• Author: Brant Pitre
  • Hardcover: 240 pages  ($13  to $22)
  • Publisher: Image; First Edition edition (February 15, 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385531849

It is difficult for me (someone who is not a professional writer) to put into words the significance of this book.

To understand this book, and the profound idea that the author is putting forth, we must first start with one of the most basic principles of Bible study: “The Unity of Sacred Scripture”.  Jesus himself teaches us about this:

And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?”  (Luke 24:32)   Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,…  (Luke 24:44-45)

The author has put this principle to use, and in this book he describes in great detail the links between the Last Supper and how Jesus fulfills and completes the Jewish religion with the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  The book uses quotes from Sacred Scripture (both Old and New Testaments) directly on the pages. References to other source materials are a combination of in-line text and footnotes. For a book of 202 pages there are 197 footnotes that are documented in a 22 page note section at the end of the book.  The main Jewish sources used are the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Works of Josephus, The Mishnah, The Targums, The Babylonian Talmud, and The Midrashim. In the introduction chapter, all six of these sources are explained. The author does point out that the two most important documents he uses are The Mishnah and The Talmud. The book is organized into eight chapters: The Mystery of the Last Supper, What Were the Jewish People Waiting For?, The New Passover, The Manna of the Messiah, The Bread of the Presence, The Fourth Cup and the Death of Jesus, The Jewish Roots of the Christian faith, (and finally) On the Road to Emmaus.

It is also important to note that the author admits that he has not published in the book some brand new ideas about the Jewish roots of the Eucharist, but that he has collected many other people’s thoughts, ideas, theories and teachings of the Church and put all of them together in one place.  He has done some outstanding research and presents these important and profound ideas in a book that is very easy to read and understand.  The book is organized well, and progresses logically from one idea to the next.   This book is not just the work of a good writer, but of a scholar, and of someone who has a burning passion for his work.

For people who’s belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is strong, non-existent or anywhere in-between, this book does make a strong argument, backed by many references, that will help anyone to increase their faith in the life giving gift that Jesus has given us.

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28)