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Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thoughtful, Accessible, Scholarly

    As a Protestant, Reformation-loving Christian, albeit respectful of the immense contribution of Roman Catholicism to the intellectual framework of Christianity, I had some trepidation at the outset of the reading of this book. I have since read it twice and eagerly look forward to Part II.

    Written while still Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, Benedict undertakes the immense task of examining the life and impact of Jesus of Nazareth, synthesizing the narratives of all four Gospels into a coherent and inspiring Christology, from the Jordan River to the Mount of Transfiguration. Benedict is a consummate scholar, familiar with all of the important historic and contemporary vantage points from which the life of Christ is appreciated. He is unfailingly kind to opposing views as he engages each in turn, but defends the orthodoxy of Christ--fully man, fully God--and the authority of Scripure with rigor and insight.
    This is most evident in his engagement of the ideas of Rabbi Jacob Neusner, himself a repectful dissenter from the claims of Christianity, in his "A Rabbi Talks With Jesus" (copyright 2000, McGill-Queens University Press). This dialogue between the two serves as an example of how those of different faiths might discuss and debate the essentials of their respective traditions without rancor.

    More importantly, Benedict renders both the pericopes (stories about) and parables of Jesus--and the various historic commentarites--accessible to the reader. He embodies in his presentation the characteristics of a true disciple of Christ, presenting both objectives and objections with a gentle and persuasive tone. He sheds light on how one might pierce the veil comprised of confusing interpretations of Jesus and his life, and find Jesus himself in the Gospel narrative. His patient and scholarly renderings of the Sermon on the Mount and the Parables of Christ were, to me, the very best parts of an already excellent work, and with some patience should be understandable to any serious seeker or student of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Finally, a work like this inspires not only a more comprehensive view of the One whom I call Lord, but gives me hope for a greater essential unity of all who go by His name, because Benedict highlights that which all believers share-- the possession of Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2007

    Right to the point

    I am not a Catholic but my sister is and she suggested I read this book. I was pleasantly supprised. The pope got right to the point of who Jesus is and what he really brought to the world. He did not go into deep Catholic catechism but instead stayed the course, focusing solely on Jesus. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking the truth about Jesus or for someone who would like to know what Christianity is all about.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Renewed My Faith

    What was helpful to me about this book is that Pope Benedict XVI wrote about Jesus Christ as a personal believer and as a theologian. I do not mean that to be a believer excludes being a theologian, but rather some books treat the Christ like he is a speciman on a theological petrie dish more than the central figure of our Christian faith. This book renewed my faith.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    'jesus of nazareth' by pope benedict xvi is a very special book. it gives a great overview of what christ came into this world to truly do for us and the great love that he has for us. what I found special in this book was the pope seems to show how our savior really cares for each person no matter who they are. in this publication the pope says that christ thinks every human being is unique. I think this is comforting because it shows that this bestseller shows that the savior truly cares no matter who you are. this book is small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and would be great to give as a gift to someone special.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2007

    An Unbeliever

    Not a good believer, but . . . I¿ve been a doubter most of my life. Benedict came close to entrapping me. The only thing that saved me was I knew I was dealing with the world¿s macro-genius of theology. Yet, although I did not come away as a believer, I did come away with a profound respect for this good man who so many accept as the Vicar of Christ on earth. If you like pope-books, try also John Cornwell¿s `The Pope in Winter¿, a wonderful record of the ups and downs of John Paul II. Also, for an eye-opener, get your fingers on Lucien Gregoire¿s `White Light Dark Night¿ a newly released biog of another of Benedict¿s predecessors, the 33-day Pope. We¿ve heard too much of his death. Finally someone brings John Paul I back to life: his struggles as an impoverished child, as a rebellious seminarian, as a revolutionary priest and as an outspoken bishop/cardinal. John Paul I had a very different definition of `Jesus of Nazareth¿ than did either of his successors.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Extraordinary Exposition of the Faith!

    Powerful in its inspiration, profound in its insights. Almost certainly the best single exposition of the faith outside the Catechism itself. An intensively rich treasure. Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is THE man on the theology of Christ--end of discussion. The quality of this book will surprise even the most loyal and pope-centered Catholic. It's that good, a genuine masterpiece that will stand through the ages. It will be a classic of the faith.

    I have not read all of the other writings of Pope Benedict XVI, but if this is not his signature piece I definitely want to read the one that is. No one else can speak so authoritatively on the teachings of Christ, and although the pope's voice is nearly always gentle, it speaks with unmistakable authority. Pope Benedict XVI may be the closest thing to the wisdom of Solomon the modern Christian world will ever see. Don't miss this book; the depth of understanding will floor you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2010

    wonderful sermon about the life and meaning of Jesus

    I had a paper copy of this book, and now got it on my Nook as well. I like it this much!

    This book talks of the life of Jesus between his baptism and transfiguration. The most famous moments of his earthly life: birth, crucifixion, and resurrection, are not in this book - they are reserved for future volumes by Pope Benedict.

    The book is not Catholic specific in any way. In fact, many Baptists and other Christians like it a lot too! If you read it, you will see that Pope Benedict is a very intelligent preacher with a lot of profound insights about Jesus.

    Highly recommended!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A homily in a book

    I have been an avid reader of many books by Cardinal Ratzinger, now pope Benedict. His approach to theological, social, and cultural issues of today is very closely aligned with my own, and in his works I find a very insightful foundation for the intellectual exploration of those issues. However, compared to most other books that he authored, this one comes across very differently. This is a much more personal and accessible account of the person and life of Jesus of Nazareth. Scholarly understanding is still there, but it is somewhat pushed to the background and given way to the more immediate access to the founder of Christian faith. In the light of that, it is perhaps best to understand this book as an extended homily. One of the main themes of this homily is a reaffirmation of orthodox understanding of Jesus Christ. There is a whole cottage industry of books that try to undermine this view of Jesus, and the pope would have none of it.

    This book was started before Benedict became the pope, and he continued the work on it during the first two years of his pontificate. It is inspiring and admirable to see such a sharpness of mind in an octogenarian. The book, however, has been without the inclusion of the passion and infancy narratives. The pope has expressed a hope to be able to finish those parts as the time permits. We can all hope that God gives him strength and good health in the years to come, so we can be enriched for yet another spiritual gem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    A Blessing

    Bought the book because I had enjoyed the audio book so much. The Pope is a very gifted writer

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    The best and clearest book on Jesus outside of the Bible

    I had a review prepared but Barnes & Noble cut it off midway.

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful reading and the explanations of the parables were very interesting, even if one is not a believer.

    Opps. My Headline says it all. I find this book very readable. Maybe the distance between theory and practice here keeps expanding. I imagine their prohibition against divorce and abortion is winked at by the local priest in regard to people that he feels for. Thank you.

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    Posted October 11, 2011

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