Catholic Bible

Within Catholicism, the Bible comprises the whole 73-book canon recognized by the Catholic Church, including the deuterocanonical books. It is sometimes referred to as the Catholic Bible.

Books included

The Catholic Bible is composed of the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament.

Old Testament

Of these books, Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, parts of Esther and parts of Daniel are deuterocanonical, and are found in the Bibles of Eastern Christianity. These books are usually not found in the Protestant Bible, but are sometimes included in a separate inter-testamental section called the "Apocrypha".

New Testament

Canon law

In another sense, a "Catholic Bible" is a Bible published in accordance with the prescriptions of Catholic canon law, which states:

Books of the sacred scriptures cannot be published unless the Apostolic See or the conference of bishops has approved them. For the publication of their translations into the vernacular, it is also required that they be approved by the same authority and provided with necessary and sufficient annotations.

With the permission of the Conference of Bishops, Catholic members of the Christian faithful in collaboration with separated brothers and sisters can prepare and publish translations of the sacred scriptures provided with appropriate annotations.[1]

Principles of translation

Without diminishing the authority of the texts of the books of Scripture in the original languages, the Council of Trent declared the Vulgate the official translation of the Bible for the Latin Church, but did not forbid the making of translations directly from the original languages.[2][3] Before the middle of the 20th century, Catholic translations were often made from that text rather than from the original languages. Thus Ronald Knox, the author of what has been called the Knox Bible, wrote: "When I talk about translating the Bible, I mean translating the Vulgate."[4] Today, the version of the Bible that is used in official documents in Latin is the Nova Vulgata, a revision of the Vulgate that among other changes makes it conform more closely to manuscripts in the original languages.

This does not mean keeping to any particular edition in the original language. Thus, in translating the Hebrew Bible, evidence from Qumran manuscripts and ancient versions in Greek, Aramaic or Syriac is sometimes used to adjust the Masoretic Text. The aim is to get as close as possible to what "was written by the inspired author himself and has more authority and greater weight than any, even the very best, translation whether ancient or modern".[5]

The principles expounded in Pope Pius XII's encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu regarding exegesis or interpretation, as in commentaries on the Bible, apply also to the preparation of a translation. These include the need for familiarity with the original languages and other cognate languages, the study of ancient codices and even papyrus fragments of the text and the application to them of textual criticism, "to insure that the sacred text be restored as perfectly as possible, be purified from the corruptions due to the carelessness of the copyists and be freed, as far as may be done, from glosses and omissions, from the interchange and repetition of words and from all other kinds of mistakes, which are wont to make their way gradually into writings handed down through many centuries".[6]

Catholic English versions

The following are English versions of the Bible that correspond to this description:

Abbreviation Name Date
DRB Douay-Rheims Bible 1582, 1609, 16101
DRC Douay-Rheims Bible Challoner Revision 1749-1752
WVSS Westminster Version of the Sacred Scripture[7] 1913–19352
SPC Spencer New Testament[8] 1941
CCD Confraternity Bible 19413
Knox Knox Bible 1950
KLNT KleistLilly New Testament 19564
RSV–CE Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 1965–66
JB Jerusalem Bible 1966
NAB New American Bible 1970
TLB–CE The Living Bible Catholic Edition 1971
NJB New Jerusalem Bible 1985
CCB Christian Community Bible 1988
NRSV–CE New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 1991
GNT–CE Good News Translation Catholic Edition5 1993
RSV–2CE Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition 2006
CTS–NCB CTS New Catholic Bible 20076
NABRE New American Bible Revised Edition 2011/1986 (OT/NT)
NLT-CE New Living Translation Catholic Edition[9] 2017
ESV-CE English Standard Version Catholic Edition[10] 2018
RNJB Revised New Jerusalem Bible[11] 2018

1The New Testament was published in 1582, the Old Testament in two volumes, one in 1609, the other in 1610.
2Released in parts between 1913–1935 with copious study and textual notes. The New Testament with condensed notes was released in 1936 as one volume.
3NT released in 1941. The OT contained material from the Challoner Revision until the entire OT was completed in 1969. This Old Testament became the basis for the 1970 NAB
4New Testament only; Gospels by James Kleist, rest by Joseph Lilly.
5Also known as the "Today's English Version"
6The Jerusalem Bible except for the Book of Psalms, which is replaced by the Grail Psalms, and with the word "Yahweh" altered to "the Lord", as directed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for Bibles intended to be used in the liturgy.[12]

In addition to the above Catholic English Bibles, all of which have an imprimatur granted by a Catholic bishop, the authors of the Catholic Public Domain Version[13] of 2009 and the 2013 translation from the Septuagint by Jesuit priest Nicholas King[14] refer to them as Catholic Bibles. These versions have not been granted an imprimatur, but do include the Catholic biblical canon of 73 books.

Differences from Catholic lectionaries

Lectionaries for use in the liturgy differ somewhat in text from the Bible versions on which they are based. Many liturgies, including the Roman, omit some verses in the biblical readings that they use.[15] This sometimes necessitates grammatical alterations or the identification of a person or persons referred to in a remaining verse only by a pronoun, such as "he" or "they".

Another difference concerns the usage of the Tetragrammaton. Yahweh appears in some Bible translations such as the Jerusalem Bible (1966) throughout the Old Testament. Long-standing Jewish and Christian tradition holds that the name is not to be spoken in worship or printed in liturgical texts out of reverence.[12][16] A 2008 letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments explicitly forbids the use of the Divine Name in worship texts, stating: "For the translation of the biblical text in modern languages, intended for the liturgical usage of the Church, what is already prescribed by n. 41 of the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam is to be followed; that is, the divine tetragrammaton is to be rendered by the equivalent of Adonai/Kyrios; Lord, Signore, Seigneur, Herr, Señor, etc."

As a result, Bibles used by English-speaking Catholics for study and devotion typically do not match the liturgical texts read during mass, even when based on the same translation. Today, publishers and translators alike are making new efforts to more precisely align the texts of the Lectionary with the various approved translations of the Catholic Bible.

Currently, there is only one lectionary reported to be in use corresponding exactly to an in-print Catholic Bible translation: the Ignatius Press lectionary based on the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic (or Ignatius) Edition (RSV-2CE) approved for liturgical use in the Antilles[17] and by former Anglicans in the personal ordinariates.[18]

In 2007 the Catholic Truth Society published the "CTS New Catholic Bible," consisting of the original 1966 Jerusalem Bible text revised to match its use in lectionaries throughout most English-speaking countries, in conformity with the directives of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments[12][16] and the Pontifical Biblical Commission.[19] In it, "Yahweh" has been replaced by "the LORD" throughout the Old Testament, and the Psalms have been completely replaced by the 1963 Grail Psalter.

In 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops "announced a plan to revise the New Testament of the New American Bible Revised Edition so a single version can be used for individual prayer, catechesis and liturgy" in the United States.[20] After developing a plan and budget for the revision project, work began in 2013 with the creation of an editorial board made up of five people from the Catholic Biblical Association (CBA). The revision is now underway and, after the necessary approvals from the bishops and the Vatican, is expected to be done around the year 2025.[21]

Differences from other Christian Bibles

Bibles used by Catholics differ in the number and order of books from those typically found in bibles used by Protestants, as Catholic bibles remained unchanged following the Reformation and so retain seven books that were rejected principally by Martin Luther. Its canon of Old Testament texts is somewhat larger than that in translations used by Protestants, which are typically based exclusively on the shorter Hebrew and Aramaic Masoretic Text. On the other hand, its canon, which does not accept all the books that are included in the Septuagint,[22] is shorter than that of some churches of Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, which recognize other books as sacred scripture.

The Greek Orthodox Church generally considers Psalm 151 to be part of the Book of Psalms and accepts the "books of the Maccabees" as four in number, but generally places 4 Maccabees in an appendix, along with the Prayer of Manasseh.[23] There are differences from Western usage in the naming of some books (see, for instance, Esdras#Differences in names). Greek Orthodox generally consider the Septuagint to be divinely inspired no less than the Hebrew text of the Old Testament books.

The Bible of the Tewahedo Churches differs from the Western and Greek Orthodox Bibles in the order, naming, and chapter/verse division of some of the books. The Ethiopian "narrow" biblical canon includes 81 books altogether: The 27 books of the New Testament; the Old Testament books found in the Septuagint and that are accepted by the Eastern Orthodox (more numerous than the Catholic deuterocanonical books);[24] and in addition Enoch, Jubilees, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Rest of the Words of Baruch and 3 books of Ethiopian Maccabees (Ethiopian books of Maccabees entirely different in content from the 4 Books of Maccabees of the Eastern Orthodox). A "broader" Ethiopian New Testament canon includes 4 books of "Sinodos" (church practices), 2 "Books of Covenant", "Ethiopic Clement", and "Ethiopic Didascalia" (Apostolic Church-Ordinances). This "broader" canon is sometimes said to include with the Old Testament an 8-part history of the Jews based on the writings of Titus Flavius Josephus, and known as "Pseudo-Josephus" or "Joseph ben Gurion" (Yosēf walda Koryon).[25][26]

See also

References

  1. ^ Code of Canon Law, canon 825 Archived February 28, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Pope Pius XII. "Divino afflante Spiritu, 20–22". Holy See. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  3. ^ Akin, James. "Uncomfortable Facts About The Douay-Rheims". CatholicCulture.org. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  4. ^ Knox, Ronald Arbuthnott (1949). On Englishing the Bible. Burns, Oates. p. 1.
  5. ^ Divino afflante Spiritu, 16
  6. ^ Divino afflante Spiritu, 17
  7. ^ "Westminster Version - Internet Bible Catalog". bibles.wikidot.com.
  8. ^ "Francis Aloysius Spencer - Internet Bible Catalog". bibles.wikidot.com.
  9. ^ http://c-b-f.org/component/k2/item/76-launch-of-the-new-living-translation-catholic-edition:
  10. ^ "Bengaluru: Catholic edition of ESV Bible launched". www.daijiworld.com.
  11. ^ "The Revised New Jerusalem Bible: New Testament and Psalms". dltbooks.com.
  12. ^ a b c Arinze, Francis; Ranjith, Malcolm. "Letter to the Bishops Conferences on The Name of God". Bible Research: Internet Resources for Students of Scripture. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Information about the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Sacred Bible". www.sacredbible.org.
  14. ^ http://www.nicholas-king.co.uk/
  15. ^ Booneau, Normand (1998). The Sunday Lectionary. Liturgical Press. pp. 50–±51. ISBN 9780814624579. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  16. ^ a b Gilligan, Michael. "Use of Yahweh in Church Songs". American Catholic Press. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  17. ^ McNamara, Edward. "Which English Translation to Use Abroad". Eternal Word Television Network. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  18. ^ Burnham, Andrew. "The Liturgy of the Ordinariates: Ordinary, Extraordinary, or Tertium Quid? [PDF]" (PDF). Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  19. ^ Roxanne King (15 October 2008). "No 'Yahweh' in liturgies is no problem for the archdiocese, officials say". Denver Catholic Register. Archdiocese of Denver. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  20. ^ Bauman, MIchelle. "New American Bible to be revised into single translation". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  21. ^ "NAB New Testament Revision Project". Catholic Biblical Association of America. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  22. ^ Pietersma, Albert; Wright, Benjamin G. (2007). A New English Translation of the Septuagint. Oxford University Press. pp. v–vi. ISBN 9780199743971. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  23. ^ McDonald and Sanders' The Canon Debate, Appendix C: Lists and Catalogs of Old Testament Collections, Table C-4: Current Canons of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, page 589=590.
  24. ^ See Deuterocanonical books#Eastern Orthodoxy
  25. ^ Ethiopian Canon, Islamic Awareness.
  26. ^ "Fathers". Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL).
73 (number)

73 (seventy-three) is the natural number following 72 and preceding 74. In English, it is the smallest natural number with twelve letters in its spelled out name.

Asimov's Guide to the Bible

Asimov's Guide to the Bible is a work by Isaac Asimov that was first published in two volumes in 1968 and 1969, covering the Old Testament and the New Testament (including the Catholic Old Testament, or deuterocanonical, books (See Catholic Bible) and the Eastern Orthodox Old Testament books, or anagignoskomena, along with the Fourth Book of Ezra), respectively. He combined them into a single 1296-page volume in 1981. They included maps by the artist Rafael Palacios.

Including numerous black-and-white maps, the guide goes through the books of the Bible in the order of the King James Version to the extent possible, explaining the historical and geographical setting of each one, and the political and historical influences that affected it, as well as biographical information about the main characters. His appendix "Guides to the Old and New Testament" include biblical verse, footnotes, references and subject indices.

Azhar Book

The Azhar Book is a text in the fictional Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.

Bible de Port-Royal

The Bible de Port-Royal (or Bible de Sacy) is a French translation of the Catholic Bible, which was first published in installments between 1667 and 1696. Though praised for the purity of its classical form, the work attracted the suspicion of the Jesuits, who discovered in it a latent Protestantism, and was criticized by Richard Simon, a former Oratorian, on text-critical grounds. For over three centuries it has been among the most popular of French Bible translations.

Bible study (Christianity)

In Christian communities, Bible study is the study of the Bible by ordinary people as a personal religious or spiritual practice. Some denominations may call this devotion or devotional acts; however in other denominations devotion has other meanings. Bible study in this sense is distinct from biblical studies, which is a formal academic discipline.

Bible translations into Vietnamese

The modern Vietnamese alphabet chữ Quốc ngữ was created by Portuguese and Italian Jesuit missionaries and institutionalized by Alexandre de Rhodes with the first printing of Catholic texts in Vietnamese in 1651, but not the Bible. Some New Testament extracts were translated and printed in catechisms in Thailand in 1872.

Jean Bonet (1844–1907), of the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, Paris, translated the Gospel of Luke from French to Vietnamese in 1890 for the Protestant Convention in Paris.In 1916 the Catholic Church published Albert Schlicklin's Latin-Vietnamese parallel text Bible in Paris by the Paris Foreign Missions Society. Known under Schlicklin's Vietnamese name Cố Chính Linh, the Cố Chính Linh version was still the most used Bible among Catholics in 1970s.The organized work of British and Foreign Bible Society in Vietnam began in 1890. The first translation from Greek, and still the standard Protestant Vietnamese version, was that of William Cadman (New Testament 1923, Old Testament 1926). He worked for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) and co-operated with the British and Foreign Bible Society. The whole Bible was published in 1934 and is published by the Bible Society in Vietnam as the Old Version.

In 1966 the Vietnamese Bible Society was established. The Bible societies distributed 53,170 Bible examples and 120,170 New Testament examples in Vietnamese within the country in 2005. In 2008 the New Vietnamese Bible was published.

In 1977 Nhóm Phiên dịch Các Giờ kinh Phụng vụ (NPD-CGKPV), a working group established in 1971 to translate the Liturgy of the Hours, started translating the New Testament. It had been completed in 1993 and had the permission to publish one year later; after that, the whole Bible translation with some short references had been completed in 1998. This version, which has been published since 1999, is named KPA and is the most used Catholic Bible in Vietnam nowadays. The group has been continuing to revise it in the version called KPB.Before NPD-CGKPV, there were 5 complete Catholic Bible translations, all by individual priests: Albert Schlicklin (1913), Gérard Gagnon (1963), Trần Đức Huân (1970), Nguyễn Thế Thuấn (1976), and Cardinal Trịnh Văn Căn (1985).On July 7, 2011, Jehovah's Witnesses released the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures in Vietnamese called Kinh Thánh—Bản dịch Thế Giới Mới (Ma-thi-ơ đến Khải huyền). The Bible was a translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures—as the New Testament is known—based on the English 1984 edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures which was released at the “Kingdom Increase” District Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses on 1984 in United States.On February 4, 2017, Jehovah's Witnesses released the complete Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures, and revised translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures in Vietnamese, which now called as Kinh Thánh—Bản dịch Thế Giới Mới (NWT). This Bible is based on the English 2013 revision of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures which was released at the 129th annual meeting of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania on October 5 and 6, 2013 in the Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A. This newly revised edition in Vietnamese includes the use of more modern and understandable language, clarified Biblical expression and appendixes, and many more.

Catholic Truth Society

Catholic Truth Society (CTS) is a body that prints and publishes Catholic literature, including apologetics, prayerbooks, spiritual reading, and lives of saints. It is based in London, the United Kingdom.

The CTS had been founded in 1868 by Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, but became defunct when he was made a bishop, since he no longer had time to devote to it. Some years later, others came up with the same idea and were directed to Vaughan, who suggested that they revive the defunct body.Accordingly, the organization was refounded on November 5, 1884, under the presidency of Cardinal Vaughan, with Msgr. W. H. Cologan and James Britten, a layman and the principal spirit behind its refounding, serving as honorary secretaries.

Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic

The coat of arms of the Dominican Republic features a shield in similarly quartered colors as the flag, supported by a bay laurel branch (left) and a palm frond (right); above the shield, a blue ribbon displays the national motto: Dios, Patria, Libertad (God, Homeland, Liberty). Below the shield, the words República Dominicana appear on a red ribbon. In the center of the shield, flanked by six spears (three on each side), the front four holding the national flag, is a Catholic Bible with a small golden cross above it

The constitution dictates that the Bible be opened to the book of the New Testament, John 8:32, which reads "conocerán la verdad, y la verdad los hará libres", literal translation: "They will know the truth and the truth will set them free".

The coat of arms appears in the center of the flag of the Dominican Republic.

Jerusalem Bible

The Jerusalem Bible (JB or TJB) is an English translation of the Bible published in 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd. As a Catholic Bible, it includes 73 books: the 39 books shared with the Hebrew Bible, along with the seven deuterocanonical books as the Old Testament, and the 27 books shared by all Christians as the New Testament. It also contains copious footnotes and introductions.

The Jerusalem Bible is the basis of the lectionary for mass used in Catholic worship throughout England, Wales, and the majority of the English-speaking world outside the United States and Canada, though the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has approved other translations for conditional liturgical use.

List of Dune religions

The Religions of Dune are a key aspect of the fictional setting of the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. Many of the names of religions mentioned in the novels indicate they are blends of current belief systems, some syncretic.According to Appendix II: The Religion of Dune in the 1965 novel Dune, after the Butlerian Jihad, the Bene Gesserit composed the Azhar Book, a "bibliographic marvel that preserves the great secrets of the most ancient faiths". Soon after, a group made up of the leaders of many religions (calling itself the Commission of Ecumenical Translators) created the Orange Catholic Bible, the key religious text of the Dune universe, which "contains elements of most ancient religions".

List of names for the biblical nameless

This list provides names given in history and traditions for people who appear to be unnamed in the Bible.

Loraine Boettner

Loraine Boettner (March 7, 1901 – January 3, 1990) was an American theologian, teacher, and author in the Reformed tradition. He is best known for his works on predestination, Roman Catholicism, and Postmillennial eschatology.

Nab

Nab may refer to:

National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan

National Australia Bank, one of the big four Australian banks

National Association of Broadcasters

Nab Tower, a lighthouse in England

The Nab, a fell in the English Lake District

New American Bible, Catholic Bible translation

Mazraat Nab A farm in the Golan Heights depopulated in 1967

New American Bible Revised Edition

The New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) is an English-language Catholic Bible translation, the first major update in 20 years to the New American Bible (NAB), originally published in 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Released on March 9, 2011, it consists of the 1986 revision of the NAB New Testament with a fully revised Old Testament approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2010.Approved for private use and study by Catholics, the NABRE has not received approval for Catholic liturgical use. Although the revised Lectionary based on the original New American Bible is still the sole translation approved for use at Mass in the dioceses of the United States, the NABRE New Testament is currently being revised so that American Catholics can read the same Bible translation in personal study and devotion that they hear in Mass.

Orange Catholic Bible

The Orange Catholic Bible (abbreviated to O. C. Bible or OCB) is a fictional book from the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. Its title suggests a merging of Protestantism and Catholicism, along with many other religious traditions. Created in the wake of the crusade against thinking machines Herbert calls the Butlerian Jihad, the Orange Catholic Bible is the primary orthodox religious text in the Dune universe and is described thus in the glossary of the 1965 novel Dune:

ORANGE CATHOLIC BIBLE: the "Accumulated Book," the religious text produced by the Commission of Ecumenical Translators. It contains elements of most ancient religions, including the Maometh Saari, Mahayana Christianity, Zensunni Catholicism and Buddislamic traditions. Its supreme commandment is considered to be: "Thou shalt not disfigure the soul."

Protestant Bible

A Protestant Bible is a Christian Bible whose translation or revision was produced by Protestants. Such Bibles comprise 39 books of the Old Testament (according to the Jewish Hebrew Bible canon, known especially to non-Protestants as the protocanonical books) and the 27 books of the New Testament for a total of 66 books. This is often contrasted with the 73 books of the Catholic Bible, which includes seven deuterocanonical books as a part of the Old Testament. The division between protocanonical and deuterocanonical books is not accepted by all Protestants who simply view books as being canonical or not and therefore classify the seven Catholic deuterocanonical books as part of the Apocrypha.

The practice of including only the Old and New Testament books within printed bibles was standardized among Protestants following the 1825 decision by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Studium Biblicum Version

The Studium Biblicum Version (Sīgāo Běn 思高本) is the predominant Chinese language translation of the Bible used by Chinese Catholics. It is considered by many to be the Chinese Catholic Bible.

The Studium Biblicum Version was translated by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Hong Kong (a bible society not affiliated with the United Bible Societies), also known as the Studium Biblicum O.F.M. Translation originally started in 1935 as a personal effort by a Franciscan Friar, the Blessed Gabriele Allegra, but translation work was halted due to World War II, and part of the finished translations were lost due to the war. The bible society was formed in 1945 when more translators joined the translation work, and the whole bible was completed in 1968. The translation was mostly based on the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts, but occasionally on an unidentified existing translation for “difficult passages”. Postulations by modern scholars were deliberately avoided, but the Greek manuscript edited by the Protestant scholars Aland, Black, Metzger, and Allen Wikgren was used as a reference as an ecumenical gesture.

The Studium Biblicum Version is considered by many, including some Protestants, to be very faithful to the original manuscripts.

Like many Catholic bibles, this translation includes numerous footnotes. The bible also includes several appendices.

The language of the Studium Biblicum Version is standard modern written Chinese, though some of the wordings may appear unnatural in Mandarin but still used in Cantonese (and might be considered unnatural by some precisely because some people do not expect such forms to be written). Standard transliterations are mostly used where they exist; in other cases, a transliteration based on Mandarin is used.

Woman of the Apocalypse

The Woman of the Apocalypse (or Woman clothed in the Sun, γυνὴ περιβεβλημένη τὸν ἥλιον; Mulier amicta sole) is a figure described in Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation (written c. AD 95).

The woman gives birth to a male child who is threatened by a dragon, identified as the Devil and Satan, who intends to devour the child as soon as he is born. When the child is taken to heaven, the woman flees into the wilderness leading to a "War in Heaven" in which the angels cast out the dragon. The dragon attacks the woman, who is given wings to escape, and then attacks her again with a flood of water from his mouth, which is subsequently swallowed by the earth. Frustrated, the dragon initiates war on "the remnant of her seed", identified as the righteous followers of Christ.

The Woman of the Apocalypse is widely identified as the Virgin Mary. This interpretation is held by the ancient Church as well as in the medieval and modern Roman Catholic Church. This view does not negate the alternative interpretation of the Woman representing the Church, as in modern Catholic dogma, Mary is herself considered both the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church. Some Catholic commentaries, such as Thomas Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary (1859), allow for the interpretation of the woman as either the Church or Mary. The commentary of the New American Bible (the official Roman Catholic Bible for America) states that "The woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars (images taken from Genesis 37:9–10) symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (Rev 12:5) and then became the new Israel, the church, which suffers persecution by the dragon (Rev 12:6, 13–17); cf. Is 50:1; 66:7; Jer 50:12."In Reformed theology and traditions which are averse to Marian veneration, the interpretation of the Woman represents the church.

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