Pope Benedict XVI’s second volume on the life of Jesus Christ debuted in the number 10 slot on the March 27 New York Times Bestseller List in the hardcover nonfiction category.
“Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week” discusses the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, from his entrance into Jerusalem to his Resurrection and appearances to his disciples and other followers. It is the second volume in a planned three-book series.
Mark Brumley, president of the book’s publisher Ignatius Press, said Ignatius was “delighted” the book became an instant bestseller.
“It means that many people across the country are discovering Pope Benedict’s insights into the life of Jesus Christ,” he said. “In this way, more and more people will encounter the real Jesus, which was the Holy Father’s goal in writing the book.”
Brumley expressed hope that the book could become the number one seller in America.
The book also ranked as the 29th best-selling work on the Times’ e-Book Nonfiction category.
Protestant scholar Dr. Craig A. Evans of Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada, said the book was “a remarkable achievement.”
“It’s the best book I’ve read on Jesus in years. This is a book that I think all Christians should read, be they Protestant or Catholic.”
Rabbi Jacob Neusner, Distinguished Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College in New York, said the Pope aimed to unify theology and critical history in response to the failure of critical scholarship during the last century.
“And he’s accomplished something that no one else has achieved in the modern study of Scripture.”
Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap., the executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ secretariat for doctrine, said the book fulfills Pope Benedict’s “ardent desire” to be helpful to all readers who seek to encounter Jesus and to believe in him.”