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Introduction to the Bible: Overview, Historical Context, and Cultural Perspectives (Liguori Catholic Bible Study) (English Edition) Formato Kindle
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Chapters Two and Three walk us through the books of the Old Testament, providing summaries, key figures, key events, and/or historical context. The remaining chapters focus on the New Testament, but in a different way than the Old Testament was focused on. First, we see a chapter dedicated to what life was like in Palestine during the time of Jesus, which included politics, religious groups, and religious feasts. Next, we see a chapter that explains what life was like after Jesus' death and when the books of the New Testament were written. This chapter, like the previous one, again touches on the political rule of the time, but it also talks about the different sources the writers used when composing their New Testament book(s). The last chapter talks about the message from Jesus and the New Testament and how the ways we receive the message, study the message, and interpret the message have changed.
Overall, this was a very brief, but thorough introduction to the Bible. It was simple enough that anyone could understand it, but it waded into the deep end occasionally to keep the more advanced reader interested enough to continue reading. I appreciated that every chapter had review and reflection questions. These types of questions are vital for small group leaders, especially those lacking experience in leading a Bible study. The only thing that I wish would have been different is the end of the book. It felt like a very abrupt ending. I would have preferred a couple of closing pages that point you in a direction on what to do next. Perhaps, the author could have said something like, if you're completely new to reading the Bible, start with The Gospel of Mark, or if you have studied the Synoptic Gospels before try The Gospel of John. That gripe aside, I still recommend this book as you need some background before embarking on Bible study.
I would have preferred for the author to clearly label theories and speculation as such. Too often, he presented scholarly musings as settled fact. I believe some Church fathers would disagree with some of the author's statements. Nonetheless, the book is a good, Catholic resource for those who want to deepen their faith and knowledge.