Do Catholics Read the Bible?

Did you know that the Catholic Church reads the entire Bible to her congregation over the span of three years? Of course we do; Catholics invented the Bible!

The Bible is read during the first part of the Catholic Mass: 3 readings on Sundays and 2 readings Monday through Saturday, also known as daily Mass. At each weekend Mass Catholics hear an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, and a Gospel reading, all relating to a central theme. Then the priest gives a homily (or sermon) typically on that theme or sometimes directly regarding one or more of the Scripture readings. At daily Masses is typically one Old Testament reading and a Gospel reading.

Catholics also sing the Scriptures during the Responsorial Psalm which takes place between the first and second readings, and Scripture is also sung throughout the hymns which are primarily based on the Bible.

Catholics are also encouraged to read the Bible for personal devotion and study outside of Mass. Additionally, there are many excellent Bible studies held at parishes around the world.

Not only do Catholics read the Bible, they experience the Bible like no other Christians in the Mass. Sprinkled throughout the Mass, in the prayers the priest prays or the responses from the congregation, are rituals and quotes directly from the Bible.

You see, the Catholic Church celebrates, lives, and teaches everything through the Scriptures. The Catholic Church is the most biblical church in all of Christianity.


  1. True Believer says

    I was born, baptized and raised Catholic. Eight years of Catholic grade school. Went to Mass every morning before school. Very involved in liturgy/music as an adult for many years. It is true…if a Catholic attends Mass every day for three liturgical cycles, he/she will only hear 1/3 of the Bible. And, look up the verses that are omitted. By the +Grace of God+, I was born again and received the true baptism of the Holy Spirit in my 30s. No different than Martin Luther 500 years ago. I am grateful for the religious foundation that the Catholic church gave me, but tradition, laws, doctrine, works will not save me or get me to heaven. But, faith in Jesus’s redemptive work has. Please, just ask God directly to reveal the truth to you. He will answer. And, your life will never be the same. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  2. C. Basse says

    To Protestants who like to claim that Catholicism is not biblical; Christianity was never a “book” religion to begin with. Originally, it was an oral tradition and various Christian communities had their own scriptures to supplement the oral traditions handed down by the Apostles. It wasen’t until much later that the the books that became the Bible were even compiled into one source and that was done by the Catholic Church. Since Christianity’s beginnings, we have had the deposit of faith made up of sacred scripture and sacred tradition. Sacred (oral) tradition always precedes sacred (written) scripture. Both are equal and valid. Your churches would not be so divided as they are had they retained sacred tradition.

  3. Sydney says


      • Sydney says

        As I assume you know so much an you are so well informed why don’t you tell me…….well I suppose ignorance is bliss when u decide to twist the sands of time yet answer me this why do you proclaim of what you’ve given no facts for how do you actually know – 15 yrold

        • Tua says

          Sydney, I don’t think you’re really being sensible. I once thought like you did, too, until I read up on the history for myself. I found out the Catholic Church has been responsible for the preservation of the Christian Church’s teachings, theology, and beliefs. After all, everyone was Catholic before the Reformation. Instead of telling Jon to give you the information, research it yourself. Isn’t that why you’re challenging him in the first place? Why not just find out for yourself?

  4. Chinonye says

    Talking about confessing to the priest, furthermore, Jesus, having healed the ritually unclean man in Matt. 8:1-4, asks the man to go and see the Priest. For us Catholics, sin is a deadly disease. After we realise our sin, we pray for pardon, as we prepare for confession. Then we confess to the Priest, our spiritual Head, Christ’s representative, who assures us of God’s mercy, gives words of counselling, as well as necessary restitution to be carried out. God’s word remains the same for all times. If restitution, as well as priestly absolution, for purpose of reintegration of the outcast (for sin renders one an outcast) into the family of God’s people were necessary in old times, they are still very necessary today, for us Catholics.

  5. Austyn says

    Jon I was raised in the church of Christ and became catholic later on I have always wondered why there are more books in the catholic bible than in the King James Version can you explain


  6. APA says

    1 Corinthians 4:6 (New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition) says:
    “I(Paul) have applied all this to Apollos and myself for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so that you may learn through us the meaning of the saying, “Nothing beyond what is written,” so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against another.”

