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Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week--From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, Volume II
Ignatius Press / 2011 / Hardcover
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What happened during the final week of Jesus of Nazareth's earthly life? How did the man whom many hailed as the Messiah on Palm Sunday come to be rejected by the leaders of his own people just a few days later? Was he a political revolutionary? Who was responsible for his death - the Romans or the Jewish authorities - or both? How did Jesus view his suffering and death? How should we? And most importantly, did Jesus really rise from the dead? In Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week - From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, Pope Benedict XVI takes up these and other crucial questions. He dares readers to grapple with the meaning of Jesus' life, teaching, death, and resurrection.
In this sequel to "Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration," Pope Benedict XVI insists that Jesus is the Son of God--not a myth, revolutionary, or misunderstood prophet. Indeed, Benedict maintains that the evidence, fairly considered, brings readers 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.
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The Holy Father tackles many of history's most volatile questions about the final week of Jesus' earthly life:
"Only in this second volume do we encounter the decisive sayings and events of Jesus' life...I hope that I have been granted an insight into the figure of Our Lord that can be helpful to all readers who seek to encounter Jesus and to believe in Him."
"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."
"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 reason are 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."
"As is his first volume of Jesus of Nazareth, so, once again, in his second volume Pope Benedict XVI has authored a marvelous book, this time on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. What makes this study so attractive is the depth of its biblical insight, its attention to historical issues, its keen theological acumen, and its lucid and precise expression. Moreover, as with the first volume, it is written in a serene and prayerful manner - a serenity and a prayerfulness that is conveyed to the heart and mind of the reader. This book fulfills Pope Benedict's ardent desire - that it would "be helpful to all readers who seek to encounter Jesus and to believe in him."
"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."
"This theological masterpiece courageously confronts head-on two centuries of historical exegesis and establishes a fresh way of reading the Gospels as both biography and theology in a coherent way. The author explains, "I set out to discover the real Jesus, on the basis of whom something like a Christology from below would then become possible. The quest for the historical Jesus, as conducted in mainstream critical exegesis in accordance with its hermeneutical presuppositions, lacks sufficient content to exert any significant historical impact. It is focused too much on the past for it to make possible a personal relationship with Jesus." Here we find a compelling model for the presentation of the life of holy rabbi, Hillel or Aqiba, in the same context as we account for the life of Jesus."
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) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
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