What is an acceptable Bible Commentary?


I am preparing the parish bible study this Fall on the Gospel of John. For the past 3 years we recommended the Little Rock Commentary to our participants. This year we were going to allow everyone to select their own. We presented the Navarre, the Ignatius and the Little Rock as suggestions.

Our Director of Faith Formation consulting with the pastor and associate were adamantly against the Navarre. Part of the email that I received is:

the Navarre Bible - John. Is this in fact the resource that you are using? This material is not in line with current Catholic teaching and interpretation of Sacred Scripture. I have discussed this with Fr. Santen, and Fr. Bob ( who you indicated was going to do presentations). Both agreed with me that, while we cannot prevent you from using this resource, we cannot condone it. Fr. Bob has indicated that he would be more that happy to facilitate presentations, but only if the material used was in conformity with Church teaching.

How would I know which are acceptable commentaries? They are also insisting that we all use the New American Standard Bible. My reply to that was, everyone brings the bible they currently own.

Can anyone clear this up for me?


The Navarre Bible Commentary is an excellent commentary. You might ask specifically where the Navarre differs from Church teaching. If they come up with something, it will be easy enough to compare what the Navarre Commentary says to the Church’s teaching. But we need specifics. Regarding Bible translations, I recommend that you read Bible Translations Guide.

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