Bible Study books



For Bible Study one of the following versions is recommended

New International Version (NIV)

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

English Standard Version


  1. These are all recognised as faithful translations (although, by the nature of translation none can exactly capture all the meanings)
  2. All of these are available with study notes if you wish
  3. Try to get a version with cross references if you can – this helps in understanding the way the Bible has developed and what individual writers are quoting or alluding to.
  4. If you can, buy an Anglicised version which means that you will be less distracted by US spellings
  5. If in doubt please discuss your requirements with your parish priest who will be delighted to help.

There are a number of paraphrases which will help you to capture the sense and general meaning of the Bible

The Good News Bible

The Message

  1. Remember – these are paraphrases rather than translations.  They capture the general sense rather than the literal meaning, but you may lose shades of meaning because the interpretation may not capture the full depth of the original
  2. These are widely available in all kinds of bindings and ranges of price.

Bible Commentaries are books that explain or develop the meaning of the Bible.  It is possible to buy single volume commentaries for the whole Bible but, if you can afford it, it is often better to buy a commentary that covers a specific book.

  • New Testament Commentaries

... for Everyone Series by Tom Wright published by SPCK

For those coming new to the study of Scripture, the Bible for Everyone series by Tom Wright (titles such as Luke for Everyone or John for Everyone) is excellent.  Not only does it explain the meaning but it also illustrates with little stories and reflections.


Boxall. Ian The Books of the New Testament, London, SCM Press (2007) 

ISBN 978 0 334 040477