• By Dr. Edward Sri
  • Paperback: 174 pages ($10 to $13)
  • Publisher: Ascension (September 1, 2009)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934217788

The purpose of this book is simple: to help you understand the Bible when you are reading it. The ideas and concepts that the author writes about are not new, and are not from him.  The concepts have developed within the community of biblical scholars for hundreds of years. These are concepts that the intellectual giants of church history like St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great have used and taught. The great value of this book is that the author has organized and explained these concepts in such a way that makes them easy to learn and apply.

This book is easy to understand. This is not a complicated, college-level theology manual. It is written for a target audience of any Catholic, with any educational background. Each of the 14 chapters is small (about 10 pages) and thoroughly covers one topic. The book has a nice 8 page index. I like to judge a book by the amount of highlighting I have done, and in this book I seam to have highlighted something on almost every page. This is the perfect book for someone who has tried to read the Bible, but has struggled with understanding and interpreting what they have read.

While the book does give examples of how to put into practice each of the principles, the examples are limited by the short length of the book.  The book’s short length is one of its major strengths, this is because the author writes in a clear and very organized manor.  At the start of each chapter or section there is a summary list of the items for that chapter’s topic.  Next the items are explained.  The explanations contain examples from the authors own personal knowledge and experience. There are many references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sacred Scripture, and to documents of the Second Vatican Council, in particular: Dei Verbum  (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation). Note: The book is thoroughly traditional in the approach/method and the principles that are presented.

The title of the book “The Bible Compass” is very appropriate.  Just like a real compass, this book is a tool that should be in your hands and be used. Used until such time as the ideas and concepts have been learned and have become an integrated part of the thought processes while studying Sacred Scripture.