A detail from Caravaggio's Nativity from 1609
"I can at last consign to the reader the long promised little book on the narratives of Jesus' childhood…” These are the opening words to the foreword of the much awaited book which Italian publishing house Rizzoli and the Vatican Publishing House will release in December, reports Vatican Insider.
“It is not a third volume - Ratzinger explained - but a sort of small “antechamber” to the two preceding volumes on the future and message of Jesus of Nazareth. 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.”
“I believe that a correct interpretation calls for two steps- the Pope continues in his foreword -. It is first necessary to ask oneself what the respective authors were intending to say with their texts at their time in history – this is the historical component of exegesis. However it does not suffice to leave the text in the past, archiving it among events that happened long ago.
"The second question of the correct exegete must be: is what has been said true? Does it concern me? And if it does concern me, how does it do so? With a text such as the Bible, whose ultimate and most profound author, according to what we believe, is God himself."
In view of the forthcoming Frankfurt Book Fair, in addition to the foreword which the Pope signed on August 15 in Castel Gandolfo, Rizzoli also gave readers a preview of the two short extracts from the manuscript.
FULL STORY Jesus, history and the manger: a sneak preview of the Pope’s new book (Vatican Insider)