Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review: Catholic Bible Dictionary

Catholic Bible Dictionary edited by Scott Hahn, June 16, 2009. 1008 pages. Published by Doubleday Religion. Source: Blogging for Books.
More than a generation has passed since the appearance of the last major Catholic Bible dictionary. It has been a fertile generation for biblical scholarship, an eventful time for biblical archaeology, and a fruitful time for the Church’s interpretation of the Bible. It is time for a new resource.

Scott Hahn, internationally renowned theologian and biblical scholar, has inspired millions with his insight into the Catholic faith. Now he brings us this important reference guide, written specifically for Catholics, which contains more than five thousand clear and accessible entries and covers a wide range of people, places, and topics. From Genesis to Revelation, the whole of salvation history is presented and explained in smart, easy-to-understand prose.

Catholic Bible Dictionary is an invaluable source of information, insight, and guidance for Catholics and others who are interested in enriching their understanding of Sacred Scripture. Scott Hahn draws from two millennia of scholarship to create an accessible and comprehensive tool for deeper and more rewarding biblical study. 

I bet y'all are wondering why on earth one would agree to review a dictionary, and not just any dictionary, but one that is specifically covering one subject. Well, my friends that is an easy question to answer. The easy answer is that there is so much within the bible that you really do need a dictionary written by theological scholars, so, when presented with the opportunity to read this mega tome I said yes.

Reasons for wanting to review this aside, Scott Hahn and all who worked on the Catholic Bible Dictionary did a wonderful job on creating a concise, easy to read dictionary that covers so many different facets of the Catholic faith. When I considered reviewing this, I was probably as intimidated as they were putting it together, because let's face it, writing a dictionary or really anything that is supposed to help define a religion is difficult; and to do it in a readable fashion to boot.

With this not being an actual cover-to-cover read, I started by checking out what was covered under the letter Z and worked my way to the front. While this is definitely not something that one would sit down and read cover to cover, it is in no way dull or muddled.
   As for the layout of the book, I am so happy that the print is not terribly small and that the paper wasn't as thin as that used in Bibles. The print and paper, along with the way the information is conveyed, makes this an easy read.
What makes this an essential read is that you can see the full scope of the life, and, even the theological aspects and meaning of the changing of names of those in the Old and New Testaments. I really enjoyed seeing the way they dealt with the the history of big Bible names, such as Abraham and Peter, and how you could see pretty their entire story told concisely in a matter of pages. It definitely gave me a new insight into certain things mentioned throughout the Bible and their significance.

Seriously though, the only drawback to the Catholic Bible Dictionary is the weight of it. It is quite hefty tome to be carting from one reading nook to another and a little awkward to handle when paired with a bible. Size aside, this is definitely one book on the Catholic faith that will be well used.

Final Verdict: The Catholic Bible Dictionary- Well formatted, concise and well written make this a must have for Catholics looking for more historical and Biblical information within the Catholic faith. Definitely worth checking out.

This book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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