One of the most challenging yet satisfying parts of practicing the Catholic faith is reading and understanding the Catholic Bible. Readers may be stymied by the old language and the scriptural metaphors, along with the cultural and historical settings from generations past.
However, the benefits of learning to use this God-inspired Catholic book can be far-reaching as you develop a deeper relationship with the Lord.
At the heart of the sacred text is God's authorship. While 40 different writers penned the words, God's inspiration guided their hands through His divine intervention. Pope John Paul II spoke to this miraculous accomplishment when describing the Catholic Bible:
"[Sacred Scripture] is truly divine, because it belongs to God truly and genuinely: God himself inspired it, God confirmed it, God spoke it through the sacred writers-Moses, the Prophets, the Evangelists, the Apostles - and, above all, through his Son, our only Lord, in both the Old and the New Testament. It is true that the intensity and depth of the revelation varies [within the Bible], but there is not the least shadow of contradiction [between different parts of Scripture]."
When you think about the scope of the Bible's creation, it's easy to understand why readers may have difficulty understanding its metaphors and euphemisms. Over roughly 2,000 years these various writers wrote the text in three different languages across three continents.
Deciphering the original intent of the text can unlock an exciting new view of the important events and people of Christianity. If you've struggled with understanding the text's true meanings, you should consider a Catholic bible dictionary such as this one by author Scott Hahn to gain insight into original language and the culture and traditions of the day.
Your new-found knowledge of the Catholic Bible is an open line of communication from God to you. Use meditation and prayer to take in His Words of encouragement and guidance and you'll discover more of His presence in your daily life.