The Bible Companion

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The Bible Companion

A Catholic Handbook for Beginners

This readable and inviting introduction presupposes no specialized knowledge and opens the door to a friendly and personal relationship with scripture. Witherup's overview and history of the Bible is informative and enlightening—an excellent companion when striking up a relationship with the Good Book.

Written in a warm tone by a prominent biblical scholar, this handbook will help you develop a basic understanding of the Bible and covers topics such as:
How to Choose a Bible
How the Bible Came to Be
The Divisions of the Bible
The World of the Bible
The Differences between Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic Bibles
How to Read and Study the Bible
How to Pray with the Bible

This book was granted the Imprimatur and is approved for Catholic instruction.


Part I
1. The Bible and Its Origin
What is the Bible? How Does the Old Testament Relate to the New Testament? How Did the Bible Come to Be? What is the Canon? What is Biblical Fundamentalism?
2. Learning to Use the Bible
Which Bible Should I Choose? Modern Bible Translations, Electronic Bibles, How to Choose? How to Read, Study, and Pray the Bible
3. A Brief History of Bible Times
Old Testament Times, Between the Testaments, New Testament Times, Salvation History and the Bible
Part II
4. General Orientation to the Old Testament
5. The Law
What is the Law? Origins of the Law, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
6. The Historical Books
What is History? Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Tobit, Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees
7. The Prophets
What is a Prophet? How Do You Recognize a True Prophet? Reading the Prophets, Apocalyptic Literature, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zecheriah, Malachi, Lamentations, Baruch, Daniel
8. The Writings
What is Wisdom Literature? Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, The Wisdom of Solomon, The Wisdom of Ben Sira
Part III
9. General Orientation to the New Testament
10. The Gospels
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
11. The Acts of the Apostles
12. The Letters Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thesselonians, 2 Thesselonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude 13. Revelation
Appendix A: Comparisons of the Canons of the Bible
Appendix B: Names of OT Books in Older Editions of the Bible
Appendix C: Abbreviations for the Books of the Bible
Appendix D: Jewish Feasts in the Bible Glossary Resources for Further Study
Resources for Further Study

Reviews and endorsements

"Ronald Witherup’s skills as both scholar and teacher are brought together in this fine work. He leads the beginning Bible student through the morass of the technical questions found in classical Introductions, but he does it deftly and in an uncomplicated manner. His overviews of the individual biblical books are crisp yet enlightening. The exercises that he provides throughout the chapter invite readers to test their own comprehension of the material covered. This is a very helpful handbook for either group or individual Bible study."
Diane Bergant, professor of Old Testament studies, Chicago Theological Union


"Some books are intended for specialists, others are meant for all of us. Fr. Witherup’s book, The Bible Companion, is meant for all of us. With a masterful knowledge of the Bible, Fr. Witherup skillfully outlines and summarizes the content of every Biblical book. For those looking for a first introduction to the Bible, and for those seeking a concise summary of its contents, this is the place to begin."
Frank J. Matera, The Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies, The Catholic University of America

Paperback / 264 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9