We need a better Catholic Study bible


As a current Protestant in RCIA to join the Catholic Church, I have been quite discouraged in the lack of Catholic Study bibles. They all are lacking either a thorough cross reference or a commentary. It seems there is no complete Study Bible. Scott Hahn’s will be a great resource when it comes out, but its not a very thorough cross reference, nor is there any space to write your own notes. Coming from a Protestant background, as Im sure many can attest, we had a huge array of study bibles: Thompson Chain reference, Greek-Hebrew Word Study Bible (one which I own in the NASB translation)., etc. I would LOVE to see Catholic Answers put out a complete study Bible.

In the meantime, I am working on a compilation of multiple commentaries and cross references into a 2 inch margin RSV-CE Bible to print off for personal use. I have been using commentaries such as Ignatius Study Bible, Jerome Commentary, Yale Anchor, Jewish Annotated New Testament, Bruce Waltke’s Old Testament Theology, Aquinas’ commentaries, Church Fathers, etc.,… and here is a link to the PDF files of what I have completed (1 Samuel and Galatians)… verum7.weebly.com/

Are there any other resources out there that I am missing? It sure would be helpful if someone else had already done this, because it has been a lot of work just for two books so far.


In Christ,


Check out the Navarre Study Bible. I can’t recommend it first hand, but have heard great things. The entire NT is HERE The OT is HERE


How about the Great Adventure Bible Studies? I am part way through the 90 day course and enjoying it. Here is a link to their homepage: biblestudyforcatholics.com/

Another resource is The Bible Compass by Edward Sri or You can Understand the Bible by Peter Kreeft. I have them on my Kindle but haven’t started to read it yet as I am a bit busy at the moment with the 90 day study and a weekly course.

Hope this helps?


Been there done that…finally settled on Verbum capstone by logos. You either have to settle on what you can get in a single study bible, or have a lot of room to amass your own library (not to mention time to find citations in each volume).

I’ve got 1200+ volumes in electronic format, each linked for easy cross references, copy and paste with auto citation footnotes…expensive, but a great package.


The Ignatius New Testament Catholic Study Bible is excellent, it is a pity they don’t do an Old Testament equivalent.


Not sure if this is what you are looking for but check it out…


Unfortunately not complete but enough to keep you busy. It has an endorsement from Scott Hahn.


Yeah, there are a lot of great Catholic Bible commentaries in process, but not that many complete options are out there (besides Navarre). In addition to the Ignatius Study Bible and Navarre, there is the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture and Brazos Theological Commentary. Those are both promising, but – again – incomplete at the moment.

Another route to go is the electronic route. For that you could get something like Verbum. They’ve got the four series mentioned above in electronic format and they would all automatically be cross-referenced with Scripture. And you could add your own notes wherever you please.


The Old Testament is in process. Honestly, the writing of it was probably finished long ago. It will all be available eventually.



Can you still use your protestant study bibles? Obviously there would be some things in them that as a Catholic you would not believe in but I would also think that the vast majority of footnotes, etc., would still be compatible with Catholicism. Do you think that is the case? I have actually used an annotated Orthodox Jewish Torah which can be helpful in some instances.


You might try the Catholic Scripture Study Bible, from CSS. I’ve met Gail Buckley and she does excellent work–has a real passion for providing popular, accessible materials for Bible study. The CSS parish Bible Study program is great, so I’d imagine that this Bible is an excellent resource as well.



I agree that we need more Catholic Study Bibles and I think the way you did those two books is commendable. To expect yourself to compile a verse-by-verse commentary on the whole Bible, though, is asking a lot. After viewing your Book of Galatians, it seems your procedure is to go through the available Catholic commentaries, select the best bits, and compile them into one source. Perhaps you are unaware that the Haydock Bible Commentary is a freely available Catholic commentary that has already done that? You might save yourself some trouble by looking it up online and just copy-pasting its commentaries into the format you used for 1 Samuel and Galatians. If you did that, you might complete your work more quickly and the result would be a very useful and well-formatted Study Bible for Catholics.


They have been releasing softcover versions of individual Old Testament books with the same kind of notes and study material as the New Testament study Bible. The ones I have seen were updated with the help of Scott Hahn.


This site should answer some of your Bible related questions:


I’m not really sure that “study Bibles” are what we really need. Let me explain…We have a tremendous wealth of scholarship available to us in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as a number of others. It seems to me that spending some time with these close at hand while reading/studying the Bible would be more than comparable to most of the n-C study Bibles I have ever seen. More concise, and much more in depth, not to mention more accurate.


As for resources I highly recommend the Aquinas Study Bible. I have wanted to make a study Bible but it takes more than one person. The Glossa Ordinaria is the ultimate Medieval Study Bible but is in need of being translated, which I am working on.


I also agree that any good Catholic Bible study will have references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


The Ignatius Study Bible is your answer.

God Bless.


I have The New American Bible that was given to me by the Parish when I entered RCIA. It’s not a study bible, per se, but it has lots of great footnotes. I also still want a study bible, but you might want to get a copy (if you don’t have one already) just for daily reading, etc.


I agree. It is very good.


Hi Zach,

Thanks for all your hard work.
Good Job. I like your notes.

Just a note to others, being a PDF file it opens best in Adobe Reader, or Internet Explorer. For some reason, my FireFox browser does not display the fonts correctly.

Haydock commentary:

This page seems to link to articles on various subjects.


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