Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book Review: Come and See Catholic Bible Study: Wisdom

Come and See - Wisdom - Catholic Bible Study for Adults

My latest book for review provides an in-depth look at the Wisdom Books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, Wisdom and Sirach) in Sacred Scripture. I have participated in a handful of Bible study groups and completed one other on my own. The Come and See Catholic Bible Study: Wisdom is unlike others I have used. Typically, while studying the Bible, I am 'armed' with a good Catholic Scripture commentary and the RSV-CE 2nd Edition. The former was completely unnecessary and the latter was the recommended version.

The Come and See series includes a very good commentary as part of the program and it is very simple to follow. I am more used to having Scripture on the top of the page and commentary below with notes attributed to particular verses, so it took a bit of getting used to. The commentary gives very in-depth analysis of the senses used in the particular passages assigned and provides information from the Church Fathers, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other important Church documents. After reading the assigned Scripture and the commentary, there are questions which follow each section for the reader to answer in spaces provided. I found myself reading the book of Job in a way I never have before, and that is a blessing. I completed the study of Job and am quite anxious to get into Psalms.

The book has some very good suggestions on how to go about beginning a Bible study group on your own. I am certain it would be very helpful to those who do not yet have any Bible study programs available in their parish. There is also a video which you can purchase to accompany your study program. Since I did not buy the video, I cannot speak to whether or not it is an integral part of the program. I can say that in my study, I was sufficiently fed by the book alone. The only thing I missed in the Bible study -- which has nothing to do with the quality of the book -- is that I wished I had studied with others. Having studied Scripture on my own (with the guidance of the Holy Spirit) and in a group, I find it most rewarding with a group.

The Come and See Catholic Bible Study: Wisdom is an excellent tool to help Christians grow in understanding of Sacred Scripture and closer to God.


Authors: Fr. Jan Liesen, S.S.D; Laurie Watson Manhardt. Softcover, 224 pages. Available at The Catholic Company for $19.95.

Laurie Manhardt holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Detroit and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She led an interfaith Bible study for ten years, which convinced her of the need for quality Catholic Bible study resources. “Come and See” Catholic Bible Study is the result.

Fr. Jan Liesen, S.S.D., is librarian and professor of New Testament Exegesis, Biblical Theology, and Hebrew Bible at the Seminaire Rolduc in Kerkrade, Netherlands. He received his doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome.

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