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Vatican newspaper publishes foreword of Pope Benedict’s Infancy of Jesus

Catholic World News - October 10, 2012

The Infancy of Jesus, the third book in Pope Benedict’s trilogy on Jesus Christ, will be released in Italian before Christmas and is being translated into 20 languages.

“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,” the Pope writes in the book’s foreword, which L’Osservatore Romano has printed.

The Pope adds:

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, the question on the relationship of the past with the present is inevitably part of our interpretation. Rather than diminishing the seriousness of historical research this increases it.

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