Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
Publication Date: November 21, 2012
No one can take the best that some modernist researchers have to offer and turn it to the service of orthodoxy better than Benedict XVI can. It is brilliant as well as easy to read, and the translation is lucid. I read it twice! It makes for great advent reading. Inspiring and informative.
Guilty confession: I haven't read the other two Jesus of Nazareth books. I wasn't sure I was smart enough or had enough brainpower to spare.
Well, this was the one to start with, and Advent was the time to read it. It was a gentle examination, a quiet visit in the stable, and an education that wasn't forced.
Reading it made me look differently at the Infant Jesus in the manger (and, in the case of my house, in the tractor wagon).
Pope Benedict is a brilliant scholar, no doubt about it, and you can tell that from his writing. Take out, though, any thought you have of not being able to follow his reasoning.
This book was beautiful and truly a lesson in all sorts of things for me. I loved it, and I'll be rereading it and sharing it with many others, I'm sure.
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!