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The Word of the Lord: 7 Essential Principles for Catholic Scripture Study by [Steven C. Smith Ph. D., Scott Hahn]

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The Word of the Lord: 7 Essential Principles for Catholic Scripture Study Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. , Archbishop of ChicagoThe Word of the Lord presents the principles of Catholic Biblical exegesis drawn from Churchdocuments. ... This is a helpful book at a time when the relationsbetween Scripture and Tradition and Scripture and Divine Revelation arebackground for many other conversations in the Church today.  Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, STD Rector, Mount St. Mary's SeminaryDr. Steven Smith's new book, The Word of the Lord, is a perfect companion for those who wish to deepen their knowledge of Sacred Scripture during the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI ... I have no doubt that a careful reading of this book will change the way you read Sacred Scripture in the future.

From the Author

The Word of the Lord is a perfect companion for every Catholic in this YEAR OF FAITH. It was designed by a Catholic seminary professor (yours truly) in a Catholic seminary classroom (Mount St. Mary's), but is not a seminary textbook! WOTL was designed for "everyone who has ever asked, 'What does a Catholic approach to Sacred Scripture look like?'" (p. 13).  

WOTL really is for everyone -- and anyone seeking a faithful and faith-filled  approach to studying, reading and praying Scripture.  7 Essential Principles guide the reader toward a wholly Catholic approach.  

Pope Benedict XVI reminded us recently in 
Verbum Dominithat in Scripture, we encounter "The God Who Speaks."  WOTL addresses the 7 principles, one at a time, clearly and faithfully, beginning with the foundation principle of inspiration and the "truth" (inerrancy) of Scripture. 

From this beginning, 
WOTL addresses six additional principles across 13-chapters, serving as a practical guide for all Catholics to Scripture study. WOTL deals with "the enfleshment of the Word, Sacred Scripture AND Sacred Tradition, the canon of Scripture, the rich depth of "meaning in Scripture, the "unity" of the OT / NT and more.  With WOTL, you will come to see clearly  the "big idea" of the whole Bible as never before.  Together, the 7 principles in this book offer a sure-fire way to read Scripture as a faithful Catholic today.

You'll learn what a "
covenant" is, and why God enters into relationship with humanity in this manner.  You'll discover the crucial relationship between Scripture and the Eucharist ... and Scripture and prayer.  You'll learn three key insights from the Catechismthat will UNLOCK the mysteries of Christ's life in the Gospels in fresh, new ways. 

** While I grew up Catholic, I spent 8 years in Evangelical Christianity (MA from Wheaton College). As such, this book is faithfully Catholic -- but I suspect 
many other Christians will find a lot which we agree upon, and a learn a lot of for their own devotional life and study of God's Word.  
I take a no-prisoners approach: You'll learn about
 "biblical typology" and "recapitulation in Christ" and how to select a Bible translation - and the difference between translations. There are TONS of quotes from the Catholic Scripture documents, like DEI VERBUM and over four dozen quotes from Pope Benedict's VERBUM DOMINI.  I lay out the last 100-years of teaching documents on Scripture, within the Catholic faith. Together, you'll come away with a fresh synthesis of how to present what the Catholic Church teaches about Scripture -- to others. 

And much, much more.  There are three 
Appendixes, in which you'll view the 7 Principles in summary form (1), learn a little about some of the key Catholic /Protestant biblical scholars of the 20-21st century -- and -- the rationalist/secular scholars, too! (2), and even learn how to select a good commentary for deeper study.

My brand new website, has more information on WOTL - and a lot more.  I'm pleased to announce that faithful Catholic biblical teaching is available for everyone -- on CD and Mp3. 

For starters, 
an audio companion series to WOTL is avail. now! It is a 5-CD set with a clear, 75 min presentation on the 7-principles, plus over 3 hours of Q&A, recorded live in the Fall of 2012 (in NJ), in which many interesting questions people ask about the Bible are answered. And this is just the beginning. More CD-sets of Catholic biblical teaching soon: incl. "Biblical Mysteries of the Rosary," (20-CD set, Dec. 12, 2012). 

E.g Year of Faith special event, mission, weekend conference, etc.)    

As you read this book, you will join with me in saying, "Thanks be to God." The reason is simple.  At Mass, we Catholics always hear "
The Word of the Lord," and then respond, "Thanks be to God."  Yet the readings that we hear throughout our lives at the Sunday Masses are but portions of the Bible. If we are ever to come to a deeper faith and knowledge of Jesus, the Living Word, we must become students of the written Word of God in its entirety.  As St. Jerome reminds us, "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." An essential part of following Jesus - as a disciple - is to become a disciplined student of Scripture, both the Old Testament and the New.  And for that we need good teachers, like Dr. Steven Smith.
In Acts 8, we read about an Ethiopian Eunuch who needed help to understand a hard text in Isaiah. God sent him Philip the Deacon to explain how the oracle pointed to Jesus. Likewise, we do well to have expert guidance in reading Scripture. In particular, we need teachers who are able to impart the wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit through the authority and living tradition of the Church.
Above all, it is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church "into all truth," as Jesus promised (Jn.15:13). Through the Church, then, we are guided in our reading and interpretation of Scripture.  Along the way, we come to discover the principles and methods of Catholic Scripture study.  And that is what makes this book so valuable. Whether it is the mystery of biblical inspiration and the divine authority and truth of Scripture, or how to make sense of the difficult parts of the Old Testament, you will get expert guidance from Dr. Steven Smith.  In a clear and conversational style, he addresses a host of crucial questions: How was the biblical 'canon' gradually formed over the course of centuries?  How is Scripture 
directly related to the Holy Eucharist? What are the different senses of Scripture? What is the role of Sacred Tradition in biblical interpretation?   
Most importantly, readers are guided step by step through 
seven principles of Catholic biblical interpretation by a veteran teacher of Sacred Scripture at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, one of the oldest and most respected houses of formation in the United States.  From years of experience in the classroom and parish, Dr. Smith is able to communicate clearly for a wide range of readers, from seminarians and clergy to young adults and professionals.  No matter what your background, here you will find many practical examples and memorable illustrations to help digest each lesson.  And that's why I predict that, when you are finished reading The Word of the Lord, you will say, Thanks be to God.__________________________INVITE DR. SMITH TO YOUR PARISH / 'YEAR OF FAITH' EVENT IN 2012-13.  (E.g Year of Faith special event, mission, weekend conference, etc.)    

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0092SO42Q
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Our Sunday Visitor (August 23, 2012)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 23, 2012
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1306 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 250 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

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Dr. Steven C. Smith is a Catholic biblical scholar, speaker and author. His most recent book is "The House of the Lord: A Catholic Biblical Theology of God's Temple Presence in the Old and New Testaments" (Aug. 2017). His first book is "The Word of the Lord: 7 Principles for Catholic Scripture Study" (2012).

Dr. Smith is Associate Professor of Scripture at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary (Mundelein, IL). More info. is available on his website,, including audio-CD sets of Dr. Smith's biblical presentations.

You may INVITE Dr. Smith to speak at your school / parish, retreat, biblical conference or related event. Contact Dr. Smith through his website:

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
19 global ratings

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