• Title: Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration
  • Author:  His Holiness Pope Benedict XVIJesusNaz_BT
  • Paperback: 389 pages   ($17 to $26 )
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (September 15, 2008)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586171988

Imagine this: forty pages just to explain The Lords Prayer! That is an example of the depth of reflection and teaching that is in this book.  The basic structure has been to combine the parallel passages from the four Gospels and then explain them, along with the inclusion of a modern scripture scholar’s ideas.  Typically Pope Benedict then explains, with charity, why some specific modern interpretation is wrong.  Occasionally the commentary will include a reference to a Father of the Church and how to understand that ancient commentary. The basic format is a chronological progression that follows the life of Jesus.  One notable exception to this is chapter 8, “The Principal Images of John’s Gospel”.  These images are worth listing: Water, Vine and Wine, Bread, The Shepperd.  The images are used by St. John, and explained by Pope Benedict, to help us know who Jesus is.

While Pope Benedict can get technical and deep, this book is very readable and understandable. I have attempted to read some of his college level books, and this is not one of those. The target audience is the typical Christian, a person who wants to know Jesus. The book is not like a popular fiction novel.  This book will cause the reader to think, to think about Jesus, and what Jesus has done and taught. Pope Benedict has commented on what he considers to be the major events in the life of Jesus, and the comments are illuminating.  My relationship with Jesus has deepened because of this fantastic work from a brilliant scholar of Sacred Scripture.  The book has been out five years now, I wish I had read it sooner.