This primer on the foundational Bible verse, John 3:16, is a welcome introduction to the differences between the Catholic understanding of the verse and that of mainline Protestantism. Marcus Grodi puts the verse into the larger context of a community of faith and historical perspective, thereby enriching the reader’s understanding of this key passage.
Grodi takes the “Roman Road,” an evangelistic tool used by Protestants, and fills in the many blanks. The Roman Road is a collection of verses from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, taken out of order (and thus sometimes out of context), explaining what is necessary for salvation. Grodi’s approach in this little work is to walk the reader through the history of salvation from the Old Testament promise of salvation to Abraham through the fulfillment of that salvation in Christ. In so doing, Grodi explains what it actually means to believe in Christ.
In this work, we learn that being part of a larger community, the spiritual community of the Church, is the key to the verse. Living as part of this community, we plug into the continuity of the past–the former covenant community–and enlightens us as to the meaning of the new covenant community.
In the end, Grodi explains how the temptation to individuality occasioned by some interpretations of John 3:16 is a false understanding of the verse, and how we can only appreciate its true meaning in the context of the Church. The book–about 90 pages long–is a good gift for the wondering friend or those who are eager to learn more about scripture, or for those who want a refresher in salvation history.
Here is Grodi’s own introduction:
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on What Must I Do To Be Saved? The Catholic Company is the best resource for gifts for every Sacrament celebration, such as First Communion gifts and Baptism gifts, as well as a great selection of limited-time Year of Faith gifts and resources.