A Catholic Introduction to the Bible

The Old Testament

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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.

Brant Pitre

Brant Pitre, (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame), is Professor of Sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He is the author of Jesus and the Last Supper, The Case for Jesus, and Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.

John Bergsma

John Bergsma, (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame), is Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and a Senior Fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He is the author of The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran (VTSup 115; Brill 2007)

"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

"Uses the tools of solid historical-critical methodologies and is deeply rooted in the patristic and medieval exegetical tradition. This work will prove to be an invaluable resource."
Rev. James Wehner, S.T.D., Rector-President, Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans

"This is the introduction to the Old Testament I've been waiting for! It is up-to-date, erudite yet accessible, succinct yet thorough, and most importantly, it responds to the Church's call for biblical scholarship done from a hermeneutic of faith."
Mary Healy, Ph.D., Professor of Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

"A comprehensive guide to navigating the Old Testament that synthesizes the best of historical-critical research, the history of interpretation across the centuries, and the living faith of God's people."
Rev. Christopher Ciccarino, S.S.L., S.T.D., Associate Dean, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology

"With lucid writing and scholarly attention, Bergsma and Pitre unpack the Scripture—acknowledging academic debates but always embracing magisterial teaching. Stupendous!"
Rev. Dr. George E. Schultze, S.J., President-Rector, St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park, CA

"What sets this introduction to the Old Testament apart from many others is its integrated approach."
Pablo T. GadenzS.T.D., Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Seton Hall University

"Comprehensive in scope, this judicious and magisterial volume, replete with extensive bibliographies, will be used in classrooms for years to come."
Mark Giszczak, S.S.L., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture, Augustine Institute

"While written for Roman Catholics, this volume offers Protestants clear introductions to texts they rarely read and to the hermeneutic that underlies Roman Catholic theology."
Daniel I. Block, D.Phil., Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wheaton College

"Carefully researched and...of benefit to biblical scholars of all kinds. The authors are judicious in...the way they deal with critical issues of composition and interpretation."
Richard E. Averbeck, Ph.D., Professor of Old Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"This clear and remarkably thorough resource introduces the books belonging to the Roman Catholic canon of the Old Testament with insight and interpretive balance."
Roy E. Gane, Ph.D., Professor of Hebrew Bible, Andrews University

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