Someone wrote me an email, asking what edition of the Bible I recommend.
A few weeks ago, I started a Bible study at my parish, and I put this in the bulletin as guidance on this subject.
If you buy a Bible, be sure your Bible is Catholic.
Sadly, when the Protestant movements began in the 16th century, their leaders decided to remove sections of the Old Testament; so the editions published for Protestants, with some exceptions, are incomplete. Also, there are, unfortunately, some serious differences of theology on some points between Catholic belief and a number of Protestant movements; thus, I can’t vouch for the commentary some of them may provide on particular texts, let alone how they translate. I’m sorry to say, some are very contentious and some are a little wacky.
There are many Catholic editions available. There are pros and cons for various ones.
Here are better known ones:
>Catholic Study Bible/New American Bible.
Extensive notes, explanatory articles, and maps. Very helpful for study. Most similar to Mass readings. However, I do question some of the editorial decisions in translating and in the notes.
>Douay-Rheims. The English translation used for centuries; translated from Latin. Old style English. I haven’t seen a “study” edition—i.e., with extensive notes and articles.
>Ignatius Bible/RSV-Catholic Edition. A superior translation, but skimpy notes. (Ignatius has “study editions” for parts of the Bible, but not Genesis.)
>The Navarre Bible: The Pentateuch. Uses the superior RSV-Catholic translation. Scholarly notes. But only the first five books of Scripture. [I left out of my brief bulletin item that a complete Navarre Bible runs to, I think, 12 volumes!]
New Jerusalem Bible. A good translation, but less familiar. Be sure you get the edition with notes and articles, which are very good. Some of the same concerns as with the NAB, above.
I found these titles online; not enough info to recommend:
The Holy Bible: Catholic Reference Edition, from Tyndale. Easier-to-read New Living Translation, which is pretty loose. Notes and background materials look skimpy. Has no imprimatur from a bishop.
Good News Translation Holy Bible, Catholic Edition from Zondervan. Easier-to-read. More notes and reference materials. Has an imprimatur, which indicates cooperation with church authorities.
The International Student Bible for Catholics (NAB translation), from Nelson Publishers. Has notes and background materials—appears to be a teen-version of the Catholic Study Bible above. Has imprimatur.
If anyone has further comments or suggestions, please add them.