Which version of the bible and which order. HELP


I need some help. Recently I’ve been getting back into religion. I’ve started to find my faith again. I need help with some questions. First of all, which version of the bible to Catholics read? Where can I buy one of these versions? Also, which order should I read the chapters of the bible? Thanks!


Here’s an overview of the missing books in the Protestant Bibles.

Look into the RSV-Catholic Edition, the Douay Rheims, the NRSV-Catholic edition, and the Knox Bibles. As well, look into the Jerusalem and New Jerusalem translations, really it’s a personal choice, but try to avoid anything with inclusive language.


A lot depends upon if you like the older biblical language (which includes the ‘thees and thous’) or if you like a translation that has eliminated a lot of the archaic language.

If you like the ‘thees and thous’, then the Douay-Rheims Bible would be a good choice, the Revised Standard Version - Cathoilc Edition (RSV-CE) is a very popular choice and ‘The Knox Bible’.

If you don’t really care for the ‘thees and thous’, then the RSV-2CE (Second Catholic Edition) would be an excellent choice, the mass in the USA is based upon the New American Bible (NAB) of which there is now a revised edition called the NAB-RE (revised edition) is a very popular translation. The mass in Canada is based upon the New Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE). The mass in the UK and Australia is based upon the Jerusalem Bible (but that is subject to change in the near future). The New Jerusalem Bible is a revised version of the Jerusalem Bible (with a British flavor).

These are the most popular versions of the Bible for Catholics right now. If you can get to a Catholic bookstore (or find their online version, including kindle samples),and read through these translations, that is the only way to pick out a Bible that will truly fit your needs.


Sometimes a non-Catholic Christian bookstore will carry Catholic Bibles. :slight_smile:


I was wondering how exactly do you read the bible. I understand that it is not in chronological order so by what chapters do I need to read it? Any suggestions?


You can buy a chronological Bible, but I’m not sure if you can get a Catholic edition in this format.

You could use the Office of Readings of the Church, which is not chronological, but is tied to the liturgical seasons (so the readings will be related to a common theme). The Office can be found all over the web, including here.

The Office is rather comprehensive but it is not exhaustive - you won’t read every verse, but you will get a very good selection.

FWIW, there is no rule prohibiting Catholics from reading protestant editions. I often use the KJV when doing Bible research, because many concordances and lexicons are tied to it (Strong’s, Youngs). And it’s the Bible that I grew up with, so I am rather familiar with it already. And, by the way, King Jame’s translators did the whole Bible, so you can get a complete KJV that includes all the books of a Catholic Bible (although those books will be typically ignored by concordances and lexicons).


And I have a Catholic bookstore that carries non-Catholic Bibles. :slight_smile:


It has been suggested by scholars, Scott Hann if my recall is correct, that you read the New Testament first, followed by the Old Testament. It might help you with Typology wherein the Old Testament foreshadows the New Testament, so that if you are familiar with the New, the Old may be easier to understand.


You might want to check this link out, Our Father’s Plan, by Scott Hahn…


You could open up the Bible and start reading; but do you know where to start? Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins will deal with this throughout the series as they discuss how to read the Bible in chronological order while telling us what the Bible is saying. It is important to know it’s a book of history. You can’t just open it up and start reading. It doesn’t read like a novel. They will show how to read the Bible in Chronological order. Scott outlines four key theological concepts and foundation principals. They look at what we can do with it and how we can apply it. They also describe Biblical covenants and look at the six covenants that were made throughout the Bible.


As for which order to read the books in, you can never go wrong with the Gospels:thumbsup: I recommend getting acquainted with them. That’s where we really see the face of Our Lord. I would then read some of Paul’s main epistles, Romans and 1 Corinthians and Galatians and Ephesians for starters.

Then move in to the OT prophets, like Isaiah and Jeremiah. We really can’t understand Christ without knowing what He came to fulfill.

