Sunday Scripture: Corpus Christi (YEAR C)


"Thy word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path." Ps 119:105


Welcome to this, the forty-fifth of my reflections on the theology of the Sunday readings at Mass.

I have undertaken this project, regularly posting background information on the readings at Sunday Mass as part of my own prayer life. I have found it helps me to do a little study before I go to Mass about the readings, what the theme of the week is, how it follows on from the previous week's readings and what is being said.

In sharing this, I hope to help you too get more from the Bible and Sunday Scripture readings. Perhaps it might give you confidence in the value and legitimacy of the Bible, or perhaps it might inspire you to pray the Divine Office or investigate the weekly readings for yourself.

I see this as very clearly part of what the Church teaches about the Bible:
This heaven-sent treasure Holy Church considers as the most precious source of doctrine on faith and morals. No wonder herefore that, as she received it intact from the hands of the Apostles, so she kept it with all care, defended it from every false and perverse interpretation and used it diligently as an instrument for securing the eternal salvation of souls, as almost countless documents in every age strikingly bear witness. ~Divino Afflante Spiritu
When fideism said that we should turn away from science and study and rely on the Bible for exactly what it is, in a literal sense, the Church said "no", we have nothing to fear from a proper understanding of Scripture and thus we were encouraged to delve ever deeper into the treasure chest of sacred Scripture to see what riches we could find there.

If you want to know how these posts came about, please read my first post in this series here.

I would like to think this regular blog would be a great help to anyone who reads at Mass, to enable them to foster a deeper understanding of the message they are trying to impart to the congregation.

There are several different ways to read this post. I would suggest the first thing to do is to look at the relevant readings. You might then want to look at the specific commentary for a particular reading. I post the same summary of the featured Biblical books each week, but at the end, under the subheading this week, you will usually find some commentary specific to each week. At the end I post a passage which attempts to draw all the readings together and understand the message.

My reflections are not definitive, but based on my study and perhaps authenticated by careful reference to the Biblical Commentaries and books I list at the bottom each week.

This Sunday the theme for the readings might be summed up as:



The Priesthood of Melchizedek.

Collect:
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption..
Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

This week's readings are:
  • First Reading: Genesis 14: 18-20.
  • Psalm 109: 1-4; Response: v. 4. 
  • Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
  • Gospel: Luke 9: 11-17.
First, a short preliminary survey of each of the books.

I will post the same, or similar prelims week on week, for each book as we encounter them, although I may add a little detail specific to each week's readings.

The Book of Genesis (from the Latin Vulgate, in turn borrowed or transliterated from Greek γένεσις, meaning "origin"; Hebrew: בְּרֵאשִׁית‎, Bereʾšyt, "In [the] beginning"), is the first book of the Hebrew Bible (the TaNaKh) and the Christian Old Testament. It is of huge importance to me, as it is the source of much controversy. Today, Atheists erroneously consider that it is a scientific manual with which Christians prescribe the blue-print of creation. Although some literalists still consider that creation happened just as the English translation of the TaNaKh recounts, this idea is broadly discounted; again, if you require Magisterial confirmation of this, I refer you to the teaching of Dei Verbum the Catholic Church's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, which asks that scholars pay attention to the literary forms:
"The interpreter must investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture. For the correct understanding of what the sacred author wanted to assert, due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of feeling, speaking and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer, and to the patterns men normally employed at that period in their everyday dealings with one another." Dei Verbum 12.
Genesis is typically Jewish in its purpose as a story to explain the origins of the world. That's not to say that Genesis is just made up nonsense; far from it! It contains some of the most important and beautiful truths of our being. What we must remember is that these truths are communicated in the the Jewish way of thinking about things: if they want to understand how something works, they tell stories.

One of the major questions that confronts any reader of the Bible, and especially pertinent if you consider it to be the Word of God, has to relate to the factual authenticity of its contents. The book of Genesis offers an account of creation which many mock in today’s scientific community and may seem at best, simplistic to the uninitiated. If the whole of the Bible is inspired, how does one understand the figures and dates of the primeval age alone? What about God’s direct intervention in the affairs of men? For example, the book of Exodus itself proclaims:
“the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror, with signs and wonders…” (Deut. 26: 5-9) 
Did these miraculous events really occur in the way they are documented in the Bible? In his work Reading the Old Testament, Lawrence Boadt suggests that slaves escaping into the Sinai were probably a common occurrence. He gives examples of Egyptian documents which mention attempts to stop such groups (Boadt, L., Reading the Old Testament (New York: Paulist Press, 1984) p.163-165). He goes on to note that the important difference with the Exodus escape is the Divine element it held for Israel. He postulates that Egypt may not have even realised this aspect at all!

