Bible Gateway offers free online access to the Bible in more than 60 English versions. One of them is the New Catholic Bible (NCB), which uses the literal or formal equivalence translation method of rendering English text word-for-word from the original Hebrew and Greek biblical languages as much as possible. Its extensive explanatory notes reflect the most current consensus of Catholic scholarship.
What organization is responsible for the New Catholic Bible (NCB) translation?
Emilie Cerar: We are pleased to work with Bible Gateway in presenting our New Catholic Bible, a faithful, accurate and reader-friendly translation. Catholic Book Publishing Corp., the leading publisher of Bibles and books for Catholics worldwide since 1911, announced the publication of its long-awaited St. Joseph New Catholic Bible in November 2019. Catholic Book Publishing of Totowa, New Jersey commissioned the translation of Scripture known as the NCB, and is both the publisher and copyright holder.
What need did you see that prompted the creation of the NCB?
Emilie Cerar: The complete NCB followed the release of the NCB Book of Psalms in 2002 and the NCB New Testament in 2015. Both the Psalms and New Testament (formerly called the (NCV) New Catholic Version) were well received and positively reviewed for their readable text and pastoral voluminous notes, and they were accompanied by extensive interest in a complete Bible from Catholic Book Publishing.
The NCB provides the reader with a faithful translation that allows for a more global reach than previous versions of the Bible. The St. Joseph edition provides English-speaking Catholics worldwide with a new version to expand their interest, devotion, and study of the Word of God. The new translation is intended for private use, rather than liturgical purposes.
Who were the translators of this new translation?
Emilie Cerar: The complete Bible provides a new translation of the venerable book as created by a team of Scripture scholars under the direction of Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv., S.S.L. For over three decades they worked tirelessly to render a predominantly word-for-word translation of formal equivalence, receiving Church approval by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the Philippines. Numerous translations were consulted and decisions were made by consensus according to accepted principles of textual criticism.
How does the NCB differ from other Catholic Bible translations?
Emilie Cerar: Faithful lay Catholics agree that the NCB translation of the Scripture has a lyrical, flowing style that encourages the reader to expand both their mind and heart. They say they’re prompted to read more of the text than other translations and to understand it better by referring to the notes for further study. This said, the voluminous explanatory notes provide both history and context without being academic, thus building up the apostolic faith of the reader and drawing them into deeper prayer and reflection. The NCB may be the best Catholic Bible to promote evangelization efforts—something that has recently been embraced by Catholic laity.
Please highlight a few verses where the NCB’s unique translation is especially evident.
Emilie Cerar: The typeface in bold indicates NCB’s uniqueness.
Psalm 37:4-6 New Catholic Bible
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will grant you what your heart desires. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; place your trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, and the justice of your cause, like the noonday.
Luke 14:15-17 New Catholic Bible
15 The Parable of the Great Supper. On hearing this, one of the dinner guests said to him, “Blessed is the man who will dine in the kingdom of God.” 16 Jesus said in reply, “A man gave a sumptuous banquet, to which he invited many. 17 When the hour for the banquet drew near, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited: ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’”
What is the goal of publishing the NCB?
Emilie Cerar: In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting font of spiritual life.” Hence, “access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful” (no. 131).
Following the lead of the Catechism, Catholic Book Publishing believes that in the life of Christians there can never be too many translations of the Bible. It’s a well-known fact that different translations are able to bring out nuances of meaning speciﬁc to each one. The Scriptures are so full of meaning that we can confidently say no single translation can do it justice.
Our hope is that the New Catholic Bible is a translation that will be trusted to provide the reader with a prayerful and fulﬁlling Bible experience for private devotion and study. We’re making it available in numerous sizes and bindings to give every Bible reader the opportunity to find the one that’s most suitable for their needs—giant print, family large print, personal size—all in a variety of colors and in leather, dura-lux, hardcover, and paperback bindings. Most of the editions have the added feature of Jesus’ words in red.
What is a favorite Bible passage of yours and why?
Emilie Cerar: “I call upon the heavens and the earth to witness today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life, so that you and your descendants might live.” Deuteronomy 30:19
“But the LORD has been my stronghold, my God, the rock in whom I find refuge.” Psalm 94:22
“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has the human heart imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App and Bible Audio App?
Emilie Cerar: Although Catholic Book Publishing, Corp. publishes spiritual resources for every stage of life and has been blessed to work with knowledgeable and gifted authors, we’re especially proud of our own translation of the Word of God. The NCB is available in various sizes and bindings for a print edition that suits every taste and need. For those who wish to read and search particular verses of the St. Joseph New Catholic Bible online or to compare it with other translations, we’re truly delighted to make it available worldwide through Bible Gateway so that the sacred words of Scripture can bring solace, hope, encouragement, and healing as readers grow in God’s knowledge and love.
Bio: Emilie Cerar has worked in Catholic publishing for over 30 years, most recently as an editor with Catholic Book Publishing, Corp. in Totowa, NJ. Previous to that she was the publisher of Resurrection Press—“ the little publishing house that could” (Crux of the News)—which became an imprint of Catholic Book Publishing in March 2000. In addition to working on many trade books on healing and other spiritual topics, she has been dedicated to editing the New Catholic Bible, Catholic Book’s own Bible translation, which she considers to be the most spiritually and professionally enriching endeavor of her career. Emilie received her BA in Business/English from Hunter CUNY and her MA in Theology/Spirituality from Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, NY.
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