    “Nothing beyond what is written” from bible, is the basic thing we Christians have to learn. So, that none of us will not be puffed up (arrogant or proud) in favor of one against another.

  7. JValentine says

    I did a little research, and it seems that if you went to daily Mass every day for two years (daily Mass has a 2 year cycle) and also went to Sunday Mass every Sunday for three years (Sunday Mass has a 3 year cycle) you would only hear about 30% of the Bible. You can go to the thread below on Catholic Answers for more detail.

    • Stephen Ind says

      I wanted to thank JValentine for his clarification as to the percentage of the Bible which is covered in the Mass readings.

  8. James says

    Hi Fam,
    It is all in the Bible, so why not direct her there, rather than a website? Why leave the quotes I have shown clearly from the Bible unanswered? Matt 15v9?

    If the hope of Abraham, David, Paul, John etc etc is to await the resurrection and establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, when Jesus returns, should it not be the hope of every true Christian?

    God Bless

  9. Thomas P. says

    Dear Jon – a correction to the article as what was written can be somewhat misleading. Three points – one: the first reading is not always from the Old Testament – though in ordinary time this is so. During the Easter season and on Pentecost the first reading comes from Acts. Second, to say the second reading comes from the New Testament, while true, does not provide proper catechesis. All second readings come from either the Epistles or Revelations. The Gospels are part of the New Testament also so to say N.T. without being more specific as to what part of the N.T. does not tell the whole story. The last point is that all the readings are NOT all related to a central theme unless you are being so broad as to refer to the central theme of salvation history that is part of every book of the Bible. During ordinary time, the first reading is associated with the Gospel but the second reading is done in a semi-continuous manner so that there is not always a specific connection between the second reading and the first reading and Gospel. On special feasts / solemnities and during the seasons of Lent, Easter and Advent, the readings are all related around a more specific theme but not on regular Sundays in ordinary time.
    God bless

  10. patricia Reed says

    I born into a catholic family, Grew up going to catholic church most of my adult life. One day I picked up the bible and read it and I was very surprised and shocked that I never learned anything That Jesus taught on salvation : Never once heard about the Rapture or The second coming of Christ or that we have to be saved and be baptized after we repent. Never once did the Bible or Jesus or any of his follwers ever tell us to pray to Mary or even mention her or any other saints in Prayer but yet the Catholic church seems more into Mary then the teaching of Christ… I’m very upset and disappointed that the Church has not taught me the right way to Heaven,,,, The bible never says to baptize babies only when once comes into Adult hood for the forgiveness of sin…. The bible never tells us to confess to a Priest or to do communions or confirmations or any other things we are Taught, Reading the whole New Testament made me want to seek other churches that just focus on the Bible and not Religion,. I know you will defend the church but you must read the whole bible and start teaching that we must be saved Not going to confessions. Can you explain why the bible is completely different then what the Church teaches, One sad Catholic.

    • says

      I’m not sure which Bible you read, but given that I have published a website explaining Catholic beliefs and their Scriptural roots, rather the onus is on you to explain why the Bible actually teaches something completely different from the rapture and getting “saved.”

      • kelly avery says

        the catholic and protestant bibles are the same with the exception of the old testament which has the apocrypha books in it. alot of the topics mentioned above are in the old and new testament. the old testament reveals the new testament and the new testament conceals the old testament. it’s absolutely amazing how wonderfully written the bible is. God is so almighty and awesome and His Word is so powerful, why would anyone want to add or take anything away from it eg. beliefs, rules, rituals… I’ve been studying the bible and to me its like gold.

