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Dr. Nathan Schmiedicke (’00)A professor of exegesis at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska, Dr. Nathan Schmiedicke (’00) makes the fruits of many years’ labor available to the general reader with the publication of his new book, The Bible’s Foundation: A Catholic Introduction to the Pentateuch.

“I wrote the book over a decade ago for an online class intended for upper grade school or early high school students,” he says. His work, however, proved more popular than he had expected. “By the time I had finished writing the course, I had people from all age groups and walks of life taking the course and benefitting from it.”

Dr. Schmiedicke was content to let the incipient book circulate as course notes, but his friend, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski (’94), was convinced it deserved wider readership. “Peter rescued it from the dustbin,” laughs Dr. Schmiedicke, “and helped me in the process of getting it published.” The book reached the end of that process in early 2021 and has been a boon to Catholic classrooms ever since.

The Bible’s Foundation: A Catholic Introduction to the PentateuchWhy did Dr. Schmiedicke devote so many years of his life to 400 pages expounding the Pentateuch, also known as the Torah? “As the title suggests, it is the Bible’s foundation — the first part of the world’s greatest and most important literary edifice,” he explains.

With Dr. Schmiedicke’s guidance, readers navigate the themes of Creation and the Fall, the promise of a redeemer, and the election of Israel — the indispensable backdrop for understanding the New Testament. “I often tell my students that the Torah is the Gospels of the Old Testament,” he says. “It contains the most foundational events of salvation history, and my book is meant as a guide to help teach the student how to read and interpret it.”

Zealous exegete that he is, Dr. Schmiedicke credits the College with inspiring his fascination with God’s Word. “My formation at TAC was instrumental in orienting the way I approached Scripture: Not only as the inspired and inerrant word of God, but as a true — even the truest — literary work.”

Reading the Bible in its entirety in Freshman Theology, and later unpacking its riches with the help of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas in his Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years, not only shaped his approach to reading the Scriptures, it shaped his motive for expounding them to others. “Like St. Augustine, I want to go beyond just giving fish,” Dr. Schmiedicke reflects. “I want to teach people how to fish.”