Another valuable dimension to this is given by the great Biblical Scholar, Dr. Gerhard von Rad. He describes the way that some academics only analyse the historical veracity of the Torah as “historical materialism” in his book Genesis (von Rad, G., Genesis (London: SCM Press, 1961) p.31). Designating this kind of narrative as “saga”, von Rad explains that the expectation that the saga should either contain historical fact, or else it can be described as merely a product of poetic fantasy is an extremely crass misunderstanding of its essence. It is true, however, that this skepticism has been the attitude prevalent since the 19th Century. The saga then offers a product born of a completely different kind of intellectual activity from that of history (historie), although history (Geschichte) is precisely what it is concerned with.

What then are these narratives? How can they be concerned with fact and yet not be tied to fact by their contents? von Rad answers by stating:
“Whatever saga we examine, we find with respect to its simplest and most original purpose that it narrates an actual event that once and for all occurred in the realm of history. It is therefore to be taken quite seriously – it is to be believed. In all that follows, therefore, let us hold fast to this: by no means is a saga merely the product of poetic fantasy; rather it comprises the sum total of the living historical recollection of peoples. In it is mirrored in fact and truth the history of a people. It is the form in which a people thinks of its own history.”
The Old Testament sagas then, are concerned with Israel itself and the realities the people of Israel found in themselves. In this way they contain a much more real history, a history with much more truth in it than a purely factual historical writing would. They contain the secret contemporary character of apparently past events. This character is more than a list of the achievements, wars, political struggles, victories and defeats experienced by a people. It takes place on another level and speaks of inner guidance working and maturing in life’s mysteries. It is a history with God.

This weekWe hear about Melchizedek which the Letter to the Hebrews describes Jesus' ongoing priestly ministry as being in the order of. We have encountered this once before in my Scriptural oddysea in the context of Hebrews; you can read that post here.

Melchizedek is the first person in Scripture to be referred to as a "priest"(Gen 14:18). The expression used in Hebrews: "the order of Melchizedek" is from Psalm 110. The statement is striking, as for well over a thousand years Israel only knew only the Levitical priesthood of Aaron and his descendants established by the Mosaic covenant (Ex 40:12-15). No other priesthood was acknowledged by the Law or permitted to officiate on behalf of the covenant people (Num 17:1-13; 18:1-7). Melchizedek's priesthood is, in fact, the pre-Levitical priesthood exercised during the pre-Mosaic history. There is much that can be said about this important biblical character, who is the only figure in Genesis to be identified as a priest of "God Most High". It is clear that this is the same God that Abraham knows as "the LORD" who made "heaven and earth" (Gen 14:22). The only others to bear the title "priest" in Genesis are pagan clerics who served the idol gods of Egypt (Gen 41:45, 50; 46:20; 47:22, 26). Another key point is that Melchizedek is identified as the king of "Salem" (Gen 14:18) which we know means "peace", shalom. Jewish tradition identifies this city as Jerusalem—that is Zion, the city of peace, as does Psalm 76:2, the Holy City that would eventually become the spiritual centre of Israelite religion and the political capital of the Davidic kings.

Melchizedek also ministers to Abraham as a priest, he blesses him (Gen 14:19) and brings forth "bread and wine" (Gen 14:18). The fact that Abraham reciprocates Melchizedek's communion sacrifice with a tithe (Gen 14:20) suggests that he understood a priestly and spiritual service had been performed for the patriarch and his company (cf. Num 18:21).

Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son—which is the theme in the Book of Hebrews—is a much greater priest than the Levites. They had merely taken the place of the sinful firstborn sons until the true and righteous firstborn Son of God would come.

Before, we had an Old Covenant family on earth. Now, we have a New Covenant family in heaven—our divine family. The Trinity’s life is our family life, and it comes to us through God’s firstborn Son, who was like Melchizedek in being a son-priest. But the bread and the wine that Christ offers is not earthly bread and wine, but heavenly bread, heavenly wine—his own body and blood. He is still, today and forever, a minister in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle in heaven. Since every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices, God has appointed his own Son to be High Priest. What are his gifts and sacrifices? Himself—and all of us in union with him!

Moreover, the sacrifice isn’t finished. No, it’s just begun, and we’re going to be offering it forever with Christ. Not bloody animal sacrifices, but our hearts and our souls and our bodies in union with the One whose body and blood, soul and divinity are perfect and pure—the only acceptable sacrifice, which makes our otherwise unacceptable sacrifices perfectly acceptable: "Holy and righteous," as Paul says (Romans 12.1).
Psalms is the Bible's manual of inspired song and prayer. The collection of 150 Psalms represents the culmination of a long tradition that extends across almost the full span of the history of ancient Israel, from the Exodus (c. 1280 B.C.) until the last centuries of the Old Testament era (c. 200 B.C.). In Hebrew the canon of the Bible is called the TNK or Tanakh, which consists of Torah (teaching), Nevi'im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (writings)—thus TaNaKh. Psalms makes up the first of the writings in the Hebrew text. One of the most powerful things we know about the Psalms is that this is how Jesus Himself prayed.

This week: the Psalm consists of two divine oracles to the Davidic king through a prophet, perhaps at the coronation or its anniversary. The response, which mentions Melchizedek, has a meaning which is debated. Perhaps it alludes to the succession of the Davidic monarch to the status (including priesthood) of the former Jebusite kings of Zion. The king is endowed with a priestly function, such as David had. The focus changes from the king as priest to the king as victorious warrior at verse 5.

St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, like all of Paul's letters, needs to be understood for what it is. It is not a synopsis of doctrine, a magisterial statement or a council document. It is a letter motivated by reports made to him from the house of Chloe (1:11) concerning factions in the community (1:12), quarrels between brethren (6:1), the scandalous acts of some (5:1; 6:12-20). Members of the community had sent a letter to Paul containing questions about various matters (7:1): the use of meat sacrificed to idols (8-10), the hierarchy of charisms (12-14). Moreover, the Apostle was most probably informed by those who had carried the letter to him, i.e. Stephanus, Fortunatus and Achaicus (16:17) of certain abuses which had crept in to the assemblies of the members of the community and even into the celebrations of the Eucharist (10-11), and of certain difficulties raised by the doctrine of the general resurrection (15). Paul's motives for writing show that one does not acquire a profoundly Christians sense overnight; that after the original commitment to Christ one must avoid dangers and acquire further instruction. This Letter is invaluable in that it reveals more more about the struggles and conditions of a young, apostolic Church than any other New Testament letter, providing us with a clear picture of the wide range of pressures the first Christians had to face. These pressures came both from within their own communities and from the pagan environment that they lived in. Paul's spiritual direction, though often bold and confrontational, is sensitive to these challenges throughout the letter. Paul offers advice that is challenging, yet always full of charity and the paternal wisdom which is one of the hallmarks of his writing.

One of the things that makes 1 Corinthians such valued reading is the timeless nature of the issues Paul addresses; immorality, arrogance, liturgical abuse, and erroneous opinions about death and resurrection. These problems are as much a part of our contemporary Church as they were in Paul's day. Paul's approach is very interesting as well. He focuses on the two vices that provide the foundation for the Corinthians' struggles: pride and selfishness. The Corinthians manifest pride in the form of intellectual arrogance that pays no more respect to human knowledge and eloquence than to the humble message of the Gospel (1:18-25; 3:18-21; 8:1-3). Paul reprimands this superior attitude; he reminds them of Scripture's express warnings in this regard (1:19, 31; 3:19-20), as well as explaining to them how true wisdom comes from the Gospel of the Cross (1:18; 2:6-10). Paul's theology allows no room for arrogance or boasting, because every good thing believers have received comes directly from God (4:6-7). Litigiousness (6:1-8), a reckless assertion of freedoms (8:1-13), discrimination against the poor (11:21-22) and attracting attention through the exercising of one's spiritual gifts (14:1-40) all demonstrate the Corinthian's selfishness. The antidote Paul prescribes is a return to Christian charity (14:1; 16:14, 22) because only God's love within us "builds up" (8:1) the Church in a way that glorifies Christ.

The most beautiful and celebrated chapter in the letter is chapter 13, often read at weddings. It elucidates beautifully the supreme law of the New Covenant (Romans 13:8-10) and the crown jewel of the Christians virtues (1 Cor 13:13). For it is only the divine love that we receive from Jesus Christ that can deliver us from the chains of self-centered living and carry us into eternity with God (13:8-12).

This week: We have one of those passages that, if you take a moment, the reality of which is really quite shocking. Paul learned of the Last Supper through the Church's liturgical tradition, handed on from Jesus and the Apostles. His account here agrees substantially with the Gospel accounts, especially Luke's telling (Luke 22:19-20). These same words, these same actions, are what we all hear each week at Mass (or more often if we are lucky enough). Is this faith something learned from a book? No! It is alive and was lived by your parents and their parents and their parents parents all the way back in an unbroken line to Paul, here, writing to the Church in Corinth, and to Jesus and the Apostles at the Last Supper, the institution of the Eucharist we celebrate at every Mass. It is through the words of Consecration , Jesus transformed the ordinary bread and wine of the Jewish Passover meal into the Sacrament of His Body and Blood (Jn 6:53-58). In the same way as the Jewish Passover memorialises the deliverance of Israel from Egypt by Moses, so now the new Passover of the Eucharist commemorates the Church's deliverance from sin through Jesus (5:7; CCC 1340). Christ's mandate to continue this liturgical action is linked with His institution of the New Covenant Priesthood (CCC 1337, 1341).

At Mass, the bread and wine is consecrated separately, just as Paul recounts here. This is a visible representation of Christ's death; it shows how His blood was separated from His body on the Cross. The liturgy awaits its fulfillment when Christ comes again in glory. Anticipating His visible return as Judge (4:5), Christ makes an invisible return as Judge in the Eucharistic meal itself (CCC 1402-5). This is why Paul stresses that unworthy reception of Communion brings judgement upon the perpetrators:
"For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgement upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world." (1 Cor 11:29-32)
This shows clearly how Paul sees the Eucharist as a sacrament--not of Christ's absence--but of His real and holy presence. When I first realised this it really scared me and made me think seriously about what I meant when I went to Holy Communion and said "Amen"-- so be it.

The Gospel According to St. LukeLuke is not only a theologian; he is also a consummate literary artist with a mind that is tuned to the aesthetic. Luke begins his Gospel with a clearly stated aim: “to draw up an account of the events that have happened”. Luke’s Gospel is the longest of the four Gospels, this despite the fact that it only represents half the Lucan writings; Luke’s Gospel was originally joined to Acts as part of a two-volume work. This is evident in the Gospel itself, which frequently looks forward to Acts and Paul’s mission.

The biblical scholar Raymond Brown deduces that the Gospel was written for Church communities in Greece and Syria. These were areas affected by Paul’s mission either directly, or indirectly. Lucan thought and proclivities can be detected in the extent to which the author changes the Marcan material, which makes up about thirty-five percent of Luke. Luke certainly improves Mark’s Greek, bettering the grammar, syntax and vocabulary, as evidenced in 4:1, 31 and 38. Luke alters the Latinism kēnsos (= census) in 20:22 from Mark 12:14 and substituting the more exact “craftiness- treachery” for “hypocrisy” in Mark 12:15 .

Luke also alters the Marcan sequence to accomplish his goals as stated in the prologue: to write carefully and in an orderly manner. For example, he puts Jesus’ rejection at Nazareth at the opening of the Galilean ministry (Luke 4:16-30) rather than after some time had elapsed (Mark 6:1-6), in order to explain why His Galilean ministry was centred at Capernaum.

Christologically, Luke is more reverential about Jesus than Mark and he avoids Marcan passages that might make Jesus seem weak, harsh or emotional (e.g. Mark 10:14 where Jesus is indignant). He also stresses detachment from possessions (Luke 5:11,28), the Twelve are even forbidden to take a staff!

