Friday, October 7, 2011

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist - Brant Pitre

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre

Rating: 6
Readability: 6
Impact: 6

Read it Again: No. Might refer to a few passages.
Recommend It: Not over other books on the same subject.

What to Expect

Observations on the Lord's Supper from the Old Testament and what we know of Jewish life from a Catholic perspective. 

Feels written by the rules (in good and bad ways), but with some big gaps in his arguments. Many of his observations are fascinating and true, but some of his approach and conclusions are puzzling.

Most of the book doesn't touch on specifically Roman Catholic doctrine. What is more startling and prevalent than he's brief passages and weak arguments directly on transubstantiation, is what he seems to say about Jesus.

Pitre focuses on Jesus divinity in several areas, but seems to imply in several others that Jesus didn't know what was going to happen to Him. His Christ seems not to know how His own life was written. This scared me. This topic, however, is so complicated and has so many definition arguments, it's hard to know what he's actually saying. 

There also seemed a big separation from spiritual and physical ideas and commands. Which, I guess makes sense along with other Roman Catholic beliefs, but I'd never thought about it that way before.

My Squib

Glad I read the book. The typology and historical aspects give some good food for thought. It is the first specifically Roman Catholic book I've read, and although there were several things I disagreed with, it was a good experience. 

You can get most of Brant Pitre's interesting bits plus a wider and more organized look at Lord's Supper throughout the Bible, from Dr. Leithart's book Blessed are the Hungry.

One thing the book accomplishes well is making one think about the Lord's Supper and it's importance. We should disagree with Rant Pitre on some points (and certainly the Roman Catholic Church), but we must seek to understand Communion. We should know what God teaches about this beautiful feast and strive to know what it means. 


Happy Homemaker said...

You are a very determined girl.

Clare Kolenda said...

Hi Bethany!

Not having read this book myself, I don't know how well this was written or how the ideas were expressed, but I just wanted to say that there are other books that explain Communion and the Eucharist more clearly then this one might have. Please don't take what Pitre has written and have what you say his "weak arguments" make you think that is what all Catholic Doctrine is like. Looking deeper into what the Roman Catholic Church believes, you might be surprised at how strong their arguments really are.

Bethany said...

Thanks, Clare. Reading a lot about The Lord's Supper right now. I'll read most books people will send me (the above was a gift). :-)

Not planning on converting to Roman Catholicism, but I am interested in what they believe and how they think!