The purpose of this book is to explore what a liturgical approach to the Bible looks like and what hermeneutical implications this might have: How does the liturgy celebrate, understand, and communicate Scripture? The starting point is Pope Benedict's affirmation that "a faith-filled understanding of sacred Scripture must always refer back to the liturgy" ( Verbum Domini 52).
The first part of the book (based on SC 24) provides significant examples to demonstrate: The liturgical order of readings intertextually combines Old Testament and New Testament readings using manifold hermeneutical principles, specifically how the psalms show the wide range of interpretations the liturgy employs. Prayers are biblically inspired and help to appropriate Scripture personally. The hymns convey Scripture in a poetic way. Signs and actions such as foot-washing or the Ephphetha rite enact Scripture. The study considers the Mass, the sacraments and the Liturgy of the Hours.
In the second part, Benini systematically focuses on the various dimensions of liturgical hermeneutics of the Bible, which emerge from the first part. The study reflects the approaches the liturgy offers to Scripture and its liturgical reception. It explores theological aspects such as the unity of the two Testaments in Christ’s paschal mystery or the anamnesis as a central category in both Scripture and liturgy. The liturgy does not understand Scripture primarily as a document of the past, but celebrates it as a current and living "Word of the Lord," as a medium of encounter with God: Scripture is sacramental.
Liturgical Hermeneutics of Sacred Scripture seeks to contribute not only to the comparison of the Roman, Ambrosian, and Byzantine Rite regarding the Word of God, but most of all to the overall "liturgical approach" to Scripture. As such, it promotes an interdisciplinary dialogue of liturgical and biblical studies.
"This superbly structured volume is eminently scholarly, but also conveys an urgent sense of Christocentrism."~Antiphon (review from the German edition)
"The Bible is omnipresent in numerous forms and expressions of Catholic liturgy. Beyond this obvious statement of fact, the Bible-liturgy connection gives rise to a whole range of questions, e.g., how and why did their current connection come about?; How does the connection function?; and How do the Bible and the liturgy mutually enrich each other? In this monograph, German liturgical scholar Fr. Marco Benini explores these questions on the basis of a series of case studies drawn from the millennial history of the liturgy and the study of the Bible. His volume will be of interest and assistance to liturgists and biblical scholars as well as to all who wish to better understand the interplay between the Bible and the liturgy in which it has found a home."~Christopher Begg, STD, The Catholic University of America
"This unique, symphonic integration and synthesis of Scripture and sacraments provides an important, if not indispensable foundation for lived Christian discipleship. Vatican II had called for such integration of Scripture and liturgy ( Sacrosanctum Concilium 7, 24, 56). As a welcome corrective to a pre-Vatican II, more instruction-theoretical approach, Father Benini’s readable Liturgical Hermeneutics of Sacred Scripture is a most helpful scholarly tool for a Christ-centered Eucharistic revival. No liturgist can afford to bypass Benini’s eminently erudite and immensely rich study of the vital and life-giving nexus between Scripture and liturgy - not only in the Roman Rite, but in various liturgical traditions. Indeed, it is crucial reading for both intellectual insight as well as existential, spiritual proximity to Jesus Christ. Enthusiastically recommended!"~Emery de Gaál, University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary
"With a pastoral heart and a scholarly mind, Fr. Marco Benini tackles the interdisciplinary question about the relationship between liturgy and Sacred Scripture. The liturgy does not consider Scripture primarily as a document of the past, but rather celebrates it as the ‘living Word of God;’ as a medium for encountering God. Thus, Sacred Scripture is sacramental. The study analyzes what consequences this has for the liturgical, theological, and pastoral understanding of Scripture in worship and for the interdisciplinary dialogue with biblical studies. Due to the detailed nature of this study, which received two academic prizes, it is very suitable for serious scholarly consultation."~Michael S. Driscoll, University of Notre Dame
"This brilliant work brings together liturgical theology, church tradition, biblical studies, and the social sciences to offer a bold hermeneutic for understanding Scripture from within its proper home - the liturgy. This book is a must-read not only for liturgists, but also and especially Scripture scholars. It shows how the Scriptures are truly a living Word for believers."~Anthony Ruff, OSB, St. John's Abbey