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Three Reasons to Get Letter & Spirit Before the End of May

Letter and Spirit is a highly respected and popular journal released each year by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and edited by founder Scott Hahn. And here are three great reasons to get the Letter & Spirit Collection (11 vols.) while you have a few days left: [Read more…]

Am I Really Missing Out If I Don’t Get Verbum 7?

If you’re studying the Bible with paper books, you have no way of knowing that the insight you need for your sermon is buried on page 347, in the third book from the left, on the fifth shelf from the top of the bookcase alphabetized by authors A–G.

And, as you know, Verbum changes that. Even if you’re still on Verbum 4, 5, or 6, you’re saving a ton of time every week just from the library and searching alone. [Read more…]

4 Reasons to Pre-order the Hans Urs von Balthasar Collection

Hans Urs von Balthasar is considered one of the Church’s greatest thinkers, even drawing comparisons to Augustine and Aquinas.

And for a limited time, you can save 36% on the Hans Urs von Balthasar Collection Upgrade through our Pre-Pub program, which gives you a lower price when you pre-order a product before it ships. [Read more…]

Worship in the Word: Toward a Liturgical Hermeneutic

This month, you can get Letter and Spirit, vol. 1: Reading Salvation: Word, Worship, and the Mysteries for free plus two more volumes from the Letter and Spirit collection for less than $5! Throughout May, we’re sharing excerpts from Letter and Spirit, vol. 1 to give you a preview of thoughtful and thought-provoking scholarship you can expect from this month’s free book.

Today’s excerpt comes from the essay “Worship in the Word: Toward a Liturgical Hermeneutic” by S.W. Hahn, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology: [Read more…]

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church in Verbum Today

Happy feast of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church!  This “new” feast isn’t actually new.  The basic elements of what Holy Father Francis has promoted to a Memorial has existed in the Roman Missal and Lectionary in various places–and those elements exist in Verbum right now.

The “Catholic Daily Readings” resource doesn’t currently reflect the new memorial yet because this is a text that we get directly from the USCCB and we can’t alter that text.  When they publish an updated edition, you can be sure that we’ll get it into Verbum as soon as we can.

The Saints Index

While we weren’t able to make the Catholic Daily Readings reflect the new memorial, we were able to update the Saints index in Verbum to reflect this new feast.  This is a dataset that we created and maintain.  See below in the screenshot:

Faithlife’s content team was able to make this change to the Saints Index in time for the Memorial Feast today.  There are also other elements of the liturgy that you can access in Verbum.

Roman Missal and Lectionary

Both the Lectionary and Roman Missal each contain the basic elements.  See below in the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition:

This new Memorial Feast has, essentially, been promoted from a Votive Mass.  As you can see in the right side of the above screenshot, under Votive Masses to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady, Mother of the Church has already been a part of the Church’s liturgy–and is available to you now in Verbum.

One can also access the Lectionary readings for the day, but it is isn’t all available in one place in the text.  If one opens the Lectionary, or Catholic Daily Readings, to the Commons for the Blessed Virgin Mary you find the following:

The above highlighted texts are the recommended and optional readings for the First Reading.  The Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Reading aren’t contained entirely in the above Common in Verbum.  The prescribed Psalm (Psalm 87:1-2, 3; 5, 6-7) isn’t one of the options here.  The Gospel Reading, John 19: 25-34 is found in part as one of the Gospel option for the day.

For further information on the new Memorial Feast to The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, you can check out the directives from the USCCB here.

Enjoy and happy Feast!

–Craig

The Word of God in the Liturgy of the New Covenant

This month, you can get Letter and Spirit, vol. 1: Reading Salvation: Word, Worship, and the Mysteries for free plus two more volumes from the Letter and Spirit collection for less than $5! Throughout May, we’re sharing excerpts from Letter and Spirit, vol. 1 to give you a preview of thoughtful and thought-provoking scholarship you can expect from this month’s free book.

Today’s excerpt comes from the essay “The Word of God in the Liturgy of the New Covenant” by Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., Mount Angel Seminary, Oregon Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, Rome: [Read more…]

Enrich Your Studies and Grow Your Library

Our celebration of Easter continues with resources on sale to enrich your studies and connect you with the history of the Church. Join with the early church fathers and the most respected scholars of modern times in writings that resonate with timeless truths.

