Author Topic: French Bible: Which version is authoritative?  (Read 5478 times)

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Offline Didymus

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French Bible: Which version is authoritative?
« on: November 24, 2008, 01:29:51 PM »
Know this post is in English but figured this was the most apt section of the forums to post it in. Please forgive any error on my part if it ought be elsewhere.

Anyway, in English the Authorised King James Version is generally considered to be the authoritative version to which every other version is compared and to which most traditionalists hold fast.
(The only other English version which may come close to having the same status would be the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible as Roman Catholics are forbidden to read the KJV and many traditionalist Roman Catholics hold to this translation.)

Question: Which French translation holds the equivalent status in French as the KJV does in English?

With the little research done on this topic, it seems the Louis Segond Bible of 1910 would be the choice however it seems to only have 66 books. Is this a Protestant translation? Is anyone able to elaborate upon its background (as in who is responsible for its translation)?

The only other serious candidate might be Darby's 1885 French translation. However the work of one man may be somewhat questionable even if he was a fine linguist.

Is there an official Roman Catholic version at all?

Any other suggestions welcome though please provide some reason behind your answers.

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Offline Frederic

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Re: French Bible: Which version is authoritative?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 04:44:10 PM »
Among French Roman Catholics, the preferred Bible is the Bible de Jérusalem. It is not an official Bible, but it is the version a Roman Catholic is most likely to have at home.

Most Protestants hold to Louis Segond's Bible.

The Traduction œcuménique de la Bible (TOB) is rather unpopular. Although much praised for being ecumenical, it is shunned by a vast majority of both Catholics and Protestants.
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Offline DanielGarneau

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Re: French Bible: Which version is authoritative?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 09:00:39 PM »

I wrote a short article in French titled Choisir une traduction de la Bible (Choosing a Bible translation) ( It does not answer the question which French translation of the Bible is considered authoritative and which is not. But what it does do is discuss some key characteristics of a few of them, and points to links where more information is provided comparing key characteristics of currently available French Bible translations.

I am reproducing here one such link for the sake of convenience, leading to an on-line boolet titled, Les Bibles françaises, comment choisir ? (French Bibles, How to choose?) : This booklet is provided by La société biblique de Genève who has published an update of the Second 1910 called Segond 21 (meaning, Louis Segond updated for the 21st Century). It shortened sentences, simplified grammatical structures and vocabulary, while retaining the basic translation philosophy of Dr. Louis Segond, which was to stick to the original except when it would create confusion for contemporary readers.

Coming back to my own article, you will find interesting to follow some of the links, because they point towards a number of translations old and new. One feature that may be helpful to forwarding the discussion related to the current OP is that I draw some comparison between some Spanish, English and French translations, with regard to the principles that guided the respective team of translators. My source for these statements are the Web sites of the editors of those Bibles (links that you will find in my article), plus a life long exposure to a number of the translations mentionned in the article, especially the French versions.

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« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 09:12:26 PM by DanielGarneau »
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