New "superbible"?

i have looked long and hard for a really good bible, one that had lots of maps, inserts, sidebars, annotations, translations, and especially introductory essays, etc… if anyone, after reading the list below, can point me towards the best set of bibles (or extrascriptural books) out there for the scholarly-oriented, i would really appreciate it. not the standard unannotated king james version, please.

i am looking ideally for a bible which might offer a collection of introductory essays on topics such as an introduction to relevant greek and hebrew keywords and phrases, which might prevent misinterpretations of the word of god and/or oversimplifications of its meanings (eg, the greek word “logos” means more than just “the word” when translated properly into english); major arguments of scholars for reconciling old testament stories with humanity’s modern understanding of the hebrew covenant in order to help readers overcome any problems they may encounter with scientific facts, ideas and theories; a collection of well-chosen testimonies from people of christian faith offering insights into their understanding of faith and christianity and christian love and living; a collection of maps and glossaries, etc; an introduction to comparative denominational studies, including facts about scriptural authority, rites and rituals, hierarchies, histories, dogmas and theologies, churches, etc; a brief history of christianity; an introduction to christian apologetics for things like the question of evil and other philosophical problems; a history of christian art and music; a good list of sources for further biblical studies; an essay on the time and place of christ’s life and what his life and mary and joseph’s lives might have been like; an essay on the metaphors in the holy bible which might help to explain how and why god has used metaphors for centuries and what they mean to us today (and in the future?); an essay on biblical archaeology and facts about the holy land; an essay of how to find a good church for a reader and her or his friends and family; an essay on ways a christian can help others come to the cross and find faith in jesus (with ideas for converting atheists, agnostics, and those of other faiths and belief systems); an essay on the evidence for miracles and prophecy with examples of both; an essay on prayer and the christian sacraments with arguments and apologetics; an outline for study and reference to verses helping with specific questions as is now found in many standard bibles; a history of the bible itself from the hebrew oral traditions to today’s biblical hermeneutics and criticisms; an essay on the symbol of the cross and its history in art and religion; an essay on the spirit world and its denizens including angels and demons; an essay on christian holidays with explanations of their histories and traditions and meanings; statistics presented on the christian diaspora throughout the ages with information on each nation’s christian populations and populations of other faiths and beliefs; an essay about temptations of the flesh, mind and spirit and how experts suggest one can overcome them (eg, through prayer); and any other essays or inserts which might help the christian world understand better its faith and which might bring countless others into christ’s flock on earth.

All in one book???

What you are discribing sounds like a five year seminary program.

Ignatius Study Bible is about as close as you are going to get in one volume. It has some of the essays and word studies which you mention.


The Navarre bible is the closest thing you’ll find without going to a seminary.

It’s the most comprehensive Catholic bible. It has full commentary in the book, with the latin vulgate also in the book and the translation is RSV. It’s really the hardcore Catholic bible study bible, best you’ll get outside of the seminary.

The new testament can be had for $80 or less if you look around.

dear all

thanks for the info. i do not think i want to go to seminary right now, although i have thought about it. the main problem is that i am not even cathlolic, at least not yet, given that i have not entered the rite for christian initiation of adults (rcia).

about spending $80 for a good new testament version: i cannot afford that right now. i do believe, however, that this would be the most important thing i could do in regards to bible study, because understanding the apocrypha of christ is of paramount importance to me.


Bookmark this Litteral’s Christian Library - John has an ever-expanding collection of Biblical commentaries and tools available here. (Oh, and he’s a Catholic, not a literalist - Litteral is his name . . .)

thanks for the link.