Although many Catholics are familiar with the four Gospels and other writings of the New Testament, for most, reading the Old Testament is like walking into a foreign land. Who wrote these forty-six books? When were they written? Why were they written? What are we to make of their laws, stories, histories, and prophecies? Should the Old Testament be read by itself or in light of the New Testament?
John Bergsma and Brant Pitre offer readable in-depth answers to these questions as they introduce each book of the Old Testament. They not only examine the literature from a historical and cultural perspective but also interpret it theologically, drawing on the New Testament and the faith of the Catholic Church. Unique among introductions, this volume places the Old Testament in its liturgical context, showing how its passages are employed in the current Lectionary used at Mass.
Accessible to nonexperts, this thorough and up-to-date introduction to the Old Testament can serve as an idea textbook for biblical studies. Its unique approach, along with its maps, illustrations, and other reference materials, makes it a valuable resource for seminarians, priests, Scripture scholars, theologians, and catechists, as well as anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Bible.
“The Dead Sea Scrolls made it clear, however, that the Septuagint translators had, for the most part, translated the Hebrew in front of them straightforwardly. The more significant differences between portions of the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text were due to variations in the Hebrew editions of the biblical books, not to the activity of the Septuagint translators.” (Page 38)
“The Dead Sea Scrolls changed how scholars viewed the history of the text of the Old Testament. It became clear that in antiquity, around the time of Jesus, the text of the Jewish Scriptures varied from Hebrew manuscript to Hebrew manuscript.” (Page 38)
“The canon defines the books approved for the Church’s worship; the Bible is the Church’s liturgical book” (Page 24)
“David’s significance within the Old Testament is his reception of an everlasting covenant from God” (Page 352)
“This ‘Book of the Law’ was the first ‘Bible’ in Israel’s religious history, and its function is both significant and paradigmatic: it was intended as a guide for faith and morals, to be proclaimed in the context of the liturgy, as an integral part of the renewal of God’s covenant with his people. This continues to be the function of the Scriptures in the New Covenant. The Christian Bible continues to be a covenant document (in two divisions, the Old and the New) proclaimed publicly in the celebration of the covenant-renewing liturgy.” (Page 19)
A remarkable achievement. Substantive and systematic, it integrates history, theology, faith, reason, Scripture, and tradition—all in light of the living authority of the Church.
— Most Rev. Robert Barron, S.T.D., Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Founder, Word on Fire Ministries
Truly a magnificent achievement. It offers one of the most desperately needed elements of a renewed biblical pedagogy, the restoration of the Old Testament to its rightfully indispensable place in the life of the Church.
— John C. Cavadini, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
This book far outpaces the competition with its historical erudition and liturgical depth.
— Matthew Levering, Ph.D., James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
Kevin Clarke, Ph.D.