From Publishers Weekly
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)
On the Day of Pentecost, Peter sought to explain to the assembled multitude what God had done through Jesus of Nazareth, crucified and risen. Peter's successor, Benedict XVI, here undertakes the same urgent task, in fruitful dialogue with the historical-critical biblical scholarship that dominates contemporary academic study of Jesus. Charting the path of the new evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI uncovers for us the living source of Peter's evangelizing mission: Jesus, in whom God gives hope to the world. --Matthew Levering, Ph.D.
, Co-Editor, Nova et Vetera, and Co-Director, Center for Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue
Working from Scripture, the Church Fathers and contemporary scholarship, Benedict XVI deftly brings together the historical and theological dimensions of the gospel portraits of Jesus. This is a splendid, penetrating study of the central figure of Christian faith; a learned and spiritual illumination not only of who Jesus was, but who he is for us today. --+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
, Archbishop of Denver
What better guide could you find than Benedict XVI to lead you on the bracing adventure of exploring the historical Jesus and discovering, under the tutelage of this most sage successor to Peter, the inner meaning of Jesus' death and resurrection. Faith and reasonare the two wings Benedict XVI takes up to lead us to astonishingly fresh spiritual perspectives and dizzying heights. This book often takes ones breath away, while infusing in the reader the God-breathed Word, which is the Gospel. --Tim Gray, Ph.D.
, President , Augustine Institute