A non-denominational Bible study


How successful would a non-denominational Bible study be?


IMO, it’s not a great idea since people who come from different parts of Christianity can/will have differing opinions about the Bible, along with different translations of Bible. The people would probably argue about which translation of the Bible to use.

tl;dr, not a great idea.


It’s a great opportunity for evangelization, however I can understand those not well grounded in their faith, or those not well catechised might see it as a bad idea…and for them it probably is…for others it may not be


That’s kind of a vague question? You are going to attend one? Or start one?

I would think it could be a great way to evangelize. Or it could be really frustrating if you are constantly attacked for you beliefs. Are you ready to defend your faith in a gracious manner?


I don’t think that would be a good idea. You would get Christians from all of the different Protestant religions and there would be contestation over the appropriate interpretation of the Scriptures along with the appropriate version of the Bible to use.

It would be better to have a Catholic Bible study since then you can tell people the true interpretation of the Bible without having to spend most of the time disputing over whether the interpretation is correct.


The Catholic church teaches very well on Scripture.
I don’t know why anyone would want to look elsewhere. :confused:


I think it would be a great idea…if it were moderated by Catholic theologians.


Caveat: This advice does not apply to lapsed Catholics or neophytes. These should participate in Catholic Bible study until they get a solid footing in their own faith.

I’m in an interdenominational bible study now. Three reasons: 1) Excellent opportunity to evangelize the truth 2) Discover the roots of many errors 3) See how similar protestant bible studies and Catholic bible studies are.

If you get any reputable Bible Study, it has to begin with the only entity that has an unbroken 2000 year history to the books we are reading. We were using the notes of a Baptist pastor but his notes match the notes in the NAB almost word for word. I’ll spare you the list of translation errors but even this Baptist Pastor found them in the King James Bible.

As was written above, this is a venture for Catholics well versed in the Bible and Church teachings. Revelation is Sacred Scripture and Tradition, inextricably linked and equally important.


probably not too sucessful. Back in the 1970’s it was tried…“The Common Bible” was published in the RSV…It was a Bible edition which contained those books Protestants used, Orthodox used and Catholics used. I was not received well…a decade later it was published as the Oxford Study Bible, with Dueutrocanical/Apocryphal Books.

Unlike the Common Bible, the Oxford Study Bible had study notes and introductions for each book, when written, when included in the various canons.

The Oxford Study Bible is the Bible I use most of the time…and especially for my morning readings of scripture. Many so called “liberal” faith communities use it…Just about every Episcopal Eucharist I have been to, the priest and alter servers carry either the Book of Common Prayer(which at one time was printed with the “Common Bible”.

My own faith community has most of us using the Oxford Study Bible.it is a “nondenominational” Bible of sorts.


I agree. The Catholic Church is the best place to study and learn scripture.

I have found it useful to look into the commentaries of the Jewish Publication Society, which are very helpful up to a point; they are anti-Christian when they feel the need to be polemical. The “binding of Isaac” is a very important precedent for them against human sacrifice, according to them, including, hint, hint, even if God should come to earth in the form of a man.

“Interdenominational” Bible study is bound to fail along denominational lines, unless the participants generously agree to listen to each other’s points of view, and then, also, agree to disagree.

I think there are limited and narrow times where I have found useful, if not inspirational, material in non-Catholic authors. For example, I found a book at the public library and later purchased my own copy of “Praying Like Jesus.” (James Mulholland, Praying Like Jesus: The Lord’s Prayer in a Culture of Prosperity".) This Baptist minister observed that the first few phrases in the Lord’s prayer (before we say “give us this day…”) are really VOWS TO GOD.

I really think they are vows (or certainly the equivalent) that we are committed to the holy Name of God, that we pledge ourselves to the furtherance of the kingdom on earth (to evangelization itself, perhaps), and to doing God’s will in our own lives.

