored text is indistinguishable from the rest
  • the letter spacing (kerning) is convincing as though professionally typeset
  • the line justification and the line spacing is consistent with the undoctored lines
  • the size and location of the footnote & the superscript are consistent
  • the curve of the folded page matches the text line
  • the natural gradation of size (top of picture is larger)
  • how toward the center of the book the picture is slightly out of focus
  • the very slightly uneven intensity of the red lines complete with dark small dots, as though made with a red ballpoint pen by hand (!)

thus making it look extremely real.

Or, more likely, the photoshop was done from a flat 2D scan as the source. It is then printed out on paper, red lines and minor blotches added. He/she then inserted the two doctored pages in the middle of a thick book, and took the picture while holding the spine of the book as though the 2 pages are part of that book.

A giveaway is the single mistake at the end of verse 14 where there is a double quotation mark after the word "prophets," where the quotation mark is an opening double quote instead of the closing double quote. Compare with the archive.org page scan which has the correct closing double quote.

About the Confraternity version

If you're interested in the Confraternity Version, there is a Wikipedia entry which gives the interesting background, purpose, and the history of the translation project. I also found a page scan of a magazine article about it, 'Intelligible, Modern English' Aim Of New Confraternity Bible Version, by Stephen Hartdegen, O.F.M. from The Catholic Transcript magazine issue of July 15, 1965 (page 10).

  • wowwwwww. thanks for this great answer. That's some ace photo doctoring haha. fooled me and everyone else XD Commented May 18, 2022 at 22:56
  • I guess it does depend on if we trust the scanned one more. because if that is a photoshop, it's a very convincing one for many reasons Commented May 18, 2022 at 22:59
  • like, the spacing and paragraphing are completely different between the scan and the fb post, and not merely wrt the red underlined part: the entire text is shifted on both Commented May 18, 2022 at 23:00
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    i've accepted the answer and upvoted. but hopefully anyone who googles this lands here, and this can be a launching point for further investigation, or for the original person who took the picture to "come up with the goods" and prove that the original picture was not doctored by providing further evidence Commented May 18, 2022 at 23:02
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    @TheIronKnuckle Yes, it's an expert level doctoring. He/she made one mistake though: the double quotation mark at the end of verse 14 just after the word "prophets". It was a opening double quote rather than a closing double quote. Compare with the archive.org page scan. To me it's a big giveaway that the picture was doctored. Commented May 18, 2022 at 23:24

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