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Scripture Study Resources for Catholics

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THE BASICS: BIBLES and INTRODUCTIONS


Getting the right Bible and reading a basic introduction to the Bible together make the essential first step for anyone beginning Bible study.

The “right” Bible for Catholics first means a Bible that includes all 73 books of the Catholic Bible. (The Bibles of most other Christians have seven fewer books in the Old Testament. The Jewish Bible of course doesn't include the New Testament.)

The “right” Bible for 21st century Catholics also includes getting a modern translation of the Bible. Older translations, such as the Douay-Rheims Bible or the King James Version, although venerated, are not suitable for modern readers. Many modern translations have been produced in the last 50 years. Choosing the “right” Bible for you means selecting a modern translation that suits you for prayer, reading, and study.

  • See Bible Translations for more on older and modern translations of the Bible and how to choose a translation.

The “right” Bible for you might also be a particular edition of the Bible. An edition of the Bible includes special material supplementing the biblical text. A single translation may be published in several editions, with each edition's extra material helping a different group of readers.

  • See Editions of the Bible for the difference between an edition and a translation and some editions of the Bible useful for different readers.

If you've ever tried to read the Bible from start to finish, Genesis through Revelation, with nothing but the notes at the bottom of the biblical page to help you (if that!), you've learned the hard way that we need more than the Bible to really understand the Bible. We need basic background as well as simple explanations of where the Bible came from, how it's organized, and how to read some of its puzzling texts.

In other words, every Catholic needs to read a basic introduction to the Bible. Reading an introduction gets your relationship with Scripture started on a solid foundation.

  • See Basic Intros to the Bible for what you'll find in this kind of resource and my suggestions for good basic introductions to the Bible available today.

THE FIRST STEP
(two parts)


1. Find the right Bible for you.

The right Bible is:

A modern translation.

A modern translation that suits you for prayer,

reading, and study.

An edition of the Bible good for your needs.

2. Read an introduction to the Bible.

Every Catholic needs to read a basic introduction to the Bible!

A Bible introduction offers basic background and answers to common questions that will give you a good foundation

for your relationship with the Bible.