Maybe there’s 50 early church fathers who taught the same thing, I don’t know. But, I found this in a book by a Protestant author and I think he’s on to something good. WE MAKE THOSE VOWS TO GOD before we ask anything for ourselves. It is only THEN that we can dare to say “give us this day…”


this is my second post:

you’re in trouble right away with this question, because you have to decide whether to use the Catholic Bible (73 books), a Protestant version of the Bible(66) , or let’s say the Orthodox Study Bible (more than 73 books), or some other version.

There wasn’t an evening Catholic Bible study in any of the Catholic parishes in this one town that I lived in, so the Catholics went to the Christian Reformed Church, to take it for what it was worth. We used the Protestant New International Version, which is a nice paraphrased translation. The CRC invited everybody in the community, but some of the attendees didn’t like the opinions of the outsiders (like me). Some Catholics stuck it out and stayed there. I considered myself a guest for the four years that I attended, but then I stopped going “on a dime” when a guy started attacking the Catholic Church, when I felt that I was no longer welcome.

There is no simple answer to your question.

The Taize community in France is built on interdenominational fellowship, and has enjoyed a lot of success in promoting unity and increased spirituality. The paperback book I read about the action there didn’t highlight any conflicts, although there were /are clearly many denominations participating. That seems to have been successful over a long period of time.


There could be, per say, an “inter denominational” study but there is no such thing really as “non-denominational.” All that means is another denomination but simply calling it by the name “non-denominational.”

Studying the Scriptures with people of diff. views could be great but but be secure in your own faith. People need to be ok with arguing constructively, too. You have to establish though the goals of the study. Is it to discern the doctrinal truth of the Scripture? Is it to seek spiritual insights for our Christians lives? Both goals would lead to different types of experiences in the study group.



I think you’ll have to expand a little, as I have no clue what you are trying to ask.


I don’t think it would work at all.


I think it could depending on if they are willing to ask and answer the hard questions that inevitably will come up like, “what is and what is not actually sin?” and “who gets to decide what is and what is not sin?”

In my experience these questions tend to be glossed over resulting in a watered down gospel message. But “as long as we are in the word we must be pleasing God”.:shrug:



I don’t either. A friend of mine was in a Protestant Bible study and they said some mean things.


I think it would only end in either arguments, someone getting their feelings hurt or them questioning their faith.

Heck, in my Catholic Bible study there are sometimes disagreements.


I think if you took Catholic teachings into a non-denom study, non-denoms would walk out with a positive opinion of Catholic teachings…assuming you go into the study knowing your stuff.

Be prepared for imminent end times theology. It’s not always part of their studies but it’s there a LOT.


In the (formally) very Catholic community I grew up in, a female pastor set up a “church” in a high school gymnasium, with a Bible study open to all.

Fast forward eight years, she just opened a non-denom church in town. It looks like a conference center. Instead of the altar, there’s a stage. Instead of a crucifix, there’s a screen, instead of the Eucharist, there is grape juice and crackers. The band plays, and the pastor preaches in front of a backdrop of colored lights.

Oh, and half the parishioners of the Catholic church left with their families, gutting the congregation.

Did I mention the coffee bar?


In theory a group could come together with the intent of discussing things that most Christians agree upon regardless of denomination - what CS Lewis might call “Mere Christianity”. However in any real group of people, you are likely to find someone with an axe to grind one way or the other.

Also as time goes on, I feel like there is more common ground between the Catholics and traditional “liturgical” Protestants (Episcopals, Lutherans, etc) but less common ground with the “non-denominational” “megachurch” type of Protestants (who are themselves a very diverse group). And then there are the groups that have always been, and remain, very anti-Catholic, like the Pentecostals. And there are groups (like the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Latter Day Saints) that would diverge even on some of the things we would call “mere Christianity”. It would be hard to get all these people together and find common ground in scripture. Perhaps easier to get all these people together and find common ground in how to put the diverse faiths into action: service to the poor for example.

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