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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: The Gospel According to Matthew

Volume 1

Barbara E. Reid, OP

The Gospel of Matthew carries important lessons on the formation of community and of Jesus as authoritative Teacher--lessons that helped the early Matthean population relate to both the Jewish and Christian communities of which they were composed. The Gospel According to Matthew provides Gospel text (New American Bible translation) along with Barbara E. Reid's commentary, to aid in the interpretation and use of this Gospel today. As Reid demonstrates, this Gospel continues to bring vision and hope to Christians throughout the ages.Reid stresses the importance of the Gospel of Matthew as the first book in the New Testament, possibly the first written Gospel, and the one most often used in the early church. Providing both the text and commentary, Reid addresses important questions such as the author's identity and sources, setting and Gospel translation.Sections are "The Origins of Jesus (1:1-4:11)," "The Beginnings of the Galilean Ministry (4:12-10:42)," "The Sermon on the Mount (5:1-7:28)," "Varying Responses to Jesus(11:1-16:12)," "Jesus and His Disciples on the Way to Jerusalem (16:14-20:34)," "Jerusalem; Jesus' Final Days of Teaching in the Temple (21:1-28:15)," "Finale: Back to Galilee; Commission to the Whole World; Jesus' Abiding Presence (28:16-20)." Also includes discussion questions.Barbara E. Reid, OP, PhD, is professor of New Testament at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She is the author of Parables for Preachers, Choosing the Better Part?, and co-editor of the Collegeville Pastoral Dictionary of Biblical Theology, published by Liturgical Press. She has also published various journal articles on New Testament topics.   Also available with Little Rock Scripture Study Set: The Gospel According to Matthew

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Sirach

Volume 21

Jeremy Corley

The book of Sirach praises the study of the law, the wisdom of the men of old and their prophecies. Its author is well-read and rearticulates traditional Jewish wisdom for his generation, centering it on fear of the Lord, and clearly asserting that wisdom is a gift from God. He encourages his audience to remain steadfast in following the law of Moses rather than following the ways of the dominant pagan Greek culture. Jeremy Corley is a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth, UK. Following several years of parish ministry, he completed a doctorate in biblical studies at the Catholic University of America. He has published books and articles on biblical topics, especially the book of Sirach, and now teaches Scripture at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Psalms 73-150

Volume 23

Dianne Bergant, CSA

The book of Psalms plays a significant role in the public and private prayer of both the Jewish and Christian communities today, helping to shape the minds and hearts of modern believers. In two commentaries, one covering Psalms 1-72 and the other Psalms 73-150, Dianne Bergant examines the theological and historical circumstances from which the psalms originated. She reveals how the psalms were intended for instruction as well as prayer, and helps us experience their lyrical nature. In a fresh encounter with these poems of lament, hymns of praise, and prayers of thanksgiving, readers gain a new appreciation for these ancient texts, remembering that God—who dwells with us still—is "gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in mercy" (Pss 145:8). Dianne Bergant, CSA, is professor of Old Testament studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She is a member and past president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and is an active member of the Chicago Catholic/Jewish Scholars Dialogue. She has published numerous works, including Scripture: History and Interpretation, and The Song of Songs in the Berit Olam series, both published by Liturgical Press.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: First and Second Maccabees

Volume 12

Daniel Harrington, SJ

These accounts of the Maccabean revolt, by which the sons of Mattathias reclaimed the temple of Jerusalem, tell an important story of the founding of the Jewish people. "The Hammerers" is the meaning of the nickname "Maccabees," given to Mattathias's sons, who lived in a time of revolution. Empires struggled for control of Greece, Egypt, and Asia, and the small population of Jews tried to preserve their claim to Judea. The five brothers also made heroic contributions to the practice of Judaism. Their rededication of the temple establishes the annual celebration of Hanukkah, and the martyr stories in Second Maccabees emphasize faithfulness to the law of Moses. The books of First and Second Maccabees are also important for Christians, as in them is told how the Jewish people established the political and religious culture into which Jesus was born. The martyr stories inform the early Christian martyrdoms, and the books are written in Greek, the language in which the Jews of Jesus' time read the Scriptures. As Father Harrington notes, without the Maccabees "the fate of Judaism (and with it Christianity and Islam) was uncertain." Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, is professor of New Testament at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He has a doctorate in biblical languages and literatures from Harvard University. A past president of the Catholic Biblical Association, he has written many books on the Old and New Testament, including the New Collegeville Bible Commentary on The Letter to the Hebrews (Liturgical Press, 2006).

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Galatians and Romans

Volume 6

Robert J. Karris, OFM

In his thorough, yet concise commentary on Galatians and Romans, Robert Karris, O.F.M. encourages his readers to take a head on approach to reading and interpreting the biblical text. He discusses form and purpose, message, and basic outline to help readers understand Galatians and Romans. With his section-by-section commentary, Karris offers readers of all backgrounds further opportunity to study and reflect on the books of Galatians and Romans. Robert Karris, OFM, ThD, is head of research at The Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University and is past president of the Catholic Biblical Association. He is the author of Jesus and the Marginalized in John’s Gospel, and Symphony of New Testament Hymns published by Liturgical Press.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Proverbs

Volume 18

Katherine M. Hayes

Every culture finds ways to pass along its wisdom from one generation to the next. Old Testament Wisdom literature—comprised of the books of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Sirach, and Wisdom—raises the "big" questions for the people of Israel: Why do the righteous suffer? "Why do we die? What is the meaning of life? The book of Proverbs organizes memorable sayings that lead to insight and understanding about the world that can inform the way we live. Speaking universally of the human condition, it paints a poetic portrait of wisdom as it guides members of the community, especially the young, in how to get along in life. Katherine M. Hayes is professor of sacred Scripture at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York, where she has taught since 1997. She also teaches, since 2012, at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, New York. She is author of "The Earth Mourns": Prophetic Metaphor and Oral Aesthetic (Society of Biblical Literature/Brill, 2002) and articles and reviews in a variety of scholarly and pastoral publications, including Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Leviticus

Volume 4

J. Edward Owens, OSST

What are we as contemporary readers to make of such a strange book as Leviticus? How can we possibly relate to the kosher laws of clean and unclean foods? Who would want to dine on camel, order eagle or stork, and munch on grasshoppers and crickets? In this informative and inspiring commentary, J. Edward Owens shows us that behind the seemingly antiquated rituals of Leviticus, there is one theme that permeates throughout: "Sanctify yourselves and be holy; for I, the LORD, your God, am holy." In addition, Owens frequently makes connections between Leviticus and the New Testament. Just as Mary, Jesus, and the apostles observed many of the rules of Leviticus, so too are they relevant for us today. Leviticus can help us as we seek to renew the reverence and wonder in our worship and work—and thereby grow in the sanctity and holiness of God. J. Edward Owens, OSsT, is currently Minister Provincial of the US Province of Trinitarians. Previously, he was a professor of biblical studies at St. John's Seminary in California and then Oblate School of Theology in Texas. He has written numerous articles in academic and pastoral publications, including The Bible Today, Human Development, and The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series. He is also author of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Joshua, Judges

Volume 7

Roland J. Faley, TOR

The books of Joshua and Judges provide religious perspective on Israel’s successes and failures from the time that Joshua begins to lead the Israelites after Moses’ death until the rise of the monarchy. The stories of these two books show the God of Israel still guiding the life of his people. In Genesis, God makes a twofold promise to Abraham: many descendants and the making of a great nation (Gen 12:2ff). In the book of Joshua, we find this promise brought to this fulfillment as the Israelites come to Canaan, the land of promise. During the span of the 150 years covered in Judges, considerable importance is attached to the religious and political development of the tribal life of the Israelites. This is well before the time of national unity; in Judges, the people are bound together solely by their faith in YHWH. In this rich and insight-filled commentary, Roland Faley draws out the Deuteronomistic thesis in Joshua and Judges: A people of faith, even if they wander, cannot fail. Roland J. Faley, TOR, is a Franciscan friar and biblical scholar who has taught in seminaries and universities in the United States and abroad. He has degrees from Catholic University, St. Thomas University in Rome, and the Biblical Institute in Rome. He was the minister general of his religious order and is the author of Footprints on the Mountain, Bonding With God, and Apocalypse Then and Now (all Paulist Press).

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: James, First Peter, Jude, Second Peter

Volume 10

Patrick J. Hartin

Who would not relish the opportunity to read two-thousand-year-old letters? These four of the seven "catholic letters" are addressed not to any specific church, as are Paul's epistles, but to the church in general. Giving us valuable insights into early Christianity, they insist on the need to join good works with faith, present Jesus' sufferings as the model for enduring persecution and warn against intruders intent on undermining traditional faith and morals.Far from being mere exercises in nostalgia for the "good ol' days," the letters offer principles that have not lost their value for the Church of the third millennium.Patrick Hartin's clarity and conciseness update the Church's earliest struggles to remain faithful to the spirit of Jesus Christ. These are letters for us today, too.Fr. Patrick J. Hartin, PhD, is professor of New Testament at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, and the author of the Sacra Pagina commentary on James and A Spirituality of Perfection: Faith in Action in the Letter of James, published by Liturgical Press.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: First and Second Corinthians

Volume 7

Maria A. Pascuzzi, CSJ

What was originally part of an ongoing dialogue between Paul and the community at Corinth has become vital in today's Christian worship. Maria A. Pascuzzi, CSJ, helps us look at the Corinthian community through Paul's viewpoint, highlighting the struggles and issues of the Corinthian society. Pascuzzi highlights how Paul's attempt to reform this early society can be used to refocus the Christian community today-a community that faces similar struggles.Pascuzzi gives the background of Corinth, its Greek and Roman inhabitants, the development of the Christian community, and the importance of Corinth's location to Paul's ministry.Maria A. Pascuzzi, CSJ, STD, teaches Scripture at the University of San Diego.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Introduction to the Bible

Volume 1

Gregory W. Dawes

When we first pick it up and open it, the Bible can seem confusing and perhaps even frightening. Here is this bulky book, made up of seventy-three sections with unfamiliar titles such as Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, Colossians, and Corinthians, with numbers in front of almost every sentence, rarely any pictures, and perhaps a few maps of ancient areas such as Mesopotamia, Assyria, and Judah. Since the Bible looks like a book, we may start to read it as we would any other book, hoping to move from cover to cover. Then we begin to wonder, Who wrote this? When was it written? What kind of writing is this: History? Science? Biography? Fiction? What am I supposed to get out of it? As (or if) we keep reading the Bible page by page, section by section, we soon realize that this is no ordinary run-of-the-bookshelf volume. Without a guide the Bible is likely to remain the book most often purchased but not very often read and even less often understood. To rescue Bible readers and students from turning their initial enthusiasm into boredom, Gregory Dawes gives us this Introduction to the Bible, the indispensable prologue to the entire series of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary. Dividing the contents into two parts, the author first describes how the Old and New Testaments came to be put together, and then explores how their stories have been interpreted over the centuries. In the words of Dawes, this very broad overview of a very complex history offers the general reader a helpful framework within which to begin to understand the Bible. The author writes clearly, frequently seasoning his explanations with crisp examples. This book anchors individual and group Bible study on the solid foundation of basic biblical vocabulary and concepts. Gregory W. Dawes is senior lecturer in both religious studies and philosophy at the University of Otago (New Zealand). He undertook graduate study at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, where he completed the Licentiate degree, before receiving a PhD from the University of Otago in 1995. He has written several books, the most recent being The Historical Jesus Question: The Challenge of History to Religious Authority (Westminster John Knox, 2001). He is currently researching Christian responses to the work of Charles Darwin.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther

Volume 24

Irene Nowell, OSB

Irene Nowell's lively and thoughtful exploration of these poetic and powerful books promises to ignite appreciation and understanding in the hearts and minds of readers. The five books abound with vivid stories of faith. The Song of Songs, dedicated to Solomon, celebrates the wonder of human love. The book of Ruth, a masterpiece of storytelling, tells of two valiant women who move from emptiness to fullness, desolation to redemption. Lamentations, telling of the destruction of Jerusalem, recognizes that the Lord has struck and that only the Lord can heal. Ecclesiastes teaches the futility of vanity and storing up riches. The book of Esther tells the story of a Jewish woman and her uncle who, by their courage and wit, deliver the Jews from threatened genocide. Gathered together and artfully explored, this volume offers readers a wealth of information to inspire deeper understanding of the human journey and God's presence in the lives of those who trust in him. Irene Nowell, OSB, of the Benedictine community of Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, teaches Scripture courses at Saint John's School of Theology-Seminary, Collegeville, Minnesota. She is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association, and the author of many books including Women in the Old Testament, and Numbers in the New Collegeville Bible Commentary, as well as Old Testament editor of the Little Rock Catholic Study Bible, all published by Liturgical Press.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah

Volume 11

Thomas M. Bolin

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah relate the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon during the rule of the early Persian kings. For a long time, interpretations of these two books by Christian exegetes characterized the Judaism of the post-exilic age as narrow and nationalistic. This interpretation led to a separation of post-exilic Judaism from its pre-exilic Israelite roots that allowed for a supersessionist reading of the Old Testament based on perceived deficiencies in the religious views of the post-exilic era. Informed by recent advances in our knowledge of the Persian Empire, this commentary, demonstrates that Ezra and Nehemiah offer a compelling story of a people’s attempt to reassemble the fragments of their heritage as they face the future in a greatly changed world. Thomas M. Bolin is associate professor of religious studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. His research focuses on ancient Israelite history and religion, wisdom literature, postexilic texts, and theological hermeneutics.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Jonah, Tobit, Judith

Volume 25

Irene Nowell, OSB

These three colorful books offer gripping stories of how God shows his mercy and accomplishes his will through human actions. Jonah is a reluctant prophet who must be swallowed by a big fish before he delivers his message to Israel's ancient enemies at Nineveh that they must repent or face doom. Tobit tells of the trials and tribulations of a family, and the power of prayer as God sends an angel to guide Tobit's son Tobiah on a journey of resolution. In the book of Judith, a simple and courageous widow, rather than an army, saves her people from destruction by a powerful enemy.This rich commentary explores the significant themes of each book, showing that God is intimately involved with the destiny of humankind.Irene Nowell, OSB, is a member of the Benedictine community of Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas. She served on the translation team of the revised Old Testament of the New American Bible and the Committee on Illuminations and Texts for The Saint John's Bible. Nowell is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association. She is a contibutor to Give Us This Day published by Liturgical Press and author of Pleading, Cursing, Praising: Conversing with God Through the Psalms; Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, and Numbers of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary); Sing a New Song: The Psalms in the Sunday Lectionary, and Women in the Old Testament, all published by Liturgical Press.

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New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Numbers

Volume 5

Irene Nowell, OSB

Irene Nowell admits that the book of Numbers "rarely makes the top ten list of favorite biblical books." But through her insightful interpretations and practical reflections, readers will gain a new and positive appreciation of the text. With Nowell, readers will relish the harassment and humor of the prophet Balaam and his talking donkey in chapters 22–24. We too are blessed by this delightful and ingenious God who communicates through a loquacious animal. This same God lives and moves with us, meets our needs as we wander through our personal and communal wilderness, defends us against the enemies of our sinfulness better than we can ever do in our weakness and fickleness, and eventually brings us to our promised place of glory. And God wants all of us to "be in that number." Irene Nowell, OSB, of the Benedictine community of Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, is a member of the translation team of the revised Old Testament of the New American Bible. She teaches Scripture courses at Saint John’s School of Theology•Seminary, Collegeville, Minnesota. Nowell is a member of the Committee on Illuminations and Texts for The Saint John’s Bible and a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association. She is author of Jonah, Tobit, Judith in the Collegeville Bible Commentary; Sing a New Song: The Psalms in the Sunday Lectionary; and Women in the Old Testament, all published by Liturgical Press.

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