There are many valuable resources to choose from, but here are three that will add a wealth of biblical scholarship, theology, apologetics, and Catholic doctrine to your library. [Read more…]

Memorial and Typology in Jewish and Christian Liturgy

This month, you can get Letter and Spirit, vol. 1: Reading Salvation: Word, Worship, and the Mysteries for free, plus two more volumes from the Letter and Spirit collection for less than $5! Throughout May, we’re sharing excerpts from Letter and Spirit, vol. 1, to give you a preview of thoughtful and thought-provoking scholarship you can expect from this month’s free book.
[Read more…]

Save Up to 28% through May 20

The Easter season has almost drawn to a close, but there’s still time to get great deals during the Verbum Easter sale, now through the Day of Pentecost (May 20, 2018). Don’t wait, because you’ll grow your Verbum library at a considerable savings—up to 50%!

There is less than a week left to get the 127-volume Fathers of the Church series for 28% off. The rich Christian heritage of East and West comes alive in these hard-to-find writings from early church fathers such as Cyprian, Jerome, Basil, Ambrose, Peter Chrysologus, and more. [Read more…]

The ‘Ransom for Many,’ the New Exodus, and the End of the Exile

This month, you can get Letter and Spirit, vol. 1: Reading Salvation: Word, Worship, and the Mysteries for free, plus two more volumes from the Letter and Spirit collection for less than $5! Throughout May, we’re sharing excerpts from Letter and Spirit, vol. 1, to give you a preview of thoughtful and thought-provoking scholarship you can expect from this month’s free book.

Today’s excerpt comes from the essay “The ‘Ransom for Many,’ the New Exodus, and the End of the Exile,” by prolific author and professor Dr. Brant Pitre.

Of the many difficult sayings of Jesus in the Gospels, the famous statement about the Son of Man having come to give his life as “a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45) is arguably one of the most enigmatic. While exegetes continue to offer various competing interpretations of the statement, and while it has been traditionally interpreted as somehow referring to an atonement for the sins of humanity, the precise meaning of Jesus’ words continue to remain veiled in obscurity. Moreover, the passage has been the subject of a long-standing scholarly debate about whether or not the “Servant Songs” of Isaiah, in particular Isaiah 52–53, are being alluded to in Jesus’ references to the Son of Man “serving” and “giving his life” for “many.”

While to my mind the arguments favoring an Isaianic background are stronger, the debate continues, and even those scholars who agree that Isaiah lies behind the text are still left with unanswered questions about the exact meaning of Mark 10:45. In this essay, I would like to advance a fresh interpretation of the “ransom for many,” not by rehashing arguments about Isaiah, but rather by focusing on those aspects of the wider Old Testament background of the text which are often overlooked but which provide important keys to its meaning.

First, I will argue that the “ransom saying” should be interpreted in light of the Danielic background present throughout Mark 10:35–44, and not isolated from the preceding material. When this is done, it becomes clear that the request of James and John that leads to the ransom saying presupposes the vision of the eschatological kingdom described in Daniel 7, with Jesus as the royal “one like a Son of Man” and themselves as the exalted “saints of the most high.” This Danielic background, combined with the role of the Twelve as representatives of the twelve tribes, establishes an initial link to the eschatological restoration of Israel.

Second, I will argue that Jesus’ ominous response to James and John about having to suffer before being exalted also presupposes the Danielic vision of the kingdom, but focuses on the sufferings of the eschatological tribulation that will precede the exaltation of the “Son of Man.”

Third, I will suggest that Jesus ties the royal figure of the “Son of Man,” who suffers in the tribulation in Daniel 7, to the royal figure of the “Messiah,” who dies in the eschatological tribulation in Daniel 9, and that this is the origin of his claim that the Son of Man must “give his life.” This point will be crucial to the overall argument, because the purpose of the tribulation in Daniel is to atone for the sins that led Israel into exile and inaugurate the restoration of Israel and the end of the exile.

Finally, I will attempt to show that Jesus’ words about the “ransom” for “many” fit squarely into this eschatological context by demonstrating that the terminology draws on the widespread Old Testament hope for the restoration of all Israel: that is, the ingathering of the scattered tribes—including the lost ten tribes of the northern kingdom—in a new exodus.

When seen in the light of these points, Jesus’ otherwise mysterious words in Mark 10:45 become amazingly clear. He is declaring that the messianic Son of Man will give his life in the eschatological tribulation in order to release (“ransom”) the scattered tribes of Israel (the “many”) from their exile among the Gentile nations. That is, he will give his life, in a kind of new Passover, in order to bring about a New Exodus: the long-awaited return from exile.

***

Get the complete essay and more like it in Letter and Spirit, vol. 1, free through May 31! And add volume 2 and volume 3 from the Letter and Spirit collection for less than $5.

And don’t miss your chance to get the entire collection—the remaining eight volumes—for 23% off. With the combined steep discounts on the free book, plus one, and plus two, and dynamic pricing you’ll get on the collection, the savings really add up!

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