The Didache Bible is the study Bible that Catholics have long been awaiting. Using the Ignatius Bible Edition (which uses either the Catholic edition of the Revised Standard Version translation or the New American Bible Revised Edition-NABRE), The Didache Bible adds extensive footnotes, commentary, and articles that are all based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In the past, only a limited number of Catholic Bibles included extensive footnotes, and those footnotes have often been at odds with authentic Catholic teaching. With increased emphasis on Bible study within the Catholic Church, the lack of a good study Bible has become increasingly problematic.
The Ignatius Bible Edition is a beautiful and accurate translation, while the NABRE is the version used at Mass and is a little easier to read. Choose whichever version you prefer. Coupling either version of the Bible with helpful and dependable study aids finally solves the problem of finding a good study Bible.
My review is of the Didache Bible that uses the Ignatius Bible.
At the front of the Bible are a number of very helpful sections. Among them are:
- "How to Read the Bible"
- "Brief Summary of Sacred Scripture" with a few lines describing each book of the Bible
- "Chronology of the Old Testament"
- "Chronology of the New Testament"
- "Scripture Passages for Personal Meditation" - selected passages from the Gospels and Acts that are excellent for Lectio Divina
Each book of the Bible is prefaced with one or two pages that explain the author, the date it was written, the intended audience, and the main themes. Within each chapter are extensive footnotes as well as cross-references. In addition, 105 one-page articles headed with "An Apologetical Explanation of the..." are scattered throughout the Bible on topics such as "Intercession of the Saints," "Just War," "The Immaculate Conception," and "Mass as a Sacrifice." These articles are each presented as a question with answers based on Scripture and the Catechism.
At the back of the Bible are 24 pages of full-color maps, a glossary, an index to the "Apologetical Explanations" articles, an index to "Apologetical Explanations" by subject (helps you identify which article addresses a particular topic such as "angels," "annulment," "beatific vision," and "birth control"), and an "Index of Subjects Including Biblical Names."
The hardcover edition of this Bible has two ribbon bookmarks. This is a rather large Bible, weighing in at a little over three pounds and with a thickness just less than two inches. It has a sewn-in binding that allows the Bible to lie flat without cracking the spine. The type is a medium size font—not as small as that of some Bibles, but not a large-print version. The contrast of the print on the white pages also makes this Bible easier to read than some others.
The Didache Bible is also available in a beautiful leather-bound edition.
Obviously, a lot of thought has gone into the production of this Bible to suit the needs of those who want an accurate translation of the Bible with Magisterium-faithful study aids. I can't find a thing that I would change.