Benedict XVI’s new book on Jesus’ birth
The stories about Jesus’ infancy in the first few chapters of the Gospels of Luke and Matthew are not legends or imaginative reconstructions. They are not “midrash” either, that is, interpretations of the Scriptures through narrations, typical of Hebrew literature. They are “history, history which really took place, history which was certainly interpreted and understood on the basis of the Word of God.” Benedict XVI writes this in “The Infancy Narratives” (Rizzoli- Vatican Publishing House, pp. 174), the third volume in the series of books dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth. This book is shorter than the other two. The first was about Jesus’ public life and the second about his passion, death and resurrection. The Pope goes back to writing as a theologian and exegete, completing a work he had wanted to write for years, with a volume on Christ’s birth. He finished the book despite the fact he was elected as Pope in the Conclave held after the death of John Paul II.