This post is a springboard for discussing any interesting bibles, study materials, resources, or information that you’d like to share. Have you tried anything new or begun a new study recently? I’m currently reading through the book of First Samuel in the New Oxford Annotated Bible (NOAB). I’m interested to hear how all of you have been reading and praying with scripture recently.

28 thoughts on “July Bible Open Forum”

  1. Is there a particular edition of the Oxford NOAB anyone would recommend? I already have the Oxford RSV and really enjoy it.

    1. I’ve seen multiple recommendations for the NOAB 2nd edition. It was the first NOAB using the NRSV translation, but it contains many (or all?) of the same study notes as the NOAB RSV. The original Oxford Annotated Bible RSV received an imprimatur from Cardinal Cushing in 1965, but I’m not sure if any of the NOAB versions received an imprimatur. Other readers can probably elaborate more on the history.

  2. It’s a roundabout way but I’m reading the Revised English Bible on I really like all the resources on this website/app plus you can adjust the font and its size.

      1. I like it very much. As someone else pointed out (I forget who), it’s very similar to the New American Bible. I’d read the New English Bible back in the 1980s and I think that the REB is better.

  3. I might be a newbie compared to others – after completing the RCIA last year, I followed a bible reading plan “Survey Bible Reading Plan (61 Days) 180 readings” from bible gateway. I used the Didache Bible and read all the notes and followed every cross reference: this was great and gave me a good understanding of how the Bible fits together. I am glad I got the Didache Bible because of the explanations of catholic tradition and catechism (thanks to recommendations on the Catholic Bibles Blog).

    I am almost through another reading plan “Chronological Bible Reading Plan (61 Days) 324 readings”. I am still using the Didache Bible and reading the notes, but not following all the cross references and takes about 20 minutes each morning. The Bible makes much more sense to me than when I tried reading it as a teenager from start to finish. Instead of getting bored and giving up, I am eager to read more and go back to the parts that I skipped! I am beginning to see how Gods message was revealed over time, and in my own life.

    Other things I have read/watched:
    – about 2 or 3 years ago I watched the ‘psychological significance of the bible stories’ by Jordan Peterson on YouTube. The videos gave me a mental framework to respect and understand the Bible when my wife and I decided to do the RCIA.
    – I put the ‘great adventure’ time-line in the front of my Didache bible, and stuck on the coloured tabs (but don’t have any of the guides). I need a visual depiction of how the books relate to each other and the context in which they were written. It is also a step to personalising my Bible – I might even start highlighting passages and marking it up!
    – I read two books recently “What is the Bible?” By Bob Bell and “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth” by Gordon Fee. Both were OK and helped me understand the diverse types of writing, and their contexts and how to read them. Would appreciate if anyone here had recommendations for supplementary reading.

    Finally, based on recommendations here I recently got “The Navarre Bible: New Testament”. I wanted commentaries passage by passage, rather than academic notes on individual words and verses. I haven’t worked out yet how I am going to read it and might just start at Matthew, and read it slowly for the next 2 years, a few pages each morning so that I can reflect on each idea through the day. (I am open to suggestions!)

    Thanks for this blog, although I have made a conscious choice not to buy any other Bibles (I also have an NSRV and my wife the Douay-Rheims), I find the discussion here useful and interesting.

    1. Thanks for commenting, and welcome to the Catholic Church, Armando! It sounds like you’ve been diving into a lot of good resources. I share your preference for commentaries that are passage-by-passage rather than verse-by-verse. One of the better options on that front is the Oxford Catholic Study Bible (NABRE). It features the usual verse-by-verse notes from the NABRE, but it also includes reading guides for every book of the Bible which comment on broader passages.

      I’ve also been paying attention to some of Jordan Peterson’s comments on the Bible, and I’ve found them very thought-provoking. It’s well worth discussing, because he seems to be influencing some atheists and agnostics to look at the Bible with a new perspective. My primary concern is that he sometimes emphasizes the archetypal and psychological meaning in a way that seems to preclude a literal meaning of the text. But even so, his lectures contain a lot of interesting ideas.

  4. This year I’ve switched from my Morning Prayer routine to simply reading Augustine Institute’s “Bible in a Year” (using the RSV-2CE).

    It has a brief devotion after each day’s set of readings, but has no textual notes or in-line commentary.

