Catholics sometimes have the ignoble distinction of not being sufficiently familiar with the Bible, or as familiar as we ought to be. That is unfortunate, in either appearance or actuality, particularly considering that the Catholic Church provided all twenty-seven books of the canon of the New Testament, not to mention going on two-thousand years of scriptural commentary reflecting on the connectedness of the New Testament to all forty-six books of the canon of the Old Testament. However, “knowing” the Bible does not necessarily mean knowing the Bible, which forms the foundation for any comprehension of the sequence of salvation history in light of the Paschal Mystery. Thus, what can Catholics do to draw closer to the Lord by way of understanding the Bible better? Enter Dr. John Bergsma and his bestseller Bible Basics for Catholics: A New Picture of Salvation History, released by Ave Maria Press in 2015.
Dr. Bergsma is a professor of theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, as well as a senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Bergsma, who is a convert to the Catholic faith, is adept at scriptural scholarship, thus providing him with the experience and expertise to lead the reader on an introductory overview of the biblical narrative. Bergsma delivers this explanation with your everyday Catholic in mind. Thus, over the course of around 200 pages, he allows the faithful reader to enter into a fuller comprehension of the dynamism of the Bible in terms of drawing us to merely begin to fathom the rich mysteries inherent to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Bergsma does so by emphasizing the vast significance of understanding the covenantal relationships that God established with the Old Testament figures who serve as the types and prefigurements of Christ in the New Testament. Bergsma facilitates this overview particularly in accordance with the descriptions of God’s covenantal bonds as underscored by his scriptural scholar colleague, Dr. Scott Hahn, who provided the book’s foreword. As such, after reading this book, you will have achieved a firmer grasp on the principle of the vitality of God’s covenants, as fulfilled by Jesus.
Do you take your Catholic faith seriously? Would you like to learn more about the basics of sacred scripture? Are you interested in learning more about the Bible by way of a brief text, yet one that is likewise informative and objective (not to mention engagingly entertaining)? If so, you should read Dr. John Bergsma’s Bible Basics for Catholics. In the interest of full disclosure, others have offered reviews of this text, such as Andrew Geist in the University of Notre Dame Institute for Church Life’s journal Church Life. Reading Geist’s review will provide you with an even greater perspective on the importance of reading Dr. Bergsma’s Bible Basics for Catholics. Ultimately, your journey to the Lord will benefit from reading this book that promises to be a classic in the midst of the New Evangelization in which we find ourselves.