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Richard Hayes and Pope Benedict

October 25, 2007

I recently just finished Richard Hayes review of Pope Benedict’s book Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration in First Things.

Hayes’ sharply critical, while not dismissing, article is helpful. Here are some of his critiques:

  • Benedict downplays the apocalyptic elements of Jesus’ thought.
  • He portrays a problematic view of the Lord’s prayer.
  • Benedict gives a “grudging and uneven acknowledgment” of historical criticisms and ignores the complexities in the teachings of Jesus.
  • Benedict gives uneven attention to theological and literary to earlier critics – this is a nice way of saying that it is outdated.
  • Benedict skirts “the problem of the apparent anti-Jewish perspective in John’s gospel”.
  • The book contains “glaring” exegetical errors.
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