I recently read an excellent, in-depth book on the Biblical origins of the Mass written by Thomas J. Nash.
The Biblical Roots of the Mass successfully sets out to show that the Catholic Mass is of divine origin.
Begin At the Beginning
Nash begins with a deep examination of the Old Covenant, beginning with Creation itself in Genesis with the tree of life and how it ultimately points to the Eucharist. I liked how Nash begins at the beginning and in each chapter lists out the relevant Scripture passages for the topics he covers. Then at the end of each chapter he has discussion questions for a small group, RCIA class, or Bible study.
This book is dense. It is not a book you read in an evening. In fact, I read it during my weekly Holy Hour of adoration over the course of a few months.
Having written books myself, I have an appreciation for Nash’s work here: the level of research and scholarship required to write even one chapter of his book must have been incredible.
In Depth Explanations
For instance, I have always wanted a thorough and clear explanation of how the mysterious figure of Melchizedek relates to Christ and His priesthood. The allusions in the Bible to this association are few but obviously of great significance to Jewish people at the time of Christ and to the first Christians. Nash delves into this relationship and elucidates the background and importance of it.
From an apologetics standpoint, Nash answers the common Protestant objections to the Mass and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Such arguments, like “Catholics re-crucify Christ every Mass”, he analyzes, rebuts, and then goes one level deeper in explaining why they don’t work and what the actual Church’s teaching is on the subject. Another one he tackles is whether and how Christ could have been present in bread after consecrating it during the Last Supper.
The Biblical Roots of the Mass is an eye-opening book to understanding how the central sacrament of our Faith is directly connected to all the major events of salvation history.