Notes in Oxford Catholic Study Bible PE vs. Ignatius Study Bible


In terms of the amount of notes/extra information, does the Oxford Catholic Study Bible Personal Edition have more notes than the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament?


In one way they are not comparable; The Ignatius Study Bible is currently incomplete. The New Testament can be purchased complete, but the Old Testament is only available as some individual books, being released as they are finished. It may be a few years before the entire Bible is available as a single volume, as the OCSBPE already is. :slight_smile:


Personally, i’d get the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament.
It’d probably also be worth getting what OT books are done.

Years ago, i purchased the NT books which were then available (only a few), and they’re a handy compact size for times when you can’t lug an entire Bible around. Presumably, the so-far-completed OT books are the same.

The translation is the Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition), which is dignified, and does not use “inclusive language”.

The commentaries are by ***Scott Hahn *** (I) and Curtis Mitch, so they’d be orthodox!

As far as which has the greater number of notes etc, i can’t tell you.
Got a feeling that the Oxford translation would be too “modern” for my taste.:shrug:


Just replying in the hope that someone may have some info on the Oxford Catholic Study Bible Personal Edition …


I have one on order. Once I have a chance to examine it, I’ll post. :slight_smile:


:thumbsup: Thanks…


Please let me know as well! :smiley:


Reporting back now that I have the Bible in hand, and have begun using it for my daily readings. These are first impressions because I have only just begun using this Bible. One reason I wanted this Bible is that it is the preferred text for my Parish’s Bible study group. This will make it easier for me to follow along when we read from our respective Bibles, as well as making it easier for them to follow along with me. :slight_smile: Previously I was using the 1966 Jerusalem Bible which is quite different in translation from the NABRE.

Impressions on the physical book:

I purchased this one from Amazon. It is the hard back version @ $35.00. This is a very reasonable price (I think) for a book of this size (over 2000 pages) and quality. It is in fact a glorified paperback with pictorial cardboard covers, and nicely thumb indexed for easy book location. (That was a pleasant surprise) Therefore it is not a sewn binding, but a glued “perfect binding.” However, with pages this light and thin, that should not be a significant objection. (consider for example the annual misalettes/hymnals that are provided in most Catholic parishes, which are comparably produced, yet take much abuse throughout the year with ease.) The pages are naturally thin “bible paper” type, which nevertheless are reasonably opaque preventing distracting text bleed through. The type is very good not small and the notes, while a smaller font size, is still easily readable.

Impressions on the Notes:

This is the main focus of this thread; and how it compares to the Ignatius Press Study Bible (which, remember, is only available in the NT so far). I am definitely biased toward the Ignatius Press Bible’s notes, I should admit right up front. :wink: I prefer the scholarship of Curtis Mitch and Scott Hahn to the Oxford Study Bible’s. But despite that, the notes in this Oxford Study Bible are very comparable to the Ignatius Press Bible, at least in quantity of notes. There are very good introductions to every book of the Bible, and even “divisions” of the Bible, as well as copious maps and articles scattered throughout. There are also quite a few VERY HELPFUL maps in full color in the back. There is a very useful guide to the liturgical readings throughout the year, including Sundays, Holydays and even week days. IOW, ALL of the Church’s readings throughout the year, for every single day of the year are listed clearly, and well organized into its cycle. So far, I have found the notes themselves to be better than I expected. They are of course overshadowed by its prejudice in favor of modern historical/critical presumptions. This is sometimes disconcerting and even a little heavy handed at times. For example the existence of the “Q” in the NT is presumed, Markan priority, and all of the current fashionable beliefs about the origin of the NT (and the OT) However, it does represent current scholarship, and may have some value in evaluating or understanding the Bible texts. But that should not be a deterrent to anyone, as this is not the main focus of the notes. In general the notes seem to be very helpful and true to Catholic understanding.

My conclusions:

I would recommend that any Catholic would do well to have this Bible available. There are VERY FEW entire study Bibles available to English speaking Catholics. The Navarre Bible (but I don’t know of any single volume versions), The 1966 Jerusalem Bible, which has notes both in quantity and style very similar to this Oxford Bible --although NO Bible to my knowledge has better cross references than the 1966 Jerusalem Bible for thoroughness and quantity, and The Ignatius Bible, which is only available so far as a NT, with separate OT books issued as they become available in paperback form. I should also mention the 1941 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine NT, which also has a separate study/commentary book -long out of print. Also the Knox Bible has a 3 volume commentary available for the NT -again, long out of print.


Thanks for getting back, Ambrose and for the info…


my prejudice is to recommend that one establishes a budget and puts perhaps a couple versions with study notes in your library… A level of complexity up from study bibles are commentaries, which take each book line by line or sections at a time.

There is seldom a single source that exhausts a discussion of any book of the Bible. Dr. Mary Healy (faculty, Sacred Heart Seminary Detroit and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission) gave an outstanding presentation on the Gospel of John, which was broadcast recently on EWTN radio.

I find that theres “always more” just when you think you’ve heard it all.


[quote=psalm90]my prejudice is to recommend that one establishes a budget and puts perhaps a couple versions with study notes in your library… A level of complexity up from study bibles are commentaries, which take each book line by line or sections at a time.

I am in complete agreement!

