Pope Benedict XVI Enters the Historical Jesus Debate

According to a newstory entitled "First volume of book by pope on Jesus to be published in spring", Pope Benedict XVI will be entering his viewpoint as a scholar into the question of whether the Biblical texts are historically sound. The article notes:

Pope Benedict XVI has put the finishing touches on the first volume of a work titled "Jesus of Nazareth" that will hit the bookstores in the spring, the Vatican has said.

The pope "has finished editing the first part of the book, entitled 'Jesus of Nazareth', and returned it a few days ago to the Vatican publishing service," the Vatican said in a statement.

* * *

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a written note to the media that the book "is not an encyclical, which means that it can be freely discussed and criticized."

Benedict has taken into account the most recent research on Jesus to explain how the historical person and the Jesus of the Christian faith are combined in the same figure, Lombardi said.

I expect that Pope Benedict's work will be a welcome addition to the discussion about the relationship between the historical Jesus and the Jesus of faith (who, in my view, are one and the same).

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