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Bible Basics for Catholics: A New Picture of Salvation History Paperback – October 2, 2015

4.9 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Let award-winning teacher John Bergsma guide you through a high-energy and entertaining walk through the Bible, illustrated with his own charming drawings. Bible Basics for Catholics: A New Picture of Salvation History is so fresh, engaging, and truly instructive that you will find yourself smiling as you read it, and you'll be amazed at what you retain." --Elizabeth Scalia, Blogger at The Anchoress


"John Bergsma is a very effective teacher of Scripture with a gift for clarity and depth." --Scott Hahn, Author of Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots


"John Bergsma brings his biblical scholarship, pastoral heart, and gift for teaching together in this charming, easy-to-use overview of Salvation History. Catechists, teachers, and pastoral ministers will find this an inestimable resource, both for their own reference, and for shepherding those under their care. Highly recommended." --Edward Sri, STD, Chancellor and Professor of Scripture and Theology, Augustine Institute


"We go by way of history and imagination to the Holy Land, and to times long past, and we meet the most fascinating people who ever lived: Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus. We can do all this because of John Bergsma's rare gifts. This book can change lives." --Mike Aquilina, Author of The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition

About the Author

John Bergsma is professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and a senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Twice voted Faculty of the Year by graduating classes at Franciscan University, he is a popular teacher whose love of scripture inspires his students.

Bergsma earned Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees and served as a Protestant pastor for four years before converting to Catholicism in 2001 while working on his doctorate in theology at the University of Notre Dame. He specialized in Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls, graduating with high honors in 2004. His articles, some coauthored with Scott Hahn, have appeared in the Journal of Biblical Literature and other academic and popular periodicals. A frequent speaker at conferences and parishes, Dr. Bergsma has appeared as a guest on Franciscan University Presents, EWTN's The Journey Home, and Relevant Radio's Drew Mariani Show. He and his wife, Dawn, live with their eight children in Steubenville, Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press; Revised edition (October 2, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594712913
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594712913
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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If you have ever felt baffled by the Old Testament and wondered how it relates to the New Testament, this is the book for you. I've been a serious student of the Bible (at a layman's level) for nearly a decade, and I couldn't see the forest for the trees. After reading this book, the big picture of salvation history finally began to reveal itself to me.

The author is a convert to the Catholic faith from Protestantism. He is a professor of theology and has received honors for his outstanding teaching ability.

Bergsma has taken college-level concepts and packaged them in an entertaining and easy-to-read format with stick-figure drawings to illustrate his points. He bases his text around the Old Testament covenants God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David, all leading to fulfillment in the Eucharistic covenant of Jesus Christ. Through his discussion of these covenants, Bergsma covers the history of God's interaction with his people throughout the books of the Old Testament in a clear and compelling overview.

At only 180 pages, the book is a short read, but it is crammed with information. It is appropriate for teen-agers and adults. It is an excellent supplement to more detailed books on the Bible that you may be reading. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is to be highly recommended. It should be required text for any scripture course. John Bergsma puts into simple, eloquent and straightforward language the ties of the Old Testament in the New (and it is easily remembered). I can't recommend this book highly enough!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned a lot from this book - especially the big picture. The author is very smart and knowledgeable about the bible but he writes in such a plain way that a normal person can understand him. Highly recommended
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This book taught me how to look at the entire bible as one big story from Genesis to Jesus; it shows how everything is connected and related through the many covenents. I feel as though I can, now, gain a better understanding of what I am reading when I read the events within any part of the bible by looking at it through the understanding of salvation history. This book is written in very simple and easy to read language which includes picture diagrams of the sequence within the time line; and I feel that even a child will able to understand it's simple explanation. This book ended my confusion.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. John Bergsma has written a detailed but understandable book on salvation history from a Catholic perspective. It helps us grasp the story of the Old Testament and how it points to and prefigures the New Covenant brought by Christ. Excellent for catechists who want to better explain typology and fulfillment in the New Testament. I highly recommend it!
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Format: Paperback
Bible Basics for Catholics is a 200 page walkthrough salvation history with pictures! Dr. Bergsma begins the introduction by explaining three important terms that are key to this book and salvation history - 1. covenant, 2. mediator, and 3. mountain. At first blush, it seems like a case of "one of these things is not like the other," but it all makes sense. In layman's term, he tells us that "a covenant is a legal way to make someone part of your family." Two examples of this are marriage and adoption, and those apply perfectly to our relationship with God. A mediator is the person who represents the large group of people within the covenant, i.e., Noah, Moses, etc. And we all know what a mountain is, but it is significant because this is where six of the Biblical covenants were made.

The book then walks us through the seven covenants - Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Prophets, and Eucharist. I was familiar with six of these covenants, but the one on the Prophets is not one I understood too well. Dr. Bergsma pulls Scriptural quotes from Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel to discuss this New Covenant, and how it will be a restoration of the Davidic Covenant. All the other covenants had been broken by the Israelites until now, but with the restoration of Davidic Covenant, there will be a new Zion and a new King from the line of David. The last chapter of the book discusses the book of Revelation, Heaven, and the Great Wedding Feast, or as Dr. Bergsma refers to it, "covenant consummation." There are also notes and study questions for every chapter at the end of the book. This was a marvelously written book that condensed the Bible to its main message and made it very understandable. What set this book apart from others was the stick-figure illustrations.
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I am not a scholar and I need help to put the Bible in perpective. Sometimes I get confused with the Bible in the understanding the context and the concept of the parts to the whole ... this is especially true for me in the Old Testiment. I need a way to cut through the confusion. Now I can grasp the entire Bible as a Salvation Covenant Plan which Divinely inspires me. Thank you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What an excellent book and easy read. Bergsma goes through the entire Old Testament into the New explaning how it is all connected with uncomplicated language, explanations of Hebrew and Greek word meanings and simple drawings to help you remember what is being explained. Good for adults, teens and middle-schoolers.
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