    What I really wanted was a standalone commentary made up solely of statements from the Early Church Fathers. I was about to buy the four-volume Haydock commentary set when someone on Twitter pointed out a wonderful app called “Catena.”

    It’s a Bible app that lets you click on any verse to call up commentary from Eastern and Eastern theologians associated with that verse.

    Although the translation is the KJV2000, the commentaries can be toggled between:
    -Early Fathers: Pre-1054 theologians venerated by all churches
    -Western Theology: Fathers venerated by Western churches after 1054
    -Byzantine Theology: Fathers venerated by Orthodox churches after 1054
    -All of the above

    It’s a really wonderful reference while doing the readings.

  5. Thanks for mentioning Catena, Christopher. It sounds like an excellent resource. How are you liking the “Bible in a Year” from the Augustine Institute?

    1. It’s OK. Obviously I wouldn’t make it an ongoing devotional Bible.
      It’s just that I like the RSV-2CE, and I haven’t read the “whole” Bible since before I converted.
      So I wanted a “Bible in a Year” resource so I could get the whole Catholic Bible in a routine.
      After I finish I’ll go back to my standard reading copy and pick up the Liturgy of the Hours again.

      It’s a very simple volume really, just carving the Bible up into 365 daily segments, consisting of an OT, a Psalms/Wisdom Literature reading, and something from the NT. Then there’s a daily reflection.

      I don’t need a study Bible in this format, but I wouldn’t mind a few more textual aids.

  6. FYI, the Revised New Jerusalem Bible is available for purchase on the DLT website.

    Also Fr. Neil Xavier O’Donoghue (who did a series of post comparing the RNJB to the JB for Tim’s old blog during the Eater season) has reposted that series at PrayTellBlog since Tim’s Blog is down for the count.

    1. Thanks for this info, Devin! I’m glad to see that Fr. Neil’s posts are still readily accessible. He was very thorough in analyzing the the RNJB New Testament. I hope he considers doing similar comparisons for the Old Testament now that the full bible is apparently available! It would be very enlightening and useful.

  7. Not a Bible per se, but certainly of devotional interest. Now that their Divine Worship Missal has been approved back in 2015, the Ordinariates (which use the RSV-2CE for their approved lectionary) finally have an approved “prayer book” for daily devotions: Saint Gregory’s Prayer Book

    The table of contents is rather impressive, and if you’ve ever been to an ordinariate mass you’ll know what to expect.

    As someone who was raised Wesleyan Methodist and then came to the Catholic faith through the Episcopal Church, this is close to my heart.

    Especially since it’s bound to match the leather edition of Ignatius’ RSV-2CE Bible, I might pick this up as an alternative to the Liturgy of the Hours next year.

    1. That is interesting.

      I’d be interested in seeing what the liturgy and devotional life was like in an ordinariate community. Being from the Northeast, though, I feel that most of the disgruntled Episcopalians are on their way toward atheism, not Catholicism. Even so, I know the Anglo Catholic parish near Brown University has come up against a lot of resistance from the Episcopal bishop here the last couple years. They had never had a female priest, and he strong armed them to have a female priest concelebrate the Easter vigil, which caused a lot of chaos in the (small) anglo catholic community here.

      1. Remember, there’s a strong Anglo-Catholic tradition that’s not part of the current Episcopal Church. A lot of Episcopal congregations broke away and declared themselves independent Anglican congregations from the 1970s to the early 2000s. These placed a premium on the English liturgical tradition, but also valued historic Christian tradition. The only thing that kept them “apart” was their original stance on papal supremacy and apostolic succession. In fact, many actively sought admission en masse to the Catholic Church at the time they split, but at the time there was no mechanism to reconcile them

        Along comes 2009 and the ordinariates. Many Ordinariate parishes are now made up of these former Anglican parishes that sought admission through the structure BXVI put into place. As of 2015 they had an approved form of the Western Rite mass built out of Cranmerian texts. And as of this year, they now have this prayer book for the prayers and devotions in int Liturgy of the Hours.

        I’ve only been to one, and that was in London. It was awesome, and had all the things I loved as an Epsicopalian that made me want to become Catholic… and that I now miss AS a Catholic. Think: TLM in form, but King James / Book of Common Prayer English. They even get to use the RSV-2CE as their official lectionary because of its significance within the English BIblical tradition as the successor to the KJV.

