The momentous third and final volume in the Pope’s international bestselling Jesus of Nazareth series, detailing how the stories of Jesus’ infancy and childhood are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago.
In 2007, Joseph Ratzinger published his first book as Pope Benedict XVI in order “to make known the figure and message of Jesus.” Now, the Pope focuses exclusively on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as a child. The root of these stories is the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmations of surrender and service embodied in his parents, Joseph and Mary. This is a story of longing and seeking, as demonstrated by the Magi searching for the redemption offered by the birth of a new king. It is a story of sacrifice and trusting completely in the wisdom of God as seen in the faith of Simeon, the just and devout man of Jerusalem, when he is in the presence of the Christ child. Ultimately, Jesus’ life and message is a story for today, one that speaks to the restlessness of the human heart searching for the sole truth which alone leads to profound joy.
I’m excited about this book for the obvious reasons, but not solely because it’s, you know, the Pope. Rather, Ratzinger/Benedict is a serious German theologian of the old school, far from a fundamentalist and also faithful to the tradition. Of particular interest will be how he handles the question of history in general (as he’s discussed in the other volumes) as well as the particular nature of the historicity of the infancy narratives, roundly rejected as pure myth by most critical scholars. Go ahead. Pre-order it. You know you want to: