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Liturgical Books

(2,777 words)

Author(s): Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Lathrop, Gordon W. | Marshall, Paul V.
1. Development and Types 1.1. The Bible is the oldest and most basic liturgical book for Christian worship. With the OT the first churches took over from the synagogue the liturgical reading of Scripture, a practice that is inseparably linked to the formation of the NT canon. Just as the Hebrew Scriptures and then the Greek translation of those Scriptures were the primary books to be read in the assembly, so the churches began to assemble lists of books and collections of books, later included in the f…

Eucharistic Prayer

(1,037 words)

Author(s): Marshall, Paul V.
The eucharistic prayer (“canon of the Mass” in the West, “anaphora” in the East) is the central prayer of the Lord’s Supper (Eucharist). Its structural origins are in the Jewish table prayer Birkat ha-Maṣōn, which in turn represents a pattern traceable at least back to the prayer of Abraham in Jubilees. The theological origins of the eucharistic prayer are to be found in the traditions of the meal sacrifices of Israel, and particularly in the prominence given in intertestamental Judaism to the zebaḥ-tôdâ, “thanksgiving offering.” The dominance of thanksgiving appears in …


(5,012 words)

Author(s): Marshall, Paul V. | Adam, Adolf | Theodorou, Evangelos | Pfatteicher, Philip H. | Berger, Teresa
1. Term and Development 1.1. Term In the pagan world, “liturgy” (Gk. leitourgia, from leı̈tos, “concerning the public,” plus ergon, “work”) originally had an entirely secular use, connoting the service owed to the public by persons of means; in addition, philanthropists took on additional service, also called liturgy. The basic meaning was thus “service for the people.” A secondary, cultic usage developed for the term, perhaps because ultimately the public was to benefit from the service rendered to the gods. This cultic meaning was adopted in the LXX and in Hellenistic Judaism …