For Christians, Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world, and who rose from the dead in triumph over sin and death. For non-Christians, he is almost anything else--a myth, a political revolutionary, a prophet whose teaching was misunderstood or distorted by his followers.Read more...
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For Christians, Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world, and who rose from the dead in triumph over sin and death. For non-Christians, he is almost anything else--a myth, a political revolutionary, a prophet whose teaching was misunderstood or distorted by his followers.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, and no myth, revolutionary, or misunderstood prophet, insists Benedict XVI. He thinks that the best of historical scholarship, while it can't "prove" Jesus is the Son of God, certainly doesn't disprove it. Indeed, Benedict maintains that the evidence, fairly considered, brings us face-to-face with the challenge of Jesus--a real man who taught and acted in ways that were tantamount to claims of divine authority, claims not easily dismissed as lunacy or deception.
Benedict XVI presents this challenge in his new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, the sequel volume to Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration.
Why was Jesus rejected by the religious leaders of his day? Who was responsible for his death? Did he establish a Church to carry on his work? How did Jesus view his suffering and death? How should we? And, most importantly, did Jesus really rise from the dead and what does his resurrection mean? The story of Jesus raises many crucial questions.
Benedict brings to his study the vast learning of a brilliant scholar, the passionate searching of a great mind, and the deep compassion of a pastor's heart. In the end, he dares readers to grapple with the meaning of Jesus' life, teaching, death, and resurrection.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-04-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Popes are known for writing encyclicals and papal bulls, not popular works on the historical Jesus, which is in any case a field well-trod by countless other authors. But Pope Benedict XVI, a.k.a. the German theologian Joseph Ratzinger, has now written the second volume in his "Jesus of Nazareth" series. (A third may be in the offing.) And this book, as with the first, is a worthy contribution to the field not only because it was written by a pope, but also because it combines solid scholarship with deep spirituality. As such it joins the Jesus of history to the Christ of faith in an accessible narrative. This volume explores the drama of Holy Week, yet it is relatively bloodless compared with other treatments. The focus is on the meaning of the events, with a strong reiteration of recent church teaching against imputing guilt for Jesus' death to the Jews of that time or now. But Benedict's explanation of the Resurrection and his phrase "evolutionary leap" to help conceive it may be the most fascinating and enduring aspect of the book. The Resurrection opens "a new dimension of human existence," the pope writes; it "points beyond history but has left a footprint within history." The same could be said of this book. (Mar. 10)