Walsingham Publishing - King James Bible for Catholics

Published on The Feast of St. Theodore of Canterbury, Bishop, 19 September 2020!     A preview is available.

Order on Amazon with free Prime shipping USA Canada Vatican Ireland France Germany Japan
Volume I - Genesis to Ecclesiasticus $17.95 CDN$24.99 tbd tbd tbd tbd ¥3,300
Volume II - Isaiah to Revelation $15.95 CDN$21.95 16,59 € £13.95 16,83 € 16,75 € ¥3,025
TOTAL for the Two-Volume Set $33.90 CDN$46.94 ¥6,325
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This is the full 1611 text of the Authorized Version of the most beloved and most published bible in the world. Designed for private devotional use by Catholics, all 80 books of the original 1611 edition are included. The 14 books not found in many later editions of the KJV have been included in the order Catholics expect within the 46 (not 39!) books of the Old Testament. As in the 1610 Douay, The Prayer of Manasses and the two additional Books of Esdras are placed in an Appendix. Then follow, of course, the 27 books of the New Testament.

With an Introduction by The Rev'd David Ousley, Ph.D.

Questions and answers.

  • What is the King James Version for Catholics?

    The King James Version for Catholics is a new printing of the the full text, all 80 books, of the 1611 KJV Bible with the 1769 orthographic changes and with the Deuterocanonical books placed among the other books of the Old Testament in the order expected by Catholics.

  • You said "80 books." My Ignatius Catholic Bible only has 73. Can you elaborate further.

    As published in England in 1611, the KJV included 80 books, which correspond to, but are organized differently than the 76 books of the 1610 Douay.

    In a full, standard edition of the King James Bible there are 39 Old Testament books accepted by Jews and Protestants, four books that are deuterocanonical portions of Esther and Daniel, 7 deuterocanonical books, three books considered non-canonical but published in the KJV and early editions of the Douay, and the 27 books of the New Testament.

    The King James Version for Catholics will have all of these, in the accustomed Catholic order.

    Anglicans have always used all of the books, but other Protestants began printing editions of the KJV with only 66 books, omitting the 14 books in the KJV Apocrypha. With the transition to newer translations in the 1950s and 1960s by Catholics and Anglicans, it became more difficult to obtain complete versions of the KJV.

    Like the 1610 Douay, the three non-canonical books commonly included in bibles of the period, but not accounted as part of the deutero canon by the Council of Trent, will be included and placed in an appendix to the Old Testament.

    The three non-canonical books are The Prayer of Manasses, and 2 additional books of Esdras. Though non-canonical, the Second Book of Esdras (called the Fourth Book of Esdras in the pre-Tridentine Vulgate) is heavily used in liturgical propers within the Church, and the Prayer of Manasses has been used in the Liturgy of the Hours.

  • Why is this a King James Version for Catholics, and not a King James Version - Catholic Edition, as with the RSV?

    I am calling this the King James Version for Catholics rather than the King James Version Catholic Edition because any attempt to make significant modifications to the KJV would make it something different and inauthentic. However, I have reviewed the changes made to the RSV to create the RSV-CE. You may read my notes on that here.

    The only changes other than placing the books in the familiar order which I am planning are to follow the 2008 letter from the CDW, written at Pope Benedict's request, that asks that the Holy Name of God, the Tetragrammaton, be rendered in English as "The Lord" rather than "Jehovah". Jews stopped pronouncing the Tetragrammaton during the Second Temple Era, and early Christians also never attempted to prounounce the Holy Name. This will only affect eight verses in the entire KJV, and in each case a footnote will indicate the original text.

    In addition, there will be some small number of footnotes where the text differs significantly from current understanding of the original languages. But one of the features of the original KJV that made it different from other translations being produced at the time was the lack of marginal notes, which tended to be polemical attacks on other translations.

    So while an imprimatur might be nice, I will be happy if I am only able to find an author more learned than myself to write a preface discussing the proper place of the KJV in the life of the Ordinariate.

  • Isn't it full of errors?

    While Bibles produced by groups of Protestants issuing from the Continental Reformation often specifically use wording to deny Catholic doctrine, that is not the case with the King James Version, which was produced by "High Church" parties within Anglicanism under the direction of a monarch with strong Catholic leanings.

    In preparing this edition and deciding where to place footnotes, I have asked for assistance in identifying those "errors". Lists of purported errors have been provided. My answers to one such list show that the majority of "errors" are language choices which the KJV shares with the Douay.

  • What prompted you to put the KJV for Catholics together?

    Many people have asked for it. It is certainly an important part of the patrimony. The King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, more than any other literary works, have formed the culture and the consciences of the English speaking people for over 400 years.

  • What difficulties are there, if any, in working on any Scriptural text in terms of Catholic approvals?

    Lectionaries, that is, books containing the individual readings for use in the Mass or at the daily office, must go through a rigorous approval process, and must follow the directives in Liturgiam Authenticam. However, Catholics are free to read any translation of the bible, whether the bible is being offered as a "Catholic" bible or not. I recommend that anyone reading the Bible, especially this edition, do so while consulting a good Catholic commentary. To be Catholic is to interpret the bible in the light of the Tradition of the Church:

    "[T]he task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the Word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit; it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed. -- Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), 1965

    Many portions of the KJV have already received specific approval from the CDF/CDW and are incorporated in "Divine Worship: The Missal." For example, the Last Gospel must be read from the Missal, and the text printed in the missal is the KJV. Many of the minor propers and other scriptural texts in the Missal are also from the KJV. Publication of this edition of the KJV is being undertaken in the spirit of Pope Benedict XVI's vision "to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared." (Anglicanorum Cœtibus III.)

  • What response have you had to the project so far?

    Many members of the Ordinariate coming from the Anglican tradition are enthusiastic. Others, who do not appreciate the more poetic nature of the KJV, don't understand why the Douay isn't good enough. There are also detractors who believe that the KJV is heretical or claim that it is a polemic against the Church, but no one has yet identified any passage that is in contradiction to Catholic doctrine. One person adamantly claimed that the KJV translation of John 3:16 is heretical, but that is one of the verses which has already received official approval from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for use at Mass, as one of the "Comfortable Words" in the Penitential Office.

  • When will the two-volume set be available for order?

    Production is nearing completion on schedule, and ordering at Amazon.com should be available on or before The Feast of St. Theodore of Canterbury, Bishop, 19 September 2020.

  • Do you have a website for it yet?

    Here you are! Once available for purchase, this page will refer you to Amazon where it will be available with free Prime shipping. The price for the two volumes purchased together will be $33.90 in the USA, and will be similarly priced elsewhere.

Some specific portions of the KJV are approved for use at Mass. An example is shown on these missal pages below, along with the approval from Cardinal Sarah. No official KJV lectionary text is being considered as part of this project. Anything beyond publishing what is described on this page is Out-of-Scope at this time.

Preview of the KJV for Catholics.

John Covert, Acton, Massachusetts, USA