St. Jerome: if you don’t know anything about him, here’s all you need to be properly introduced:
Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.
That’s right. If you don’t know the Bible, you don’t know God. That doesn’t mean you have to know everything in Scripture, but it does mean you should be reading the Word, thinking on it, praying with it, and starting your journey. This is standard for all Catholic Christians, especially if we work with teaching others the faith. Over the years of being a TNTT youth leader and trainer, I’ve come to realize this as more and more true (I see it especially when reviewing countless post-camp assignments). So, to help, may I recommend these resources (in addition to the TNTT workbooks) for you and your beloved seedlings, searchers, companions, knights, and fellow leaders.
The original Christian Bible is a small library of 73 select books, books specifically selected by people inspired by God. The Old Testament was assembled by the ancient Jews, the New Testament by the Church Fathers, and the Christian Canon of Scripture was determined by the Church Fathers also. Every Christian owes it to these people who chose these books, which is why we read only these 73 today, and not the other rejected books. You can find more on the Bible’s history and deeper meanings here:
- The 2nd Edition Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition (RSV-CE). I love this Bible… the leather bound and hardcover versions are bomb.
- Study Bible of the 2nd Ed. RSV-CE, aka: the Ignatius Study Bible. For now, only the New Testament is available in one volume. The Old Testament is being put together right now, and so is only available in individual issues (I have the Genesis issue, which is amazing… I used it to create HTDT based on the whole Torah/Pentateuch). Dr. Scott Hahn is one of the faithful minds behind this study Bible.
- Free app to read the whole Bible with interactive and in-depth commentary from the Church Fathers. Don’t miss out on this neat tool, called Catena.
- Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture: this series on the New Testament is indispensable for anyone who wants to know the way the Church reads the Word of God. I highly recommend starting with the Gospels (my seminary’s Scripture classes use this series).
- Pocket Guide to the Bible: great introduction to what the Bible is, its history, how to use and read it, and how it’s organized.
- Where We Got the Bible: something I read to learn how the Bible came into existence, and how the Catholic Church assembled it and maintained it throughout the ages. Pretty fascinating, considering the Bible is the Church’s book.
- If you really wanna get into more Scripture treasures, then read anything by Dr. Scott Hahn and listen to his talks on YouTube. He’s a great speaker to start with. A Father Who Keeps His Promises is a great treat for us who want to know the main theme of the Bible.
- Great Adventure Bible Timeline of Salvation History: we all prefer a slick timeline chart instead of a chunk of words, so this is a great visual aid to exploring how the Jews, Jesus and His Church all fit together.
- An online Bible in Greek, Latin and English, if you’re down with exploring the Scriptures in the ancient Biblical languages (I haven’t found one for the Hebrew, yet).
- And for serious step into deeper Scripture study, try Bibliaclerus. I’ve only used it a handful of times, but it is very thorough and powerful. Almost forgot about it until a friend reminded me!
- Don’t forget a Bible Dictionary, too. Yep… handy for looking up key words and names when they come up.
- The BibleSmack Game (yep, I finally found a good name for it!). Here are BibleSmack‘s rules and files you need to play this game with others: