Item #: 0986-2
St Pauls Price: $7.50 $1.99 ends 12/31/2021


A Beginner's Guide to the Bible

Author: Michael Trainor
Copyright: 2005
First Printed: 06-01-2005

Have you ever started to read the Bible and found yourself giving up, frustrated or disappointed? A first-time Bible reader will appreciate this easy guide that seeks to address such frustration. Journeying – a beginner’s guide to the Bible presumes little or no knowledge and accompanies the reader on a wonderful journey through the major types of writing that are present in the Bible. Each chapter concludes with questions for personal reflection or group study. A final chapter suggests how to continue on this journey.

Michael Trainor is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Adelaide who teaches Bible at the Adelaide College of Divinity, which is the School of Theology of Flinders University, South Australia. Michael is a member of the pastoral team in the parish of Salisbury, and has published widely on the Bible and religious education.

Book: 71 pages
ISBN-10: 0-8189-0986-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8189-0986-3
Prod. Code: 0986-2

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Michael Trainor's Journeying: A Beginner's Guide to the Bible serves as an excellent introduction to biblical literature for the "Bible challenged" or "Bible illiterate." Each of the seventeen chapters is about three pages long. The material is compact, simple to understand, and designed "to address that feeling of alienation that sometimes rises up in keen and beginning readers of the Bible." Chapter titles include "Beginning the Journey," "Guides for the Journey," "Popular Approaches for the Journey," "Conversing on the Journey," "Journeying with the Bible," "Apocalyptic Writing," "Is the Bible True?" and "Continuing the Journey." Each chapter concludes with questions for personal reflection or group study, making this book ideal for self-motivated small classes and RCIA gatherings. It is grounded in the best of modern biblical scholarship but written in a popular style for non-scholarly readers. --Fr. Mark G. Boyer in The Priest, October 2006

Journey is the metaphor Trainor employs to describe one's initial venture into reading the Bible. He offers his book as a guide to understanding the various genres found on that journey. Though the book is intended for the individual, the author provides suggestions for its use in group study. As with any journey, preparations must be made before one launches out. This is done in the first chapters. There he suggests that each passage selected for study should be read three times: first for understanding the content, second to grasp the affective dimension of the passage, and finally to bring understanding and affect together. The ten short chapters that follow treat genres such as myth, epic, wisdom, gospel, etc., providing examples from both testaments. Suggestions for further reading follow each chapter. The book is very basic. It could be used for high school students as well as beginning adult readers. --Sister Dianne Bergant, C.S.A. in The Bible Today, September-October 2006

This slim volume is just the right ticket for those who have been wishing for a way to begin reading the Bible -- those who wish to study it or those who want to understand the Sunday readings. It approaches the Bible like a librarian introducing a new student to the library. The Bible is a library in one volume, containing all sorts of books: history, myth, biography, poetry, letters and more. Understanding it, according to Trainor, is like taking a journey, and he is a well-qualified tour guide. Taking each type of literature contained in the Bible, he seeks to demystify it by placing it in the context of its time and its type of literature. Within the text are many suggestions for using this new-found insight to understand specific passages, and to reflect on them. This easily-read, easily-understood guide to the Bible would be a welcome addition to parish Bible-study groups, high school and college religion classes and for the parish library to supply to those who seek greater access to the richness of the Bible. Highly recommended. --Nancy K. Schmidtmann in Catholic Library World, Vol 76 #3, March 2006

Convinced that God speaks to humans within human forms, Trainor, the author of Befriending the Text (1991) andThe Quest for Home: The Household in Mark's Community (2001), seeks to introduce the different types of literature that compose the Bible. After reflections on preparing for the journey involved in reading the Bible, he discusses the following topics: story, myth, epic, history, poetry and song, wisdom, prophecy, Gospels, letters, and apocalyptic writings. He concludes with observations on whether the Bible is true. Questions for personal reflection or group discussion are provided at the end of each chapter. The book is also available in Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. --New Testament Abstracts, Vol. 50, No. 1

Getting to know you: An interesting approach to Bible study, Journeying: A Beginner's Guide to the Bible gets readers started off on the right foot. Author Fr. Michael Trainor of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, South Australia, presumes that the readers who are starting their journey don't have a lot of knowledge coming in and builds, brick by brick, a foundation on which some real learning, understanding and exploring can be done. He discusses the popular approaches for understanding the "library" that is the Bible, the different story types, devotes a chapter each to the Gospels, Letters, Apocalyptic Writings. At the end of each chapter, he offers some questions for reflection or for discussion for any Bible study group. A final chapter suggests ways for readers to continue their personal journey. --Crux of the News, September 26, 2005

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