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Is there anything in the New Testament about the need for priests in the Church? Many Protestants would argue no. And if you point out that there is a priesthood in the Old Testament, they are likely to say it was a feature of the Old Covenant that was undone by Christ. How should a Catholic respond?

In Jesus and the Old Testament Roots of the Priesthood, biblical scholar John Bergsma convinces readers that Jesus did, in fact, intend for a ministerial priesthood to be a key feature of the New Covenant.

Bergsma shows how the priesthood is a major thread holding together the biblical story line—beginning with Adam’s loss of the gift of priesthood in the Fall and the long process of restoring his descendants to a priestly status over the centuries, culminating with Christ.

With chapter summaries and discussion questions included, Jesus and the Old Testament Roots of the Priesthood can readily be adapted into a four-part study for personal or small group use.


John Bergsma is Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. A former Protestant pastor, Dr. Bergsma has authored several books on Scripture and the Catholic faith, including Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Revealing the Jewish Roots of the Church and A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: Old Testament with Brant Pitre. Dr. Bergsma speaks regularly for parish missions, diocesan conferences, clergy convocations, and other events nationally and internationally. He and his wife Dawn reside with their eight children in Steubenville, Ohio.