cover image GOD'S LIBRARY: A Catholic Introduction to the World's Greatest Book

GOD'S LIBRARY: A Catholic Introduction to the World's Greatest Book

Joe Paprocki, . . Loyola, $13.95 (122pp) ISBN 978-0-8294-2069-2

Paprocki, associate director of Catechetical Services at Loyola Press, boldly attempts to introduce the entire Bible to Catholic readers in 124 pages. He succeeds at compartmentalizing, dissecting and explaining complex aspects of the Bible using simple language and basic analogies. Paprocki's initial argument—that many Catholics are intimidated by the Bible—is an important one. By comparing the Bible to a library with books of various genres, he aptly directs beginners through the maze of Scripture. In five straightforward chapters, he impressively covers much ground, leaving the books of the Old and New Testaments more approachable to the reader. The questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter, and the appendix on "How to Begin a Bible Program in Your Parish," complement the main text. However, his approach can be overly simplistic, and his comparisons sometimes distract more than they help, like his analogy of learning to ride a two-wheeler, the Bible as a time capsule and the process of interpreting the language of the Bible as a foreign language. Although this introduction skips over some key ingredients of Scripture in its overzealous attempt to be accessible, it serves as a good starting place for anyone without much knowledge of the Bible. (Jan.)