Invitation to the Old TestamentA Catholic Approach to the Christian Scriptures
Introduction to the OT includes a chapter on "Getting to Know the Bible." It proceeds to the stories of the patriarchs; the journey of Exodus; the leadership of judges, priests, and kings; the challenge of the prophets; the roles of women in salvation history; and the tradition of wisdom literature.
The two slim volumes, Invitation to the Old Testament and Invitation to the New Testament, are sold separately. But together they provide a brisk fly-over of the great themes of the Bible, as well as a readily accessible understanding of how Catholics read and interpret Scripture. It's presented plainly enough for your aging mother who's never read the Bible, but intriguingly enough for your teenage youth group that's asking a lot of questions.
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In a field of excellent books, this two-volume introduction to the Scripture stands out for its simplicity, clarity, and style. It whets the appetite while touching the key historical bases without getting involved in scholarly controversies. Appendices in both volumes are useful tools. The "faith responses" at the conclusion of each chapter are challenges inviting the reader to go deeper into his/her own faith views and motivations. Catholic Press Association, awarded Popular Presentation of the Faith 2005
If you ask a child with any religious upbringing who wrote the Bible, the answer might well be "God." Both Jews and Christians accept their respective canons as divinely inspired. That's not the same, however, as believing a divine finger wrote them, the way Charlton Heston received the Ten Commandments when he played Moses in the movie.