What is a great Catholic Study Bible?

Can anyone recommend a great study Bible for Catholicism? I have a NIV study bible, but I would like to get a Catholic prospective on the Bible.

Ignatius Catholic study Bible, with great commentaries from theologian Scott Hahn.

:thumbsup: That’s your best bet.

WKW, nice broken TV! :wink:

In addition to any Bible you choose, please consider picking up a “kicker,” throw in the ‘Catholic Guide to The Bible’ from Catholic Home Study Services. It is my go-to reference for reconciling contradictions and explaining literary forms of different books.


That is the unit patch from my old US Army Division the 3rd AKA The Rock of the Marne.

The Ignatius Study Bible New Testament is definately the best bargain and excellent material. It would be nice if there was one or two just as good and in the same price range. The Navarre Bible is awesome but expensive, but worth every penny. The Haydock Bible is excellent but not all polished and laid out like the newer Ignatius Study Bible.

There are two I can recommend:

  1. Ignatius New Testament Study Bible: RSV-2CE

As far as I know, there isn’t a compiled OT Study Bible published by Ignatius yet, but you can get the individual OT books with commentary. If you’re looking for depth and complexity, this is the study Bible I recommend.

  1. 1966 Jerusalem Bible

This is what I consider an “academic” Bible. The translation is done in British English and therefore, might sound occasionally quirky to American English speakers. But, it has copious footnotes at the bottom of each page which are detailed, but not as numerous as those in the Bible I mentioned above. This obviously includes both the OT, Deuterocanon, and NT.

If you want lots of commentary get the first choice. If you want less commentary and more Bible, get the second choice.

Catholic Home Study services is fabulous with their choice of free books if you do the study and send it to them or Email the answers. I’m glad it is referenced here for it seems to be a little known secret.


I feel a bit guilty because I’m always touting that book in particular in these forums…but I can surely say that it’s one of my few books that goes out to do evangelical work on its own and I’ve only had one copy returned.

Keep in mind that “study bibles” are not the top of the heap in scholarship. Commentaries are usually far more extensive and take the Bible one line at a time, one book at a time, usually.

Decide what your budget is for say, a five-year period, and give yourself a chance to look around for what you are trying to accomplish.

Some say the Great Adventure bible series study from the EWTN catalogue is a good place for beginners. That might be a handy overlay for reading the Bible.

The Church says that Jewish commentaries are “first class” materials, provided that you understand their different point of view.

I just acquired The Orthodox Study Bible, which has an English translation of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament. It’s a friendly bible, oriented for a member of the Orthodox faith, with an emphasis that you find Jesus on every page of the Bible. This is probably not your highest priority choice, but one that you may want to have on your list.

There’s also The Jewish Study Bible from Oxford U. Press, which gives the latest 1985 translation of the Hebrew Bible, Old Testament only. Again, there’s a little anti-Christian polemic here or there, but it’s pretty much a straight up commentary, with a couple hundred pages of essays about the writings of the OT and Jewish thought.

There’s also The Jewish New Testament which is a Jewish commentary on the New Testament, with occasional criticisms from the Jewish point of view. Again, from reputable Oxford U. Press.

Each of the last two are in the <$30 price category, which is a lot of scholarship for the price.

I’m about $600 “into” Jewish commentaries. They delve a lot deeper into the literary structure of the OT than any Catholic source that I’ve come across.

Use your return privileges at your online bookstore to send back anything that you really don’t like.

I agree with you on the Jewish Commentaries they are good at the moment. I particularly like the JPS commentaries. In a similar vein, Robert Alter has produced some very good literary commentaries on parts of the Hebrew Bible and which are cheaper than the JPS. Of course for Catholics and the Orthodox, the Jewish commentaries don’t cover the entire OT canon but they are good.

I’m personally not taken by the Jewish New Testament, I find it lacking in places, with certain theological biases in places such as with the explanation of Torah in the Pauline Corpus. I would however like to find an equivelent New Testament Commentary to Robet Alter or the JPS.

Father Lukefahr would love it that you have found the book so useful and helpful
(Catholic home Study)
Link above.


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