Finding the Right Bible
The first step in using the Bible at home is to get one. Read on to learn about how to select one and to find some of our specific recommendations.
Why Have a Bible at Home?
Types of Bibles
There are a variety of formats in which you can find Scripture published.
Bibles meant for adults or older children will have verse-by-verse translations of Scripture. You can find these variations:
Children's Story Bibles
Since it is difficult for younger children to understand the language in an adult Bible, it can be helpful to use a story Bible with them. These re-tell stories that are in the Bible in kids' language and with accompanying pictures. Sometimes they add creative details to engage their imagination. We recommend getting a good story Bible to help your children learn the Biblical stories and come to love them as much as others stories they read.
Reader's Bible: Everyday Language
The Message translation is a Bible written for sitting down and reading. It uses contemporary, conversational American English. We like it because it is not only easy and fun to read, but its direct language reminds us that the Bible is talking to us. We wouldn't use this as our only Bible, but we find this one particularly engaging because of the conversational language. This one may be that one that is more engaging for your tween or teen.
This Bible from St. Mary's Press is a great first full Bible for your child. It has some nice features for kids and uses the Good News Translation, which is a little simpler and easy for kids to understand.
Explore All Options:
The books of the Bibles were written thousands of years ago in ancient languages (ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek). We don't have the original texts, but only copies of copies.
There are many different translations of these original texts into English, each taking different approaches. There is a science and an art to translation. Translations fall somewhere on a spectrum between word-for-word and thought-for-thought. Strictly literal translations would sound like a computer translation (not respecting figures of speech or other language differences), while the other extreme can make assumptions that change the intended meaning. Most translations are a compromise between the two approaches.
Finally, there are differences between the style of English the translation uses. The original King James Version uses Old English, with "thy"s and "thou"s. Other translations such as The Message use contemporary, conversational American English.
Ultimately, the best Bible translation for you is one that you will actually read!
Official Catholic Translations
The Catholic Church has official translations of the Bible, which are used in Mass:
Many Bible translations have been officially reviewed by members of the Church hierarchy. Books can receive an imprimatur ("let it be printed") and nihil obstats ("nothing hinders"). These approvals don't mean the Church necessarily agrees with everything in the book, but that they don't contain anything "contrary to faith or morals."
There are a number of options for Bibles available online or on your mobile device.