I forgot to mention, when listing the dearth of English study Bibles, the great Haydock Bibles, which are still in print. The Haydock Bibles, although well annotated, are built on the great commentaries of the past, (most of which were NEVER translated into English.) So Calmet’s extensive commentary, Menochius, and quite an impressive list of historic commentaries, including those by the ECFs. But I am also happy to report that the old commentaries ARE being translated and published in English for the first time. Also having the ECF’s in one’s library would automatically include major commentaries.

Lastly in my report on the Oxford Edition of the Catholic Study Bible, I neglected to mention that there is very large book included called the Reader’s Guide of more than 450 pages at the beginning, which gives one a sweeping overview of the Bible and every single book individually, with a modern historical-critical viewpoint. This is in addition to all of the notes, articles and maps sprinkled throughout the text itself. :slight_smile:


I’d like to add some more information to anyone who may come across this forum.

I have both the Oxford Catholic Study Bible(OCSB) and the Didache Study Bible(DSB) in book forum and and Ignatius Study Bible(ISB) in Kindle forum.

The kindle edition of the ISB is much improved since I original purchased it. Both because of updates from Ignatius Press and from Amazon. The new version of the kindle app for Android is really nice.

What Study Bible you should purchase depends on your goals. The OCSB and its charts, essays and reading guides are very academic, much like the NABRE footnotes. It’s academic both in the language used, and the approach to understanding scripture; It relies heavily on the historical critical method. If you’re newer to the faith and to the Bible, the OCSB will be a bit too much. In fact it may be damaging to your faith. If you know your faith well and are strong in it, then this Bible is a great supplement for understanding the culture and setting from which it scripture was written.

The ISB is fantastic. Its only the NT but it delivers a satisfying balance of the traditional understanding of scripture, as well as modern views. It often presents both arguments in a balanced way. If you want a good example of how, then I download the Catholic Study Bible App from Lighthouse Catholic Media. It is based on the ISB and includes the entire RSV2CE for free. Also for free is the study material from the ISB for the Gospel of John. Read through the introduction and see how it presents both the modern view -(hat John problem didn’t write the Gospel) and the Traditional view (That John did write it). Spend some time in the app and you will get a thorough understanding of what the ISB brings to the table.

I also can’t leave out the youngest of the group, Didache Study Bible from Ignatius Press. I have the original version which is based on the RSV2CE. They have also released another based on the NABRE. All of the notes are based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church(CCC) and include references to it in the notes. The notes are much more geared toward spiritual study, as opposed to academic study. It includes essays throughout on many important topics for Catholics. In my opinion, this is the best Study Bible for beginners. Even if you’re not a beginner, I still recommended it because it helps connect your CCC to scripture.

I’ll try to add some pictures on a separate post on this thread. I hope this post helps.


I have the New Oxford Annotated Bible, RSV with the Apocrypha, College Edition. I’m following the “Read the Bible in a Year” format from Called to Communion and have been marking it up. The paper is thin so I’m using an Eco Zebrite Highlighter which I’ve found works quite well with little to no bleedthrough. I highly recommend it. From a commentary standpoint, haven’t done a close head to head to the St. Ignatius Study Bible as the latter is NT only plus selected OT books, but I would say, I wouldn’t trade my St Ignatius Study bible for any other. The commentary is excellent. It’s the best $30 that you can spend for anything. I do think the Oxford bible is a good companion and in general have found the footnotes to be good. I chose it to mark up this year because 1) it was a gift and had been sitting on the bookshelf for a year 2) it’s one binding and convenient that way and 3) i thought it would be interesting to read the protestant commentary on passages that are very Catholic in nature.


Just keep in mind that the Oxford Catholic Study Bible is not the same as the Oxford Catholic Bible Personal Study Edition. While there is a lot of overlap, the personal edition is a little more basic and geared to a more general audience. I believe the OP was asking about the personal edition. Since they are both NABRE’s the footnotes will be identical, but the reading guides are different as well as the essays.

This is also an impressive Bible and to the poster that preferred the NABRE, from what I understand it has the standard NARB footnotes along with the notes mentioned by RedSoxFan45 (That was hard for me to type)

The reading guide in the Oxford Bibles is nice though because they can give a nice overview. I have the older version of the personal edition which I like because it has a lot of tables and charts.


I own all three: Oxford Catholic Study Bible (NABRE), the Didache Study Bible (RSV-2CE) and the Ignatius NT Study Bible (RSV-2CE) and all three are quality study Bibles, but to learn more about our Catholic faith and the church’s teachings, the Didache and Ignatius study Bibles are superior to the Oxford, IMHO.

Another Catholic study Bible that I own and recommend that gives a more broader overview of the Bible and its history but is less academic (but more accessible) than the Oxford Catholic Study Bible is the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible (NABRE) by Little Rock Scripture Study and published by the Liturgical Press.

For someone who is just starting out studying scripture in-depth, the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible fits the bill nicely. I would recommend, though, one of the book editions of Little Rock Catholic Study Bible (paperback, hardcover or leatherette) versus their Kindle edition (which isn’t well formatted as a Kindle eBook).


I think the paperbacks are a little flimsy, but the hardcover or deluxe Little Rock Study Bibles are great.


Along these lines is anyone using the kindle version of the Catholic Study Bible? I’m thinking of getting it and would appreciate feedback. Can’t tell from the sample if the links work, etc.


The Kindle version of which Catholic Study Bible are you referring to? The Oxford? The Little Rock?




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