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The Bible and Marriage

The Two Shall Become One Flesh

series: Catholic Biblical Theology of the Sacraments, A

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The Catholic Biblical Theology of the Sacraments series provides readers with a deeper appreciation of God's gifts and call in the sacraments through a renewed encounter with God's Word.

In The Bible and Marriage, leading Catholic teacher and popular speaker John Bergsma offers a biblical theology of marriage rooted in the Old and New Testaments that will be interesting and informative to the church catholic. This book shows the biblical basis for the teaching that marriage is a sacrament. It provides lay teachers with background and depth on a topic taught frequently in the parish, making it suitable for classroom use and parish ministry.

Series editors Timothy C. Gray and John Sehorn teach at the Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology. Gray is also president of the Augustine Institute.

1. Introduction
2. Male and Female He Created Them: Genesis 1-2
3. "They Knew They Were Naked": Genesis 3-11
4. "Say You Are My Sister": The Marriages of the Patriarchs (Gen. 12-50)
5. "That He May Make His Wife Happy": Marriage in the Mosaic Covenant
6. "That I May Grow Old with Her" (Tob. 8:7): Marriage in the Historical Books
7. "I Hate Divorce," Says the Lord: Marriage in the Prophets
8. "Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youth": Marriage in the Wisdom Literature
9. "Rejoicing at the Bridegroom's Voice": Christ as Bridegroom in the New Testament
10. "What God Has Joined Together": Teaching on Matrimony in the Gospels
11. "This Is a Great Mystery": Teaching on Matrimony in the Epistles
12. Conclusion: The Symphonic Witness of Scripture to the Dignity of Matrimony
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"This book is something of a rarity: a comprehensive yet clear and compact scholarly examination of the covenant of marriage across the canonical Scriptures. Bergsma offers a thorough biblical-theological synthesis on marriage and communicates his findings with economy and clarity. He also draws from the great lights of living tradition and the history of exegesis. The Bible and Marriage will be useful for clergy and laity, scholars and students, Catholics and Protestants."

Scott W. Hahn, Scanlan Professor of Biblical Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville

"In this prodigious but accessible work, Bergsma reveals, in a genuinely comprehensive manner, the central role of marriage in God's salvific economy, firmly establishing its sacramental nature--from its origin at creation, through each stage of salvation history, to its fulfillment in the wedding banquet of the Lamb. The book's sheer number of exegetical insights, its use of Jewish and patristic sources, and its compelling analysis of ancient words and concepts make this a rare and invaluable resource."

Joseph Atkinson, associate professor, John Paul II Institute

"Guiding readers on a captivating journey through the Bible, John Bergsma surveys a tapestry of accounts that reveal the dignity and holiness of marriage in God's plan. With faithful scholarship, he reminds us that married couples are called to be self-gift, and thus to be an image of God's covenantal love for his people."

Ximena DeBroeck, adjunct professor, Mount St. Mary's Seminary; adjunct assistant professor, Loyola University Chicago

"John Bergsma has written a rich biblical theology of Christian marriage that distills the teaching of both the Old and New Testaments. The book is strong exegetically owing to the author's mastery of Hebrew and Greek, yet its content is accessible to lay readers. Bergsma writes from a Catholic perspective, integrating Church teaching and patristic learning with his biblical exegesis. This book will enlighten, inspire, and challenge those who aspire to live God's plan for marriage."

Peter S. Williamson, professor of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Praise for the Catholic Biblical Theology of the Sacraments series

"Sacraments are at the heart of Catholic spirituality and liturgical life. They are celebrated in the context of the proclamation of God's Word. This excellent series will help Catholics appreciate more and more both the relationship between Word and Sacrament and how the sacraments are grounded in the riches of Scripture."

Thomas D. Stegman†, SJ, dean and professor of New Testament, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

"This series shows tremendous promise and ambition in laying out the multiple living connections between the Scriptures and the sacramental life of the Church. Taken together, these books could accomplish what Jean Daniélou's The Bible and the Liturgy accomplished for a previous generation of biblical and theological scholarship. And like that work, this series gives to students of the Bible a deeply enriched view of the mesh of relationships within and between biblical texts that are brought to light by the liturgy of the sacraments."

Jennifer Grillo, Tisch Family Associate Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

"In recent years, theological exegesis--biblical commentary by theologians--has made a significant contribution. This series turns the tables: explicitly theological reflection by biblical scholars. The result is a breakthrough. Theologically trained, exegetically astute biblical scholars here explore the foundations of Catholic sacramental theology, along paths that will change the theological conversation. This series points the way to the theological and exegetical future."

Matthew Levering, James N. Jr. and Mary D. Perry Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

"The sacraments come to us clothed in images that carry their mystery and propose it to our hearts. These images come from Scripture and are inspired by the Holy Spirit, who wills to transfigure us each into the full measure of Christ. The books in this series, by situating the sacraments within the scriptural imagery proper to each, will over time surely prove themselves to be agents in this work of the Spirit."

John C. Cavadini, professor of theology, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

The Author

  1. John S. Bergsma
    St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

    John S. Bergsma

    John S. Bergsma (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio, and Vice President for Biblical Theology and Mission Effectiveness at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He...

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