In the Protestant world there are endless commentaries on Biblical books, or series of commentaries that cover either the whole Bible or at least the New Testament. Does the same exist in the Catholic world? (Modern, I mean, not patristic commentaries.) If so, what would be considered basically the most authoritative commentary on the Bible to a Catholic?

PS: I'm really asking about like a commentary set, not a Bible with footnotes or a "Study Bible." The reason being, study Bibles have a few comments on a few selected verses they want to highlight, but a commentary set really goes in depth with every verse. You can't skip inconvenient verses that way, and if you want to know, for instance, what the Catholic position is on a verse that might be inconvenient to Catholic orthodoxy, you're not likely to find an answer to that in a study Bible because it will just skip that verse.

  • cf. catholic bible with commentary.
    – user13992
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 5:01
  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is a list question which are generally discouraged because typically each answer is equally valid and no one can post an exhaustive answer. Are book recomendations considered on topic?
    – user3961
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 15:46
  • @fredsbendtheGrinch, Its not a list question. I seriously question that Catholic scholars make commentary sets as opposed to a few disconnected comments, because I've never seen one. Even the best answer here, at best, shows that no Catholic theologian has considered this an important task since the 1800s. Maybe I should change the question to why no Catholic commentaries are being made? Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 7:53
  • "Even the best answer here..." I said that, of course, before I saw the newest answer. Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 7:59

7 Answers 7


Here is an incomplete list of some Catholic commentaries:

• St Thomas Aquinas, “Catena Aurea” (Golden Chain) (English translation by J H Newman), Baronius Press (online: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

• Father George Haydock , “Haydock’s Commentary”, 1859

• “Navarre Bible”, under development in Spain

• Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch, “Ignatius Catholic Study Bible” (Based on RSV-2nd CE)

• Raymond Edward Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Roland E. Murphy, Ed.,“Jerome Biblical Commentary”, 1968

• Raymond Edward Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Roland E. Murphy, “Jerome Biblical Commentary”, Ed., “The New Jerome Biblical Commentary”, 1990

• “The Catholic Bible Personal Study Edition (NAB)” published by the Oxford Press.

• Dom Bernard Orchard, “A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture”, 1953, Nelson Publishers

• “Christian Community Bible”

Fr. Cornelius à Lapide, SJ's commentary on the Gospels

I understand that the Christian Community Bible originally produced in the Philippines is an amended English translation of the Biblia Latinoamericana. A French translation was also produced (along with translations into several other languages) but it seems that this was subsequently banned in France because some complained that some comments were excessively anti-Semitic. I haven't read the Christian Community Bible myself, but I understand that the commentary is also perceived as having a Liberation Theology ideological bias. I would be most surprised if it is the official Catholic Bible commentary.

  • @David Brainerd: Raymond Edward Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Roland E. Murphy, “Jerome Biblical Commentary”, Ed., “The New Jerome Biblical Commentary”, 1990. This is a huge, thick, oversized book and probably what you're looking for.
    – Steve
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 15:33
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    Don't forget the homilies of John Chrysostom. :)
    – user900
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 10:44
  • Haydock's is great. It reflects the traditional Catholic view more than the others. Also includes some minor textual/historical/critical etc contextual details along the way. Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 14:40

Perhaps this is what you have in mind: Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

About This Commentary (quoting directly from the website)

This Catholic Bible commentary, following the Douay-Rheims Bible text, was originally compiled by Catholic priest and biblical scholar Rev. George Leo Haydock (1774-1849). This transcription is based on Haydock's notes as they appear in the 1859 edition of Haydock's Catholic Family Bible and Commentary printed by Edward Dunigan and Brother, New York, New York. A reprint of this Douay-Rheims Bible with Haydock's commentary is published by:

Catholic Treasures 1823 Business Center Dr. Duarte, CA 91010 (800) 257-4893 (626) 359-4893 Fax: (626) 359-6933 (www.catholictreasures.com)

See Transcriber's Notes for a description of the minor modifications that were made by the transcriber for this website to the content and presentation of the original Haydock Commentary. The modern reader should be cautioned that this older commentary uses some archaic language and spellings and at times it seems to express some rather harsh opinions concerning Protestants and Jews. Regarding the proper Catholic opinions with respect to Protestants and Jews, the reader is encouraged to look into more modern and authoritative treatments, such as the documents of the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II's Catechism of the Catholic Church.



There is the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture which has volumes on the New Testament books. This is the link: http://www.catholiccommentaryonsacredscripture.com/intro/ I think this would be what the original poster was looking for. I haven't read any of these yet. I am looking for a Catholic Bible commentary series that compares to the Tyndale series I used when I was Protestant many years ago.

There are also a Collegeville series, originally in booklets but now in I think 2 volumes, one for Old Testament and one for New Testament. An update of that series is the New Collegeville series. I have the New Testament volume of that one.


The ultimate Catholic "study bible" (not just commentary) is the Original Douay-Rheims Bible.

  • That was an interesting read! I wonder what that person thinks about the Jerusalem or New American Bibles
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 3:19
  • @PeterTurner: See this comparison table the transcriber, Dr. von Peters, put together.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 3:38

The Navarre Bible is a 10 volume work of the Old and New Testaments and is very detailed: https://scepterpublishers.org/collections/navarre-bibles

Then you have this 17 volume work, which only has a handful of volumes left: http://www.catholiccommentaryonsacredscripture.com/volumes-authors/

There are also thousands of books by Saints and Popes that expound on the Bible throughout the century. Those two are recent and that's why I put them, but there are many excellent commentaries on centuries past that deserve our attention. They shouldn't be disregarded due to age, you have St Thomas Aquinas, Father Haydock, Cornelius A Lapide and dozens more.


I am a Spanish-Native speaker, and yes, it exists. There's a version or translation of the bible named "Biblia Latinoamericana" and is widely used between Catholics (from Latin America), and it's official according to the Catholic Church. It is commented, and normally it is a gift when a believer finishes the "First Communion" (I just translated it litterally, in spanish it is called "Primera Comunión").

Yes, it may be the most authoritative ( I guess in L. America), and there are no few differences between the translation itself and the commentaries comparing to a Commentary Protestant bible.

  • I guess I should have specified, but I meant more like a commentary set than a study Bible. In the U.S. also, there is the NAB with study notes, but the notes are pretty liberal and kind of attack the Bible, even though its the official Catholic Bible for the U.S. Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 5:04

If you happen to know French, then you have the cahiers bibliques at : http://www.bible-service.net/extranet/current/pages/

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