Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Universal Letters (Liguori Publications)

When we think of Epistles in the New Testament, we tend to focus on the major ones credited to St. Paul - Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, etc. What tends to get overlooked is the seven right before Revelation - James; 1 and 2 Peter; 1, 2, and 3 John; and Jude. None of these books contain more than five chapters, and because of their length, Fr. William A. Anderson was able to group them all together in one book called Universal Letters.

The book begins like all books in the Liguori Catholic Bible Study series in that it includes an introduction to the series, a brief explanation on what Lectio Divina is, and a how-to guide for using these books. The book itself is then divided into six lessons, which contain parts for group and individual study. The first two lessons cover the Epistle of James. The middle two lessons cover the Epistles of Peter, and the final two lessons cover the Epistles of John and Jude. Each lesson breaks up the Bible chapters/books by days, so you don't overwhelm yourself one day trying to do it all at once. At the end of every lesson are Lectio Divina guides and questions for review to also aid in your study.

I particularly enjoyed the two lessons on the Epistle of James, as it is one of the most practical books in the Bible that every Christian should read. In these two lessons, we learn about such topics as faith and works, keeping our tongue in check, and helping out those less fortunate than us. At less than 130 pages, this book is a good study for the individual or small group to explore and learn about a neglected section of the New Testament. After studying through this book, I would encourage the reader/student to continue with their studies and move on to The Book of Revelation, which is also in this same series and by the same author.

This book was provided to me for free by Liguori Publications in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!