How to Read the Bible

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by Roger Poelman

Of all books, the one we need to know best is
the Bible, which contains the revelation of Christ.

God has spoken to us, and the Bible contains His message. God has redeemed us, and the Bible shows us our Redeemer. It tells us what God wants us to know, about Himself, and about ourselves.

But the Bible does not interpret itself, and the Catholic Church has always rightly protected the faithful from erroneous interpretations. The Bible is such a diverse collection of texts, of so many types and ages, that in order to unlock its treasures we need the wisest of guides.

Abbé Poelman is such a guide, writing entirely under the guidance of the Church’s authority and that of the Holy Spirit who makes the Church live. He begins not with Genesis but with the Gospels, the “loftiest, most sacred, and most mysterious part of the whole Bible,” wherein Christ is revealed, the inmost life of God and the source of our promised joy. Christ is the key to the whole of Scripture, the summit of the mountain to which all roads lead, and all the books of the Bible make most sense when read with him in mind.

Only then, having introduced us to Christ through the Gospels of Luke and John, does Abbé Poelman turn to Genesis and to the creation of the world, to the Patriarchs and the story of the Covenant. This is the story of how God formed a universe and a people in which Christ might be born.

Each chapter is short and to the point, and passages of Scripture are selected for prayerful reading, so that by the time we arrive back at the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, we understand Christ to be truly the center and goal of human history. Brief summaries of the Acts, Letters of the Apostles, and Book of Revelation complete this wonderful little book, leaving us full of love for the God of our salvation.