First, its evangelical purpose. This is not a study Bible. Its goal is not merely to transmit historical knowledge or textual insight. It is also not a devotional Bible, offering self-improvement tips. The mission of this Bible is evangelical. It is meant to introduce not mere facts but a person: Jesus Christ. It aims to do that by unveiling Christ throughout each chapter and verse of the Scriptures, leading readers to a life-changing encounter with him.
Second, its accessibility to new readers of the Bible. It doesn't presume any experience with the Bible, catering to those unfamiliar with its many events and characters, while still providing rich insights to even the most biblically literate.
Third, its illuminating commentary. The Word on Fire Bible brings in a chorus of voices from the great theological and spiritual tradition in order to sing the meaning of the Scriptures. The reader will hear from Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Henry Newman, Thérèse of Lisieux, John Paul II, and many other teachers in the way of the Spirit. And since it is a Word on Fire Bible, it also includes the voice of Bishop Robert Barron, one of the great Catholic preachers of our time. It presents the Scriptures “from the heart of the Church,” offering the most colorful range of commentators currently in print.
Fourth, its distinctive beauty. This Bible showcases what Pope Francis calls the via pulchritudinis (the way of beauty). For many people in our postmodern culture—especially the young—an appeal to the true (“Here is what you should believe”) or to the good (“Here is how you ought to behave”) is often a nonstarter, likely to awaken suspicion and defensiveness. But an appeal to the beautiful (“Just look at this”) is more winsome, less menacing. And so this Bible features many striking works of art as well as literary explanations of those pieces—all designed to introduce the seeker to Christ through the aesthetic splendor that he has inspired.
The Word on Fire Bible uses the New Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE), which first appeared in 1989 and has received wide acclaim from academics and Church leaders.
The translation received the imprimatur of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1991, granting official approval for Catholic use in private study and devotional reading.
The NRSV-CE stands out among other translations because of its accuracy and readability. It is “as literal as possible” in adhering to the ancient texts and only “as free as necessary” to make the meaning clear in graceful, understandable English.
It’s a wonderful translation—both for those who have never read the Bible and for those who have studied it for years.
Volume I includes the four Gospels.
Volume II contains the rest of the New Testament.
Volume III contains the Pentateuch.
Future volumes will cover the rest of the Old Testament.
This first volume, which includes the four Gospels, debuted on June 15th, 2020. The second volume, which includes the rest of the New Testament, debuted on January 17th, 2022. The third volume, which contains the Pentateuch, debuted on May 30th, 2023. From there, we're planning four more Old Testament volumes, which will follow in the coming years.
The Word on Fire Bible is only available in English.
Yes! The Word on Fire Bible is available now.
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Types of Commentary
You'll also find commentary by more recent saints and spiritual masters. These include people like St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis de Sales, G.K. Chesterton, Fulton Sheen, Flannery O'Connor, and each of the last three popes: St. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.
Throughout the chapters, you'll find commentary from the Church Fathers, the earliest Christian theologians. Because many of the Church Fathers lived during or shortly after the time of the Apostles, these commentaries represent some of the oldest Christian writings in existence aside from the New Testament itself.
This Bible also features a wealth of commentary by Bishop Robert Barron, one of the great preachers and biblical teachers of our time. You'll find both short reflections on particular passages and longer articles spanning multiple pages.
Interwoven into the pages of this Bible are beautiful large quotations of key verses in the custom made Angelico font used for the Bible. These quotes help to bring some of the most important Bible verses to visual prominence.