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Pope’s new book on Jesus will be out in Britain in early December

By on Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Pope Benedict XVI's new book, Jesus of Nazareth – The Infancy Narratives

Pope Benedict XVI's new book, Jesus of Nazareth – The Infancy Narratives

Bloomsbury will publish the final volume of Pope Benedict’s trilogy on the life of Christ, it was announced this week.

Jesus of Nazareth – The Infancy Narratives will be available in bookshops on December 4 and will cost £12.99.

In the book, Benedict XVI explores the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmation of surrender and service embodied in Joseph and Mary, according to publishers.

Early press reports have focused on the Pope debunking the myth that animals were present at Jesus’s birth. He points out that “in the gospels there is no mention of animals”, and that they were probably a Hebrew invention of the seventh century BC, outlined in the Old Testament Book of Habakkuk.

The Pope added that the tradition was unlikely to change. “No nativity scene will give up its ox and donkey,” he said.

Pope Benedict wrote in his foreword: “I can at last consign to the reader the long promised little book on the narratives of Jesus’s childhood… here I have sought to interpret, in dialogue with exegetes of the past and of the present, what Matthew and Luke recount at the beginning of their Gospels about the infancy of Jesus.”

He adds: “I hope that this little book, notwithstanding its limits, might help many people in their path toward and with Christ.”

  • Adam

    That’s on my Christmas wish list. One thing that really bugs me though. I have both the hardback copy of number one and two, and will be getting three, and none of the spines will match up. When a trilogy is published the books should match. Really bugs me they won’t -_-

  • Nana

    Oh, the serviceable accuracy of it all.  No donkey, no ox, just a dog-in-the manger Pope to tell it as it was.  Of course that won’t sell for most people love the creative nativity of tradition.  But I wonder who cribbed the crib from whom.

  • Guest

    There are more delightful insights to the book on the Vatican News website.
    Re: the ox and donkey, we always look forward to the fully stocked creche/crib scene in the tradition of St Francis,albeit with models rather than the real thing!

  • CatholicBlogger

     You can get the book for less  than £11 by using this link:

    KIED2/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=2506&creative=9298&creativeASIN=B00A8KIED2&link_code=as3&tag=wwwjlpressage-21

  • CatholicBlogger

    Correction to Previous Post:

    You can get the book for less than £9 from by using this link:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0385346409?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0385346409&linkCode=xm2&tag=wwwjlpressage-21

  • Rizzo The Bear

    Oh, for the love of – !

  • Rizzo The Bear

    Already on my wishlist.

    Bring it on!

  • Jon Brownridge

    The traditional Nativity story is pure mythology – and there is nothing wrong with that. The Christmas narrative is beautifully told and it is full of meaning and implication for the lives of all peace lovers and “men and women of good will”. The Pope is right when he says the tradition will not change – and why should it?

  • beeteee

    and they wont have to pay any tax !!!

  • Elle

    Donkeys are lovely creatures – what has the pope got against them?

  • Jenny Galuschka

    The Pope has evidently concluded that the manger was redundant, but there is no evidence for this in the gospels.  Therefore its usual users must have been there still.Most families in Palestine at the time would have shared their home with their animals anyway.

  • Parasum

    An edition of all three books together (in hardback) would be preferable to separating them, since they belong together.

    ““I can at last consign to the reader the long promised little book on the narratives of Jesus’s childhood”

    ## “Consign to the reader” is unidiomatic English – it is as deplorable as the use of “masterful” for “masterly”, or the use of “gender” for “sex”, or “place into” for “place”. People who can’t write the language properly should not be published, regardless of who they may be.

    One consigns X “to the depths”, or to posterity, but not to an individual. Maybe the translator was thinking of “to confide X to someone”.  Near misses in the use of expressions jar more than some other solecisms, because they are close to correct usage, without being correct. As a result, they stick up like sore thumbs.  

    And while use of an apostrophe followed by an S to indicate possession is not inaccurate even if the possessor’s name end in S, it is unsightly & troublesome to pronounce.

    “He adds: “I hope that this little book, notwithstanding its limits,
    might help many people in their path toward and with Christ.””

    ## Is limits meant, or limitations ? “Limits” is appropriate if what is meant is “limits of space”, seeing that he is not writing the same type of work as “The Birth of the Messiah”, but something of a popular character. “Limitations” is appropriate if what is meant is that lack of space forbids him to attend to all the issues that arise from the narratives in what he calls a “little” book. The difference in  meaning is subtle, but not non-existent. STM he needs a better translator.

    Solution (as a makeshift, anyway): learn Italian. 

  • Parasum

     Nothing – but they are not in the Gospel text.

  • W Oddie

    It is NOT pure mythology, and the Pope certainly doesn’t say it is: he just says that certain elements of it aren’t in the text–though he also says that the animals, for instance will always be part of the story, appropriately, for most people.

  • F. Fennelly

    If Mary travelled to Bethlehem on a donkey then wasn’t there at least one donkey present?