I have always considered myself to be knowledgeable about the Bible. I have attended several Bible study classes throughout the years and felt I have had a good handle on the in's and out's of the Bible. However, Scott Hahn has continued to amaze me with his knowledge. A Pocket Guide to the Bible is a well written booklet that basically is a road map to this great book God has given us.
Scott is able to take his superior knowledge of the Bible and break it down for those, like me ,that don't think on such a high level as he does. He encourages the reader from the start to realize that the Bible is "not a dead letter, but a person: the 'Word of God . . . living and active." (Heb 4:12).
He breaks down the Bible so that the reader can understand why there is an Old Testament and a New Testament. He explains terminology throughout the book so that the reader understands just actually what the words mean and how it relates to God. For example, he explains that testament is an English translation of the Greek word diatheke, which means "covenant." With this knowledge, a beginner to the Bible can easily see that these sections are the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Thus, a better understanding of the Bible has begun for them.
He explains that each Testament is broken down into types: law, history, wisdom, and prophecy. He also informs his readers that the books of the Bible are not in chronological order, but according to type. He states,"Once you know the broad organization, you'll be surprised how quickly you can find just about anything you're looking for." He is right. After putting his remark to the test, I have to say that it is much easier to put my finger in the right place when I open up my Bible.
He goes on to discuss the many people who wrote the Bible and emphasizes that the books of the Bible may have been written by man, but they were inspired by God. He states,"Inspiration means more than just God's help, approval, or agreement. It means God's authority, his authorship."
He also gives a the main idea of individual books of the Bible; thus, helping the reader have a more clear idea on what they will be reading. He points out to his readers," The whole Bible is really the story of God leading His people back to Him."
Another wonderful thing about this book, it explains to the reader that there is a difference between a Catholic Bible and a Protestant Bible. Some of you may ask why I would mention this, but there are many Catholics out there who don't realize that we have seven more books. It also explains the why there is the difference.
This pocket guide is helpful to the reader no matter what level of Bible understanding he/her may be at. I was delighted to read this book and once again, learn from Scott Hahn.
This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on A Pocket Guide to the Bible.