Sharpen Scripture knowledge with these handy tools

How can you deepen your knowledge of Sacred Scripture this summer? These resources are a great place to start.

Get the right tools

Although the Church uses the New American Bible translation in its lectionary, most Catholic biblical scholars and theologians recommend using the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. Better still is the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, which uses the RSV translation and includes helpful notes, commentary and questions for reflection. Right now, only the New Testament and select Old Testament books are available, but the complete Bible will be available in the not-too-distant future.

For further help understanding the biblical texts, Scott Hahn’s “Catholic Bible Dictionary” (Doubleday: 2009) is also good to have on hand, while the new Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series from Baker Academic offers insights for more advanced students of the Bible.

Go online

The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology offers free Bible studies and audio Bible courses at, as well as articles and Church documents about Scripture and the Catholic faith. Likewise, at Faith & Reason, an outreach of Franciscan University, you’ll find hundreds of hours of free podcasts and videos of talks given at past Applied Biblical Studies Conferences. St. Joseph’s Communications  likewise features a vast audio library of talks for purchase on Scripture and the Catholic Church.

Attend a conference

In addition to the National Catholic Bible Conference held in Philadelphia every June and the Applied Biblical Studies Conference, which takes place on the campus of Franciscan University every year during the last week in July, those on the West Coast can sign up for the West Coast Biblical Studies Conference held in West Covina, Calif., each January. Likewise, those down South can register for the Fullness of Truth Conference, which takes place in Texas every April. All offer solid instruction in Bible study and lectio divina, as well as deeper insights into salvation history.

Log on to publishers’ sites

Looking for a Bible study for men? For moms? For teenage girls? What about for people recovering from addiction? Or preparing for marriage? In the catalogs of the leading Catholic publishers, you’ll find all those studies and more. These simple, short studies open up the Scriptures on particular topics for particular groups, using a combination of guided reading, reflection questions and helpful commentary. Most can be done on your own or as part of a small group.

Just pay a visit online to the likes of Our Sunday Visitor, Ignatius Press, Emmaus Road Press, St. Anthony Messenger and Ave Maria Press, and you’re almost sure to find the study that’s right for you.