Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Ratzinger

14th July 2012

At last I have been able to get a legitimate copy of this as an eBook – at one stage I thought I was going to have to resort to downloading a pirated copy.

There are some things that I disagree with, such as the absolutism of Ratzinger’s position on the role of women and the priesthood. But in general Ifound the book thought-provoking and definitely has deepened my understanding of my faith.

For some very obscure reason, I could buy this as an audio book, which is how I first came across the book, but not as an ePub book (or even a Kindle book) – it can be sold to residents in Germany, the Netherlands or USA but not in the UK.

Originally this was my Lenten task, to listen to Jesus of Nazareth as I drove to work. I was not expecting too much – after all, this was written by the man known as God’s Rottweiler. But gradually it blew my mind and I can see why he was elected Pope. Gradually Cardinal Ratzinger unfolded the mystery of Jesus, showing how the Crucifixion is the right at the heart of the salvation story. He shows how Jesus is the total fulfilment of all the prophets before.

Jesus is the Son of God. But sons of God were not unknown at that time – the claim to deity was taken up by the Roman emperors. As the centurion at the foot of the cross declares “Truly this man was the Son of God” we have a statement of faith so deep that it cuts through the political world. To declare Jesus as Son was to deny the deity of the Roman emperor.

Jesus is shepherd – so many kings were seen as shepherds of their people – but Jesus takes this one step further.

I think the next book I need is a study guide.

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