        Eager to try on this prayerbook for a while. I used to love the Morning Prayer and Evensong in my old BCP.

    2. I got my copy and have been doing Morning and Evening Prayer from it for about a week, and I have to say I’m hooked.

      As a convert from the Methodist Church through the Episcopal Church, this has all the sound that opened me to Catholicism in the first place. Like the BCP, it’s got the order of prayer for daily devotions as well as the people’s missal for the Divine Worship mass. It’s chock full of devotions (Marian, Eucharistic, English saints), has the prayers in both Latin and “Church English,” a “high-church” Psalter. And it’s all drawn from Anglican texts that are aligned to the Latin Rite and approved for Catholic devotional use (and sacramental use inside the Ordinariates)

      It’s meant to give Catholics in the Ordinariates something like the BCP they would have used in mass and at home as Anglicans.

      Excellent resources to prep for confession or mass, and even has a rite for Emergency Baptism any Christian can use at the end. As a former hospital chaplain seminarian, I especially appreciate that last bit. Really gives me a sense of being part of a baptized priesthood in a way a pew missal does not.

  8. After reading a bunch of Shakespeare this winter, I find I’m liking the Knox Bible more and more. I’m going to read Mark all the way through next, because I am going to force the kids in my confirmation class to do that this fall , and I want to time how long it will take to try to prevent the gnashing of teeth.

      1. Ordinariate liturgies don’t make use of Knox for anything. Their mandate from the CDF is to use the RSV-2CE as their lectionary text, as the direct descendant of the KJV of the English Church.

        Also, the appeal of Knox is a stately translation by a single translator. The downside is that it translated the Vulgate, not the original texts as now required by Divino afflante spiritu.

        So those who love Knox may find Wansborough’s RNJB more to their looking: stately English, one translator, from original texts.

        Lastly, this announcement caught my eye today:

        USCCB purchases translation of Psalms and Canticles from Conception Abbey

        The last two paragraphs struck me:

        “Since 2010 many composers have prepared their own settings of these Psalms for use in the liturgy, and some of the more recently-published liturgical books have already begun incorporating material from the new translations. The Abbey Psalms and Canticles will begin to see a wider dissemination in the coming years, especially when new editions of the Lectionary for Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours are completed.

        In purchasing these copyrights, the bishops are following the guidelines of the Holy See’s Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, which requires that a Conference of Bishops possess all the rights necessary to promote and safeguard the accurate and appropriate use of the texts of the Sacred Liturgy.”

      2. I won’t make the children read Knox! But for me it is wonderful. Thought provoking and new again.

  9. I didn’t think so, but now I wonder how they’re connected.

    The Ladies of the Grail is an international women’s community within the Church that’s also open to Protestant and Jewish women. Their translation of the Psalter, based on the French Jerusalem Bible, was adopted by the ICEL for use in the Liturgy of the Hours in English. It’s also what’s used in mass in the English lectionary alongside the Jerusalem Bible. That’s why Father Wansborough used them in the RNJB.

    So I thought at first the Church in English used the JB and Grail Psalms in mass outside the U.S. and the NABRE and Abbey Psalms inside the U.S.

    But the Wikipedia entry on the Grail Psalms reads:

    “In 2001, Pope John Paul II promulgated the encyclical Liturgiam authenticam, which called for a more literal translation of liturgical texts. This led to an interest in updating the Grail. In 2008, Conception Abbey completed a wide-scale revision in accordance with the encyclical, published under the title The Revised Grail Psalms. The 2008 version is used in the edition of The Liturgy of the Hours published by Paulines Publications Africa, now promulgated for use in every Bishops’ Conference of Africa.”

    It sounds like the Abbey Psalter may be a revision of the Grail Psalms.

  10. The original Revised Grail Psalms by Conception Abbey was done in 2008 and sent to Rome for approval. The African Liturgy of the Hours went ahead and adopted it. Meanwhile Rome in 2010 approved with many changes to the 2008 edition returning it to the American bishops who rejected it anyway. Now we hear that a 2018 revision/edition of the “Revised Grail Psalms” is all set to go. Tortuous, eh?

  11. Thanks to all of you for keeping the discussion going over the last couple of weeks. I enjoy hearing about new resources and learning more from all of you.

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