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Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives [Large Print] [Paperback]

Pope Benedict XVI , Joseph Ratzinger
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Dec 2012
New York Times Bestseller! The momentous third and final volume in the Pope’s international bestselling Jesus of Nazareth series, detailing how the stories of Jesus’ infancy and childhood are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago.
In 2007, Joseph Ratzinger published his first book as Pope Benedict XVI in order “to make known the figure and message of Jesus.” Now, the Pope focuses exclusively on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as a child. The root of these stories is the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmations of surrender and service embodied in his parents, Joseph and Mary. This is a story of longing and seeking, as demonstrated by the Magi searching for the redemption offered by the birth of a new king. It is a story of sacrifice and trusting completely in the wisdom of God as seen in the faith of Simeon, the just and devout man of Jerusalem, when he is in the presence of the Christ child. Ultimately, Jesus’ life and message is a story for today, one that speaks to the restlessness of the human heart searching for the sole truth which alone leads to profound joy.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Large Print Publishing; Lrg edition (26 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804120978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804120975
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 586,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Highly recommended. Without ignoring the findings of New Testament scholarship, the author is more interested in the spiritual meaning of the infancy narratives. This is the fruit of a lifetime's scholarship, prayer and reflection. Church of England Newspaper 20130421 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, born in 1927 in Germany, has been head of the Roman Catholic Church since April 2005. A prolific author, theologian, and university professor, Ratzinger served as an expert at the Second Vatican Council, and was appointed in 1977 by Pope Paul VI to lead the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. In 1981, Pope John Paul II called him to Rome to head the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he served until his papal election. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In The Beginning 22 Nov 2012
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
"Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives" is the concluding volume in Pope Benedict's trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth. It is the slimmest of the three books, but it's presented at the same level of accessible scholarship that characterizes the other two books in the trilogy. It is a work that is simultaneously scholarly and yet highly inspirational, and it's written with Benedict's characteristic thoughtfulness and sincerity.

Pope benedict addresses all the main points of the infancy narratives - the genealogies, the annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist, the annunciation to Mary, the conception and the birth of Jesus, virgin birth, the Wise Men form the east, and the epilogue of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple. The book is written in Pope Benedict's characteristic manner of combining critical scholarship and biblical exegesis with the fidelity to the essential trustworthiness and truthfulness of the Scripture. People familiar with Pope Benedict's writing will know to expect a keen and refined intellect that is equally at ease at Biblical exegesis, theological reflection, and pastoral exhortations. Pope moves effortlessly between critical and insightful exegesis, highly developed theology, and effective and imminent preaching. He tries to discern the authors' motives and intentions when writing particular passages, and yet he never dismisses any piece of narrative as nave an quaint as many of the more "enlightened" biblical scholars these days are all to eager to do.

Catholic Church is truly blessed to have in the person of Pope Benedict all the virtues and functions that it aspires to manifest and carry out corporally as an institution.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this as soon as it was published (beginning of December 2012) and began to read it as soon as it arrived. I tend only to read at bedtime when I am tired, (not the best) but this book really gripped me. The pace was easy and the explanations very thought provoking and interesting. It was very good to read the Pope's meditations on the Nativity Stories over this time of year. I particularly like his cross referencing within the Bible as he showed how the Nativity stories both fulful the Old Testament predictions of Christ and point in themselves to Christ's saving Passion, Death and Resurrection. This is definitely a book to read over the Advent and Christmas season, but of course is not limited to this time of year. It is not too scholarly and would interest anyone interested in finding out who is Jesus of Nazareth. A very good read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars authoritative and spiritual 30 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the third and last of the series written by Pope Benedict XVI., under the general title JESUS OF NAZARETH.
It provides the background to Jesus' birth and early life. The subject is treated with exegetical rigour, but the style is simple, direct, and leads to "lectio divina" for those who want to experience a deeper commitment to the Scriptural text.
The story of Christmas is moving in its simplicity. The book will appeal to the student of Scriptures and to those who wish to deepen their spiritual life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars German Scholarship at its Best 1 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This account of the infancy narratives is remarkably clear and accessible to people who are not experts in Biblical scholarship. The book is small in compass, but contains all that the reader could wish to know, with references given to other scholars who might dissent from some of the conclusions that the Holy Father draws. I would emphasise that one does not have to be a Roman Catholic (like myself) to benefit from, and enjoy, this book. Dr Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) is, of course, a Biblical scholar of the first rank, and this little work is German scholarship at its best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
WELL RESEARCHED AND INSPIRED and illuminating Narratives on the Infancy of Jesus !
Excellent teaching , as always , from POPE BENEDICT XI
Clearly and Well writitten and a very important work and historical document .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus of Nazareth Infancy Narratives. 29 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As usual Pope Benedict XVI is clarity personified and easy to read. He teaches the basics and distinguishes the fact from the myths.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pope Benedict XVI - Infancy Narratives 31 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have journeyed through the Octave of Christmas 2012 in the light of the understanding of Scripture of Pope Benedict XVI, his third volume 'Jesus of Nazareth'.

