by Andrew Sholl
(Comsoda Communications, 2002, 148pp, $16.50 incl postage. Available from the author at 22 Rossiter St, Cranbrook QLD 4814, (07) 4723-7658, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
St Jerome, commenting on the book of Isaiah, wrote: "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." In other words, if you want to know Jesus, read the Old Testament. Of course, reading without understanding will not reveal much. So, how can we come to understand?
Try looking through the eyes of a Jew with a profound sense of being completed by his Catholic faith.
Author of Completed Jew, Andrew Sholl, born in Yugoslavia of a Jewish family, and baptised a Catholic, providentially escaped from the Nazi holocaust. After arriving in Australia he went on to be a teacher and solicitor and with wife Penny and two daughters he settled in Townsville, Queensland. Mr Sholl is co-founder of the Association of Hebrew Catholics, an organisation that has spread to several countries.
Mr Sholl has written Completed Jew for a purpose: that many will come to a greater knowledge and love of the Lord, knowing "that everything written about [Him] in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, [had] to be fulfilled."
Completed Jew gives the reader an opportunity to view the Faith through Jewish-Catholic eyes. Beginning with an overview of the history of the Jewish dispersion into Europe and of his personal story as a Hebrew Catholic, the author turns Jewish eyes and a knowledge of the Hebrew and Aramaic tongues to the liturgy, life and Scriptures of the Church.
The veil of vernacular language and ignorance of the Old Testament slips away, uncovering profound things which the New Testament, along with the Old, clearly says about Christ. After all, as the author points out, modern biblical scholars are favouring both earlier dates for the four Gospels and more direct connection with the Hebrew language. (He mentions The Hebrew Christ, where Tresmontant argues that the Gospel of Matthew was written in Hebrew and that all Gospels four were written prior to 70 AD).
Mr Sholl contends that "there is in the Church at present not enough: study/knowledge of Hebrew/ Aramaic; interest in tracing the New Testament from the Old Testament". One hopes that a reading of Completed Jew will open the minds of those who read it to a new intelligent and faith-filled way of looking into the Scriptures, to a practical application of the words of St Augustine, friend of St Jerome: "The New Testament is hidden in the Old and the Old is made manifest in the New."