Other Catholic Bible Study Resources
Study Bibles include the entire text of Scripture with explanatory notes usually found at the bottom of the page. Some Study Bibles include articles on theology, history, literature, archaeology, and other topics in order to help the reader understand the Bible better. Here are five well-reviewed Study Bibles:
Lets Talk About Commentaries
A commentary is, at its simplest, a study companion for the Bible.
Its your easy way to dip into the academic world of scholars and experts– people who have poured over the Bible and squeezed it tight to release the juices within.
Im an investigator at heart. I want to know the how, the where, the when– all of it. A commentary is a perfect companion if youre curious about the Bible and want to read between the lines.
I love to learn. I love to find the Easter eggs within things the hidden meanings and the passages that are easily overlooked though they hold much more power and wisdom than we can even imagine.
A good commentary will reveal things you dont see just from the initial text. For instance, I was reading my Luke commentary the other day and I read a note about how ____________.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old And New Testament
All the original languages are transliterated for you in this 2-volume set and include an introduction, outline and commentary as well as bibliography for each book of the Bible. There are a great deal of visuals for greater clarity and numerous cross-references to support the wise practice of comparing scripture with scripture in understanding the text.
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New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition
If you want a commentary that is concise, you cant beat this single-volume commentary. There is a wealth of contextual information included for each of the 66 books of the Bible, including discussions on authorship, dates, historical setting, etc. I appreciate that this commentary has a profound respect for the inerrancy of scripture. A great start if you do not already own a strong one-volume commentary on the entire bible.
The Catholic Youth Bible
The publisher notes that this Study Bible is designed for young people to enter in, be nourishedand be transformed. We spent over 2 years working with young people to design the best youth Bible ever.
With a new vibrant full-color design, ample room for reflection and special Scripture Highlights to color throughout, this newly re-imagined Catholic Youth Bible® will engage the youth of today like never before.
Also see for more options.
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The Best Exegetical Bible Commentaries
People have been asking, ? for as long as anyone can remember. Theyre such a well-loved and useful Bible study tool that .
We wont try to dive into all the best exegetical Bible commentaries here or even all the best exegetical Bible commentary series. So you can explore them all in just a few minutes, weve narrowed it down to only seven exceptional selections.
But first, what is an exegetical commentary, exactly? Heres a brief description of these Bible study resources:
Exegetical commentaries bridge the gap between and expositional commentaries. Typically, they go verse by verse through a passagestill including critical issues, but selectively. Youll read original language observations, but typically exegetical commentaries move from observation to interpretation.
Seven of the best exegetical Bible commentaries, selected because of their popularity and reputation, are . . .
Preaching The Word New Testament Commentary 18 Volumes
Edited by R. Kent Hughes
Critically acclaimed for its commitment to biblical authority and accessibility, the Preaching the Word series has helped pastors and teachers better communicate and apply the message of Gods Word. Now all 18 volumes are available in one set, making this commentary a primary resource for anybody seeking a reliable interpretation of the New Testament. Hardcovers, from Crossway.
Application And Devotional Implications
In a phrase we have grown used to, Paul pronounces a blessing on his audience from God our Father. That God the Father is our Father should be seen as the most extraordinary privilege imaginable. Both the OT and NT testify that God acts as a Father to his people in the most persistently loving fashion: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him . The Sovereign God of the universe intimately and tenderly identifies with us his adopted children, who were once children of wrath . This is all brought about through the mediation of the second person named in the benediction: grace to you and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ.
Other hallmarks include:
- a distinctly evangelical perspective rooted in the original text
- reflection on the latest biblical scholarship
- investigation into original context
Contributors include Eugene Carpenter, Harry A. Hoffner Jr., JoAnna M. Hoyt, and S. M. Baugh. Andreas Köstenbergerleading New Testament scholar, prolific author, and editor of the premier evangelical theological journalserves as New Testament editor. Though its a work currently underway, 13 volumes are already available. Theyve received glowing reviews like this one from Eugene H. Merrill of Dallas Theological Seminary regarding the Daniel volume:
But . . .
Heres a glimpse at how . . .
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition Of The Scriptures By Dallas Seminary Faculty
The Bible Knowledge Commentary is a commentary that discusses the Bible verse by verse and often phrase by phrase. This commentary is written from a theologically conservative perspective.The Bible Knowledge Commentary is a two-volume commentary Old Testament and New Testament volumes. Nevertheless, I have included it here with the one-volume commentaries of the Bible.These three whole Bible commentaries are the ones that I used the most when it comes to finding general information about the texts of the Bible.
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The Moody Bible Commentary
From Moody Publishers
The Moody Bible Commentary brings together 29 Moody Bible Institute faculty to produce a one-volume commentary on the whole Bible. Each book is introduced with a description of its author, date, purpose, and themes, and is outlined to show its overall structure. Drawing on the best evangelical scholarship, the authors provide commentary on sections and passages, communicating the meaning of the text. Scripture commented on is shown in bold print for easy reference, and maps and charts provide visual aids for learning. Additional study helps include bibliographies for further study and a subject and Scripture index.
General editors Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham have led a team of contributors whose academic training, practical church experience, and teaching competency make this commentary excellent for anyone who needs help understanding the Scriptures. This comprehensive and reliable reference work should be the first place Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, missionaries, and pastors turn to for biblical insight. The Moody Bible Commentary will help you better understand and apply Gods written revelation to all of life!
Keil & Delitzsch Commentary On The Old Testament
Franze Delitzsch was a professor of Old Testament at the University of Liepzig and Johann Carl Freidrich Keil was the professor of Biblical Exegesis and Oriental Languages at the University of Dorpat. Together these two scholars contribute to one of the most popular works on the Old Testament available.
Start With A Study Bible
If youve never used a commentary before , then I recommend starting out with a study Bible. A study Bible will provide you with notes and resources on various texts. It will more than likely have cross-references, illustrations, and charts. Consider it your gateway to understanding the Bible in a deeper way.
When I wanted to understand the Bible better, I started with the ESV Study Bible .
As you learn new information, its not about becoming smarter its about seeing just how good and crafty God is. How he is in all the details. How the point of every Scripture is to lead back to him.
The ESV Study Bible // English Standard Version
The ESV Study Bible was created to help people understand the Bible in a deeper way–to understand the timeless truth of God’s Word as a powerful, compelling, life-changing reality. To accomplish this, the ESV Study Bible combines the best and most recent evangelical Christian scholarship with the highly regarded ESV Bible text. The result is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published–with 2,752 pages of extensive, accessible Bible resources.
A Note About Study Bible / Application Notes
One quick note about the study Bible /application portions of both types of Bibles. The original biblical manuscripts are inspired by God, infallible, and should be obeyed in all circumstances.
The notes, however, are not inspired by God. They are written by men and women and are based on their particular interpretations of scripture. While their comments can certainly be helpful in understanding the text, they dont require obedience of any sort. Only the Bible itself commands that kind of obedience.
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Who Uses Whole Bible Commentaries
Anyone who wants to understand the Scriptures better can use a Whole Bible Commentary. However, as this contains very thorough notes, this is often used by pastors or priests for their Church preaches/sermons. They are also used by nuns for their study and reflection. Professors also use a Bible commentary for research and lessons as well as students that have Bible training . Christians who are readers also are users of this kind of book.
The Right Commentary Will Offer Depth And Challenge Your Theology
A simple search for ” Commentary” will bring up a near endless list of commentaries. How do you cut through the clutter? How can you tell which offer the most value? If you’re new to the Bible, it’s hard to tell which are the good ones and which are the bad ones. Even worse, you may have a bad one and not even know it! The 9 rules below will help you navigate the overwhelming world of Biblical commentaries and narrow it down to a more manageable selection.
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Devotional: The Best Commentary On The Bible Is The Bible Itself
It has been said that we can find a verse of scripture to try to justify almost everything we want to do. For instance, in this day when so many are crying out for more tolerance, we often hear them quote Matthew 7:1, Judge not, that you be not judged. It is true, the Bible does tell that it is not our job to condemn others, yet the Bible also emphasizes the importance of using discretion and discernment. We read from the book of Proverbs Discretion will preserve you understanding will keep you John tells us, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Jesus said that we are to be as harmless as doves, but also as wise as serpents.
It is important that we use godly wisdom and discretion in our decisions because we are in constant combat with an enemy that is extremely skillful when it comes to distorting the truth. Consider how the devil tried to tempt Jesus.
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, and, In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Here are some keys to help us rightly interpret Gods Word:
- WE SHOULD SEEK TO UNDERSTAND THE ORIGINAL SETTING
- WE SHOULD SEEK TO READ FROM THE PASSAGE AND NOT INTO THE PASSAGE
Zondervan Exegetical Commentary On The New Testament
Each of its 10 volumes gives you an exegetical outline with verse-by-verse commentary. It engages scholarly literature, but its not bogged down with technical jargonthe series aim is not to review and critique every possible interpretation of a passage.
