VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has completed the first volume of a major scholarly and spiritual book on Jesus of Nazareth, a work he began several years before being elected pope.Hopefully there will be a good English translation.
"Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration" is scheduled for a March release in Italian by the Rizzoli publishing house and in German by Herder Verlag.
Announcing the publication Nov. 21, Rizzoli and the Vatican gave reporters copies of the book's preface and a portion of its introduction.
In the preface, signed "Joseph Ratzinger -- Benedict XVI," the pope wrote that for decades he had noticed a growing scholarly distinction between the "historical Jesus" and the "Christ of faith," a distinction that many Christians now accept as accurate.
But, he wrote, if the human Jesus was totally different from the Jesus depicted in the Gospels and proclaimed by the church, what does it mean to have faith in him?
"I trust the Gospels," the pope wrote.
the preface has been released and Teresa Benedetta has made available a translation.