Google: Why don't catholics... (read the bible)


I’d just like to spark some discussion because I really wish that Catholics had a better reputation on this.
This article also discusses the problem.

I know that until I went to college, I had not taken a real look at a Bible outside of the classroom. Now that I’m on vacation, and I no longer have the opportunity to participate in bible studies on my campus, I’m exposed to so much less scripture.
I’m going to try to make an effort to open my bible up more often.

The real dilemma comes when we ask ourselves how we can spark an interest in scripture for Catholics around the world. After all, it is God’s Word.


I didn’t vote; my Bible reading comes in “seasons”. I really don’t know what my average is - it could be once a week, or once a month. It also depends on what you count - what about looking up verses? Or do you only count actual reading? What about reading verses written in other contexts? Meditating on Bible verses during the Rosary? And so on.

For me, I find I encounter the Bible so much in everyday life (through Mass, conversations, other reading, prayers, hymns, etc.) that pushing through it just to say I read it feels relatively fruitless. I already have so much room for growth just with what I do know, that to seek out more without first praying and meditating on what I’ve already learned would be (for me) to put the cart before the horse. What good is it to know the Bible word-for-word if you do not have the spiritual growth to understand it with the wisdom that flows from God’s grace, or if you cannot live out even the least part of it because your faith is weak?

I most often open the Bible when I hear a reference, when I want to draw from it an example for another person, or when I need advice - so I use it often as a reference manual. A couple of times a year, I’ll find myself eagerly picking up a Bible, and I’ll read a few chapters or a book or two like it was a novel - hours at a stretch, eagerly flipping pages to see what comes next. Usually this is when I’ve learned something that has given me a deeper understanding of a part of the Bible, or learned that someone else has benefitted greatly from that passage.

The one thing that would help me read the Bible more: If I could find smaller collections of books, especially from the Old Testament, so that I can carry just the part of the Bible that I am currently reading. If I carry the whole Bible, the heavy book gets chafed and worn too quickly, and the book is so conspicuous that I feel like a Pharisee if I draw it out to read it in public (which is where I have most of my free time - on my commute, for example, or while standing in a line).


This is just my own personal perspective but I don’t like reading the Bible simply because it doesn’t make sense to me without a guide. Every time I see a debate that uses the Bible people are always throwing verses constantly, saying this verse really means this and that. It’s really confusing. :blush:


I recommend using the Catechism of the Catholic Church alongside your Bible. This will help you refute Protestantism along with the correct Bible. If you a debating a “Bible Believer” more than likely they are King James onlyists. You will need Douay-Rheims. Otherwise I would use the RSV-CE and very seldom I would use the Jerusalem Bible. I wouldn’t even use any other Bible to refute than the ones I mentioned. You should use multiple translations in your daily reading. Right now for me I read out of the Clementine Vulgate and the Douay-Rheims daily. I also use the NAB and the Grail Psalms during the Liturgy of the Hours, because that is what the Christian Prayer uses. I use the RSV-CE in some debates, but I mainly deal with the KJV-only crowd so the Douay gets the job done.


I read the Bible daily. I read out of the Vulgate and Douay-Rheims 95% of the time. It is essential that all Catholics read it and not give into the Protestant private interpretation and all the verse quoting that they do. We must know how to defend the faith by using the Bible and other books that contain the scripture in it. 100% of modern Bibles in the Protestant world deny deity in one way or another in a number of verses.The Haydock Bible Commentary is very useful alongside its Douay-Rheims text.


Have you ever tried a student/study bible? They often have commentary on the sides and insight into the passages that people most debate. (Just make sure to get a Catholic version!)


I don’t read it unless a protestant starts quoting it to me…

That being said. I think I don’t read it because:

*]**It is not my only guide/reference to Christ: ** As a Catholic I have the Catechism, Papal Encyclicals, Church Fathers, etc…
*]**It’s difficult to interpret: **There is so much that plays into it from different cultures, to different purposes for writing, to different times when it was written. It’s not like opening up a copy of Harry Potter
*]It’s difficult to read: The Bible wasn’t written to be beautiful prose. Following along can be a real challenge. If I’m ever having trouble sleeping, I just open up the old testament and I am out.

That’s what I think.


I think that there was a whole generation (born citra 1960) that was taught NOT to read the Bible as a Catholic.

I know i was told not to, my friends parents told them not to, either.


I was referring to actual reading, not just looking up quotes. (I’d expect the users of CAF to be slightly higher in terms of how often they read the bible anyways…)

Also, this bible ( is very similar to the one I own. It’s not overly conspicuous (it doesn’t say BIBLE on the front, only in small lettering on the binding). Its also nice and small-- the size of your average novel.


I wish you had a choice between ‘once a week’ and daily. :wink:

Like LongingForLight, I have seasons where I am following my Magnificat and reading Scripture morning and night but also seasons where Sunday Mass is my only Bible reading.

I hope this isn’t off topic but the thing that gets me about this charge (Catholics don’t read the Bible) is that Protestants don’t read the Bible either!

