Christian Community Bible
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 ), 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.
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." 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:
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.
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.
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.
- The Christian Community Bible, 17th Edition, 1995. Pg. 6.
- 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.
- In Catholic Bibles, Baruch includes a sixth chapter called the Letter of Jeremiah. Baruch is not in the Protestant Bible or the Tanakh.
- 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.
- These books are found among the historical and wisdom books of the Christian canons.
- 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  and February 2, 2000 
- Kung Kao Po, issue 2871 (in Chinese)
- Zenit News Agency news release, September 7, 1999
- “La traduction de la bible en français” (web page, in French)
- “La bible expliquée” (web page, in French)
- “La Bible des peuples : Une bible nostalgique de la théorie de la «substitution»”, M.R. Macina (web page, in French)