Is there anything in the New Testament about the need for priests in the Church? Many Protestants would argue no. And if you point out that there is a priesthood in the Old Testament, they are likely to say it was a feature of the Old Covenant that was undone by Christ. How should a Catholic respond?
In Jesus and the Old Testament Roots of the Priesthood, biblical scholar John Bergsma convinces readers that Jesus did, in fact, intend for a ministerial priesthood to be a key feature of the New Covenant.
Bergsma shows how the priesthood is a major thread holding together the biblical story line—beginning with Adam’s loss of the gift of priesthood in the Fall and the long process of restoring his descendants to a priestly status over the centuries, culminating with Christ.
With chapter summaries and discussion questions included, Jesus and the Old Testament Roots of the Priesthood can readily be adapted into a four-part study for personal or small group use.
John Bergsma is Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. A former Protestant pastor, Dr. Bergsma has authored several books on Scripture and the Catholic faith, including Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Revealing the Jewish Roots of the Church and A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: Old Testament with Brant Pitre. Dr. Bergsma speaks regularly for parish missions, diocesan conferences, clergy convocations, and other events nationally and internationally. He and his wife Dawn reside with their eight children in Steubenville, Ohio.
“In this scholarly and accessible work, Dr. John Bergsma not only offers us a thorough walk-through of the biblical roots of the priesthood, he also reminds us of two essential points: we are all created for worship and we as disciples of Jesus have a mission in the world that is increasingly urgent given all that is going on around us.”
Fr. John Riccardo, Executive Director, Acts XXIX
“This volume makes clear that any account of the relationship between the royal priesthood of the baptized and the ministerial priesthood which views them ‘competitively’ fails in understanding them both.”
Msgr. Michael Heintz, PhD
Dean, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
“While easily accessible to any serious reader, one important audience of this work will be seminarians and priests, who will be drawn deeper into the biblical spiritual roots of their vocation and identity.”
Fr. John Kartje
Rector/President, University of Saint Mary of the Lake