In recent years, Christians everywhere are rediscovering the Jewish roots of their faith. Every year at Easter time, many believers now celebrate Passover meals (known as Seders) seeking to understand exactly what happened at Jesus’ final Passover, the night before he was crucified.
Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist shines fresh light on the Last Supper by looking at it through Jewish eyes. Using his in-depth knowledge of the Bible and ancient Judaism, Dr. Brant Pitre answers questions such as: What was the Passover like at the time of Jesus? What were the Jewish hopes for the Messiah? What was Jesus’ purpose in instituting the Eucharist during the feast of Passover? And, most important of all, what did Jesus mean when he said, “This is my body… This is my blood”?
To answer these questions, Pitre explores ancient Jewish beliefs about the Passover of the Messiah, the miraculous Manna from heaven, and the mysterious Bread of the Presence. As he shows, these three keys—the Passover, the Manna, and the Bread of the Presence—have the power to unlock the original meaning of the Eucharistic words of Jesus. Along the way, Pitre also explains how Jesus united the Last Supper to his death on Good Friday and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Inspiring and informative, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist is a groundbreaking work that is sure to illuminate one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian faith: the mystery of Jesus’ presence in “the breaking of the bread.”
- Roman Catholic Perspective (Transubstantiation)
It depends on what you're looking for. I was looking for insights regarding the "Seder" that Jesus and his disciples would have observed. The buyer should be advised the author is a Roman Catholic and subscribes to the Roman understanding of the Eucharist (Mass) that would be illogical for thinking reformed Christians. (When Jesus said "take, eat, this is my body" in the upper room, how did that function seeing as how he was sitting right there? A metaphoric connection is the only logical explanation. Jesus frequently used metaphors when talking to the disciples, and they frequently didn't get it, e.g., Matt 16:5-12.)
Nevertheless, I did contain some valuable information connecting Old Testament practices and Jewish tradition as Jesus and the disciples would have understood them by the first century A.D.
The author makes a good case for linking Seder practices with what was going on in the upper room, but fails to explain (how could he?) the leap of logic (but then, how could he?) from metaphor to "actual" transformation of the elements into the literal body and blood of Christ.
Again, I was only interested in the Seder itself, so I got something out of it.