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Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper Paperback – February 2, 2016
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“In the Mass – in the 'blood of the new and everlasting covenant' – Christ fulfills the rites of the old covenant. This beautiful book by Dr. Brant Pitre shows us that fulfillment in loving detail. We gain an appreciation of what was, so that we can see, ever more clearly, what 'is now and ever shall be.' Clear, profound and practical – you do not want to miss this book.”
– Dr. Scott Hahn, author of The Lamb’s Supper and Signs of Life
“In Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist Brant Pitre pairs together the Jewish Scriptures and the Jewish tradition to frame the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper, and to provide a fresh look at the heart of Christian practice—the Eucharist. By taking us back to the Jewish roots of our faith, Pitre gives us a powerful lens through which to see anew the bread of the presence, the manna, the Last Supper, and ultimately the meaning of Christian Eucharist. Pitre’s mastery of Scripture and the Jewish traditions makes him the perfect guide for anyone seeking to understand the climax of Jesus’ ministry, the Last Supper and the first Eucharist.”
– Dr. Tim Gray, President of the Augustine Institute
“For Christians, it is impossible to understand ourselves apart from Christ. And here, we see how we cannot truly realize the richness of the Eucharist apart from its meaning in light of the Jewish covenant with God. What an exquisite view of the Eucharist as a personal encounter with Christ and the first Eucharist as a humanity-wide encounter with God!”
– Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus and the New York Times bestselling author of Our Lady of Guadalupe
“With Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist Brant Pitre puts the Eucharistic Christ into thrilling context by examining the realities of Jewish life in the first century. Believers and non-believers alike will better-appreciate the rich cultural, traditional and scriptural wells from which Eucharistic understanding has been drawn and developed since Jesus of Nazareth first proclaimed, ‘my flesh is real food, and my body real drink.’”
– Elizabeth Scalia, Managing Editor (Catholic) at Patheos.com and the blogger known as The Anchoress
“Captivating, clear and compelling, this book shows how the Eucharist is at the heart of Jesus’ messianic mission. After guiding readers through ancient Jewish hopes for a new Exodus, a new Passover, a new manna and a new temple, Pitre demonstrates step-by-step how Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist fulfills those eschatological expectations. This book is a must read for anyone studying the Biblical foundations for the Eucharist.”
– Edward Sri, Provost of the Augustine Institute and author of Men, Women and the Mystery of Love
“Rare is the book that demands to be read by beginners and scholars alike, but Brant Pitre has written such a book, combining sparkling prose with profound insight into Scripture's meanings and contexts. Guided by Pitre, we enter into the ancient Israelite prophetic expectation of the fulfillment of the original Exodus through a new Passover, new manna, new priest-king, and new Temple. Pitre shows us how age-old controversies over the Eucharist as sacrifice, meal, and real presence are illumined by Jesus in the Gospels. This exciting and inspiring book fills a major gap in biblical studies.”
– Matthew Levering, Professor of Theology, University of Dayton, and author of Sacrifice and Community: Jewish Offering and Christian Eucharist
About the Author
BRANT PITRE is a professor of sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the author of Jesus the Bridegroom. Dr. Pitre is an extremely enthusiastic and highly sought-after speaker who lectures regularly across the United States. He has produced dozens of Bible studies on both CD and DVD, in which he explores the biblical roots of the Catholic faith. He has also appeared on a number of Catholic radio and television shows, such as Catholic Answers Live and EWTN. He currently lives in Louisiana with his wife, Elizabeth, and their five young children.
From the Hardcover edition.
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In addition, I loved the fact that it is written in a manner that makes it accessible to everyone, not just scholars of religion. Thank you, Dr. Pitre!
The construction and outline of the book is very logical....Biblical teaching about a subject is given, followed by non-biblical (but important!) first century Jewish PRACTICES regarding the topic. Finally, after laying this foundation, Pitre makes his case for the Catholic doctrine/interpretation.
While the focus is primarily on the Eucharist and "transubstantiation", there is PLENTY in here to learn that is useful for anyone interested in the Passion of Christ, communion, and the Resurrection. MOST fascinating to my mind was the evidence that Passover lambs in the time of Christ were, of a sort, really "crucified" on two blades of wood before they were roasted and eaten in remembrance.
Pitre's recalling of the four cups of the Passover Seder is also very worthwhile...one comes to appreciate Jesus' Gethsemane prayer and final words on the cross even more after learning how He apparently finished the Last Supper.
Also noteworthy is Pitre's acknowledgement that his work is largely built on digging deeper into the teaching and commentary of early generations of Christian teachers. Pitre reminds us that his observations aren't necessarily new; they're just new to US.
Reading and knowing our history as Christians is important...and hopefully keeps us from going off into left-field with our doctrine.
A very worthwhile read, and not too long...it did a pretty good job keeping my attention.