I was really excited when I saw The Bible Compass to review because I have been trying to spend more time reading the Bible, but sometimes it's hard to know the best method or if I'm interpreting things correctly. I was also excited when I saw it was written by Edward Sri because I loved one of his other books and knew this one was going to be good!
The Bible Compass provides Catholics with answers to a lot of questions they might have about the Bible. Edward Sri goes into depth about the importance of the Bible, tips for correctly interpreting Scripture, the background and historical context of the Bible, and how to read it in a way that evokes a conversation with God. It's an awesome beginner's guide for making sense of the Bible and figuring out where to start.
The book is divided into four parts: Divine revelation, Five keys for interpreting scripture correctly, where the Bible comes from, and Biblical background. I thought the best part of this book was the chapter about the 12 time periods of the Bible. As Edward Sri said, the Bible is not in historical order, so a lot of people get confused after the first couple books of the Old Testament and stop reading (I know I am guilty of that). Sri provides a timeline of the 12 different periods of the Bible with the narrative books for each one, as well as supplemental books of the Bible for each time period. It's a wonderful guide for the historical order of the Bible, and I definitely feel more motivated to go back through the Old Testament using his outline to work my way through the Bible in historical order. I also love that he provided a brief description of each of the time periods to describe the underlying context of the books of the Bible. I would purchase this book just to get that outline and background information!
Reading this book helped me to understand certain things so much better, such as why Catholic Bibles have more books than Protestant Bibles, why we should read the Bible within the context of the Catholic tradition, and how learning about the history and geography can enhance our reading. I have a much better idea of how to read the Bible and make sure I am interpreting what I read correctly. The Bible Compass gives a really good overview of so many different issues related to reading the Bible as Catholics, and I highly recommend this book for those who are seeking to deepen their faith by reading more Scripture. I can assure you it will give you a great starting point!