The story of Scripture is the story of God’s family. That family, like ours today, has its share of hardships, moral failings, betrayals—and dramatic transformations. In Salvation Stories: Family, Failure, and God’s Saving Work in Scripture, author Ryan Budd explores the profound humanity of Old Testament figures like Abraham, Jacob, Tobit, Judith, and more and shows how God made his merciful love evident in their sufferings and joy.

What Salvation Stories reveals that the families in Scripture experienced all that we do. And just as God shaped their stories for his glory and their good, he does so for each of us.


Ryan Patrick Budd is a Research Assistant at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He formerly served as the pastoral associate at St. James the Greater parish and director of Priest Field Pastoral Center in Jefferson County, West Virginia. A graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, his previous published writings focus on the works of Cardinal John Henry Newman and St. Ignatius of Antioch.


“Ryan Budd tells the biblical story as a history of families—a riotous history of dysfunctional families. With bigamy, adultery, divorce, and even murder, his chapters often read like soap-opera treatments. But the author brings the whole tangled tale to a credible resolution. While human families are treacherous to each other and to God, God himself is faithful to his promises. Our heavenly Father is raising a family of families, all of us flawed and needy. This book is highly recommended for anyone who has ever lived in a family.”

Scott Hahn, Author, Catholics in Exile, Founder and President of the St. Paul Center


“‘By his wounds, we have been healed’ (Is 53:5). In the eternal Son’s Incarnation, God has transcended his own transcendence and truly taken upon himself our experience of brokenness and pain, precisely in order to heal and elevate us. Ryan Budd’s reflections offer us a glimpse at how that saving work of Jesus was prefigured in the lives of various Old Testament families precisely in the midst of their very messiness, and that this same healing grace is on offer to us as well in Christ.”

Msgr. Michael Heintz, Academic Dean, Mount St Mary’s Seminary


“This is the most hopeful book you’ll read this year. No matter how messed up your family is, it’s probably not as messed up as these biblical households. And God can work miracles through your family as he worked through them. Budd’s book is a fascinating read—in the way that watching many different train wrecks is fascinating. But it’s also consoling, inspiring, and strangely beautiful. The takeaway is this: No family is too dysfunctional to become glorious. Not your family, not mine.”

Mike Aquilina, Author, Africa and the Early Church


“Written with verve and a gift for story-telling, Ryan Budd has given families a trove of wisdom and encouragement in his new book. He explores well-known Bible stories—sometimes exposing a new and surprising twist—to get at solid wisdom and practical help. Easy to read, thoroughly enjoyable, and edifying throughout!”

William Bales, Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary


“Ryan Budd’s book masterfully correlates families in scripture with families and individuals today in a fresh and enlightened way. It is a magnificent read for anyone desiring to develop a deeper connection and understanding of the humanity of the persons of the Bible. I would highly recommend this book to my college students to help them live and breathe the scriptures more fully!”

Colleen Criste, Director of Programs and Development for Campus Ministry, West Virginia University


“Budd provides far-reaching reflections on how various family situations are present in the great figures of Sacred Scripture. One can see how their own family experience may not be so different from the major players in salvation history. This work will be of great assistance to families of all kinds seeking to sanctify family life and bring God into situations both beautiful and messy.”

Fr. Michael Casey, Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, New Britain, CT

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Salvation Stories: Family, Failure, and God’s Saving Work in Scripture