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Pope's New Book is Instant New York Times Bestseller

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week debuts among world's best selling books

Contact: Alexis Walkenstein, 678-990-9032

SAN FRANCISCO, March 18, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Pope Benedict XVI's second volume on Christ's life debuts on the March 27 New York Times Bestseller List. Released March 10 worldwide, the new volume covers the last week of Jesus' earthly life -- from his entrance into Jerusalem to his resurrection and appearances to his apostles and other followers.

"We're delighted that Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week is an instant New York Times bestseller. It means that many people across the country are discovering Pope Benedict's insights into the life of Jesus Christ," said Mark Brumley, President of Ignatius Press reacting to the announcement. "In this way, more and more people will encounter the real Jesus, which was the Holy Father's goal in writing the book. It would be great if Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week became the number one book in America!"

Global reaction to the book makes it clear that Benedict XVI has contributed a work on Jesus that is as important and historically significant as it is well-written and thorough.

"It's a remarkable achievement," said Protestant scholar Dr. Craig A. Evans of Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University, in Wolfville, N.S., Canada. "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."

"(The Pope) asked for the union of theology and critical history, a response to the failure of critical historical scholarship during the last century," said Dr. Jacob Neusner, Rabbi and Distinguished Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. "And he's accomplished something that no one else has achieved in the modern study of Scripture."

"This book fulfills Pope Benedict's ardent desire -- that it would 'be helpful to all readers who seek to encounter Jesus and to believe in him,'" said Capuchin Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy (O.F.M., Cap.), Executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Doctrine.

For more information about Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Ignatius Press Publisher Jesuit Fr. Joseph Fessio, Ignatius Press President Mark Brumley or others, please contact Alexis Walkenstein with The Maximus Group at 678-990-9032.