There are thousands of CINO that don’t pick up a Bible between Masses and might only go to Mass for Christmas and Easter. But there are thousands of self-identified Protestants that have the same habits and practices.

Most devout Christians have scriptural practices outside of Sunday worship - Catholic or non-Catholic. This may be Bible reading, Bible study, scripturally based prayers, etc.


I hear that from time to time. I wonder if it was a regional abberation.

I am the oldest of five kids and 1960 was just about in the middle of all our births. None of us were ever taught not to read the Bible. Our parents and grandparents regularly read the Bible. We read the Bible in CCD and in Catholic schools. We moved a lot (Army brats) but nowhere were we ever discouraged from Bible reading. In fact, one of my earliest memories of Church was the Bible sale when a new version came out - must have been about 1964/5. Everyone was excited about getting a new Bible to read at home. :confused:


My parish is offering Jeff CAvins’ Great Adventure Bible Study, so I am reading the Bible at least a couple of times a week. It has been very enlightening, and I have learned a lot. I find, though, that I have to consciously find time for it, and other things (like laundry and cutting the grass) are not getting done in a timely manner.

Without a Bible Study to do homework for, I probably pick up the Bible less than once a month. I don’t feel like it’s a never seen family member, though, since I visit it nearly every day in the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Hours.


You’re just proving my point man. ;w; I mean look at this! So many interpretations then couple that with so many Bible versions… wooo… faints

Sorry folks… I can’t handle that much study… I might as well get degrees on Theology and religion. :hypno: The only times I do open the Bible is when I need references for monsters and stuff… (coughRevelationscough) :blush:

Yeah but those are hard to find and sometimes even the commentaries aren’t enough. :nope: Honestly though, it’s much easier for me to just use my head when I deal with Bible fundamentalists (most of the time anyways). Most of the ones I run into don’t have an answer that doesn’t have them shooting a verse or two. :rolleyes:


*That is an interesting question.

I actually find that Catholics DO read the bible… but for purposes of this thread…

First of course understand that many Catholics use the readings from Mass to hear sciptures on a weekly or daily basis.

How wonderful it is that most times the priest takes the readings and applies it to our life today.

Here in my own Local Church I actually find many Catholics reading the bible outside of Mass.

In the religious store I work in we make sure to stock

The New American Bible

The New Revised Standard Version… Catholic Edition

Both highly recommended by priests, and Bishops in our area. and priests visiting from such far away countries as England, Ireland, Nigeria, India and Canada

The One Year Catholic Bible which is a wonderful edition for those who have made the commitment to “read the entire bible through in one year” is a nice way to be introduced to scripture if one has never attempted the read in one year concept.

For those worried about it being too big… why not begin with the Gospels? Then the Acts of the Apostles then go from there. There is no wrong way to read scripture. Many people I know use the daily readings and homilies and meditate on those.

I know one of the things that drew me to the church [34 yrs ago] was the fact that the church values scripture so highly, and that the homilies were directed either to the days readings or the lives of the saints (celebrated on a particular day)

What a wonderful thought provoking thread I am sure this will be.
Blessings of Peace and All Good!*


I read the Bible at least once per month. I used to read it once per day. I have since slacked off on it.


Daily, through the Liturgy of the Hours. :slight_smile:


I am Catholic I read the Bible i live way down south (New Zealand) many read the Bible.
Don’t listen to hear say, satan wants to disuade us all.


I strongly suggest the Douay-Rheims only in this case. It is a true Catholic Bible and has no Protestantism in it. You will be able to refute the fundamentalist and let them see the errors within the truth. One doesn’t need a degree in theology. Theology is well more complicated than the Bible in general. I, myself am not ready to tackle theology.


Thanks for all the responses everyone! I think part of this question may come from my own personal observations; I live in one of the least religious regions in the United States where people are “Catholic,” but often don’t really make much of an effort to grow in their faith and knowledge. Some of this may even be because I am young, leaving me in a demographic where most of my peers are apathetic or still searching.

Its definitely helpful to know that there are a wide range of answers, not just those that I see in my daily life.


I find that I disagree, pretty strongly… with “Google”. I’d like to know where they are getting their “facts” from.

I believe that it’s a pretty widespread misconception… that “Catholics don’t read the Bible”. And that it’s more or less thrown out there, by the same folks who claim that we worship Mary as a goddess… and pray to statues. :shrug:

Not only DO many (if not MOST) Catholics read the Bible on a regular basis… but we may even be receiving more consistent exposure to Sacred Scripture than some who claim otherwise; through the Divine Office readings, praying the Rosary… and daily and Sunday Mass readings.

I was amazed at how much Sacred Scripture I remembered, after having been away from the Church for 10 years. And I have only an average memory. If Catholics don’t read the Bible… how do I account for my memories? Simple… Sacred Scripture is imbedded in the Catholic soul, from a very early age… and on a regular basis.

This may just be my own :twocents:… but I really feel that these folks who say “Catholics don’t read the Bible”… themselves, do not know what they’re talking about. They are badly misinformed. And they spread the misinformation all over. Sad.

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