Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reactions to the excerpts of Jesus of Nazareth

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has posted a reflection about his reading of Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week—From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection. He writes:

I have been circling back over various passages which impedes my forward progress. I am circling back not because it is difficult to read, but because I want to remember it well. Also, I have been taking it to my evening visits to the Blessed Sacrament. The book is about Jesus, after all. Why not read it with Him? That has been helpful, though it slows my progress. So… I hold myself in check even as I strain forward.

The new book will be released worldwide for Lent 2011, with a date of 10 March. Just buy it. ...

Papa Ratzinger has been thinking about Jesus for his whole life. And he doesn’t consider Jesus to be static, or a subject, or a thing to be pondered. Jesus is a who, in whose image we are made. Years ago I heard Card. Ratzinger answer a question about some of Fr. Karl Rahner’s notions about God. After a brilliant exposition, Ratzinger concluded, “What Fr. Rahner forgets is that you cannot pray to an Existenz-Modus!”

Throughout the book, the Holy Father continues in the vein he exposed in his first volume where, in the indispensable preface, he explains where the “technicians” (my word, not his) of Scripture go wrong in reading Scripture. You cannot simply apply tools of modern scholarship, such as the historical-critical method, form criticism, etc., without also concerning yourself with the who behind each word. What Papa Ratzinger is doing is showing us how to reconnect with Scripture in a way closer to that the of early Fathers of the Church. I have been convinced that the Fathers are of growing importance precisely because they reconnect us with a way of reading Scripture. At the same time as we can make great use of the tools of scholarship we have, and the Holy Father does use them extensively, we never lose sight of that other way of reading and listening. This is the Pope’s working method throughout.

Read the entire post.

Amy Welborn has posted some thoughts as well on her "Charlotte Was Both" blog:

First, a general reaction to the book. I’ve not yet finished it, but what I’ve read so far as struck a chord, even more, I’ll dare to say, than the first volume. At least with me. This second book has a narrower focus (Passion and Resurrection) and strikes me as more cohesive. I’m more able to appreciate it as a whole, rather than just in disparate bits, as was the case with the first – at least for me. ...

I’ll have more to say when the book is published, for I’m finding the material on the resurrection to be quite helpful. What Pope Benedict does is a constant weaving and re-weaving of some contemporary scholarship, his critiques of various uses of that scholarship, and deep attention to the person of Christ, not as a mere object of study, but as the One who invites us to fullness of life with Him.

Read her entire post.

Marcel LeJeune of "Aggie Catholics" writes:

This work covers much less of the Gospels than the first volume, but I prefer it because he has more time to get into details and the pace doesn't seem quite as rushed.

While I cannot give a full review yet, that will have to wait until next week, what I can say is that this has quickly become one of my favorite books by Benedict XVI. His insights are illuminating and his pedagogy is brilliant. ...

First of all, Pope Benedict is clear that the purpose of this book is to help the readers have a closer relationship with Christ through the Sacred Scriptures. He wants us to be able to see the face of our Messiah and love Him more. I believe the Pope does an even better job in this volume, than the first one, of achieving this goal.

Read Marcel's full post.

Other recent posts and articles about the book include:

Visit for much more information about the book, which will be available on March 10th.

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