The Bible Compass: A Catholic's Guide to Navigating the Scriptures

The Bible Compass: A Catholic's Guide to Navigating the Scriptures

by Edward Sri

The Bible is central to our faith as Catholics. But approaching such a large and complex collection of writings that span thousands of years is intimidating for most of us. We need a guide, a compass to set us off on the right course so that our time spent studying the Scriptures is a time spent encountering the living God.

The Bible Compass provides readers with the tools to study the Word of God with confidence and purpose. This book demonstrates how to read the Bible within the living Tradition of the Catholic Church, and it addresses all the common questions about the Bible including:

  • Where did the Bible come from?
  • Why is the Bible so important?
  • Is the Bible really inspired by God?
  • Why do Catholic Bibles have more books than Protestant Bibles?
  • Do I have to take the Bible literally?
  • How do I know if I am interpreting the Bible correctly?
  • Why do we need Tradition and the Magisterium to understand Scripture?
  • What are the four senses of Scripture?
  • Why are there different translations of the Bible Which is best?
  • How can archeology, history and geography enrich our study of Scripture?
  • What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?
  • How should we as Catholics interpret Scripture?
  • What is lectio divina?
  • What about Gnostic gospels and other non-biblical books?

As Catholics we are called to have an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Church as revealed in the Scriptures. Reading the Bible with the proper tools and in the appropriate context will help you grow in your love for the Faith and in your relationship with Jesus Christ himself, who is “the Word made Flesh,” (John 1:1).


Average rating:

(based upon 3 reviews)

Great read that makes you want to study more
Submitted on 11-07-2012

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with this book, but I know that I like Edward Sri's works so I was looking forward to reading this. This book is an excellent source for understanding the Bible and answering basic to intermediate questions about the Bible that Catholics should know but most don't.

The first few chapters address Scripture as being divinely inspired and the three pillars of the Catholic faith - Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium. We then move on to what I consider the most important section of this book, how to read Scripture correctly. So many of us just read random bits of Scripture, if any, and never get anything out of it, but that is not the proper way to read it. We have to know the author's intention with which he wrote as well as reading within the Living Tradition of the Church. Reading within the Living Tradition of the Church is important because the Church has been around 2,000 years so we should trust that the Church knows better than us and we shouldn't trust modern or personal interpretations that don't jive with the 2,000 year history of interpretations.

The book then goes on to address questions Catholics might have or be asked like why Catholics have more books than Protestants? (Short answer is we use the Septuagint Old Testament and the Protestants use the Masoretic text.) The book then concludes with a very short chapter on Lectio Divina, using the Scriptures to pray, which is something I am going to try and do in this Year of Faith, and you can read more about in my next review.

This was an excellent book, as I expected it to be. The chapters were short but packed with straight forward information and answers. I give this book 5 out of 5 just because I can't give it a higher rating. This book is just the right length where it doesn't bog you down with information, but makes you want to get a thicker book and dig deeper on the subject. I recommend you buy this book, if you feel like you don't know enough about the Bible and want to learn more.

Bible Compass
Submitted on 06-25-2012

Must have tool to go along with any bible study. Mr. Sri provides valuable information for anyone who loves the scriptures. Especially useful for teachers.

A must read before studying scripture
Submitted on 08-10-2010

Dr. Sri does an excellent job of summarizing the Catholic Church’s teaching on Scripture. He gives great examples of how context is important and necessary to properly understand the Bible. The book also integrates elements from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and explains them in more detail. This is a really quick read, but it lays a very important foundation on which we can build our understanding of God’s story of salvation.

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