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Making Senses out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did
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Making Senses out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did


Basilica Press 2015

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Reading the Bible with a method as old as Scripture itself, Catholic apologist Mark Shea takes the reader on a “fly-over” of the biblical story from Genesis to Revelation and invites us to explore the literal, allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses of Scripture. Whether you’ve been studying Scripture for years or are encountering it for the very first time, Making Senses out of Scripture is an invaluable tool that will help you see biblical revelation afresh—as Christians have done for 2,000 years.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With your software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Grounds your reading of Scripture in the world-view of the Apostles
  • Explores the literal, allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses of Scripture
  • Reads in a clear, enjoyable style


  • Part I: The Big Picture
    • The Myst-ery of Natural Revelation
    • The Earliest Revelations of God
    • The Further Revelations of God
    • Light of the Gentiles, Glory of Israel
    • The Sixth Covenant as the Key to Scripture
  • Part II: The Four Senses of Scripture
    • The Literal Sense of Scripture
    • The Allegorical Sense of Scripture
    • The Moral Sense of Scripture
    • The Anagogical Sense of Scripture

Praise for the Print Edition

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, The Father Michael Scanlan TOR Professor of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization, 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

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.’

National Catholic Register

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.

New Covenant Magazine

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.

Catholic News Service

Product Details

  • Title: Making Senses out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did
  • Author: Mark P. Shea
  • Publisher: Basilica Press
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 263
  • Christian Group: Catholic
  • Resource Type: Bible Studies
  • Topic: Biblical Studies

About the Author

Mark P. Shea is a Catholic author and blogger. He converted from Evangelicalism to the Roman Catholic Church. He has been published in the New Oxford Review, The Door, Catholic Digest, and Christianity and Literature.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition