Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism to the Transfiguration
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Publication Date: 2008-09-30
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-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 these and other 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. Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection challenges both believers and unbelievers to decide who Jesus of Nazareth is and what he means for them.
Originally a liberal theologian, he adopted conservative views after 1968. His prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries. He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict also revived a number of traditions, including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position. He strengthened the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, promoted the use of Latin, and reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s.
I read this book during Lent this year. Though it has many scholarly components to it, this book felt, to me, like curling up with my professor grandfather. Pope Benedict uses imagery that’s accessible and even, in places, unexpected. I’ll be digesting and referring back to this book for quite some time to come.
Brilliant, insightful, and profound. Each chapter is packed with so many truths upon which to ponder and reflect. It is impossible to read without growing in understanding and a deeper sort of knowledge. Pope Benedict XVI is truly one of the most brilliant minds of our time. Highly recommended!
Pope Benedict provides the ultimate dissection of the bible with this 3 book series, as he makes brilliant connections between the old and the new testaments. As he states, the focus of his entire work is to vividly answer the question “Who is Jesus of Nazareth?” The answer is much more involved than you might think!
Probably the only frustrating part of the book occurs whenever Benedict gives time to the theories of other exegetes, of a liberal persuasion. But there is a payoff--- he does this to inevitably to explain how their theories are misguided and wrong. This leads to my favorite line in the book: “Here, theory predominated over listening to the text [Scripture].” In other words, Benedict is saying in a heroically humble and gentle way that these crazy liberals don’t even bother referencing the Bible to support their theories.
My favorite section of the book was definitely the area on Jesus’s temptations in the desert, and how each of them teaches a valuable lesson to us – how each temptation is emblematic of very broad, very pervasive temptations that we all experience.
These books are an absolute treasure!