Baker Academic

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My New Book: Jesus and the Last Supper

Ever since I was doctoral student at Notre Dame in the late 1990s, I have had two dreams:

(1) To publish a Jesus book with Eerdmans.
(2) To have the cover art done by Willem Mineur (my favorite Eerdmans cover designer).

This weekend at SBL, both those dreams will come true. My new book, Jesus and the Last Supper, will be available for purchase. And boy is the cover sweet! (it looks even better in real life than on this Jpeg.)

I confess that I had hoped to write a post or two on the book before leaving for SBL, but I've just been too busy getting ready for the conference. (I'm presenting a paper on the future of historical Jesus research on Monday if you want to come.) The blog post will have to wait until after I get back). For now, I'll (somewhat shamelessly) leave you with what some readers have said about the book. My hope is that you'll pick up a copy, read it, and then I can get your feedback at some point in the future.

(P.S. For what it's worth--unless my memory has been refracted--Anthony wrote his blurb before I joined the Jesus blog :)

"Brant Pitre's contribution is provocative in the best sense of the word. At every turn readers will find new observations worth pondering and new arguments worth weighing. In particular, the numerous intertextual claims should generate much productive discussion, as should Pitre's challenging approach to dating the Last Supper. No one will come away from this volume without having learned much."
Dale C. Allison Jr. — Princeton Theological Seminary

"Now more than ever the field of historical Jesus studies is in a state of flux. The discipline is razing old foundations with the hope that more sophisticated methods will emerge. With Jesus and the Last Supper Brant Pitre constructs a bridge from the best scholarship of previous generations to the most promising possibilities of the present. This book is nothing less than a blueprint for resurrecting Jesus studies in the twenty-first century."
Anthony Le Donne— United Theological Seminary, Dayton

"This dramatic new rereading of the evidence for the Last Supper is a pivotally important work on the Last Supper and also an important contribution to historical Jesus research. Carefully researched and vigorously yet graciously argued, it offers a brilliant new synthesis of the data. Even readers not persuaded by every point will find much or even most of the argument persuasive."
Craig S. Keener— Asbury Theological Seminary

"This long-awaited book is a brilliant study about the sacred meal that Jesus instituted for his followers, including its background, its origins, and its meaning for us. Pitre artfully shows that the bread and wine of the meal commemorate and embody the hopes of Israel's restoration as achieved through their messianic deliverer. You'll never look at the Lord's Supper, Eucharist, or Mass the same way after reading this book. A sumptuous feast of exegesis and theology!"
Michael F. Bird — Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College

"This beautifully written work confirms Brant Pitre's eminence as a scholar of the very first rank. . . . Focusing on the Last Supper, Pitre develops such themes as the new bread of the presence, the new manna, the new Passover, the messianic banquet, and the kingdom of God in often surprising but utterly persuasive ways. Catholic participation in the Jesus quest has hereby finally borne its hoped-for fruit, with enormous implications for all Christians. Pitre should win the Ratzinger Prize for this book alone."
Matthew Levering— Mundelein Seminary


  1. Congratulations on the publication! I'm looking forward to reading it.

  2. I can't wait to read it. Congratulations, Brant! Perhaps Eerdmans will let us do a giveaway on the blog?

  3. Your memory is refracted, as is all memory! Luckily, our memories align along similar trajectories. So, yes, I did write my blurb before you joined.

    Congrats again, my friend,

  4. Thanks guys! (Chris, I'll see what I can do)

    Anthony, of course it's all refracted, but is it all distorted?... :)

    1. you say tomato; I say mnemonic conventionalization.

    2. Have the book and am reading it now. Any chance you could post your paper on the future of historical Jesus studies?

  5. Hi Brant,
    First of all, congratulations with your impressive volume! I'm thoroughly enjoying your book thus far. It is such an important study, I might consider doing a review at some point.
    May I ask just two question at this stage?
    1) Why no discussion at all about Luke 24 and Acts 1:4 and 10:41? In addition to the way in which Joachim Jeremias find connections between Mark 14:17-25; Matt 26:29; Luke 22:16-30 and the eschatological banquet, he also aligns — at least in one discussion — the pre-resurrection meals in Mark 14:17-25 (cf. also Luke 13:26; Peter’s confession in Matt 16:13-17) with Luke 24:30, 35, 43; Acts 1:4; 10:41 and John 21:13.

    2) Regarding your discussion of the Messianic Banquet in Early Judaism, the OT and the NT, I do understand that your survey of the former is "by no means exhaustive ... the purpose is to select key texts and examine them in enough detail to throw some light on the wider context of Jesus' teaching with specific reference to the Last Supper" (Jesus and the Last Supper, 448).
    You often talk about a "Heavenly Banquet" (447 etc) and Isa 24:23 is of course key (450 n25). However, are you entirely certain that a "Heavenly Banquet" was in mind in Isa 25:6-9; 43:5-9; 55:1-3; 62:8-9; Zech 8:7-8, 20-23; 1QSa 2:11-22; 2 Bar 29:1-30:4?

    Kind regards