Of course its really helpful to understand the historical context the prophets lived and wrote during. If you want to to get a good historical overview of the Bible. I highly recommend the Great Adventure bible timeline by Jeff Cavins. He lists all the historical books of the bible; Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, etc… And gives a good background of them. Very helpful.

So Gospels first, then Paul’s epistles, then the prophets, then read the historical books of the bible. That’s what I recommend anyway, someone else may have a better suggestion.

Hope that helps get you started. Glad you’re getting back into your faith!! I hope that list wasn’t too overwhelming for you. :slight_smile:


There are a number of good Catholic translations around and I have several.
My personal favorite is …
** The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version - Burgundy - Second Catholic Edition by Ignatius Press (Dec 2005) **

*] $21.95 $15.98 Paperback
Mine is leather bound and one of them is compact for easier travel.

I also like and use the Douay-Rheims Bible.
** The Holy Bible : DOUAY-RHEIMS VERSION**

I also have a copy of


** The Jerusalem Bible, Popular Edition**

Which I also like.

I also have
** The New American Bible (With the Revised Book of Psalms and the Revised New Testament) **

[size=4]The suggestion to begin with [size=4]the[/size][/size] New Testament is very good advice and I would further suggest the Gospels, in any order and then proceed from there.

[size=4][size=4][size=4]If you read 3 chapters a day you can pretty much finish in a year, but the Church suggest[size=4]s that we plan to read it again and again throughout our lives. I often go back and read [size=4]the[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size] Mass readings just because they interest me or to find a verse that piqued my interest on something.

[size=4][size=4][size=4][size=4][size=4][size=4]Keep in mind that [size=4]the[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size] Church encourages Bible reading by offering indulgences for doing so.

“A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who with the veneration due to the divine word make a spiritual reading from Sacred Scripture. A plenary indulgence is granted, if this reading is continued for at least one half an hour.” (Enchiridion of Indulgences. Authorized English edition. 1969. Catholic Book Publishers. New York. Page 68. # 50)


Michael, do you have a Confraternity (1941-1969) bible? Early versions had the Douay OT with the Confraternity (CCD) NT, and they gradually progressed to introduce CCD Psalms and OT books into the mix. The finished bible was not printed under a single cover as the USCCB adopted the NAB instead. I really like the early Confraternity versions with the Douay OT and the 20th century CCD New Testament, as even the language used denotes which testament you are in. They may be found in thrift stores and on eBay.


Thank you very much for your help! I appreciate everybody’s answers! Went out and bought myself a NAB-RE version. I will definitely start with the Gospels. :thumbsup:


The original Douay-Rheims Bible of 1609 with original footnotes and introductions, in modern spelling, is in the works and some books have been published already on the link below.


In fact I do and I like it a lot. It’s pretty old and so I use it sparingly so as not to ruin it, but it is very nice indeed.
** THE HOLY BIBLE: Confraternity Version.**


This is good advise


Critics seem to like the NT more than the OT and Psalms translations, but it is truly a shame it was never adopted.


My bible is copyright 1949 Confraternity New Testament–Douay Rheims Challoner Old Testament–and a New English translation of the New Latin Psalms (Bea Psalter) authorized by Pope Pius XII.

On thing I really like about this bible are the conservative notes and conservative previews of each book in the bible.

No liberalism or modernism.

“A virgin will conceive” in isaiah 7:14.

“Hail! Full of Grace” in Luke 1:28

The angel stirs the water at the pool at Bethsaida.

“In the person of Christ” in 2 Corinthians 2:10.

I could go on and on–I’m not saying that this hybrid combination bible is perfect–I will say that it is less inaccurate than any current bible published today.

And NO inclusive language!


The Confraternity bible is the best kept Catholic scriptural secret, if you ask me. Goodwill, Saint Vincent de Paul, eBay and other outlets are sources for good-to-near-new/unused copies at bargain prices. I believe only the NT is currently in publication, and it seems that the adoption of the NAB essentially killed the Confraternity’s chances. A shame.

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