BOOKS: 'Jesus of Nazareth' by Pope Benedict

I was at the presentation of the Pope’s book, Jesus of Nazareth in the Aula del Sinodo on Friday 13 April 2007. Others will write about or post the talks by the presenters.

Here are some of my personal notes. I do not intend to recap the book (impossible) or speakk much about the press conference (a waste of time). They are intended only to help you read Joseph Ratzinger’s work more fruitfully.

It is not new to receive a book from a Pope. In the past, they were the fruits of interviews, or they were biographical or poetry. But this is a work of theology. That’s new. Even though it is a work of theology, it is not a contribution to the Magisterium. That’s new. This point was heavily stressed in the presser. This book is a contribution of “Joseph Ratzinger” to all who are interested in Jesus. The novelty of this book is its context, coming as it does from a Pope.

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ROME, APRIL 18, 2007 ( Benedict XVI’s book “Jesus of Nazareth” sold 50,000 copies in Italy in one day and its publisher has called it "alr…

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Rome, Apr. 30, 2007 ( - More than 1 million copies of the new book by Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, have been sold in just 2 weeks…

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The English edition of the Pope’s new book on Jesus will be out in a few days (unfortunately, while I’ll be in Italy, so I won’t be able to get it–or have time to read it–till I get back), but
He also has some interesting thoughts on how the press tends to miss the point of books like this.


Thanks for that link to John Allen’s preview. Going to go look into ordering my copy.

Wait wait a second why is it that when i want to write a story about an Islamic Mosque in Cleveland for my journalism class my story is too broad but when the Pope wants to write about something as Broad as the founder of Christianity–thats ok?
He couldve narrorwed it done a little.


if i have time i might read it. Or at least read a summary about it on Amazon

Because he’s not writing a paper for class!


I have it on my “to-buy” list. I have enough books to place an order but I am waiting until one more book (Redeeming Economics) is available.

I understand this book is supposed to be released this Tuesday, May 15, well I found it today at Books a Million here in North Carolina. I couldn’t resist! :slight_smile:

Anyone reading this book yet? Is there a “book club” thread somewhere? I’m in Ch 3 or 4 (can’t remember where I stopped last night). Typical Ratzinger (meaning I have to re-read everything to understand it) but nicely focused. Our pastor is going to start a series on it in Sept. but I’d love to get insights before then.

I’m reading it too. Most of it is riveting and poetic. I have difficulty following his references to theologians of the past because I am unfamiliar with these writings. When discussing his own view, I find it quite illuminating.

I started this weekend (Friday night 6/8) and got to about page 100 on Sunday. I find that the Pope is writing for a two the common person. Still, it is a slow read in the sense that he gives the reader a lot to think about.

Yes it’s a pop book but Benedict’s pop books read like most peoples’ journal articles.:stuck_out_tongue:

Bought it. Tried to read it. Couldn’t. Horribly boring and predictable. And, as a fan of Liberation Theology, I disagreed rather sharply with the basic premise. Wish I could return it – $25.00. ***OUCH!***:confused:

Listening to it during my 2-3 hour a day commute.

The Pope attempts to dig beyond the surface meaning of various aspects of Jesus’ life on earth (as one would expect). Unfortunantley I usually have a great deal on my mind as I go to and from work and I often find the CD has played for a matter of minutes and I haven’t heard a word. Whcih makes me wish I opted for thebook instead.

When I do force myself to pay attention I find I am learning how our Holy Father understands and interprets various episodes of Jesus’ life and ministy. I enjoy the challenge of attempting to “get in the head” of our Holy Father. I figure I can only learn a great deal by the experience.

As far as the post about liberal theology, I am a bit baffled. It seems to me the Holy Father is paining a Jesus of a liberator as well as a director to the will of the Father. Especially the chapter on the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount.

I think the Pope’s book is pretty bad. It’s boring, way too long, and lends aid and comfort to Fundamentalists by touting the Bible as a theological unity, when it’s not. The Gospels are infinitely more important than the other parts. The **Life of Christ **should be our focus.

Anything else you’d like to get off your chest? We get the point that you don’t like the book.

Excellent book in my opinion. I cant wait to read on.

“The Life of Christ should be our focus.”

The OT talks about the life of Christ, as God interacts with His people. The NT talks about the life of the Body of Christ.

In other words, there isn’t one part of the Bible that is most important. You have to read across the Bible. And yes, it is a unity – e pluribus unum, in fact.

All this was taught to us by Jesus Christ, Truth Himself, on the road to Emmaus. So if you’re paying any attention at all to the life of Christ, you’re reading the whole Bible with great attention.

Remember, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of God.”

This book is very much a rejection of modern ideas which tend to separate the Christ of Faith from the Jesus of History. The Holy Father seeks to show us that they are one in the same, through the Holy Scriptures.

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