Reputation of Ben Douglas

It is my understanding that has serious objections to New American Bible. What are opinion of authentic Catholic Bible scholars on his works ?

The NAB is authorized by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It tries to pack a lot of information explaining the text. For a new Bible reader, the comments might be bewildering.

My suggestion is to read the Bible and make notes of your questions. Sometimes they will answer themselves as you go along. Sometime it takes me years to figure out a text ( usually by finding the right commentary - no commentary or study bible is exhaustive).

Don’t know Douglas, Can’t find anything specific on him. Common name.

We need a bit more to go on, to answer your question.

As compared to the bible which it killed off (1941-1969 Confraternity), the NAB and derivatives are rather soft, and make defending the faith difficult due to the unfortunate use of ecumenical translation principles. As well, the notes tend toward the historical/critical and swash the supernatural aspect out of the faith. The OT is substantially better than the NT in it.

A curiosity: The Prayer to the Holy Spirit before reading the scriptures was removed from the NAB.

Even though “approved”, the Nihil Obstat means basically that it does not directly contradict Catholic teaching. The Imprimatur is only permission to print. I believe that it is the weakest English language Catholic bible published, with the possible exception of the Good News Translation.

I rather prefer the Revised English Bible w/“Apocrypha” by Oxford/Cambridge for a daily reader. It had Catholic (name removed by moderator)ut and is a decent read.

As to Mr. Douglas, he sounds a little fringy to me. IMO, there are far better, more mainstream sources.

Who is Ben Douglas? I have never heard of him.

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Ben Douglass wrote a critique of the NAB’s introductions and footnotes about 10 years ago.

I cannot find any recent contributions from him online, in fact nothing even within the last 8 years or so. I am not sure of his whereabouts.

He does bring up very good points about the skeptical scholarship of NAB translations.

If you are looking for more accepted scholarly rebuttals of problematic NAB notes, consult the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible or read modern Catholic Biblical scholars like Drs. Scott Hahn, Brant Pitre, John Bergsma or Michael Barber. On the Protestant side, Darrell Bock, Craig Blomberg, Craig Keener, Daniel Wallace, Gary Habermas, and Craig Evans are solid choices. These authors and their works do not refute the NAB as a matter of purpose, but by reading their footnotes side-by-side it is quite evident that the NAB takes a skeptical approach.

Many NAB fans console themselves by saying it is approved by the USCCB. The fact is that it is dated, skeptical scholarship of the 1970s, and the vast majority of our bishops went through seminary at a time of poor and skeptical biblical scholarship which has since been surpassed by more scholarly and orthodox studies. With prayer and the eventual appointment of new bishops brought up with more orthodox Scriptural backgrounds, one can hope for an abandonment of the NAB to a translation more faithful to the Church’s teachings and Tradition.

I appreciate the information. Thanks. God bless.


Fisheaters is a pretty non-charitable site, IME. RadTrads. There are far better sources, like common sense and personal experience, as compared with the catechism.

Two egregious examples from the NAB: Luke essentially made up Mary’s Magnificat. Huh? Then, we have no idea who wrote the Gospel according to Matthew and we simply call it that for the sake of convenience. I assure you, there are worse, but you get the drift.

If you can, find the intros and footnotes to the 1941 Confraternity New Testament online and read them. They are 100% Catholic, clear, concise and build faith rather than corrode it. You can buy a pocket-sized Confraternity New Testament that has these excellent notes here.

Thus, you accept and follow Pope Francis’ advice to carry a New Testament, and you will have solid Catholic footnotes.


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