HARD SAYING, A by Francis J. Moloney, SDB ($29.95)*

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LP: 0-8146-5953-5

Critical readings of biblical texts challenge established cultures, both secular and religious. The Christian Church, caught in a culture and history of its own making, can find the Gospel difficult to follow—"a hard saying," (John 6:60). In this collection of essays, Moloney focuses upon aspects of the New Testament, especially from the story of Jesus and the four Gospels, which raise issues of contemporary concern.

"A Hard Saying" shows how biblical texts written two thousand years ago continue to address problems within contemporary Church and society. Studies of the gospel message on woman, discipleship, marriage and celibacy, literary criticism, the Eucharist, healthcare, resurrection, and the Spirit, allow the living voice of the Gospel to be heard.

In "A Hard Saying" Moloney examines Christianity's claim that it is not the fruit of human endeavors, but a response to God's saving concern for our well-being. He shows how this concern has been demonstrated in and through the inspired telling of the story of Israel, Jesus Christ, and the Jewish and Christian response to that story, as it is found in the Bible.

The founding "Word of God" and subsequent responses to it can often live in an uneasy tension. Christianity, which is a part of the human story, has formed its own culture and many sub-cultures. The essays that form "A Hard Saying" focus upon that relationship between New Testament and contemporary cultural questions.

Essays included under The Synoptic Gospels are:

  1. "Jesus and Woman,"
  2. "Matthew 19:3-12 and Celibacy, A Redactional and Form Critical Study,"
  3. "The Vocation of the Disciples in the Gospel of Mark,"
  4. "Faith in the Risen Jesus," and
  5. "Narrative Criticism of the Gospels."
Essays included under The Gospel of John are:
  1. "Who Is 'The Reader' in/of the Fourth Gospel?"
  2. "When Is John Talking about Sacraments?"
  3. "John 18:15-27: A Johannine View of the Church,"
  4. "The Gospel of John: A Tale of Two Paracletes," and
  5. "'God So Loved the Word,' The Jesus of John's Gospel."
Essays included under The New Testament and Contemporary Culture are:
  1. "Jesus Christ: The Question to Cultures,"
  2. "The Eucharist as Jesus' Presence to the Broken,"
  3. "Life, Healing, and the Bible: A Christian Challenge,"
  4. "Adventure with Nicodemus, An Exercise in Hermeneutics," and
  5. "Biblical Notions of Redemption and the Contemporary World."

Author Biography

Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., A.M., F.A.H.A., is the professor of New Testament at The Catholic University of America. He is the author of numerous books including The Gospel of John of the Sacra Pagina series published by The Liturgical Press.

"In this book, Francis Moloney, the preeminent Johannine scholar of the English-speaking world, addresses the important issues facing the Church today: the relationship of Jesus to women; celibacy and discipleship; the Church and its sacraments; God and the Spirit; hermeneutics and the interpretation of Scripture. Carefully researched and always insightful, these essays will provide pastors, students, and theologians with a Biblical perspective on the questions that really matter."
- Frank J. Matera, The Catholic University of America

"Frank Moloney is well known for his work on the Gospel of John. His new book demonstrates some of his wider contributions to New Testament study. It brings together in a coherent way contributions he has made to the study of the Gospels and their interaction with the culture of their own time and ours. The orientation of this book reveals an author who has an eye on the implications of his study for the life of faith in our time. At the same time his critical rigor never allows his own reading to stray from the agenda set by the texts he now seeks to read and interpret. Readers interested in the Gospels and the newer literary methods will be drawn to and benefit from a reading of this book."
- Professor John Painter, School of Theology, St. Mark’s National Theological Centre, Charles Sturt University, Australia

". . . witnesses to the remarkable power, energy and creativity of Frank Moloney’s contribution to New Testament studies over twenty-five years."
- Brendan Byrne, S.J., Jesuit Theological College, Australia

"'A Hard Saying' is very highly recommended to students of theology, as well as contemporary Christian life and thought as reflected in the issues of our day. "
- The Bookwatch

"Carefully researched and full of insight, these essays provide readers with a biblical perspective on some of the pressing questions of the day." - Bookviews

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