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The Catholic Truth Book Review: Spirit & Life by Scott Hahn

Spirit & Life (Essays on Interpreting The Bible In Ordinary Time) is the latest work from noted Catholic author Scott Hahn. It is a collection of 9 essays and addresses that instruct readers on how to “read the Bible from the heart of the Church.” Hahn asserts that, in the early Church, the Bible was considered a liturgical book. Therefore, it is only logical that it is best understood in the context of the Mass.

Followers of Dr. Hahn’s works have come to expect a plethora of “eye-opening” revelations and insights and this book is no exception. Some of his thoughts provoking observations are as follows:

John’s Book of Revelation is a liturgical book and was meant to be read in the liturgy “most likely in the celebration of the Eucharist on the Lord’s day”.

Christ’s offering on the cross is “the worship expected originally of Adam and again of Israel as God’s firstborn, royal and priestly people”.

The canon of Scripture was established for use in the liturgy and therefore it “follows that we must engage Scripture liturgically if we are to interpret these texts according to the authors’ original intentions and the life-situation of the believing community in which the texts were handed on.”

The parousia (second coming of Jesus) “was anticipated and in some way experienced in every celebration of the Eucharist.”

In the book’s preface, Dr Hahn expresses a desire that his readers are “stretched” by the material. In my opinion, this book certainly fulfills that goal. While I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is just beginning their study of the Catholic faith, it would be excellent for one who is looking to deepen their understanding of the Bible and how it relates to the Mass. Reading these essays about Scripture and liturgy helps remind us that the Bible is truly a Catholic book!

(This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Spirit and Life.)

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