After meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in a private audience, American Rabbi Jacob Neusner, prolific writer, professor and expert in Judaism, told L'Osservatore Romano newspaper about his history with the Pope. He also mentioned that the Holy Father confided to him that the second volume of Jesus of Nazareth is complete.
The two met privately on Monday at the Vatican for 20 minutes, which the Rabbi Neusner called a "great gift" and said was "time enough for a nice meeting between two professors." During this encounter, the Pope chose to reveal to him that the second volume on Jesus is ready for the press.
The American rabbi was in Rome to take part in Catholic-Jewish dialogues following the Pope's visit to the Synagogue of Rome. He's no stranger to the environment, having dedicated his life to the scholarly study of Judaism, including how it interacts with Christianity and Islam.
Rabbi Neusner has written various treatises addressing inter-religious subjects. In fact, so impressive was his 1993 treatise "A Rabbi talks with Jesus" that then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that it was "the most important novelty in the last decade for Jewish-Christian dialogue," a review which the Rabbi published on the inside cover of the book.
The next contact between the two came in 2007 when Pope Benedict XVI dedicated several pages in his first volume on Jesus of Nazareth to the Rabbi's treatise, which concerns Christ's teaching of the beatitudes on the mount.