I am a self-professed Bible nerd, and I collect various translations and editions of the Scriptures. This is something that started in my Protestant days and has carried on into the present as a Catholic. As a result, I often get asked what Bible will be suited best for a particular interest. Below are three great examples for people who are looking to not only expand their library, but grow in their faith.
When I was a Protestant seminarian at Liberty University, I often used the English Standard Version. The translation flows well, is easy to read, and is regarded as one of the best literal translations available. The problem now is that is was a Protestant translation and doesn’t have all of our wonderful Old Testament canon. In 2018 the Bishops of India approved a Catholic edition of the ESV. The Augustine Institute released a version titled The Augustine Bible because it is published by them. This great translation is now available to American Catholics.
Contrary to what its name may suggest, this study bible is not based on the early church document known as The Didache. The scriptures themselves are the RSV-CE and are the translation of choice for many scholars. The notes themselves are commentaries based on the catechism. These noted list the appropriate paragraph in The Catechism, and in many cases, directly quotes from The Catechism. It is a great way to not only study scripture, but to intertwine the tradition of the church into your study in one easy volume. There are also a variety of articles within the Bible on various apologetics topics such as the Trinity, papacy, etc. If you want to understand what the Church teaches in a deeper and more meaningful way, then The Didache Bible is a one stop shop.
Another great volume for you to check out, if you haven’t already, is The Ignatius Study Bible. This Bible is another RSV-CE translation and the notes and commentary are superb. The notes and commentary are done by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch and are very enlightening. The notes cross reference other scriptures, the catechism, and saints. Included is a concordance so you can look up the passages where a certain word appears, as well as a doctrinal index that gives the biblical citation for catholic beliefs. The drawback of this Bible is that it is not in one volume. The New Testament is in one volume and is well worth the cost. Other volumes from the Old Testament are released as they become available.
If your goal is to understand scripture more deeper, or just to develop a better devotional life scripture reading is essential. The volumes listed fit various needs from the one who just wants scripture (The Augustine Bible), the individual who wants an outline of what the church teaches on scripture and its meaning (The Didache Bible), and the person who wants to dive deep into biblical theology (The Ignatius Study Bible). This is only a sampling, but the resources are out there. It is my prayer that this provides some guidance.
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