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Friday, December 26, 2008

Yes, Catholics Do Read the Bible!

By Hwang Keum-Ok

My family is a cross-section of religious denominations. Some of us are Catholic (my parents and my oldest sister), some of us are nondenominational (my only surviving brother), some of us are Lutheran (my youngest sister) and then there is me - a Nazarene. We were all raised in the Catholic Church, and there are things about it that I still enjoy.

When I was a child, it seemed to me (perhaps my mistake) that the Church we attended was not big on encouraging Catholics to read the Bible, and I didn't realize until I was much older that there actually were Catholic Bibles. The most popular of these is the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible, with the seven books not found in Protestant Bibles (among these, 1 and 2 Maccabees).

There is a new openness to the Scriptures among Catholics today, and I am thrilled about this. In the early days of Catholicism, of course, most of the people were illiterate, so it fell to the priests to disseminate the Word to the populace. This led to some interesting times(which I will not go into here), but one of the effects was a general perception that it was up to the priest to know the Word, not the people, and I am delighted to see that this has undergone a sea change!

Catholic Bibles are now available in several different translations and all are a joy to read. My oldest sister, who actually spent eight years in the convent, is an avid Bible student and reads her Catholic Bible daily.

There are several versions of Catholic Bibles, in addition to the Douay-Rheims; the New American Bible is quite good, as is the New Jerusalem Bible, and the New Living Translation. You can also find a Catholic version of the Bible printed in many different world languages, most notably Spanish, as there is a large segment of the Spanish-speaking population that is Catholic.

It is encouraging to see that the Catholic Church encourages Catholics of all ages to study their Bibles and develop a deeper understanding of God's Holy Word. After all, one of the most important Sacraments is Confirmation and before a child can go through this, they must know their Scripture.

It is a blessing to know that, doctrinal differences aside, more unites Catholics and Protestants than divides us. After all, we are all believers in the one God, Master of the Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, praise His Name!

Hi...My name is Hwang Keum-OK, and I want to tell you about a great site: http://www.studybiblelover.wordpress.com/ It's full of great info for anyone looking to choose a Bible -- for themselves or for someone else. That site again is: Study Bible Lover. I hope you'll stop by today and check us out!

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