Friday, February 18, 2011

New book - Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre

“Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper” by Brant Pitre

The book is available on Amazon by clicking here.

In this new book, Dr. Brant Pitre does an excellent job illuminating the parallels as well as the differences from Jewish worship at the time of Christ to the actions of Christ and the beginnings of Christianity.

Dr. Pitre puts worship and the hopes of a coming Messiah in the perspective of a Jewish person living at the time of Christ. He describes the worship at the first Passover, the rituals of worship during the Exodus, and goes on to the Passover rituals followed at the time of Christ. The details here are not the type of things the typical Catholic would know about Jewish worship and tradition. Even more intriguing was the anticipation by Jews of a "new Exodus" in relation to the coming of the Messiah. Dr. Pitre's easy to read, straight forward style helps tie these details together to the "new Passover" worship found in Christianity.

Some of the connections between the Passover rituals to the Catholic mass have been touched on in other books. But this book does a tremendous job of bringing all of the related items together in one, well organized place. In Dr. Pitre's closing discussion, he details just where you can find references to the Passover in other texts including the writings of the Early Father's of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as writers in Jewish and Protestant faiths. Detailed notes for further reading follow in the back of the book with references to Pope Benedict XVI, Thomas Aquinas, and Justin Martyr as well as a veritable "Who's Who" of scripture scholars.

The book has an introduction by well known Catholic writer Scott Hahn as well as a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur. Dr. Pitre has degrees from the Notre Dame University in Indiana and is currently a professor of sacred scripture at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the Jewish roots of Catholic worship as well as anyone wanting to have a better appreciation of the Real Presence within the Eucharist. I believe it will also aid many in a better understanding of the celebration of the Catholic mass.