To locate a Bible in Falvey Memorial Library’s online catalog, search for the version needed using keywords from the title headings given below. The Bible has many different versions and/or translations. This brief list with descriptions is intended as a help, designed to assist the library user to locate the English translations of the Bible most commonly used by Villanova students.
Translated from the Latin Vulgate (see also the Neo-Vulgate edition) and compared with original language manuscripts (1582-1609), this English translation prepared by Catholic scholars was revised in accord with the Latin Vulgate by English Bishop Richard Challoner in the eighteenth-century. See also: The Vulgate Bible, Douay-Rheims translation, and Concordance to the Bible (Douay version).
Translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Received Text into English, this version of the Bible was authorized by King James I of England (1611). The seventeenth-century scholars who made this English translation included, for the first time, Deutro-Canonical books as an additional supplement called “The Apocrypha.” Editions of the authorized King James Version are published both with and without these additional books. See also: The exhaustive concordance of the Bible (Strong's).
Many projects had been undertaken to revise and update the Elizabethan language and phrasing of the Authorized Version (KJV), which had become the standard text familiar to much of the English-speaking world. This widely heralded scholarly yet readable text, published by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches in the U.S.A. (1946-1957), was also reviewed and prepared as a Catholic Edition with the Apocrypha incorporated by the Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain (1965-1966). A Second Catholic Edition was done (2000-2006) See also: The Catholic Bible Concordance, and The Eerdmans analytical concordance to the Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
Scholars interested in a less literal and a more dynamically equivalent translation used the Revised Standard Version English translation as the basis for a project to update the wording of the Bible to match norms of the late twentieth century, including gender-inclusive language. An annotated study edition was completed in 1989. This version followed the success of earlier editions prepared by Oxford University Press that included the Apocryphal/Deutro-Canonical Books and notes from the committees of scholars who worked on producing the entire text. A NRSV Catholic Edition was also produced. The NRSV is the vernacular translation that Catholics (Latin Rite) in Canada use liturgically. See also: The NRSV concordance unabridged.
In the mid-twentieth century, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in the United States began a process to revise and update the Douay-Challoner text (1941-1969). Although the periodic revisions issued were combined with the older text in editions of the Bible (see The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 1941, The Holy Bible, Catholic Action Edition, 1953, and The Holy Bible, 1961), the allowance by the Holy See for scholars to create an English translation not bound to the Latin Vulgate produced a fresh English translation, based on all available manuscripts, and the previously published CCD translations, called The New American Bible (1970). A revised NAB is the vernacular translation U.S. Catholics (Latin Rite) use liturgically. See also: Nelson's complete concordance to the New American Bible.
Published in 1966 this is an English translation of a French edition of the Bible. A revision, using more inclusive language, was published in 1985. Conceived of as a study Bible, a reader's edition of the original Jerusalem Bible text was published in 2000.
The NASB and the NIV were both originally conceived of as study Bible translations. Done by committees of Protestant scholars, they have been very popular in some Protestant churches and among bible study groups.
Note: Falvey also has parallel editions of the Bible which contain several Bible translations side-by-side. See: The complete parallel Bible; The layman's parallel Bible; and The Holy Bible in four translations.
To locate a commentary on, or a work about the Bible, or even part of it, one should first understand that the Holy Bible is classified by a system intended to assist a reader to locate particular passages. The most common Bible divisions are book (name), chapter (number) and verse (number). Note that scholars have also established different designations to identify books grouped by genre. It is worthwhile to discover if a biblical book belongs to one of these broader categories.
The Law = Pentateuch = Five Books of Moses = Torah
The Prophets, including the “Twelve”
Epistles of Paul
Epistles of John
Other common sample groupings
Individual books of the Bible are listed below in canonical order with a common abbreviation (if one exists) in brackets, followed by alternate titles. For the Latin names of Books in the Bible, see the official Catholic Latin version: the Neo-Vulgate edition of the Holy Bible, i.e., Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum.
(Falvey Call number: REF BS 90 1986)
Key to parenthetical comments:
[DC] = Deutro-Canonical books, sometimes separated into a group called "Apocryphal books (Old Testament)." Note: several works not included in the Bible also called "Apocryphal books (New Testament)." The Old Testament Apocrypha is canonical for Catholics, but not for most non-Catholic Christians. Therefore, some Protestant versions of the Bible leave these books out all together.
[HB] = Books in Hebrew Bible followed by name from the Tanakh, unless it is the same.
Even though the keyword “Commentaries” and the phrase “Criticism, interpretation, etc.” are useful to remember, keep in mind that descriptors and subject heading formulation in general may vary. The most consistent way to locate library materials about a particular book in the Bible via the library online catalog is to search the subject index using a search string that identifies the Christian Holy Bible, the major part of the Bible, and the book of the Bible about which the commentary or scholarly book is written. The form given in quotation marks (below) is what should be searched as a subject in the online catalog.
Darren Poley is the subject librarian for Theology & Religious Studies. Contact him for further assistance or to schedule a library research consultation appointment.