Monday, February 28, 2011

A personal search 'for the face of the Lord'

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI completed his first volume on Christ’s life – Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration. It was his first published work after elevation to the Papacy, and it became a worldwide best-seller.

In his foreword to the 2007 work, Benedict makes no mistake about his perspective:

“I believe that this Jesus – the Jesus of the Gospels – is a historically plausible and convincing figure. Unless there had been something extraordinary in what happened, unless the person and the words of Jesus radically surpassed the hopes and expectations of the time, there is no way to explain why he was crucified or why he made such an impact.

“It goes without saying that this book is in no way an exercise in the magisterium,” he adds later in the foreword, “but is solely an expression of my personal search ‘for the face of the Lord.’” (cf. Ps 27:8)

Benedict’s combination of personal faith and what only can be described as theological brilliance enables him to explore – and in many ways restore – Jesus’ true identity as revealed in the Gospels. As he does in Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, the Pontiff challenged readers of the first book to encounter Jesus face-to-face through those portions of the Scriptures that cover most of Christ’s public ministry.

In reviewing the first volume, noted author and theologian George Weigel said, in part, “Ratzinger reveals the core of his personality as he invites readers into the classroom of a master teacher….”

Ignatius Press Founder and Publisher Fr. Joseph Fessio studied for his doctorate in Theology under then-Professor Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. He recently said that the Holy Father’s interest is “helping people to know and love someone he knows and loves” … Jesus of Nazareth.

You can learn more about and order Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration here:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI, the author

Pope Benedict XVI is a prolific writer.  His first book, Introduction to Christianity, appeared in 1968.

Since then, dozens of his works have been published – including The Ratzinger Report (1985), Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today (1996) and Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions (2004).

Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration was published in 2007. His second volume on the life of Christ releases March 10 worldwide with the official premier at the Vatican.
Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week – From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection will appear in a variety of languages and will reach every corner of the earth.

Ignatius Press is publishing the English-language edition. Visit the book's website:

In addition to his own writing, the Holy Father also has granted German journalist Peter Seewald audiences that have resulted in three best-selling book-length interviews: Salt of the Earth (1997), God and the World (2002) and Light of the World (2010).

In his Preface to Light of the World, Seewald provides a fascinating perspective on Benedict XVI – one that may help readers of Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week grasp the perspective from which the Pontiff explores Christ’s life, death and resurrection:

“This is no Prince of the Church,” Seewald writes, “but rather a servant of the Church, a great giver who completely exhausts himself in his giving.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week - From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection releases worldwide on Thursday March 10.

Ignatius Press is publishing the English-language edition of the book in the U.S. Already, there is great anticipation for this follow-up to the Holy Father's 2007 best-selling work, Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration.

"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," says Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, of Denver. "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."  

This blog is connected to the website for the book. If you've arrived here some other way, you can visit the website at You will find the Facebook page for the book here: