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La Infancia de Jesus

(Jesus of Nazareth #3)

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  2,229 ratings  ·  216 reviews
New York Times Bestseller!

El tercer transcendental y último volumen en la popular saga internacional “Jesús de Nazaret”, escrito por El Papa, detallando como la historia de la infancia y niñez de Jesús es hoy por hoy aun tan relevante como fue hace dos mil años.
En 2007 Joseph Ratzinger publicó su primer libro como Papa Benedicto XVI con el objetivo de “divulgar la figura
Kindle Edition, 144 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Image (first published December 24th 2004)
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Average rating 4.49  · 
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 ·  2,229 ratings  ·  216 reviews

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Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Thought I would read this now, since we're close to Christmas, and anyway it was a pretty short and light a read. Very easy to follow and left me with a glowy good feeling. The book is not really a third part on the series, more like a side-chamber. :)

The focus here is on the infant narratives, mainly focusing on texts of Matthew and Luke: the annunciation of the births of John The Baptist and Jesus, Jesus' birth, the three wise men and flight to Egypt, plus finally a bit on Jesus' temple visit
I initially almost didn't get this. When I saw how slender the Infancy Narratives was, I was disappointed. I don't know, I guess I was expecting, given Benedict's other entries in his Jesus series, something along the lines of Raymond Brown's Birth of the Messiah (which, interestingly, Benedict never refers to). But after reading Benedict's treatment (which the Pope calls a small "antechamber" to this Jesus story), I find I can't praise the book enough. It's length (about 130 pages), and it's de ...more
Jeff Miller
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
An annual re-read for me since 2012.

My previous review at Patheos.
Deacon Tom F
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Winner! Well written. Incredibly researched and easy to read.

Benedict XVI weaves a beautiful story around the most popular story--Christmas.

A must for students of Christology; serious Christias and Preachers.
Bojan Tunguz
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives” is the concluding volume in Pope Benedict’s trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth. It is the slimmest of the three books, but it’s presented at the same level of accessible scholarship that characterizes the other two books in the trilogy. It is a work that is simultaneously scholarly and yet highly inspirational, and it’s written with Benedict’s characteristic thoughtfulness and sincerity.

Pope benedict addresses all the main points of the infancy narratives –
Doreen Petersen
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I really enjoyed this book. It helps to explain some crucial points of the Catholic faith. I would recommend this to all.
Julie Davis
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good Story 196. Julie and Scott were abiding in the fields in the night, minding their own business, when three guys showed up looking for directions. Julie started to draw a map by starlight while Scott haggled for some myrrh.

Original reviews below.

I've really been craving some of Pope Benedict's writing. I know, that's a weird thing to crave. But there is something about the way he writes theology that hits me just right. My idea at the moment is to read all of the Jesus of Nazareth
Anna O.P.
The Infancy Narratives is the first book by Pope Benedict XVI ("Papa Ben" from this point forward :D ) that I read. I've always been somewhat intrigued by his works because Boyfriend loves to flood me with Papa Ben's quotes, so by the time I actually picked up this book I already had a rough idea of his writing style.

To put it simply, this is one of those rare theology books that read like novels. The Infancy Narratives is deeply intellectual yet profoundly heart-warming. Papa Ben's style is flo
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-list
Guilty confession: I haven't read the other two Jesus of Nazareth books. I wasn't sure I was smart enough or had enough brainpower to spare.

Well, this was the one to start with, and Advent was the time to read it. It was a gentle examination, a quiet visit in the stable, and an education that wasn't forced.

Reading it made me look differently at the Infant Jesus in the manger (and, in the case of my house, in the tractor wagon).

Pope Benedict is a brilliant scholar, no doubt about it, and you c
Manuel Alfonseca
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ESPAÑOL: Mis comentarios sobre este libro y sobre una crítica periodística que le hicieron pueden verse en mi blog: La infancia de Jesús y la crítica periodística

ENGLISH: See in my blog my comments about this book and a critic in a major newspaper: Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
Carlos Xavier
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The amazing analysis that Joseph Ratzinger made shows his lucidity of thought. He goes over each component of the infancy narratives of Jesus, giving at all times not only a theological explanation but finally reaching conclusions that serve as catechetical arguments that makes the reader marvel at the great miracle of the birth of the Son of God in the world.
Fr. Peter Calabrese
Yes Must read. Benedict XVI, comes to grips with the significance of the Infancy Narratives, in a readable, yet serious effort.
Sarah Winslow
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as hard to read as I thought it might be! Some interesting scriptural insights, and overall a good read. Does encourage me to read the other Jesus of Nazareth books.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives is by no means my first attempt to read Pope Benedict XVI. My first attempt came trying to read the first part of the "Jesus of Nazareth" series, at which I tried and failed miserably. I decided to next try and read "Introduction to Christianity," but Pope Benedict's definition of introduction and my definition of introduction are on vastly different planes. I had to put both of those books aside, as I realized I was trying to run before I could even cra ...more
Ryan Linkous
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoughtful and devotional read to help me get in the mindset for Advent and Christmas. One of the refreshing aspects of Ratzinger's writing is that he is eager to respond to critical questions but is also eager to find deep spiritual meaning in the text and he meditates upon the meaning of Christ's birth.

I think that this will be helpful to consult as I study/teach/preach on certain texts because he helpfully lays out his chapters around certain pericopes.


