A correspondent writes:
Hello. I have recenently become facinated with the Bible and Different translations and history. I was born into a very Catholic family, and I am soon to be confirmed (next year). I am just beginning to understand my faith, and I love it.
However, I grew up with a NIV Bible. I know I know…Im looking to get a new one. I was thinking about the Douay-Rheims, because I am really interested in studying the bible, and Old English is something that has always come easy for me. I have done so much research on the net reguarding different versions. Another Version that had me really interested was the New Jerusalem Bible. Then I came across your Article, and it kinda burst my bubble as far as wanting to get the NJB. At first, it seems like it would be a great bible for study (ISBN:0385142641) – But then your article, is very strong in saying that is a very dynamic bible.
I am looking to get a good Bible that I can read everyday, understand, and study with at the same time. I need help James. I respect you alot, and I would really like it if sometime you had a moment to respond to this email, with maybe some advice or something. Thank you so much. God Bless.
I generally recommend the Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition (RSV:CE), which is available under several imprints, one of them being The Ignatius Bible. It is a literal translation, making it suitable for Bible study, and it is a modern translation, making it easier to read. It also has all the books of the canon in it. These are the three big assets one wants for a regular reading/study Bible. The only significant problem with it is that it doesn’t have extensive study notes, but then given the low quality of study notes in many Catholic Bibles today, this may be a blessing.
There are Catholic series that have the RSV:CE text paired with extensive and conservatively-oriented study notes (e.g., the Navarre Bible, the Ignatius Study Bible), but these series are not yet complete and thus are not available with the whole Bible in a single volume.