Reading Sacred Scripture and the Catechism Together | Liam Ford | Catholic World Report
An interview with Rev. James Socias of the Midwest Theological Forum about The Didache Bible: Ignatius Bible Edition
The Didache Bible (RSV, Second Catholic Edition): Ignatius Bible Edition, recently published by the Midwest Theological Forum with Ignatius Press, is a 1960-page study Bible featuring extensive commentaries, based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for each of the books of the Bible. The Didache Bible also includes over 100 apologetical inserts, over two dozen full-color biblical maps, and a 43-page glossary and a topical index. Rev. James Socias, Vice President of the Midwest Theological Forum, spoke recently about what inspired the creation and publication of The Didache Bible and how it can be used by Catholics for group and individual study.
Why did Midwest Theological Forum decide to publish the Didache Bible?
Fr. Socias: The primary inspiration for the Didache Bible was the address given by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in 2002 on the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In this address, Cardinal Ratzinger strongly advocated the use of Scripture in the Catechism as a means to explain the faith and emphasized how it was important to read Scripture within the living tradition of the Church.
While the Catechism has greatly benefitted from its many references to Sacred Scripture, we found it surprising that there was nothing that would allow the reader to go the other way around; that is, a Bible with commentaries that referenced the Catechism. Such a Bible would facilitate a better understanding of how a particular verse or verses are directly related to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
In reflecting on this, we came to see that a Bible with commentaries based on the Catechism would be a good companion to the Didache Series textbooks, which are also based on Scripture and the Catechism. This, in effect, was our inspiration to publish the Didache Bible.
What is the importance of consulting the Catechism when reading the Bible?
Fr. Socias: As Cardinal Francis George says in the preface, the Second Vatican Council “affirmed the importance of Sacred Scripture in the life of faith.” The Deposit of Faith, which is contained in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, is safe-guarded and transmitted by the Magisterium of the Church, and the Catechism is the basic summary of this great wealth of Catholic teaching. Catholics who desire to understand the faith more completely will naturally want to study the Catechism and read the Bible on a regular basis.
By basing the commentaries on the Catechism and by referencing the relevant parts Catechism, the Didache Bible provides the reader with a means to better understand how the teachings of the Church are based on Scripture and how the living tradition of the Church interprets those verses of Scripture.
How does the Didache Bible respond to the Second Vatican Council’s call to renew the Catholic faith in the modern world?