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Posted February 26, 2015

Book: The Quick Reference Guide to the Catholic Bible
Author: Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan
The Word Among Us. Frederick, MD. 2014. Pp. 317

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

How many times have you wanted some context and background about a book of the Bible but didn't have the time to wade through a long commentary? The Quick Reference Guide to the Catholic Bible is meant to orient you as you read the various books of the Bible --- something to keep by your side and glance at quickly before going back to your prayer.

This reference guide features introductions and a glossary for each major section of the Scriptures: a short "At a Glance" section summarizing key attributes of each book; a presentation of the book's structure, content, and major themes, and a "Food for Thought" section for meditating on what the book might mean for your life.

An Excerpt from the Book:


God sent the prophet Ezekiel with a message so surprising that no one, not even a prophet, could ever have made it up. In contrast to how Jeremiah spoke a message of warning to a smug people who thought the good times would roll on and on, Ezekiel buoyed up the people in exile just when they thought things would never improve because God had abandoned them. The messages of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel were actually pretty similar and basically very simple: "Rely on God. Repent of your sin, and keep faith with the God of our ancestors, who is steadfast and merciful."

Although prophets are usually understood as interpreters and communicators of God's word, Ezekiel is best known for his visions, which were often very strange and certainly complicated. It is as if Ezekiel was trying hard to put into words experiences that were divinely inspired and beyond extraordinary, experiences that took him right out of this world and opened for him the heavenly realm in which God resides. Ezekiel sounds like a wild man, a primitive prophet like Elijah and Elisha, describing incredible creatures such as cherubim with wings appearing amid fire and lightning, moving on wheels within a wheel. Yet although the realities Ezekiel described are very radical, his language and metaphors are earthy and common and therefore easy to understand. God is like a shepherd who tends to Israel as a compassionate caretaker, as one who finds and adopts an abused child. The creator and giver of all life shows Ezekiel that even lifeless, dry bones strewn in the desert can live. Thus, Ezekiel delivers a message of hope.

Table of Contents:

Introduction to the Bible
Introduction to the Old Testament
Introduction to the Pentateuch
Introduction to the Historical books
Introduction to Tobit, Judith, Esther, and 1 and 2
Introduction to the wisdom books
Introduction to the Major prophets
Introduction to the Minor prophets
Introduction to the New Testament
Introduction to the Gospels
Introduction to the Pauline Letters
Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles
Introduction to the Catholic Epistles