Catholic Bible Selection Guide

Bible Selection Guide - Which Catholic Bible is Right for You?Which Bible is Right for You?

by Lucy Scholand and Elizabeth Siegel

Our Lady of Grace Bookstore has a wide range of Catholic Bibles and Scripture study aids available for readers of all ages and interests. We hope the following guidelines will help you narrow your choices, and we encourage you to stop in and take a look!

All the Scripture versions we carry are approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Download the Catholic Bible Selection Guide

Download the complete PDF article here, which includes the comparison charts

Here is a summary of the Bible versions we carry:

  1. The New American Bible Revised Edition (NAB) is the basis for the Lectionary. Some people consider it a good version for beginning Scripture readers. It is useful as a study Bible because of its many notes. It uses inclusive—that is, gender-neutral—language in many places.
  2. The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is considered the most accurate translation into English of the original Hebrew and Greek texts, with the best combination of literal and literary expressions. It served as the basis for the scriptural text in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and is used today in official Church pronouncements. It has very few notes in its basic form, but there are many study Bibles that incorporate it, such as the multivolume Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and Navarre Bible. The language in the RSV is a bit more complex than that of the NAB, offering both richness and depth that aid devotion.
  3. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is recognized as an accurate translation of the original Hebrew and Greek texts. It uses inclusive language.
  4. The Douay-Rheims Bible is the original translation of Scripture from St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate, in eloquent English common during the 16th and 17th centuries. This text is used in the Liturgy of the Word in the Latin Tridentine Mass.
  5. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB), a revision of the Jerusalem Bible, has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. The reader who appreciates poetry will enjoy this version but may want to compare it with “less adventurous” versions when using it for study. The Doubleday imprint that we carry has wide margins, which include cross references.
  6. Good News Today (GNT) is very reader friendly, with charming line drawings. We sell the Catholic Edition.

We have Bibles of many sized fonts (small to large print), with various covers (paper, hardcover, leather—some with zippers!), study features, and prayer helps. For audio learners and commuters, we have the Truth and Life Audio Bible New Testament (RSV), narrated by several renowned actors.

Questions to ask yourself to help you make an informed decision about choosing a bible:

1. Where am I in my understanding of Scripture? Am I a beginner, or am I looking for in-depth study?Bibles vary in explanatory helps, such as footnotes, book introductions, maps, and word studies.

2. Am I an older or younger reader? Small, medium, and large font sizes are available.

3. Do I want additional prayer helps? Some include meditations and other devotional features.

4. How much do I want to pay? Paper or soft covers are less expensive than hardcover or leather-bound versions. The multivolume Navarre, with its extensive study and inspirational material, is a significant investment.

Click here to download a pdf the complete “Bible Selection Guide” for adults, including a comparison of the features of the Bibles we have in the store. After that is a table for helping to select children’s and young adults’ Bibles.

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