When I discovered the Church (as a new ager and Buddhist), many things drew me to her. The Church Fathers, the saints and great spiritual writers. The Rosary and the Mass. The teachings. The answers that made sense, the deep questions that the Church expected inquirers (and members) to ask, and that we are expected to go on to seek answers, true answers, not merely to express doubt and toss off a skeptical doubt disguised as a question (from a doubter disguised as a seeker). What I would have given to have had then what I have now and have been using since 2014 in my studies. (Note: I am not in any way affiliated with Verbum. I just like it. A lot.)
I’m talking about Verbum Catholic Study Software and Libraries, which I highly recommend and part of which I also happen to be giving away as part of my Triple Anniversary Celebration. I’m giving away a nine volume collection containing what you’ll need to study the teachings of the Church and the Scriptures in a deeper way. (See the other giveaways and enter to win.)
“In the Catechism of the Catholic Church Collection, thousands of the Catechism’s citations come alive, linking to the original documents. The collection gets you behind the Catechism’s summary of the faith and into the primary sources themselves. It includes the most important texts the Catechism cites, and so lets you see not only what the contemporary Church teaches, but what it bases this teaching on. You can use the Catechism as a type of commentary on the other texts in the collection—for example, you can quickly find every instance of the Catechism’s citing a certain Bible verse or document of Vatican II. The collection includes the Lectionary of the Catholic Church, so the Catechism becomes an automatic companion to the daily readings.”—From the description of the Catechism Collection at Verbum.
Here are the volumes included in the Catechism Collection.
Yep, pretty much certain I would have been very happy to get my hands on something like that, but back in 1996 almost of the faith study software out there was Protestant. That’s about all I could find and many others told me the same thing when they came into our Catholic bookstore hoping to find something there. Then I heard about this new thing called Logos, Protestant Bible Study software. There was no Catholic version then. I rushed to the closest Baptist bookstore to find out more. Those stores are gone now and so is ours, but the folks that own Logos finally put together a Catholic version of their software and not without some blowback from many of their customers, let me tell you. (Oh, yeah, anti-Catholicism was and is alive and well here in the Bible Belt—as well as a sickness can be, I suppose. But Logos is in Washington state. I guess it’s not just in the South.)
I’ve used other Bible study software, but nothing I’ve used compares to Verbum. Verbum offers Scripture study and much more. Want to understand the Bible from a Catholic point of view? If you’re a Catholic wanting to go deeper in your studies or struggling to answer friends and family who question or confront you about being Catholic, or a non-Catholic seeking answers about the Catholic Church, Verbum will help you understand Catholicism and why we believe what we believe and do what we do. The Catechism Collection is a good way to take your study to the next level.
One thing I’d like to point out that sets Verbum apart from other Bible study software out there. Well, that’s one difference right there: Verbum is not just about the Bible. It’s about the Word of God and that includes the Bible but is not limited to the Bible.
“Some Christians–this seems to be especially true with respect to Evangelicals and Fundamentalists–think the phrase “word of God” in Scripture always refers to the Bible. Often it does, but often it doesn’t. In many places it refers to Jesus, to oral prophecy, or to the oral preaching of the gospel.”—Dave Armstrong, published at Catholic Answers.
Another thing I want to point out is that, unlike every other computer application that I’ve ever heard of for this kind of study, Verbum and and its non-Catholic sibling Logos are hand-tagged by human beings. When you do a search for a word in other applications, you get results returned for that exact specific word because that’s what the application is programmed to give you. But when you do a search in Verbum, human beings have tagged the terms, and they know when “he” refers to Jesus or Mark or Paul and the results will show you those instances, too.
Say you want to do a search for every time Jesus is mentioned in a Gospel. You can see the results for when He is mentioned by name or when He is mentioned as “He” or “Him” or the Son of God and so on. That is pretty amazing. There are plenty of videos and descriptions of Verbum and Logos on the web. But the best way to learn about these tools is to see them in action.
Video: Steve Ray: Authority of the Church Using Verbum Catholic Bible Software
And, by the way, the software is free, it’s the content you pay for, and a lot of content is included in the various packages they offer. And they have a free book every month and sales every month, too. There’s even a monthly subscription option but I can’t tell you much about that because I don’t have any experience with it. And there are mobile apps!
Video: Scott Hahn talks about the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology Libraries in Verbum
“Verbum provides a treasure trove of insights both on Scripture and on countless other faith-building resources, including the Church Fathers, Church councils, and the great saints and doctors of the Church. I use Verbum constantly, I am convinced of its value, and I enthusiastically recommend it to others.”Jimmy Akin — Author and speaker
“This is more than software. It’s a respectable theological library that fits easily onto an iPad and goes everywhere you might have to go. In some ways it’s better than the bookshelves of a theological library, since it’s searchable. Verbum is helping us train for the kingdom of heaven—with treasures old and new (Mt 13:52).”Mike Aquilina, author (and executive vice-president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, co-host with Scott Hahn of eight series on EWTN), about the Verbum 8 Catholic Answers Library. (Link is to the description at the Logos site.)
I hope you’re beginning to see the advantage of using a marvelous tool like Verbum for your own studies, or for someone you know. The Verbum Catechism Collection is offered as the 2nd Prize in my Triple Anniversary Giveaway. Enter today or download Verbum with a starter package, and get ready to jumpstart your knowledge and practice of the faith in a big way. Learn more at Verbum.com.
Well, I sat down to write a short post and it turned into a long one instead. Thanks for reading it and for visiting my blog. Please stay safe out there during this time of confusion and crisis. And know that I pray for you (yeah, YOU, reading this right now) and I hope you’ll pray for me, too. Especially now. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, may the Lord bless you and keep you, and may the peace of Christ be always with you. +JMJ+
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”2 Corinthians 1:3-7, RSVCE
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