One Volume Biblical Commantary


Could everyone please give me thier thoughts on the best One Volume Biblical Commantary on the market?


the New Jerome Biblical Commentary. I bought it at $52 maybe 10 years ago, but you’d have to check the current price.

It’s a big volume, with lots of other material besides commentary, such a canonicity, official church pronouncements, things on St. Paul. etc.

This is a Catholic commentary. It tends to be technical and academic. It’s officially about 20 years old, now.

There is a second one that I can think of, that is protestant: Matthew Henry’s Commentary (probably refers to the King James Version). I’ve had one for years, but haven’t used it much.

There’s something called (I think) the Haydock / Challonier commentary using the Duoay Rheims edition of the Bible. This may be two volumes. Some people love it. I haven’t used it.

I think there is a one-volume Navarre commentary on the NT. Avoid it - my opinion.

If money isn’t an issue, there’s a set of books called the VERBUM commentary. They claim it’s tops. Some popular Catholic scholars recommend it.

Pope Benedict XVI’s three-volume set on Jesus of Nazareth is a good study of Jesus. It’s easy to read but the topics may be advanced for a beginner, in some cases.

Check out this website:


Haydock Bible!


A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, by Dom Bernard Orchard. Doesn't get much better for one volume. I have to say I'm looking forward to Copland 3 and his work once he gets it in one volume book form.



[quote="COPLAND_3, post:3, topic:328848"]
Haydock Bible!



Especially for the free price. :o

There's also the 1-volume Ignatius Study Bible New Testament for under $20. :thumbsup:


If you don’t mind my asking, why?


Single Volume Biblical Commentaries to consider:
The Haydock Commentaries are excellent.

The Navarre Expanded New Testament *
*Ignatius Study Bible New Testament

The Catholic Scripture Study International Bible is very good, but a bit shorter in terms of study notes. Its more of a beginner's study Bible. It would be great for those who are just looking to read Scripture and for some basic commentary to go along with it.

I would personally avoid the New Jerome Biblical Commentary unless you are really interested in the historical-critical method of analysis and enjoy reading commentary which comes from a position of skepticism. In addition, I would stay away from the Little Rock Study Bible as well. It relies almost exclusively on the historical-critical method also and includes commentary from theologians who openly dissent from the Faith.

I should add also that the historical-critical method does have some value and the Bible can be looked at through that method, but that is only one way that the Church stipulates that Bible commentaries are to be done. The four ways to look at Scripture from the ancient Church are as follows:
1. Literal (historical)
2. Allegorical
3. Moral/Tropological
4. Anagogical/Eschatological

These four senses are often attributed to Greogory the Great, but actually go back to St. John Cassian and probably even further than that, to the Desert Fathers in the Egyptian Monastic Tradition.

Unfortunately, this focus only on the Historical-Critical method often takes the position of Sacred Scripture being written in a manner that it wasn't. For example, the Church has stated officially that Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch is to be affirmed. The Historical-Critical method often does not acknowledge this. These issues exist throughout this text. The Historical-Critical method became the focus following the rise of the Protestant heresies, and became widely used prior to and following WWII from Lutheran theologians who wished to cast doubt upon the veracity of the Old Testament, in particular Mosaic authorship. Do yourself a favor sometime and checkout where the ideas of the different "traditions" of OT authorship were first written about. Hint, it isn't the Catholic Church, or even the Orthodox Churches.

Pope Benedict also stated, more than once, that Catholics can seek value in the Historical-Critical Method, but are not to focus on that solely or to the exclusion of other methods of Scripture interpretation and commentary.


The NT Ignatuis Study Bible is excellent and its very affordable! I bought one for a friend and looked it over and I was very impressed. I bought the kindle version and it wasn't very user friendly because the format was all out of wack.


Thank’s for everyones thoughts so far.


[quote="tafan, post:6, topic:328848"]
If you don't mind my asking, why?


There are two editions of this. A compact edition, and an expanded edition.

The compact edition though it has good ratings sometimes gets criticized for not having enough in the way of study notes:

The expanded edition is the one I have, and it is excellent:

Perhaps the poster is referring to the compact edition. :shrug:


Thank you jwinch2,
I have collected all of the commentaries mentioned so far over the last ten years or so and was not even aware of the Navarre comentary it sounds like a must have and will endevoure to track one down.

Good on Catholic Answers!


Its excellent. I think you will enjoy it. The Old Testament series is great also, but it is 7 books rather than a single volume.


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