good news and bad news: free download, the interpretation of the Bible in the Church
bad news: it’s lengthy, might overwhelm you (as it did me for more than 10 years).
overall: there’s no one approach to the bible that the church prefers, there are advantages and disadvantages to each (historical critical, feminist, “form” criticism, literary criticism, patriarchal (like the early church fathers), etc.).
“study bibles” usually come with a lot of notes and cross references and maybe some essays. In greater depth are “commentaries” that take things at a slower, deeper level. Check at your local public library for commentaries, even if they’re not Catholic in orientation. Look into them just to see what a commentary looks like.
There are single- and multiple-volume commentaries. i’ve heard somebody say that the best commentaries are at the Vatican and are written in Latin.
There is no “ultimate” once-and-forever commentary, as the church views scripture as an inexhaustible source of information and inspiration.
I’m at the $1500-$2500 level of investment in commentaries and such. There might a lot of good ideas in one place, that seem to give “the answer” until you pick up the next commentary.
Once in a while, I’ll find an interesting idea in a non-Catholic book. Example: “Praying Like Jesus, The Lord’s Prayer in a Culture of Prosperity” by James Mulholland, a Baptist minister. It’s a small book and has an interesting observation (take it or leave it):
The first part of the Lord’s prayer " hallowed by Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" are not so much petitions, like the rest of the prayer, but they are vows we make to God the Father BEFORE we get to that turning-point word “give…” Before we petition the Father for our needs, we offer our vows of loyalty to Him.
A point that Pope Benedict XVI makes in his 3-volume commentary, “Jesus of Nazareth”, is that Jesus is the focus of all of scripture.
Sometimes you can trip over some verses, like I did the other day ( 1 Corinthians 4:3-4)
1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. 4 I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God.
These are very deep verses to ponder, esp v 3-4. You may at times find yourself with more questions about scripture than you have answers. That’s the beginning of the journey of faith.