I have never participated in a Bible study group. I am considering doing it now, but I’m not sure what to expect. Is it mostly reading of the gospels, or is there a lot of discussion? There are so many translations, that I don’t know how these groups deal with that. I would love to hear from anyone about their experience with Bible study groups. Thank you.
No 2 bible studies are alike. I suspect that there may be no wrong way to study scripture. The people in the group make up their agenda. I like having folks discussing different translations.
usually they pick one book and study it.
or there’s a theme of some sort
Since NAB is the version accepted by the Bishop’s Conference, should I get this version for my Bible study?
Remember to stick with a Catholic Bible Study Group.
The Catholic Bible studies I have participated in all had guidelines on the best translation of the Bible to use.
It can be fun to use different translations and compare but the study should generally stick to one translation and the study material should make that clear.
As others have said, I would stick to Catholic studies. The Great Adventure series is excellent.
Bible study is an excellent asset for spiritual growth & development. The Bible Study group in my Parish; which is led by a Priest; uses the NAB.
Another option you might look for is to study the Sunday readings prior to Mass. I participate in a group that does this, and it helps me to get more out of the Mass readings and the Homily as well. In our group, there is a lot of discussion, and prayer and song as well.
There are several resources available online for Sunday Scripture studies. You don’t need them all. Just pick the one (or two) that work best for you and your group.
*]Just the readings from USCCB
*]Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics
*]Living the Word
*]Scott Hahn’s Reflections on the Sunday Readings
*]Liturgical Calendar with links to Scripture Studies, from Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
*]The Sunday Website of Saint Louis University
I imagine you could also find a lot of online resources for Catholic Bible Studies by other methods, like one book at a time.
Yes you should participate in Bible study. Everyone should. I am assuming that you are considering one offered at your parish. If not, I would recommend a Catholic group, as others have said. I have participated in several, and helped organize some. Study guides will usually have introductions and commentary for each part, as well as questions and discussion suggestions. Those I am familiar with use the NAB, and having study guides for each participant so they are all reading the same translation is helpful. Unless you are the person organizing the study group, you won’t have to worry about any of this.
If you don’t have an NAB Bible, you should get one. They are not expensive. You can also read and look up Bible books and passages at the U.S.Catholic Bishops’ website for free. I would recommend that you read and study more than just the reading or passage for each session. Having an idea of the context of the passage is vital to a good understanding. Study guides will help with that.
I wish you success and blessings for your study, and would lastly suggest that you invite a friend or family member to join you. We need more Catholics reading and using the Bible.
I own several different translations and actually have the NAB that I acquired some decades ago.
As a follow-up question, is the Catechism of any practical use is such groups? Just wondering.
Join a study. In addition to praying with the word of God, the bonding together of a group of Christians is of great value. I have been part of two men’s bible studies for several years and the community aspect of this is just great.
It could be. It may depend on the focus of the group. Those I have participated in didn’t often refer to the Catechism, the discussion didn’t get that deep. I don’t think anyone ever brought one to a session. At all the sessions, people were focused on their own personal response to what they were reading, and about struggles with their faith. It rarely moved into doctrinal questions. I viewed it as a Bible study and faith support group. Listening to others gave me wonderful insights into their faith journeys and consequently insights into my own journey.
However, an offshoot of one parish Bible discussion group I was in was that we reached a consensus that most of us were not real familiar with what the Church taught, especially on moral and ethical issues. We arranged for a series of classes on this, and provided paperback copies of the Catechism to anyone interested. Every one if them was taken, and the sessions were well attended.
My feeling is that Bible study and the Catechism are different subjects and would not be mixed together. There is a great deal of overlap on this, however, since each could be referenced when studying the other.
the Ignatius Study Bible (so far, just the new testament) incorporates references to the Catechism in places, but no version of the NAB does, that I am aware of.
I’ll put in a word for private study of the Bible. In a couple groups that I was in, the pace was so fast, that I could not spend as much time as I wanted on what I was reading.
THIS (ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCJWSCR.HTM) document which is technical, etc. says that there is no one theoretical best way to analyze scripture (and spends a lot of time justifying that statement) and later gets around to saying that one should study the Bible with a (Catholic) commentary nearby.
The 1992 New Jerome Biblical Commentary (which is too deep for a beginner, IMHO) says that a Bible study should be taught by someone with extensive training in Bible study.
Last summer I attended a group study on the Psalms, conducted by someone who admitted up front that she was winging it and learning as she went. She used a study guide from Ascension Press which has both a study booklet and a video that the group viewed. She had experience in managing a group study, and she used computer graphics to facilitate the study.
Back on the individual study, I have greatly benefited from the commentaries published by the Jewish Publication Society. this is not forbidden by the Church, on the contrary it is encouraged (in general, by Benedict XVI, for example) as being “first class” study material, keeping in mind the difference in our perspectives. This is expensive, to begin with, and covers verse-by-verse analysis, which hasn’t happened in any of the Catholic Bible studies I have ever been in.
If there’s a particular group study organized, you might jump into it with the idea of finding out if you like it. As somebody said above, there’s no 2 bible studies that are alike. That class last summer was WITH finger food. I was in a class that had hugging, for which I was not prepared. I was in another class that had singing. You just don’t know until you go. The Little Rock Scripture Study Bible is the latest NAB revision in disguise, with little embellishments from the LRSS team.
This is something I had thought about myse,
As everyone has said: yes go to a bible study but do your best to ensure it is Catholic.
Bible version wise, it’s important to find one that speaks to you, one that you understand. The NAB is supposed to be very good but I prefer personally the New Revised Standard version. What I love about it, is that it is available as a study bible which means it has all kinds of extra features which are meant to help you understand the bible. A study bible will cost you a little more but it’s worth the extra few dollars. This is the study bible that I love.
You can also look for a Catholic study bible. They come in various versions and they are directed towards one learning more about the Catholic faith. I’ve purchased a few as confirmation gifts and they are wonderful.
Personally I’m not convinced using the NAB for Bible Study is good. The notes/commentary are terrible. I think very few people in these forums are lovers of the NAB.
We use the NABRE not only for Bible Study but also for RCIA. It is the Priest’s choice.
Yes. Bible study often leads to discussion of Church teachings, and then it is good to have the Catechism at hand in order to look things up.
For example, as my group discussed last Sunday’s Gospel, the Baptism of Jesus, the question came up of who can baptize, which was answered by CCC 1256.
In my somewhat limited experience, it has not always been possible to find Catechism passages related to every Bible passage. You might say the Bible and the Catechism have some overlap. When you can make connections between the two, it is good. Some Bible passages lend themselves more readily than others to the Catechism.
The choice of translation is a practical matter. The important thing is to committ to a study and let the Word take root.
The Didache Bible does, and the Didache commentary exists for both the Ignatius Bible and NAB translations.