His third volume appears to be a straightforward progression through the infancy narratives, but I soon discovered his thoughts to be more of a glorious lectio divina than of a commentary, made with the freedom of one who has such erudition within the summit of his mind, making it all the more theological in consequence. He sees and interprets every event in the infancy marratives that Scripture presents, observing all the prophecies that precede and viewing in all the circumstances volumes of significance for Christ's mission and ministry. Perhaps the most memorable feature of the book are such investigations that conclude with, "I tend to regard as the one true explanation..." or "It seems natural to me...", and I sat and savoured his closing comments regarding the 'finding in the temple': "It becomes quite apparent that [Jesus] is true man and true God, as the Church's faith expresses it. The interplay between the two is something that we cannot ultimately define. It remains a mystery, and yet emerges quite concretely in the short narrative about the twelve-year-old Jesus. At the same time, this story opens a door to the figure of Jesus as a whole, which is what the Gospels go on to recount."

There are some truly magical moments, quite often as asides (or deviations to follow a thread of thought, eg end of page 42 where he considers "the lofty theological task assigned to the child") and parts that are cosmic in their scope (eg mid page 100 where he considers "the language of creation").

I think this is a book that will reside in the memory of those who savour it as the scent of incense lingers long after the sound of the chant has died away, echoes that resonate in the heart.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Faith is believing what you know ain't true
'There is no greater vocation for a Pope than to preach the gospel with conviction and urgency' (publisher's note on flyleaf). It's hard to disagree with this. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Simon Loveday
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant study of the infancy narratives
Pope Benedict confirms his brilliance as a theologian with his much awaited account of the infancy narratives. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jamie Oates
4.0 out of 5 stars Benedict XVI - a Doctor of the Church?
The final part of Benedict XVI's series on the life of Our Lord tackles the theological meaning of Jesus' infancy by mainly focusing on Luke's Gospel. Read more
Published 4 months ago by JT
4.0 out of 5 stars Jesus of Nazareth: the infancy narratives Pope Benedict XVl...
Chronologically the first of the three 'Jesus of Nazareth' volumes, it is the last to be written. It is a very worthwhile exploration of the spiritual and the scholarly in the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by valerie hall
5.0 out of 5 stars In-depth yet simple
The beauty of all Pope Benedict's writing for the lay person is that it is based on a profound knowledge of his subject yet clear and understandable. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sasha
4.0 out of 5 stars To finish the set
I bought the other two books for my husband last Easter, and coming up to Advent seemed a good time to complete the set. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Taponne
5.0 out of 5 stars Benedict's trilogy
Pope Emeritus trilogy needs to be read by everyone as it takes you through the life of Christ, This is a beautiful informative book and needs to be reread many times.
Published 12 months ago by Penny Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Already having two of the three books in the series I am now ready to start the Infancy Narratives. Having been an avid reader of Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope I was... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. Kevin Keeley
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus of Nazareth
Years ago the writings of the various Pope's could be quite difficult to read. Pope Benedict's great success in telling this narrative of Jesus is producing it in a simple, but... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Even in Bethlehem stars don't move!
Whether you are a believer or not, Christianity has been one of the dominating influences of humanity for two thousand years. Read more
Published 16 months ago by John O'Brien
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