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The Bible and the Priesthood

Priestly Participation in the One Sacrifice for Sins

series: Catholic Biblical Theology of the Sacraments, A

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This series on the seven Sacraments provides readers with a deeper appreciation of God's gifts and call in the Sacraments through a renewed encounter with God's Word.

In this volume, a leading Catholic scholar offers a biblical theology of the priesthood rooted in the Old and New Testaments. Half a millennium after the Protestant Reformation and in the midst of an ongoing clerical crisis in the Catholic Church, this book presents a comprehensive biblical vision and defense of the sacramental priesthood and an informed theological response to the problem of priestly sin. It gives expression to the ministerial priesthood's biblically grounded, sacramental share in the sacrificial ministry of Jesus Christ.

The Catholic Biblical Theology of the Sacraments series is designed to complement the popular Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series. Series volumes provide lay teachers with background and depth on the seven sacraments, making them suitable for classroom use and parish ministry. Series editors Timothy C. Gray and John Sehorn both teach at the Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology, which equips leaders for the New Evangelization and prepares students for Christian mission. The Institute serves more than five hundred students through both on-campus and distance education programs. Gray is also president of the Augustine Institute, which has one million subscribers to its online content channel,

Forthcoming Series Volumes

Michael P. Barber
on the anointing of the sick
John S. Bergsma on marriage
James B. Prothro on confession, penance, and mercy
John Sehorn on the Eucharist


List of Sidebars
Series Preface
Part 1: Introduction
1. Priesthood and the Project of Catholic Exegesis
Hermeneutical Interlude: A Catholic Alternative
Part 2: "The Sons of Aaron in Their Splendor"
2. "The Glory of the Lord Appeared" (Lev. 9:23): Priesthood as Theophany
Excursus 1: Purity and Holiness
Excursus 2: Levi, Levites, and the Priesthood
3. "Like People, like Priest" (Hosea 4:9): Priestly Sin and the Prophetic Critique
Excursus 3: Corruption of Priests and Temple
Excursus 4: The Priesthood of Eli and Sons at Shiloh
4. "I Will Clothe You with Festal Apparel" (Zech. 3:4): The Promise of a New Priesthood
Excursus 5: David's Royal Priesthood
Excursus 6: Transfiguration of the Temple and the Future of Theophany
Part 3: "The Order of Melchizedek"
5. "Feed My Sheep" (John 21:17): The Inauguration of New Covenant Ordo
Excursus 7: Israel's Last Prophet
Excursus 8: The Language of Pastoral Order
6. "A Spiritual Temple, a Holy Priesthood" (1 Pet. 2:5): Priestly Sacrifice and the New Law
Excursus 9: The Laying On of Hands
Excursus 10: "Mediator of a New Covenant" (Heb. 12:24): Priests in the Letter to the Hebrews
7. Conclusion: Jesus as Charismatic Founder of a Hierarchical Church
Suggested Resources


"This beautifully written volume manages to pack a very sophisticated set of interpretive proposals into a book that a general theological reader can understand and enjoy. Most modern books on the priesthood either deny the linkage between the Bible and Catholic practice or smuggle in a variety of apologetic readings in an attempt to justify a predetermined position. With characteristic honesty and brilliance, Giambrone provides a much-needed alternative: an exegetically sound grounding of the office of the priesthood in the biblical tradition."

Gary A. Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology, University of Notre Dame

"This is the kind of exegesis I have been waiting for since I became a student of the sacred page. Fr. Giambrone masterfully fulfills the mandate of Dei Verbum 12, effortlessly integrating his outstanding historical scholarship into a balanced, fully canonical Christian hermeneutic. The fruit is a profoundly biblical theology of the priesthood that will illuminate exegetes, fundamental theologians, and dogmaticians alike."

Nina Heereman, associate professor of Sacred Scripture, St. Patrick's Seminary & University

"A splendid work of unimpeachable scholarship from an international biblical scholar. Every seminarian should be given this book to prosper his grace to be a priest. Every priest should read this book to fortify his vocation. Every bishop should buy this book. Additionally, Fr. Giambrone's easy-to-read presentation of biblical themes will help Christ's lay faithful to understand the divinely ordained place that the Catholic priest occupies in the Church."

Romanus Cessario, OP, Adam Cardinal Maida Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University

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. Anthony Giambrone OP

    Anthony Giambrone OP

    Anthony Giambrone, OP (PhD, University of Notre Dame), is vice president and professor of New Testament at the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem. He also teaches at the University of Notre Dame and at the...

    Continue reading about Anthony Giambrone OP