Starting to read the entire Bible - advice on which version?


Hi everyone. Good to be back to the boards after a busy period.

Well, I’m finally going to do it, read the entire Bible in a year (or at least try), like one of the other recent posters. I’m also going to try to say the Rosary every day. I’ve put it off for many years and feel guilty about it, and I’ll feel better about myself as a Christian and a Catholic if I read the Bible at least once in my life.

I’m going to settle on a reading plan within the next few days based on suggestions in another thread and on other sources.

Any advice from anyone on which version I should read? A Catholic version, of course, but any special one? Also, are there any other recommended resources out there that would help in understanding it?

Thanks in advance. I’m really looking forward to the experience.


Personally, I love the DR. But I now carry The RSV-CE with me everywhere as the DR is waaaay to big to carry around when out and about.


The Douay-Rheims is beautiful, but the language is more archaic and can be a little difficult to understand in spots.

The Revised Standard Version/Catholic Edition is a good, fairly accurate translation. It’s the one I use most for personal reading.

The New American Bible is fairly readable and closest to the words you would hear proclaimed from the Lectionary at Mass, but it has its problems — a less accurate translation from the source texts, use of inclusive language, etc. The only reason I use it at all is because it is the one that is cited in the textbooks for the CCD program in which I teach.


I would recommend a modern version because the DR and the KJV can be hard to understand in places. However, have you considered reading a modern version and an ancient version at the same time? How about reading one chapter of the DR one day, and a chapter of the RSV-CE another day? I like to read both old and new as they both have their strong points.


I strongly agree that reading ancient version and a modern version. I wish I had the DR when I started reading the Bible on a regular basis. As a reader of the NAB, I understood mostly but felt something was missing. The only ancient translation I had available was the Protestant KJV. Although the KJV is probably the best widely available Protestant version out there, it isn’t Catholic. If I had the D-R at the time I would have read that and my NAB and eventually probably graduating to the D-R. Instead I read the NAB and half way through reading it, I bought my D-R and have been using that ever since


What ever version that you will find easy enough to read so that you do not get discouraged and quit.

Personally I prefer the RSV.


You could try this one: My Daily Catholic Bible.
It uses the RSV and breaks it down into 20 minute daily readings. Having it already organized for you in a book might make it easier to accomplish your goal.


Thanks to all for the replies.

That’s what I think I’ll do for the time being. The book splits the New Testament up in an order that seems to make sense (one Gospel, then some Epistles, etc.). If it doesn’t work I can try something else.

Also, it’s the RSV. Once I get a handle on things I’ll look into the NAB and/or an “ancient” version to help my understanding, and look into other resources if it seems necessary. Right now I’m looking for basic understanding and not becoming a scholar.

Still looking forward to it; just hoping I don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed.

Thanks again; other suggestions are welcome.


The bible was not designed to be read from cover to cover, and trying to do so will likely be much more difficult than you expect. Many people are determined to do that, but that starts going downhill once they get somewhere around Leviticus. Although I’m not really a bible-reading person, I don’t know anyone who is who would recommend reading it that way either.

When I read the bible, I prefer the Revised Standard Version- Catholic Edition, because of it’s fidelity in it’s translation from the Latin and it’s respect for the Bible as a work of literature (and it’s respect for the fact that some of us can read above a fourth-grade reading level).


Thanks to all the responses to my post last week. Here’s an update:

(1) I purchased My Daily Catholic Bible as one of the posters suggested and plan to follow its reading plan. I also purchased some basic Catholic study aids.

(2) It’s the RSV-CE. There are arguments for and against different versions (in this forum and in the Sacred Scripture) but there are enough positive comments about this version that it seems a good place to start.

(3) Although I don’t “have” to start on January 1, I plan to just to keep things simple (since it’s not far away anyway).

My version and my reading plan may not be the same as someone else’s but surely we all have the same goals in mind.

Thanks again.


Has anyone read the Catholic One Year Bible The Entire Catholic Living Bible?

I really like the wording and the way it is broken down into 365 daily readings. Each day you read a section from the Old, a section from the New, a Psalm, and a short Proverb. It’s great!


:rotfl: I agree with this version (and for the same reasons) - oh, plus it’s easy for me to understand and I’m not a scholar.


How about the Jerusalem Bible? I myself like best the New Jerusalem Bible in Portuguese, which doesn’t suffer from the heresy of feminism as the English versin does, but perhaps the Jerusalem Bible in English is as good.

IIRC, Mr. Angelica used the Jerusalem Bible in her program on EWTN.



Well… I just finished reading the Bible cover to cover in 90 days (something I was determined to do while I was still 18), and I’d recommend it. Returning now to reading only bits and pieces, I’m glad that I got that familiarity with the context, and saw the whole picture.

It is a little difficult, though, especially in the Leviticus area like you said (though it was Jeremiah that I personally had the most trouble pushing past).

Nevertheless, totally worth it. It was an extraordinary experience.


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