Long before the New Testament was a document, it was a sacrament. Jesus called the Eucharist by the name Christians subsequently gave to the latter books of the Holy Bible. It was the “New Covenant,” the “New Testament,” in his blood. Christians later extended the phrase to cover the books produced by the apostles and their companions; but they did so because these were the books that could be read at Mass.
This simple and demonstrable historical fact has enormous implications for the way we read the Bible. In Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church, Dr. Scott Hahn undertakes an examination of some of Christianity’s most basic terms to discover what they meant to the sacred authors, the apostolic preachers, and their first hearers. Moreover, at a time when the Church is embarking on a New Evangelization he draws lessons for Christians today to help solidify their understanding of the why it is Catholics do what Catholics do.
Anyone acquainted with the rich body of writing that flows so inspiringly from the hand and heart of Dr. Hahn knows that he brings profound personal insight to his demonstrated theological expertise,” writes Cardinal Donald Wuerl in the foreword to the book. Consuming the Word continues in that illustrious tradition. It brings us a powerful and welcome guide as we take our place in the great and challenging work in sharing the Good News.
About the Author
Dr. Scott Hahn is the bestselling author of over forty titles, including The Lamb’s Supper and Reasons to Believe. Professor Hahn holds the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990. As Founder and President of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, he is Editor-in-Chief of Emmaus Road Publishing. His Emmaus Road titles include Understanding “Our Father,” Spirit and Life, Scripture Matters, Answering the New Atheism (co-author), and Catholic for a Reason Vols. I–IV (co-editor). He also serves as the McEssy Distinguished Visiting Professor of Biblical Theology at Mundelein Seminary. Dr. Hahn has six children and thirteen grandchildren. He lives in Steubenville, Ohio.
“Scott Hahn has a well-earned reputation as a vivid guide to the Word of God. That skill is elegantly on display here. Consuming the Word is erudite and accessible, rich in content and lucid in style—an engaging read for anyone who seeks to better understand the profound interplay of Scripture, Liturgy and the role of the Church in Christian life.”
—Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
“With words that are both accessible and erudite, Dr. Scott Hahn introduces us anew to the Eternal Word of the New Testament, a word that is given to us, not simply as a text in a book, but as the living and real presence of the Lord Jesus himself.”
—Very Reverend Robert Barron, author of Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith
“In Consuming the Word, Scott Hahn brings his trilogy on the Bible and the Mass to a brilliant climax. In it, he serves up a veritable feast of insights into the real meaning of the ‘New Testament,’ the ancient Christian Eucharist, the Sacraments, the Canon of Scripture, the Lectionary, the Truth of the Bible, the importance of Tradition, and much, much more. If you want to deepen your hunger for the Word of God in Scripture and Word made flesh in the Eucharist, then this is the book for you.”
—Brant Pitre, author of Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist
“I have known about Scott Hahn since he, as an Evangelical minister, brought my brother into his community to express his concern about my becoming a Roman Catholic in 1978. His Romanization years later blessed my heart, as I saw a new generation of Catholic converts from the Evangelical world. Since then I have been most impressed by the scholarship and love of scripture he brought into his Catholic life and ministry. I am blessed to count him as a friend. This newest offering reflects the strong connection between the authority of the scriptures and the Church that confronts and challenges anyone on a similar journey into the Catholic Church.”
—John Michael Talbot, author of The World is My Cloister
“Catholic scholars may debate certain details about how to understand Scripture, dogma, and liturgy, but all can agree that these three realities inseparably illuminate each other. Scott Hahn powerfully articulates these connections and their consequences for the love relationship into which the God of Love calls us.”—Matthew Levering, Professor of Theology, University of Dayton
“This thoroughly enjoyable examination of the source and meaning of the New Testament is particularly needed today with the confusion brought about by the hyper-acceptance and over-application of higher-critical theories. The beauty of all of Scott’s writings come from him unique ability to see the big picture, to bring together theology, history, philosophy, and biblical studies, and present it in a way that is amazingly readable and practical. In the work that we do, helping non-Catholic clergy discover the beauty and truth of the Church, this book will become an essential resource.”
—Marcus Grodi, host of EWTN’s The Journey Home
“After reading Consuming the Word, I will never hear the phrase ‘New Testament’ in the same way again. This book offers a soul-satisfying account of the organic connection between the liturgical life of the Church and Scripture, between the Incarnation in flesh and the Incarnation in words, between the sinlessness of Christ and the truthfulness of Scripture, which emphasizes the necessary priority of the former in each pair without in the least diminishing the indispensability of the latter. I say ‘soul-satisfying’ because one leaves the book feeling that a spiritual need for coherence and clarity has been met.”—John C. Cavadini, Professor of Theology, Director of the Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame
“In his latest book, Scott Hahn takes lessons from the Early Church to reveal the New Testament in a whole new light. Consuming the Word is essential reading for Catholics who want to better understand how the sacred authors and apostles affect us today.”
—Matthew Kelly, author of Rediscover Catholicism
“Consuming the Word will increase your appetite for God and draw you into divine intimacy. Dr. Hahn brings clarity to the term “New Testament” as he moves us from text to action, from page to passion. Disciples of Christ have been called not to a text but to a covenant. The invitation to anyone studying the bible is to go deeper, to go beyond study to worship, to go beyond the words to the Word made flesh. For those who grasp the message of this book, their understanding of the Eucharistic sacrifice will never be the same.”
—Jeff Cavins, author of My Life on the Rock