I just finished Worthy Is The Lamb:
The Biblical Roots Of The Mass by Thomas J. Nash which is a book I bought some time ago and finally got around to. Mr. Nash goes through salvation history from the Old to the New Testament exploring first the genesis of the Eucharist, the Mass, and finally living the Mass.
Chapters range from short to longer ones as he goes through specific topics. I really liked the way the book was organized, especially since I am sure to use it as a reference again. If you have read great books like Scot Hahn’s A Father Who Keeps His Promises you will have some idea of the content of this book Mr. Nash at times does quote from Mr. Hahn’s book, but he takes the topic much further since this is the focus of the book.
I really do love reading books on the history of the Mass and its prefigurement in the Old Testament. For us we have the benefit of the fullness of the Mass. Similar to first reading the last chapter of the mystery novel, we also know the whole direction of salvation history. Reading though how this slowly came about and how God slowly brought to fullness the clues dropped and so often misses is great fun. Not only is the Eucharist a great mystery, but it is like reading a mystery novel when reading the development.
Starting from the Garden of Eden and especially the story of Abraham and his son Isaac and of course the Passover. The book goes through all the various passages pointing to the sacrifice of Jesus and our redemption. Besides the biblical text he also looks at the Jewish understanding of these specific passages.
The topic of sacrifice from the temple sacrifice and the sacrifice of the Mass is especially looked at especially how Jesus as the Lamb of God relates to the daily temple sacrifices. The book is written as a popular treatment of the subject and not as an academic one making it both an easy read but one with a wealthy of information. The book is heavily footnoted with both a scriptural and general index. Later chapters on the Mass also deal with apologetic questions especially some objections from Protestants on the Eucharist and that the Mass is a re-presentation of the one sacrifice on Calvary. I can highly recommend this book.
How does this compare with Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper”?
The Lamb’s Supper as I remember concentrated mostly on the Book of Revelations. This book takes the same topic but looks at all of scripture. If you liked The Lamb’s Supper you will like this one.
It’s not as easy a read a the Lamb’s Supper, but I found it more enjoyable and illuminating. I’veread it three times and know I could read it again. I organized a book club around it as well. I definitely recommend this book as well.
Worthy is the Lamb is a great book! Especially important in my opinion was Mr. Nash’s presentation of the mass as the completed sacrifice of Christ which began, but did not end, on calvary, contrary to Protestant misconceptions. For Christ still had to enter the sanctuary not made with hands to offer his sacrifice of blood to the Father (see Heb 9:11-12).
Thanks for recommending this, Jeff. I read Scott Hahn’s The Lamb’s Supper, so this sounds right up my street.
Also worthwhile is Jean Danielou’s The Bible and the Liturgy. It’s academic but luminous!