Who did Jesus of Nazareth claim to be? What was his relationship to early Judaism? When and how did he expect the kingdom to come? What were his intentions? Though these key questions have been addressed in studies of the historical Jesus, Brant Pitre argues that they cannot be fully answered apart from a careful historical analysis of the Last Supper accounts. Yet these accounts, both by the Gospel writers and by Paul, are widely neglected by contemporary Jesus research.
In this book Pitre fills a notable gap in historical Jesus research as he offers a rigorous, up-to-date study of the historical Jesus and the Last Supper. Situating the Last Supper in the triple contexts of ancient Judaism, the life of Jesus, and early Christianity, Pitre brings to light crucial insights into major issues driving the quest for Jesus. His Jesus and the Last Supper is sure to ignite scholarly discussion and debate.
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Get a detailed treatment of church history from a Catholic perspective with Roger Haight’s Christian Community in History (3 vols.).
This beautifully written work confirms Brant Pitre's eminence as a scholar of the very first rank. . . . Focusing on the Last Supper, Pitre develops such themes as the new bread of the presence, the new manna, the new Passover, the messianic banquet, and the kingdom of God in often surprising but utterly persuasive ways. Catholic participation in the Jesus quest has hereby finally borne its hoped-for fruit, with enormous implications for all Christians. Pitre should win the Ratzinger Prize for this book alone.
—Matthew Levering, professor of New Testament, Mundelein Seminary
Now more than ever the field of historical Jesus studies is in a state of flux. The discipline is razing old foundations with the hope that more sophisticated methods will emerge. With Jesus and the Last Supper Brant Pitre constructs a bridge from the best scholarship of previous generations to the most promising possibilities of the present. This book is nothing less than a blueprint for resurrecting Jesus studies in the twenty-first century.
—Anthony Le Donne, professor of New Testament, United Theological Seminary, Dayton
Brant Pitre's contribution is provocative in the best sense of the word. At every turn readers will find new observations worth pondering and new arguments worth weighing. In particular, the numerous intertextual claims should generate much productive discussion, as should Pitre's challenging approach to dating the Last Supper. No one will come away from this volume without having learned much.
—Dale C. Allison Jr., professor of New Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary
This dramatic new rereading of the evidence for the Last Supper is a pivotally important work on the Last Supper and also an important contribution to historical Jesus research. Carefully researched and vigorously yet graciously argued, it offers a brilliant new synthesis of the data. Even readers not persuaded by every point will find much or even most of the argument persuasive.
Craig S. Keener, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
This long-awaited book is a brilliant study about the sacred meal that Jesus instituted for his followers, including its background, its origins, and its meaning for us. Pitre artfully shows that the bread and wine of the meal commemorate and embody the hopes of Israel's restoration as achieved through their messianic deliverer. You'll never look at the Lord's Supper, Eucharist, or Mass the same way after reading this book. A sumptuous feast of exegesis and theology!
Michael F. Bird, professor of New Testament, Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College
Brant Pitre Brant Pitre is Professor of Sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, Louisiana. He is also the author of Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile; Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper; and Jesus the Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.