As predicted last year, this book w
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Benedict XVI is probably the most intelligent and cultivated Pope in the History of the Church. Unfortunately, he's found a tough opposition to achieve his goals, (yes, there are plenty of odd interests in Rome, as well). Besides he is an elder man who's no time left to achieve his whole intentions. About the trilogy, I'll remark that my faith has grown stronger and more determined after reading these books. ...more
Maria Dateno
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why it took so long for me to get around to reading this short book. I loved the two other volumes, which I read years ago: Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration and Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection.

This volume is like a "prequel" to the others, covering the infancy narratives of Luke and Matthew. Highly recommended to read during the Advent and Christmas seasons.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, 2014
I love [Pope emeritus] Ben[edict XVI]. Seriously. He was elected to the papacy in 2005, and I owe much of my development in faith to him. I was in my second year of college in 2005, and, after a lot of soul-searching, I had decided that I wanted to remain in the Catholic Church of my childhood, but I still had a lot of questions. Part of my earlier indecision about the Church was prompted by the blind faith touted by the nuns of my grammar school. They called this "childlike faith."
Now, I'm not
Olivia Briscoe
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Pope Benedict, but the tone of this book was a little too scholastic for me. Biblical exegesis isn't something I know a lot about other than what I learned in college and then this book; so I am willing to read more books along this vein. I just may need to make sure they're short in length - this short and concise book was the perfect length for a heavy subject matter. ...more
Joseph R.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI finished a third volume of theological reflections on the life of Jesus. He describes this book as an "antechamber" (p. xi) to the other volumes. Here he looks chiefly at the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke, the birth and early childhood of Jesus. He considers the intent of the authors in what they wrote, various historical interpretations and understandings of what they wrote (including present-day exegesis of the texts), and the practical impact ...more
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
One-Minute Review

Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives is the third book in a series by Pope Benedict XVI. The advent of popes who write for the general reading public beyond the Catholic Church raises a conundrum for the average reviewer. A commercial blog such as this one can’t fully engage with the book’s religious content. We don’t have expertise in the subject nor, presuming for ourselves a diverse readership, do we have a mandate to debate Catholic doctrine. On the other hand, the auth
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to finish, but I really enjoyed this little book. It wasn't a hard book to read, but rather one that had so much to think about that I would read a small section and think about it. The Holy Father starts by taking a look at what the Gospel of John as to say about the question "Where are you from?" and looks at the genealogies in the other Gospels. From there he takes us through the familiar Christmas stories and points out the deeper meanings and gives some side information t ...more
I read this book to satisfy the Christmas challenge in the African-American historical fiction group. I was looking forward to delving into something academically robust for Christmas. I had read good things about Pope Benedict XVI’s two other books in this trilogy, so I thought I would give this one a try. Unfortunately, I can only give this book three stars. I found nothing lacking in Pope Benedict XVI’s intellectual prowess. Even when I disagreed with Catholic doctrine, I thought the Pope pre ...more
Naomi Young
I really did tear through this basically in one sitting (not counting a couple of beverage breaks). Wonderful analysis of the different aspects of the infancy narratives, the genealogies, and an epilogue on the story of Jesus' remaining at the temple when he was 12. My highlighting finger got a workout on this Kindle edition, which I found an easier (but no less thought-provoking) read than the other two volumes. Certainly, I noticed more sharp humor in this volume, but perhaps I'm just becoming ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course it was good, what were you expecting? :) This slim volume completes the Pope's work on Jesus of Nazareth (the other two volumes cover first, his public ministry, and then his Passion and Resurrection). With the Pope's trademark scholarship and style, he discusses the birth narratives of Christ found in Matthew and Luke, as well as other topics related to the history and exegesis of these passages. ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful meditation, with references to various theological and philosophical disputes and an acute attention to detail and love for narrative. All of the central figures in the infancy narratives if the Gospels are more richly appreciated after reading this book. I was sorry when it ended, and regretful that I gave away one of the other volumes before reading it. Must place another book order.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very accessible writing and ideas, as usual with Pope Benedict XVI.

This volume on the Infancy Narratives includes great insights into the prophetic nature of the Gospel accounts surrounding Jesus' birth, up to His finding at the Temple.

I was very impressed by some new ideas linking Jesus' birth and death together (e.g., the significance behind the swaddling clothes, the unused myrrh, his finding at the Temple on the third day, etc.).
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ratzinger
This is a great short little book of a highly intellectual man exploring the Word of God in a personal way. Not completely earth shattering, but filled with nuggets of insight you haven't considered before. My only critique was that it ended abruptly. I almost felt like I was missing pages. No conclusion or anything.

A great Advent/Christmas companion.
Terry Pellegrino
Great book about the Infancy Narratives contained in Luke and Matthew's Gospels. Makes a air tight case that both Gospels contain true history as opposed to simply stories trying to confirm Theology...Pull Quote: "Redemption is not "wellness", it is not about basking in self indulgence:on the contrary it is the liberation from imprisonment in self- absorption"...Amen! ...more
Christina Catron
It was hard to get into at first (hence why it took me two years to get back to) because Pope Benedict is about ten times smarter than me. But after I got through the first chapter I was introduced to some beautiful interpretations and ideas that opened my mind and my heart.
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Catholic Thought: Jesus of Nazareth Chapter 3 2 7 Feb 16, 2015 09:25PM  
Catholic Thought: Jesus of Nazareth Epilogue 1 10 Feb 14, 2015 02:18PM  
Catholic Thought: Jesus of Nazareth Chapter 4 1 4 Feb 08, 2015 08:17AM  

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Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) was the 265th Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the head of the Catholic Church. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and too ...more

Other books in the series

Jesus of Nazareth (3 books)
  • Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration
  • Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

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