A Catholic Introduction to the Bible

The Old Testament



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Product Details

Product Code:
2.38 (in)
Size (HxW):
10.25 x 7.25 (in)
Publication date:
July 12, 2018
64 oz
All Categories
Religious Ed

Product Overview

Although many Catholics are familiar with the four Gospels and other writings of the New Testament, for most, reading the Old Testament is like walking into a foreign land. Who wrote these forty-six books? When were they written? Why were they written? What are we to make of their laws, stories, histories, and prophecies? Should the Old Testament be read by itself or in light of the New Testament?

John Bergsma and Brant Pitre offer readable in-depth answers to these questions as they introduce each book of the Old Testament. They not only examine the literature from a historical and cultural perspective but also interpret it theologically, drawing on the New Testament and the faith of the Catholic Church. Unique among introductions, this volume places the Old Testament in its liturgical context, showing how its passages are employed in the current Lectionary used at Mass.

Accessible to nonexperts, this thorough and up-to-date introduction to the Old Testament can serve as an idea textbook for biblical studies. Its unique approach, along with its maps, illustrations, and other reference materials, makes it a valuable resource for seminarians, priests, Scripture scholars, theologians, and catechists, as well as anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Bible.

Editorial Reviews

"A remarkable achievement. Substantive and systematic, it integrates history, theology, faith, reason, Scripture, and tradition—all in light of the living authority of the Church."
Most Rev. Robert Barron, S.T.D., Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Founder, Word on Fire Ministries

"Truly a magnificent achievement. It offers one of the most desperately needed elements of a renewed biblical pedagogy, the restoration of the Old Testament to its rightfully indispensable place in the life of the Church."
John C. Cavadini, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

"This book far outpaces the competition with its historical erudition and liturgical depth."
Matthew Levering, Ph.D., James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

"Uses the tools of solid historical-critical methodologies and is deeply rooted in the patristic and medieval exegetical tradition. This work will prove to be an invaluable resource."
Rev. James Wehner, S.T.D., Rector-President, Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans

"This is the introduction to the Old Testament I've been waiting for! It is up-to-date, erudite yet accessible, succinct yet thorough, and most importantly, it responds to the Church's call for biblical scholarship done from a hermeneutic of faith."
Mary Healy, Ph.D., Professor of Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

"A comprehensive guide to navigating the Old Testament that synthesizes the best of historical-critical research, the history of interpretation across the centuries, and the living faith of God's people."
Rev. Christopher Ciccarino, S.S.L., S.T.D., Associate Dean, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology

"With lucid writing and scholarly attention, Bergsma and Pitre unpack the Scripture—acknowledging academic debates but always embracing magisterial teaching. Stupendous!"
Rev. Dr. George E. Schultze, S.J., President-Rector, St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park, CA

"What sets this introduction to the Old Testament apart from many others is its integrated approach."
Pablo T. GadenzS.T.D., Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Seton Hall University

"Comprehensive in scope, this judicious and magisterial volume, replete with extensive bibliographies, will be used in classrooms for years to come."
Mark Giszczak, S.S.L., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture, Augustine Institute

"While written for Roman Catholics, this volume offers Protestants clear introductions to texts they rarely read and to the hermeneutic that underlies Roman Catholic theology."
Daniel I. Block, D.Phil., Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wheaton College

"Carefully researched and...of benefit to biblical scholars of all kinds. The authors are judicious in...the way they deal with critical issues of composition and interpretation."
Richard E. Averbeck, Ph.D., Professor of Old Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"This clear and remarkably thorough resource introduces the books belonging to the Roman Catholic canon of the Old Testament with insight and interpretive balance."
Roy E. Gane, Ph.D., Professor of Hebrew Bible, Andrews University


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  • 5
    This book is like manna from heaven

    Posted by Charlie Schmidt on Jan 3rd 2019

    It’s difficult to interpret the Bible correctly. Fortunately, John Bergsma & Brant Pitre have written this outstanding introduction to the Old Testament which will delight Catholics or anyone who values wisdom and truth. The book is clear, comprehensive, concise, insightful and doesn’t have boring sections, which often occur in scholarly books. There are many profound insights offered here. Many people find the book of Job puzzling. Bergsma & Pitre offer answers to the problem of evil, such as: Humans lack the knowledge and control to evaluate divine justice. To adequately understand why God doesn’t remedy all evils quickly one would need the knowledge and power of God. We must have faith in divine providence. The point of the Book of Sirach is that “All wisdom comes from the Lord, and only God truly possesses wisdom.” Those who seek wisdom are seeking God. Since the Bible was inspired by God, real philosophers will study the Bible, which is another reason to buy this book