Catholic Review of: Catholic Bible Topic Tabs
Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Advanced
By lozeerose (VA) - See all my reviews
Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer
Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers' Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.
Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least on of] "the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses." I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say "proof-text" equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists - so long as you read the Word.
For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.
For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.
To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the "2-second apologist's card." The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.
After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.
These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:
That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.
Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers' Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.
I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.
For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the "Apocrypha" and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) - tabs an all - plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.
When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.
Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.
Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.
Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members - heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!
You can purchase this book here.