Thursday, February 6, 2014

Catholic Study Bible Nominations

I am planning to do a series on Catholic Study Bibles in the coming months.  So, I'd like to solicit from you, my faithful readers, your nominations for the best Catholic Study Bibles available today.  Please limit your entry to one Study Bible.

Here are some things that I will be looking at as I begin this series on Study Bibles:

1) Quality of the Study Notes and Commentary

2) Inclusion of Other Study Helps, Articles, Maps, Concordance, Essays, etc....

3) Overall Appearance of the Volume (This Includes Page Layout, Binding, Cover Material, Etc....)

4) Usefulness in the New Evangelization

5) Fully Catholic Study Bibles Only.  (While I certainly like, and utilize, the various editions of the NOAB, let's keep this focused on Catholic Study Bibles.)

6) Translation

7) Any Unique Contribution Not Found In Other Study Bibles


Christopher Buckley said...

Right now, my hands-down favorite is the Catholic Study Bible APP from the partnership of Ignatius Press and Lighthouse Catholic Media.

It contains:
-the full text of the RSC-2CE (with the option to toggle back to the original 1966 text)
-all the annotations of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible print editions (adding more as each new book i spublished)
-the complete Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible New Testament (professional actors and sound design bringing the original RSV-CE to life)
-a whole slew of audio freebies from Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Available for Android & iOS devices.

Until there is a full-text Ignatius Catholic Study Bible printed in one volume, this is my best bet.

Aside from that, I use the NABRE Catholic Study Bible from Oxford University Press as my print Study Bible.

Theophrastus said...

The "Catholic" part is pretty clear, but what is the rest of your definition of a study Bible?

Single volume? (E.g., does the [multi-volume] Navarre qualify?)

Contains annotations and book introductions? (Most NAB editions contain this -- are they all study Bibles?)

Contains the Biblical text or just notes? (Does the New Jerome Biblical Commentary qualify?)

Contains the entire canon or just parts of it? (Does the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible - New Testament qualify?)

If you allow multi-volume texts, my nomination is for Berit Olam/Sacra Pagina. (This nomination is made in honor of Daniel Harrington, who edited Sacra Pagina.)

Timothy said...

Single volume with commentary, text, an translation. It should also include some essays, maps, charts, and other study aids. (That last sentence should exclude a number of NAB's.). And for the most part, they should be clearly referred to as a "Study Bible".

Dwight said...

Oxford's Catholic Study Bible, PERSONAL Edition: wonderful bible!

Anonymous said...

My picks for best study Bible would be the original 1966 Jerusalem Bible. Wonderful resource, without the problematic footnotes.

Theophrastus said...

Unfortunately, as I read Tim's criteria, neither the JB nor the NJB necessarily qualify as "study Bibles," since they do not include the necessary additional study aids nor are they referred to as "study Bibles."

Timothy said...


The NJB and JB do qualify in my mind. They were intended primarily as study Bibles. In addition, there are introductions as well as maps in all the standard editions.

Also, there is this edition available:

Eric Barczak said...

When I suggested it above, my only concerns about the Jerusalem Bible being considered were that it is a fairly dynamic translation, and its not currently in print in its study version. But I think the latter concern is probably why I suggested it-I'm not sure everyone is familiar with it since its OOP, so I'd like to bring it more exposure.

Theophrastus said...

Tim, I'll let you be the judge of what qualifies, but I'm not sure how you can say they were the JB and NJB were primarily intended as study Bibles as opposed to the NAB, which also contains introductions in all the standard editions. (Most NABs also contain maps.)

I'm not familiar with the British edition you posted a link to, but I have often seen British paperback editions labeled euphemistically as "study editions," and I wonder if that might not be the same usage in this case.

citizen DAK said...

I appreciate this comparison of CSB's, thanks! I'd like to see both comparisons of electronic and print CSB's.

There are advantages and disadvantages to various e-CSB’s I’m aware of. A few from the top of my head:

- I do like that Lighthouse app too, Mr Buckley: It has excellent material, & excellent Free version [spreading the Gospel, without price], and good pricing for the audio + study add-ons.

- Advantages that Logos/Verbum [and partially the Kindle-app’s ICSB] include: ability to share [a license, and more importantly my bookmarks, highlights + notes, & navigation-history] across platforms [ie both Windows laptop and Android phone]. Logos costs more to get more options, including the CCC-collection & many different CSB’s.

- Honorable mention to the Universalis app, which isn’t a CSB, but is a Lectionary and Breviary: Requires no oddball android “permissions”, and is cross-platform [buy once use on both my devices], w/ excellent free-online subset.

- Topical inserts like in the print Catholic Answers Bible are helpful. So are Cavins’ Timeline & Then+Now-Maps.
- Big new-testament-only tomes I’ve bought and can recommend are Ignatius CSB-NT & Navarre Expanded-Ed NT.

citizen DAK said...

- and, of course, everyone should also read the CCC! (can use it as a bible-study too)

citizen DAK said...

I apologize, I just noticed you wrote “Please limit your entry to one Study Bible.” In that case, I’ll second Mr Buckley’s nomination of the Lighthouse App (edition of the Ignatius C.S.B.).