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.
Jacob Neusner, Distinguished Service Professor of the History and Theology of Judaism; Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Theology – Bard College
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.
Matthew Levering, PhD, Co-Editor, Nova et Vetera, and Co-Director, Center for Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue
The "Jesus of Nazareth" project will be Pope Benedict's great legacy, just as the "Theology of the Body" has become the Venerable Pope John Paul's. In this second volume he accomplishes many remarkable things, among them a positive and substantive contribution to the centuries-long Christian dialogue about expiation and atonement. This will be of great value to those who want to understand — and share with others — how our salvation is accomplished by Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection. In particular, Benedict shows how the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday is what transformed Jesus' death on Good Friday from being a Roman execution into the supreme sacrifice of God's redemptive love. Benedict's writing is a feast for the soul that deserves to be read and savored.
Scott Hahn, PhD, Founder and Director of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
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.
+Charles J. Chaput, OFMCap, Archbishop of Denver
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 one's breath away, while infusing in the reader the God-breathed Word, which is the Gospel.
Tim Gray, PhD, President, Augustine Institute
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."
Thomas G. Weinandy, OFMCap, Executive Director for the Secretariat for Doctrine, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
In this masterful interweaving of history and theology, Pope Benedict takes us to the heart of the Holy Week story. He reveals how the truth about Jesus is best grasped, not by minimalist scholarly reconstructions, but by profound meditation upon the Christ of the Gospels. A whole Lenten retreat in one volume.
Ian Boxall, St. Stephen's House, Oxford
This second volume of Pope Benedict's "search for the face of the Lord" draws us ever deeper into the mysteries of Jesus's mission and life. At its heart glows a powerful meditation on the prayer of Jesus that draws into the mission of Christ the Saviour, and yet also toward the Saviour who lives among us still.
Lewis Aryres, Bede Professor of Catholic Theology at Durham University
Benedict XVI writes with the deft touch of a mature scholar and an experienced teacher. He explains his often brilliant insights with simple clarity and the masterly phrase which enlightens and convinces. His purpose is to give a reading which leads to a personal encounter with Christ. It is not just a historical study, but builds on the historico-critical method to arrive at a "faith-hermeneutic". It does, of course, discuss historical problems, but the Pope's primary aim is "listening with Jesus' disciples across the ages". It is a reading of the Gospel not by a historian but by a historically alert theologian, writing from within the Church.
Dom Henry Wansbrough, OSB, Appleforth Abbey