January 13, 2014
The New Catholic Answer Bible
Whether in a Protestant or Roman Catholic Bible study group, someone inevitably asks, “Why do Catholics ____?” In The New Catholic Answer Bible, Our Sunday Visitor provides intelligent, biblical answers to the questions most likely to fill in that blank.
For example, the page insert entitled “Does the Church Teach Evolution?” includes these responses:
“The entire universe, including the human race, is not the result of chance, but of God’s purposeful, loving design (see Gn 1:1, 31).”
“Human beings are not simply more advanced animals; they bear the image of God in a unique way (see Gn 1:26-27).”
For another example, the page for “What Is Original Sin?” says: “Unlike personal sin, resulting from the wrong choices of individuals, original sin does not result from our own doing. It is contracted, not committed; we are conceived with it (see Ps 51:7)” because of the Fall in the Garden of Eden where our original parents used free will to disobey God. However, “The sacrament of Baptism cleanses us from original sin. It restores us to original righteousness and fellowship with God (see Acts 2:38, 22:16).”
Throughout this edition, you’ll find an abundant supply of Bible references, relating to each colorful page insert. Many of the key questions relate specifically to the Catholic Church, such as “Why Does the Church Have Religious Orders?” or “Why Do Catholics Pray for the Dead?” but others address questions people ask in general, such as “Why Does God Allow Evil?”
The biblical response to that big question required more space, but to give you an idea of the thoughtful answers, “God allows evil in part because it is a necessary risk of creating sons and daughters who are free to love or not to love…. At the same time, no matter how terrible the evil caused by sin, God is great enough and wise enough, to bring out through that evil, an even greater good (see Gn 50:20, Roman 8:28). The resurrection of Christ is in fact a glorious example of how God can create joy from sorrow, beauty from horror, victory from defeat, and life from death.”
In addition to question-answer page inserts and insightful footnotes throughout the book, this edition includes articles on the divine revelation and history of the Bible in the front matter and a three-year reading plan in the back pages. If you want to learn more about the Catholic faith and doctrine to deepen your life as a parishioner or to broaden your understanding of a Christian perspective outside your denomination, The New Catholic Answer Bible will answer those needs and more.
©2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, Bible reviewer
The New Catholic Answer Bible, paperback