A parish level bible study can be good or not so good. Ours is conducted by a retired high school teacher. All he does is reads the introduction to each book in the NAB Study Bible. He selects a text from each book, without further explanation. Then, we wrap up the hour by reading the footnotes for that excerpt. <== Notice, there is nothing here that a person couldn’t do by themselves at home.
I think this is actually an impediment to Bible study, because it goes much slower than I would read at my normal pace.
Things depend on your budget for Bible study.
For the Old Testament, I’d recommend that you read in parallel: The NAB or RSV-2, Catholic edition, The Hebrew Study Bible (Oxford U. Press), and The Orthodox Study Bible (which gives you the english translation of the Septuagint. If you really have some bucks to throw around, get all the Jewish Publication Society commentaries that you can afford.
“Study” bibles have their limitations. A commentary on each book (is more expensive but) gives you more in-depth explanations.
You will get a lot of different recommendations around this website, but mine are focused on you reading by yourself along with a commentary – which is what the Pontifical Biblical Commission recommends. They also endorse using Jewish commentaries, allowing for their biases, they are “first class” study tools.
DON’T SPEED. take your time reading the Bible. There’s more on every page than meets the eye. Read the commentaries to get an idea of wgat’s going on there.
I think the writings of the New Testament are a totally different style than the OT, so I wouldn’t recommend mixing up the two testaments.
Perhaps the “great adventure” series by Jeff Cavens (ewtncatalogue.com) may be good for you, too.