Pope Benedict’s “Jesus of Nazareth”

Are old voices speaking out anew? What about the voice of Holy Scripture, the books of the Old and New Testament? What about an old pope?

I’ve just finished reading Pope Benedict’s  Jesus of Nazareth, volume 2. I think this book may be his greatest contribution to the church. He’s regularly described as a traditionalist, but in this book he approaches Jesus listening, not to voices from earlier church commentaries, but to new voices speaking through modern biblical studies.

Recent popes  have acknowledged and approved of modern biblical scholarship, but none use it so thoroughly as Benedict does in this work. He opens the scriptures and let’s them speak of Jesus and his mission to the world.

His insights are profound and make you want to look at the scriptures more closely yourself  for the wisdom they contain. One recent European study said that Catholics there don’t read scripture much; I think the same could be said about this side of the Atlantic too. People prefer sermons.

My challenge is not to get people to listen to my sermons, but to help them prayerfully read and reflect on the scriptures themselves in a regular way. That’s what the pope himself recommended recently. Take up the scriptures; they speak of Christ.

He never says read my book, but I’m going to read it again too. It’s very good.

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