Christian Community Bible

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The Christian Community Bible refers to a family of translations of the Christian Bible intended to be more accessible to ordinary readers, particularly those in Third World countries. Originally translated by French priest Bernardo Hurault, these translations are currently coordinated by the Pastoral Bible Foundation and are currently published by Claretian Publications (also known as Claretian Communications). The primary features of these translations is the use of the language of ordinary people and the inclusion of extensive commentaries aimed at helping its readers to understand the meaning of the biblical texts. The editors of the Christian Community Bible consider it to be a very accurate translation from the Hebrew and Greek biblical texts.

Both the Pastoral Bible Foundation and Claretian Publications are projects of the Claretian Missionaries.

The Christian Community Bible was begun in 1960 in Chile when Rev. Bernardo Hurault decided that a Bible that can be understood by ordinary poor people is needed, and that this Bible should include commentaries to help its readers understand it. He began translating from Hebrew and Greek to Spanish, incorporating his own homilies and questions from his own congregation as commentaries. The finished translation, known as la Biblia Latinoamericana (or as la Biblia para Latinoamérica [1]), was published in 1971.

The English translation was produced in 1986 when Rev. Alberto Rossa, a Claretian missionary in the Philippines, saw the need for an English version of the Biblia Latinoaméricana. Translation was finished in 18 months, and the finished translation was published in 1988 under the name Christian Community Bible.

The Christian Community Bible has been since then translated into French, Filipino, Chinese, Cebuano, and Ilonggo. Other translations, also coordinated by Fr. Bernardo Hurault, are in process. The editors are engaged in a constant process of revision and improvement of the translations and commentaries always making it relevant with the latest developments in biblical scholarship and with the real situations of the people. There have been more than one hundred fifty editions in different languages of the Christian Community Bible and many millions of copies distributed which have helped the faithful in many local churches to understand and assimilate better the Word of God.

Reorganized Canon[edit]

The editors of the Christian Community Bible have slightly reorganized the books of the bible with respect to the usual Catholic canon. While the New Testament books are found in the same order as they are found in other Catholic bibles, this is not the case for the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible and the deuterocanonical books). According to the introduction to the seventeenth edition: "Here we kept, in broad outlines, the distribution of the books according to the three categories present in the Jewish or Hebrew bible."[2] The result is that the Christian Community Bible's order is a blend of the Jewish and Catholic order (here represented by the Douay-Rheims Bible). The Protestant King James Version is listed for comparison purposes:

(Jewish Bible)
Christian Community
King James
Torah or Pentateuch
Genesis Genesis Genesis Genesis
Exodus Exodus Exodus Exodus
Leviticus Leviticus Leviticus Leviticus
Numbers Numbers Numbers Numbers
Deuteronomy Deuteronomy Deuteronomy Deuteronomy
Nevi'im or Prophets
Historical books
Joshua Joshua Joshua Joshua
Judges Judges Judges Judges
see below see below Ruth Ruth
Samuel 1 Samuel 1 Samuel 1 Samuel
2 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Samuel
Kings 1 Kings 1 Kings 1 Kings
2 Kings 2 Kings 2 Kings
see below
1 Chronicles 1 Paralipomenon 1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles 2 Paralipomenon 2 Chronicles
Ezra (includes Nehemiah)
see below
Ezra 1 Esdras Ezra
Nehemiah 2 Esdras (Nehemias) Nehemiah
see below Tobit
see below Judith
see below see below Esther Esther
1 Maccabees[3] 1 Machabees[3]
2 Maccabees[3] 2 Machabees[3]
Wisdom books
see below see below Job Job
see below see below Psalms Psalms
see below see below Proverbs Proverbs
see below see below Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes
see below see below Song of Solomon Song of Solomon
see below Wisdom
see below Ecclesiasticus
Major prophets
Isaiah Isaiah Isaias Isaiah
Jeremiah Jeremiah Jeremias Jeremiah
see below see below Lamentations Lamentations
see below Baruch[4]
Ezekiel Ezekiel Ezechiel Ezekiel
see below see below Daniel[5] Daniel
Minor prophets
The Twelve Prophets Hosea Osee Hosea
Joel Joel Joel
Amos Amos Amos
Obadiah Abdias Obadiah
Jonah Jonah Jonah
Micah Micaeus Micah
Nahum Nahum Nahum
Habakkuk Habacuc Habakkuk
Zephaniah Sophonias Zephaniah
Haggai Aggaeus Haggai
Zechariah Zacharias Zechariah
Malachi Malachias Malachi
see below Daniel[5] see above see above
Ketuvim or Writings[6]
Psalms see below see above see above
Proverbs see below see above see above
Job Job see above see above
see above Proverbs see above see above
see below Ecclesiastes see above see above
Song of Songs Song of Songs see above see above
Ruth Ruth see above see above
Lamentations Lamentations see above see above
Ecclesiastes see above see above see above
Esther Esther see above see above
Tobit see above see above
Judith see above see above
Baruch[4] see above see above
Wisdom see above see above
Sirach see above see above
see above Psalms see above see above
Daniel see above see above see above
Ezra (includes Nehemiah) see above see above see above
Chronicles see above see above see above

Controversial versions[edit]

Chinese edition[edit]

The Chinese edition of the Christian Community Bible was published in 1999 under the name Pastoral Bible in traditional Chinese (subsequently also available in simplified Chinese). Since its publication, this translation has been in the centre of a controversy regarding the translation process and the content of its commentaries. Because of the criticisms, some regard this translation as being a poor translation unsuitable for lay people without extensive prior theological training; at the same time, despite these criticisms, there are also people who recommend this translation to lay people.

French edition[edit]

The French edition of the Christian Community Bible was originally translated by Bernard and Louis Hurault and published in 1994 under the name Bible des Communautés chrétiennes (literally “Christian Community Bible”). It was initially a great success, but its imprimatur was rescinded in 1995 amid accusations of having anti-semitic overtones in its commentaries.

A revised translation, also translated by Bernard and Louis Hurault and retitled the Bible des Peuples (literally “People’s Bible”), was published in 1998 and is the current French language translation of the Christian Community Bible. The version is still considered controversial by some in the Jewish community, not because of anti-semitic overtones but because of replacement theology overtones.

Online versions[edit]

The Christian Community Bible is copyrighted, but the publisher has chosen to allow almost all the translations (other than the French and Spanish) to be accessed and downloaded online from their web site free of charge. The downloadable versions are in Microsoft Word format, but PDF versions are also available in some languages.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ The Christian Community Bible, 17th Edition, 1995. Pg. 6.
  3. ^ a b c d The Latin Vulgate, Douay-Rheims, and Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition place First and Second Maccabees after Malachi; other Catholic translations place them after Esther.
  4. ^ a b In Catholic Bibles, Baruch includes a sixth chapter called the Letter of Jeremiah. Baruch is not in the Protestant Bible or the Tanakh.
  5. ^ a b In Catholic and Orthodox Bibles, Daniel includes three sections not included in Protestant Bibles. The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children are included between Daniel 3:23-24. Susanna is included as Daniel 13. Bel and the Dragon is included as Daniel 14. These are not in the Protestant Old Testament.
  6. ^ These books are found among the historical and wisdom books of the Christian canons.

Chinese edition:

  • Kung Kao Po, issues 2871 and 2923 (in Chinese) — As of November 2005, these two issues have been taken out of the paper’s web site, but still in Google’s cache; however, the cached copy is expected to expire any time.
  • Zenit News Agency news releases, September 7, 1999 [2] and February 2, 2000 [3]

French edition:

Other editions: