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New Bible to replace 'holocaust,' 'booty,' and 'cereal.' Why?

New Bible: a new Roman Catholic Church edition of the New American Bible will replace some words, revert to an earlier version of the 23rd Psalm, and include fresh notes of Church interpretation. A digital edition of this new bible will also be available next week.

A new bible, a new edition of the New American Bible (photo not available), will come out next week. Shown above, the YouVersion Bible app, the most popular of its kind.

Tulsa World, James Gibbard/AP

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A new edition of one the most popular English-language bibles will offer substitutes for words such as "booty" and "holocaust" to better reflect modern understanding, a Catholic group said Wednesday.

Nearly 50 scholars from all faiths and a committee of Roman Catholic bishops have labored since 1994 over the first fresh edition of the New American Bible since 1970, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said.

The annual best-seller to be issued by a dozen publishers beginning next week on Ash Wednesday "is a beautiful translation -- it's a new way to look at an old love," said Mary Sperry, who oversees bible licensing for the bishops.

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The changes go beyond a few words being altered, and include freshly-written notes that should help readers better understand the Catholic church's interpretation of biblical concepts, Sperry said. The Book of Psalms contains over 70,000 words, both text and notes, she said.

The revisions more accurately reflect translations of ancient Hebrew and Greek versions of the Old Testament and the constant evolution of modern-day language, Sperry said.

For example, the word "holocaust," which for most people refers to the World War II genocide of Jews, was changed to "burned offerings," which clarifies the original, positive idea of making offerings to God.


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