Pope Benedict completed Vol. 3 of “Jesus of Nazareth”

I read at CWN:

Pope Benedict XVI has completed the 3rd and final volume of his work, Jesus of Nazareth, the Vatican has disclosed.

The Pope’s latest book, which focuses on the Gospel accounts of Christ’s infancy, was apparently completed while the Pontiff was vacationing at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Pope Benedict has regularly used his vacation time for writing projects, and there are rumors that he is now working on an encyclical to introduce the Year of Faith that starts in October.

The 3rd volume of Jesus of Nazareth is now being translated from the German of the original manuscript into several other languages. A publication date will be announced once the first translations are complete. Vatican officials cautioned that the process of translation will be painstaking.

The 1st volume of Jesus of Nazareth, covering the period of Christ’s life from the Baptism through the Transfiguration, appeared in 2007. The 2nd volume, with the subtitle Holy Week, covering the events from the entry into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, was published early in 2011.

Shortly after his election as Roman Pontiff, Benedict XVI indicated that he did not plan to continue the prolific pace of writing that he had previously maintained. His trilogy on the life of Jesus is the only book project he has written as Pope.

This last portion of the work will be about Our Lord’s infancy and childhood. It is expected to be shorter than the first two volumes.

Volume 1 of Jesus of Nazareth was published in 2007 and Volume 2 in 2011.

The first volume is HERE.

I found, in the first volume, the Holy Father’s exposition of the problems with an unbalanced “historical-critical” approach to Scriptures masterful and invaluable.  Also, he has a succinct explanation of how we are to understand “inspiration” and Scripture.  His reflections on the temptations of the Lord was rich.

The second volume of the Holy Father’s work Jesus of Nazareth focuses on the period the Lord’s life from the entrance into Jerusalem to His resurrection.

Click HERE.

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  1. Bryan Boyle says:

    I’ve devoured both of the Holy Father’s opera on Jesus, and keep going back for more. On so many levels, after doing the right thing with relegating the Historical-Critical method to where it belongs, he gets into a multi-layered exposition on the Lord as only Benedict could. His touch as both a pastor as well as a teacher is so evident…you can pick up these book at any time and you’ll find yourself marveling at the new insights they offer.

    If you don’t have these on your shelf…you should. I await, eagerly, the third volume.

  2. acardnal says:

    Bryan Boyle,
    off topic but I read in the ARRL release about your petition to the FCC and its rejection. I liked your idea.

  3. Lori Pieper says:

    Yay! I can’t wait. I guess publication by the beginning of Advent this year is too much to ask for. Maybe next Advent?

  4. mamajen says:

    I will have to add the first two to my reading list. Sadly, I haven’t read any of Pope Benedict’s books (I don’t get to read much at all these days). These sound like something I would really enjoy.

  5. keithp says:

    Wonderful news! I loved the first two volumes. Beautiful prose and I was so pleased about how easy the Holy Father made some very challenging subjects so easy to understand.

  6. wmeyer says:

    I can also highly recommend Pope Benedict’s “Introduction to Christianity”, a very substantial of the Creed. Significantly, a DRE I know said she had difficulty understanding it, but then she is among the Spirit of Vatican II crowd. So that’s another recommendation.

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Introduction to Christianity _is_ hard to understand. It uses a lot of technical theology and philosophy language, because it’s not written for the average reader. It’s written for somebody who’s taken a lot of classes in those areas but doesn’t actually understand the point of Christianity, or would like to be reminded.

    That said, it can be worth gutting your way through it. But it’s not easy.

  8. It is a privilege beyond description to be taught–directly!–by the Successor of Peter!

    Really. Stop and think about that.

    To have the Vicar of Christ take pen in hand and write several books about the life of the Lord–and to have such a vicar, who is so eminently educated, so studious–and, to boot, he has been a local pastor!–really, it’s beyond amazing.

    Then, to boot, we have such a humble pope. I remember reading the introduction to his first volume, in which he said, something to the effect of, even though I’m the pope, I’m not attempting to exercise my ex cathedra authority here; so anyone who wishes to question or disagree with anything I write here, should feel free.

    What a wonderful pope we have! Ad multos annos!

  9. gracie says:

    I’ve often wondered if Pope Benedict XVI wrote books while he was a professor in Germany and if so have they all been translated into English? I’ve heard of “Introduction to Christianity” before but he must have written other books, right? I suspect the list at Amazon might not be all of them.

    On a separate note, I remember being surprised that the Holy Father quoted from the Gospel of Thomas at one point – in the first volume of “Jesus of Nazareth” – as it was excluded from the Bible. I would love to hear him talk about how he approaches the apocryphal gospels to determines the legitimate from the illegitimate bits. I just thought they were off limits except as historical curiosities but obviously he feels they have some merit if he quotes from them.

  10. JonPatrick says:

    The Wikipedia article on HH Benedict XVI lists 65 books by him.

    I find both volumes of Jesus of Nazareth as books I need to re-read periodically. Vol II is especially good as a Lenten exercise.


  11. John V says:


    Start by checking out Ignatius Press. They are the principal publisher of the English translations of his books.

  12. Bryan Boyle says:

    acardnal: Off topic (and begging Father’s indulgence…): Thanks. (small world).

    On topic: Fr. Fox/wmeyer: absolutely, especially the thought about being taught, directly from the mind and pen of the Vicar of Christ, about a subject as sublime as the Lord Himself. Talk about dining at the ultimate banquet.

    One of the things that I appreciate about the volumes is that, while John Paul II was certainly an incredible teacher of the Faith, his writing was so dense that you had to read and reread many times to pull the nuggets out that you could use as a hook to start to understand…Benedict seems to understand this in how (which is a methodology in and of itself) he presents his theses…different styles to draw people to the same source and summit: Christ himself.

    A good priest I know, a member of the Roman Theological Forum, explains it as ‘getting out of the way’ and being the conduit through which Christ is made present instead of the object of attention. I think our gentle Holy Father, at his core, understands this and is always pointing at the Lord, figuratively, saying “Look THERE”. This translates into so many areas…and Benedict, understanding more than most, the time he has left here with us, seems to be almost determined to give us even more riches from his heart.

    Ad Multos Annos, certainly.

  13. Sissy says:

    Bryan Boyle: Agreed. When I first started reading the Holy Father’s books, I marveled at the clarity of his writing and how easy they are to read (which I regard as a true mark of genius). It’s pure pleasure. I really love the Holy Father; we are so blessed.

  14. wmeyer says:

    Bryan Boyle, Sissy: I agree, the Holy Father has a great facility with his writing, and has been very well translated, besides. I do not find the reading difficult, but I do find there is so much in it, and implied by it, as to require repeated reading. Not on the page, but revisiting the books, as there is always more to glean from them.

  15. Sissy says:

    wmeyer: Exactly; so many riches. I think you could easily use his books on the Apostles or the Early Fathers as texts for religious education or a Catholic book club. They are so accessible for anyone of almost any reading level.

  16. Burke says:

    Three books in six years … most writers would consider that quite a feat … yet that is on top of all the other work that this man does … what an extraordinary individual he is!

  17. rollingrj says:

    Wonderful news! I hope translations don’t take too long. I also hope Ignatius Press puts this at the top of their projects’ list.

  18. gracie says:

    John V,

    Thanks for directing me to Ignatius Press. I think I counted 76 books by the Pope – amazing!

  19. joecct77 says:

    This may be a silly question but does the Pope have to get an Imprimatur and a Nihil Obstat for his books?

  20. Supertradmum says:

    joecct77, He gets it from Peter!

  21. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Yeah, I didn’t mean to be scary. B16’s popular books are very accessible, and a lot of his academic books are also. It’s just Intro to Christianity that was written on a 46th grade level.

    War and Peace doesn’t scare me. The Tale of Genji doesn’t scare me. Intro to Christianity was rough.

  22. akp1 says:

    Once you’ve read one book by Pope Benedict, the rest are easier! He writes in such an accessible way, but so much to take in, in a way that makes so much sense – try one of his shorter books first.

  23. irishgirl says:

    When I worked in the local Catholic bookstore, we had many of the Holy Father’s books, both before and after his election. From time to time I would dip into one or another of them when there were no customers to wait on…..
    The only one I ever read was his memoir…rats, the title slips my mind right now…it’s the one that stops in 1977. Is is called, ‘Passages’, by any chance? Hope someone here will refresh my memory…..
    I’ve never read any of his ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ works. I guess I don’t have the patience in my old age to plow through them…..

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