160. Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church by Scott Hahn

160. Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church by Scott Hahn.

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

May 28, 2013, Image/Random House, 146 pgs +bibliography
Nihil Obstat; Imprimatur

Age: 18+

"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."

Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

I have anxiously been awaiting Dr. Hahn's newest book which has been expected for some time now.  This author has a way of totally blowing my mind with truths that just light up my world and positively show me the light of Christ.  Hahn's books are usually written for the layperson and very easy to read, Consuming the Word, however is his third book written for both the layperson and priest thus, as noted in the Preface, requiring just an extra bit of effort on the layperson's part but by no means does that make it "difficult" to read.

After reading this book I will never hear the words "New Testament" and think the same as I did before I read the book.  Hahn has us go back to the first century Christians and shows us how they thought and teaches us how to think like them.  So much of the meaning of the "Bible", the "Word" has been lost in modernity that we need to see what the "Word" meant to those who started following Jesus' orders understood it to be.  The New Testament is not a book, it is not written text; it is a divine being.  Jesus wrote no words.  The first century Christians had established traditions before they had written words.  That tradition was the Eucharist which started in the Upper Room when Jesus instituted it.  Reading this book is absolutely amazing as you see how the Eucharist came first, how it contains what we call "The New Testament" and how the NT came about *because of* the Liturgy.

As I read I would suddenly just have to stop because my mind would clear and it would all make sense as I saw and understood what Hahn was telling me.  I understand the importance of knowing what the original Hebrew and Greek words mean, especially when they have no exact Latin or English translation.  We must always remember to read the OT as a prophesy of the NT and the NT as a fulfillment of the OT.  But at the centre of it all is the spoken word, the actions, the divine being of Christ which is celebrated daily all over the world in the Sacraments, the Eucharist, the Liturgy, the Mass.

If you are Catholic, read this book.  If you have forgotten the real presence of Christ, read this book.


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