Before his death on the cross, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment: "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another" (John 13:34).
God speaks to us in many ways. One way God speaks to us is through the Bible. The Bible is the most important book in Christian life because it is God’s message, or revelation. The Bible is the story of God’s promise to care for us, especially through his Son, Jesus.
It tells the most magnificent of all stories – the story of how we’ve been redeemed. The Bible is also full of wisdom for daily living. It teaches us how to treat other people, how to handle our fears and sorrows, how to get our priorities straight. The wisdom of the Bible shows us how to become the people we were meant to be. The Bible is not just one book; it is a collection of many books.
The Bible is made up of two parts: The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament contains 46 books that tell stories about the Jewish people and their faith in God before Jesus was born.
The first five books of the Old Testament – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are referred to as the Torah, meaning “instruction” or "law." The central story in the Torah is the Exodus, the liberation of the Hebrew slaves as Moses led them out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. During the journey God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses and the people.
A beautiful part of the Old Testament is the Book of Psalms. A psalm is a prayer in the form of a poem. Each psalm expresses an aspect, or feature, of the depth of human emotion. Over several centuries 150 psalms were gathered to form the Book of Psalms. They were once sung at the Temple in Jerusalem.
The New Testament contains 27 books that tell the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and the experience of the early Christians. For Christians the most important books of the New Testament are the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Many of the 27 books are letters written by leaders such as Saint Paul.
The Catholic version of the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), published by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, is currently the version used in the Catholic Church in Canada. All the readings we proclaim at all masses are taken from this translation of the Bible.
You can read or search for specific passages using the Oremus Bible Browser online.