Instead, the goal is to exegete each passage of Scripture succinctly in its grammatical and historical context. Each passage is interpreted in light of its biblical setting with attention to grammatical detail, literary context, flow of biblical argument, and historical setting.
The ZECNT is a go-to commentary for many pastors. Heres why, from Logos user Brett K.:
Im sad when Im speaking from a book that has yet to have a ZECNT commentary. I love that this series is meant specifically for pastors. It utilizes basic to moderate knowledge of Greek, but you dont need them to understand the work. I also appreciate that there is a Semantic diagram of the passage in English to show the thought flow of the author. Each commentary is quite succinct so you dont end up reading more information than necessary. I think this is part of their goal to equip pastors and teachers rather than focus on academic debates.
Believers Bible Commentary By William Macdonald
William MacDonald tackles the controversial issues head-on, taking a theologically conservative stand, yet presenting alternate views with fairness. The Believers Bible Commentary is a friendly guide to exploring the deeper meanings of every biblical book. This new edition includes 14 pages of 4-color maps of the Holy Land and other study helps.
Essentially Literal Bible Translations
Essentially literal study Bible translations are those that seek to examine the original Greek or Hebrew word, then translate that word into English as literally as possible.
There are rare occasions when a literal translation will make zero sense to a modern English reader, and in that case, the translation attempts to be as close to the original as possible while still making sense to the reader.
Examples of essentially literal translations are:
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Interpretation Centered Study Bibles
These types of study Bibles are primarily designed to help you understand the meaning of the text in each book of the Bible. In other words, they want to help you get to the heart of the authors original intent.
Usually, these Bibles have loads of study notes underneath the text, plus maps, diagrams, cross-references, and dozens of other helpful tools.
Sometimes the study notes are written by a number of biblical scholars, such as with the ESV Study Bible, and other times theyre written primarily by a single individual, like the MacArthur Study Bible .
Personally, I believe the best study Bible will have study notes written by a variety of scholars. This allows you to get a variety of perspectives on a variety of texts. If all the notes are written by a single person, youre only getting their interpretation of all the passages. This can get especially dicey if youre getting into more difficult texts, like in the Book of Revelation.
However, this is just my personal recommendation and I certainly wont judge you if youre a fan of the MacArthur Study Bible or Sproul Study Bible.
What Is The Purpose Of A Whole Bible Commentary
The main purpose of a Bible Commentary is to provide a clearer and deeper understanding of the Scriptures in the Bible. I know what youre thinking! That sounds like a Study Bible, right? Well, it does. But what makes a Bible Commentary different is its very thorough content.
A Study Bible is a sort of special Bible because it has sections that explain certain verses and tools you can use for studying. A Whole Bible Commentary goes over every verse in every book of the Bible and gives thorough explanations for each, which is why it says whole. Thats the reason why Bible Commentaries are often sold in volume sets.
Its called a commentary as the authors, you guessed it! These authors comment on each Bible passage for in-depth study. A Whole Bible Commentary explains an event, a definition for a word, a synopsis, historical accounts, or an application. Needless to say that these notes are influenced by each authors perspective and beliefs.
Simply put, a Whole Bible Commentary gives an analysis of the books of the Bible, as understood by its author. The analysis is often by chapter and verse by verse or as a whole passage. A Whole Bible Commentary is used as a complementary tool in Bible study.
The Catholic Commentary On Sacred Scripture
The publisher notes that this series combines outstanding biblical scholarship with lively faith to help Catholics interpret Scripture and apply it to Christian life today. In seventeen volumes, the series aims to provide readable, informative commentary on each book of the New Testament.
The CCSS responds to the desire of Catholics to study the Bible in depth and in a way that integrates Scripture with Catholic doctrine, worship, and daily life. Because of this, it is an invaluable resource for pastoral ministers.
Bringing It All Together: Best Study Bible Recommendations
Now lets bring it all together. Given all the information above, what study Bible should you choose?
There are certainly going to be elements of preference involved in making your choice. Maybe your church uses one particular translation. Maybe you grew up reading and memorizing the NASB. Maybe you just like the way a particular translation feels.
Additionally, you may be a fan of Sproul or MacArthur or another expositor and want a Bible with study notes written by them.
The point is that youve got a lot of options.
When choosing, I would recommend using this formula :
Preferred Essentially Literal Translation + Interpretation Focused Study Bible + Contributions From Numerous Scholars = The Best Study Bible
I realize that this is an oversimplification, but I believe it gets to the heart of the matter.
What are some Bibles that fit this equation? Here are few:
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