"In the composition of this book I experienced a growing conviction that the thing with which we believe we are familiar is not the New Testament; it is a conventionalized popular understanding of the New Testament. The simplicity of the New Testament can be deceptive. We have lived with it so long that its explosive power has become sweet reasonableness. I have noticed this not as a preacher but simply as a professional interpreter. It is our office to explain the text....The New Testament interpreter finds that he has the unpleasant task of liberating the text from certain encumbrances."
John L. McKenzie, from the preface
Endorsements & Reviews-
" It is a magnificent book, not only as an outstanding example of expertise on the part of a master craftsman, but also as a testimonial to the New Testament faith of a deeply learned and thoughtful contemporary Christian. It does not contain a line that is not worth rereading, and the reader will find that most of its lines challenge him or her to a reaction that goes beyond mere reading."
- Bruce Vawter, C. M., The Critic
"It is cause for rejoicing that the scriptural reflections of John L. McKenzie are once more available. We are the richer for his erudition and saving sense of humor."
- Daniel Berrigan, 2008
"Father John McKenzie led American Roman Catholic scholarship into the mainstream of critical biblical scholarship. In sum, he incorporated in terms of biblical scholarship the best of the Second Vatican Council."
Jim Robinson, 2008
John L. McKenzie
Father John L. McKenzie (1910-1991), an Old Testament biblical scholar who taught at Loyola University of Chicago, University of Chicago, Notre Dame and DePaul University, is considered one of the most influential post-WW2 scholars who oriented Catholic thinkers toward modern biblical scholarship. Beyond being a prolific writer of books and articles, he was the first Catholic president of the Society of Biblical Literature, and served as president for the Catholic Biblical Association and for Clergy and Laity Concerned.