Making Senses Out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did
Editorial Reviews

Making Senses Out of Scripture is a wonderfully helpful guide for reading the Bible according to the Church’s living Tradition. It skillfully draws on the riches of the Catholic Faith and communicates Her deep truths very clearly, yet it is written with a witty and winsome style that makes the book as accessible to the beginning student of Scripture as it is to the advanced. I highly recommend it. – Scott Hahn, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology and Scripture, Franciscan University of Steubenville


Three cheers to Mark Shea! This is a book to be snapped up—and read—all the way through. The prose makes easy reading (a great virtue); but the depth and sweep of the material will draw any reader, beginner or expert, into rich vistas. I recommend it highly. – Thomas Howard, Author, On Being Catholic


A tremendous blow against biblical illiteracy… Making Senses Out of Scripture is a terrific book, accessible and valuable both to folks who are familiar with sacred texts and those who are not. There are two notable benefits of this book. First, Shea, as the subtitle suggests, clearly explains not only the ins and outs of broad portions of both the Old and New Testaments, but also the way Christians have understood Scripture over the last 2,000 years. Shea's effort in the latter part of Making Senses echoes St. Thomas Aquinas' basic work explaining the different ways we view Scripture and reflects much of his light as well.

If Making Senses did only this, it would be a worthwhile purchase. But Shea also writes in a way that makes the topic completely engaging and even entertaining. How is misperceiving Scripture like getting one's tongue stuck to a car bumper on a Michigan winter morning? Read this very open, witty, well-written and friendly book and find out! This is a must buy for anyone who would like to better understand how the Scriptures relate to their lives and faith. – David Morrison, New Covenant Magazine


… promises help to both novice and more experienced Bible students. Making Senses Out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did … offer[s] many practical insights for Bible readers. Shea's text is scholarly but not stuffy. His writing style is fresh, even breezy, demonstrating nicely that Bible study can be serious and fun at the same time. A useful tool. – Nancy Hartnagel, Catholic News Service


In readable, common-sense prose, Shea invites the contemporary Christian into the dauntingly ancient world of the sacred Scriptures. In so doing, he makes the roots of the Christian world view accessible in the days of "dot-com." – Helen Valois, National Catholic Register


Most of us feel bit "out to sea" in the presence of such depth, bread, and beauty as we find in the Bible. In Making Senses Out of Scripture, Mark Shea not only throws a life preserver to his readers, but sends them a life boat and fishing pole to boot. Shea's ultimate purpose is to enable his readers to study the Bible for themselves profitably. He succeeds in doing so by providing us with just enough background and connections to give us our bearings when approaching the word, without ruining the adventure by giving us all the answers. He gives us just enough to keep us on track and wanting more.

Shea not only achieves the purpose of his book—no small accomplishment in itself—but he does so with a sense of humor that makes it a very fun read. I was prodded with a quiet chuckle on most pages, and brought to tears of laughter at a few notable spots. Shea has managed to strike the right balance between reverent respect for the subject at hand, the Word of God, and a sense of humor that keeps you reading.

If you feel like you have never gotten the point of the Bible, Making Senses Out of Scripture will give you the big picture. If you want to know what the covenantal approach to salvation history is, Making Senses Out of Scripture gives it to you. And if you want to faithfully interpret the Bible, Shea shows you how. Making Senses Out of Scripture makes sense. Thanks, Mr. Shea. - Stacy Mitch, Lay Witness


Jesus and the Apostles discerned both the literal and spiritual senses of Scripture, but their rich method is lost on most modern Christians. Mark Shea has done us a good turn by teaching this lost art. Read this book; then read Scripture with new eyes. – Mike Aquilina, Editor, New Covenant Magazine

Reader Reviews

This is the second of Mark Shea's books that I've read (the first being "By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition," which I loved even though I'm not now and have never been an evangelical)--and I can attest that his relaxed style, witty approach and--most important--breadth of knowledge of his subject shine through once again. This is a fun read! And yet it's also a serious overview, consistent with the Catechism's remarks on how to read Scripture and chock full of turns of phrase that both delight and make one say "Of course!" I highly recommend it. - L. Kerr, Fort Worth


What a wonderful book! Every Christian should read it! If you're a Bible reader, you'll love his down to earth, witty insights. If you're leery about opening up the Bible (language is too difficult, too deep, etc.) this book makes you want to take your Bible off the shelf dust it off and dive in. Everyone from high schooler up will learn and enjoy! Thank you Mark Shea and keep your books coming! - P. Hayes


Building on the success of his earlier works, Mark Shea has written yet another easy- and enjoyable-to-read work that sheds light on the faith. Shea teaches the reader the art of looking at Scripture in the way that the Apostles did. While Shea draws upon Old and New Testament resources and the riches of the Catholic faith, Shea's style of writing makes it easy for non-theologians to learn what he has learned. Readers will come away from this book able to look at everything from Genesis to Revelation with newly opened eyes. - T. Drake

Copyright 2001 - Mark P. Shea