    • James says

      Dear Patricia (and Jon),
      Reading your Bible you will find many discrepancies with the Catholic Church. That is because like the Pharisees of old, Catholics teach for doctrine the commandments of men. For example, the Trinity. This is not even a Bible doctrine, rather was a product of Constantine’s (Roman Emperor, not a Christian at the time) oversight of the Council of Nicaea around AD325, and then formally ratified in the Athenasian Creed around AD 500. You will not even find the phrase “Trinity” or “God the Son” in the entire Bible! Such a dishonour to Jesus who said very clearly “My Father is greater than all” (John 10v29)
      On further reading you will also find that going to heaven is not taught in the Bible. As the Apostle Peter taught in Acts 2v34 even David, a man after God’s own heart, has not gone to heaven. All the faithfuls of old (and today) have died in faith awaiting the resurrection when Jesus Christ will return to earth and establish God’s Kingdom on Earth (See Matt 6v10, Hebrews 11v39-40). So why we go to heaven when he is returning to earth is a doctrine that shows a clear deviation from scripture (Acts 1v11).
      I hope that you keep reading your Bible to find God’s truth!
      God Bless

        • James says

          Thanks John…Jesus had the same response when he spoke the truth in his day. Like him, all that I did is quote the Bible…and you will be able to look up the history of the Trinity anywhere.

          The hope of the faithful has never been going to heaven, David is not in heaven (Acts 2v34). Our reward is in heaven, and we await for Christ to return with it. The entire NT abounds with references to Jesus’ second coming and return to earth to establish the Kingdom.

          Abraham was told to “look north, south, east and west, because all the land that you see, to you will I give it and your seed forever” (Gen 13). As Jesus is the seed spoken of (Galatians 3v16), it is clear that the faithfuls from all of time are to share this hope through baptism (Gal 3v26-29). So we wait for the time when this Kingdom on Earth will destroy all the Kingdoms of men (Daniel 2v44-45) and bring righteousness and peace to the earth (Isaiah 2v2-4).

          I am happy to discuss any of these further anytime.
          God Bless

          • Klue says

            Actually, David didn’t go to heaven because he commited a sin. The only exception with the same situation was Moses. If you read the whole story of Moses, Satan and God had an argument if he should stay dead or go to heaven. Elijah went to heaven, too.

            Revelations does say that God will take His people and that God would destroy the Earth afterwards to make a new one. By the way, the last chapter of Revelations said that if anything is added to the “Scriptures”, God will add to him the “plagues” he mentioned, and those who remove anything from the “Scriptures”, God will remove his name from the Book of Life. Umm… explanation?

      • says

        Hi James,

        I would just like to react on your comment, the concept of the TRINITY was not the work of Constantine, the Concept was there and was just being ratified by the Council. The purpose of the council was not to create something out of nothing rather to discuss something that is there already.

        Trinity can be best explain using water. Water can exist in 3 different states, merely solid[ice], liquid[water] and gas[moisture]. Different physical identities but the same substance which is H2O.

    • Judy says

      Actually, Jesus Christ tells us to confess our sins to priests…he said to his Apostles (the first priests) “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven, whose sins you retain are retained”. Now, how would they know the sins of the people if the people were not coming to them to confess? Also…Jesus said “Let the little children come unto me”…it also tells us in the Bible that “whole households” were baptized…it does not say “whole households except for all the babies”. It was more uncommon, in those days, for a household NOT to have an infant in it, than to have one…or more…so, we can safely assume that when “whole households” were baptized, it included infants. Saint Paul tells us that intercessory prayer is “good” and “pleasing” to the Lord…this is all we are doing with Mary. . .asking her to pray for us. Why do we give her such a high honor? We do so because her son, Jesus, did so.

    • Chinonye says

      Don’t be so upset, dear Judy. You would have no reason to leave the church; if only you asked God to give you the spirit of discernment, if only you received instructions of the Holy Spirit, the promised Paraclete, instead of relying on the words of men. The church is one as God is one. In spite of revolts and divisions, God’s purpose shall be fulfilled. God bless you.

      • Tony says

        Dear Chinonye,
        Judy doesn’t seem so upset to me , I think you are reading her wrong. All she has mentioned is truth. The Holy Spirit is in our Church with us that’s what guides it, also the Holy Spirit in me tells me never to talk ill of her and to listen for I am not an apostle I am a disciple . It seems to me you could have been lied to about the teaching of the church ,for the church teaches the word of God. Maybe you should listen carefully to the Holy Spirit and not the lies of men.
        Peace Be With You and God Bless


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