Adrian Hastings, in his book Prophet and Witness in Jerusalem, makes particular capital over Luke’s allusion to the guilt of Jerusalem. Hastings suggests that this is because Jerusalem represented the old, exclusive Israel. Raymond Brown also draws attention to this point in An Introduction to the New Testament, where he asks if Pilate’s triple declaration of Jesus’ innocence represents an attempt to convince Greco-Roman readers that the Jews were totally responsible for the crucifixion. For Hastings, Luke demonstrates a strong affinity for the universality of Christianity and its apostolate to the Gentiles and points out to the Jews that they are the ones who have constantly rejected the messengers of God. Hence it is not surprising if they now find themselves cut off from the new Church and Holy People of God. Hastings states that this demonstrates that Luke was writing so that Christians might understand that Jerusalem had rejected Our Lord and thus had been rejected and was no longer the centre of God’s Church, which had turned to the conversion of the Gentiles. It would seem to me that this idea would have been greatly assisted by the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. Brown however, notes that Acts 4:25-28 clearly blames Pilate and mitigates that this may have been an attempt to persuade Roman officials to deal fairly with Christians. Brown eventually concludes that the description of Jewish leaders resisting the spread of Christianity springs from a desire to explain why Christian preachers and especially Paul turned to the Gentiles.

The fact that the last half of Acts concentrates on Paul’s career raises the likelihood that Luke-Acts was addressed to the churches descended from the Pauline mission. Talbert concludes his study of Luke-Acts with the finding that the Gospel was indeed motivated by the “churchly situation”; The community was troubled by a concern for the true Christian tradition. Luke writes to aid Christians in these communities in their self-understanding, helping them to know that there was nothing subversive in their origins that should cause them to come into conflict with their Roman rulers.

The Lucan Gospel differs in many ways to Matthew making it seem likely that this Gospel was addressed to a different church (q.v.). The end of Acts attributed to Paul also indicates that the future of the Gospel lies with the Gentiles, which makes the intended audience unlikely to be Jewish Christians. This is corroborated by the way that Luke drops Marcan Aramaic expressions and place-names in his work.

Luke intends to trace the history of God’s plan from the coming of Jesus, to the fulfilment of the mission He gave to His disciples to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The earthly ministry of Jesus and all the events before the Ascension are the turning point in human history for Luke.

If this post on Luke sparked your interest, there's a post on the historicity of the Synoptics here.

This week: The Gospel links the Lucan multiplication of the loaves narrative with the institution of the Eucharist in the second reading and the priesthood of Melchizedek in the first reading. This is the only miracle, apart from the Resurrection, which is recounted in all four Gospels (Mt 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Jn 6:1-13). In John is is immediately followed by the 'Bread of Life' discourse, which presents a detailed exposition of the reality of the Sacrament. The multiplication of the loaves provides a link to the past as well as the future. It recalls previous miracles from the Old Testament and foreshadows the institution of the Eucharist. It is also very pertinent in connection with the Lucan theme of God's kingdom, which the Evangelist describes as a great feast (13:29-30; 14:7-14, 15-24). This messianic banquet is celebrated first at the Last Supper (22:14-23) and later in heaven (Rev 19:7-9).

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek, 1625, Peter Paul Rubens, oil on panel,.

Drawing them all together...

Some really nourishing material to reflect on in the readings this week, I have really enjoyed putting together the reflection and I do hope you get something from it that deepens your enjoyment of this wonderful Solemnity.

Blessed John Paul II reminded us that in commemorating the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the Church "does not only celebrate the Eucharist but solemnly bears it in procession, publicly proclaiming that the sacrifice of Christ is for the salvation of the whole world". We rejoice in this post-Easter expression of our Eucharistic affection on order to deepen our attachment to the unique and unending Event that transforms our lives. As the Sequence for Corpus Christi begs: "Come then, good shepherd, bread divine, still show to us thy mercy sign, Oh feed us still, still keep us thine; So may we see they glories shine in fields of immortality." (from Magnificat).

One insight I had whilst reflecting on the readings for this week came in discussing them with my dear mum. We were talking about the second reading from Corinthians, and mum quoted a bit from the Penny Catechism (#273) she learnt as a child:
It is a great sin to receive Holy Communion in mortal sin; 'for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself'. Cor. 11:29
I was really impressed that she had remembered and quoted St. Paul from memory! It does reinforce one of the points I constantly return to about the need for some proper catechesis for children today, and what that catechesis gave our parents (that is a decent, basic understanding of the faith).

To widen the context, one might consider what St. Paul says in light of current trends at Mass. As a reaction to a distinctly Jansenist theology (that is one that over-stresses our depravity), I am told, the "Spirit of Vatican II" tried to do away with guilt and encourage everyone to receive the Blessed Sacrament more regularly. I hope, in the light of the Second Reading today, a few more people might consider going to Confession before approaching the altar of the Lord. This lack of reverence before the Blessed Sacrament, has also led to a new trend for blessings. This seems to me to be a reaction to desperate desire not to leave anyone out of Communion: even non-Catholics. In fact, this is a complete nonsense as it is reported that the Congregation for Divine Worship confirms here. It is a nonsense because
The liturgical blessing of the Holy Mass is properly given to each and to all at the conclusion of the Mass, just a few moments subsequent to the distribution of Holy Communion.
We shouldn't be afraid or ashamed to be honest before God and stay in our pew if we haven't been to confession. Surely it is more honest to make a spiritual communion and resolve to go to Confession as soon as one can than to risk God's judgement by receiving in a state of sin? This also creates great scandal for others who know of the situation. It shows a great lack of respect, and is thus very insulting.

Anyway, let us focus back on the readings. The themes of messianic prophecy, the meal, and the combination of both in the Last Supper shape the readings for this great Solemnity today. Melchizedek is a fascinating character, at once key and yet utterly mysterious figures in the Bible. A king who has the power to bless, whose origins are unknown. The incredible connection for us Catholics today are his gifts of bread and wine which relate to the bread and wine blessed at the supper table in the Upper Room by Jesus. In Jesus' life on earth, His ministry was characterised by his close and loving concern for His followers. While He refused to change the stones in the Wilderness of Temptation into bread, He thought of people's needs, and understood their physical hunger as a sign of spiritual need. He spoke of changing the bread of the Pharisees into the new leaven of His Word, and proclaimed Himself the Bread of Life. The Feeding of the Five Thousand was the greatest sign of His loving concern, and its full potential was revealed at the Last Supper when Jesus' identification of Himself with the bread broken and blessed was completed in the offering of His Body and Blood on the Cross.

All who believe in Him will accept this gift as Abraham did the bread and wine offered by Melchizedek. To Jesus' roles of prophet, priest and king is added that of the Suffering Servant who becomes the bread of life. The theme of the meal now assumes an eschatalogical perspective, with fulfillment in the heavenly Kingdom symbolised in the Lucan narrative by the banquet. These ideas have significance for us at the most basic levels of our humanity and social behaviour: the need for food, for sharing, for compassion, for future fulfillment. In the gift of Jesus' Body and Blood we are linked to the past, to the sacrifice of Calvary, and to the triumph of the Resurrection re-presented to us, unbounded by time and space; we are bound now in unity to Him and to each other in the celebration of the Eucharist; and in this participation we have a pledge of our future glory when we drink the new wine with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Bibliography:

Baker, K., SJ, Inside the Bible, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1998.
Barret, C. K., Acts a Shorter Commentary, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2002.
Boadt, L., Reading the Old Testament, New York: Paulist Press, 1984.
Brown, R. E., An Introduction to the New Testament, New York, Doubleday, 1997.
Brown, R. et al (Ed) The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, (London: Chapman, 2000).
Cotter, D., Genesis, Collegville: Liturgical Press, 2003.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, New York: Doubleday, 1995.
Dodd, C.H., The Founder of Christianity, (London: Collins, 1978).
Duggan, M., The Consuming Fire, (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1991).
Fuller, R.C., Johnstone, L., Kearns, C., A New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, (London: Nelson, 1969).
Hahn, S., The Lamb's Supper (London: DLT, 1999).
Harrington, W. J., John: Spiritual Theologian (Dublin: The Columbia Press, 2007).
Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament, Second Edition RSV, (San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 2001).
Kereszty, R., O. Cist., Jesus Christ—Fundamentals of Christology (New York: Alba, 2010).
Kreeft, P., You Can Understand The Bible, (San Francisco, Ignatius, 2005).
Letellier, R., Sunday & Feastday Sermons Cycles A, B, and C, (New York: St. Pauls, 2011).
Magnificat Monthly Vol. 3, No. 9/ June 2013.
Rahner, K., Encyclopedia of Theology, (St. Pauls, New York, 1975).McKenzie, J.L., Dictionary of the Bible, (New York, Touchstone, 1995).
Ratzinger, J., Introduction to Christianity, (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2004).
Ratzinger, J., Jesus of Nazareth, (Bloomsbury, London, 2007).
Talbert, C.H., Literary Patterns, Theological Themes and the Genre of Luke-Acts, Montana: SBLMS, 1974.
von Rad, G., Genesis (London: SCM Press, 1961).
von Rad, G., Wisdom in Israel, (SCM Press, Tottenham, U.K., 1993).


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