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Unprecedented Tele-Press Conference on Pope's New Book Features Renowned Panel of Scholars, Theologians

Interfaith community reacts to 'Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week'

Contact: Alexis Walkenstein, 678-990-9032, AWalkenstein@MaximusMG.com; Christine Schicker, 404-610-8871, CSchicker@MaximusMG.com

SAN FRANCISCO, March 8, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- At 2 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday (March 9) -- on the eve of the worldwide release of Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week -- an unprecedented tele-press conference will feature a renowned interfaith group of biblical scholars and theologians discussing the Pope, the book and its impact on the figure of Jesus.

Media from around the world will hear comments about the book from -- and ask questions of -- a panel that includes Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., founder and publisher of Ignatius Press and a former student of then-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI); Dr. Jacob Neusener of Bard College, author of "A Rabbi Talks With Jesus;" Dr. Craig A. Evans of Acadia University's (Canada) Acadia Divinity College and co-author of "Jesus, The Last Days;" Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M. Cap., executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Doctrine; Dr. Brant Pitre of Notre Dame Seminary (Louisiana) and author of "Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper;" Dr. Ben Witherington III of Asbury Theological Seminary (Kentucky) and author of "The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth;" and Mark Brumley, president and CEO of Ignatius Press and author of the study guides for both of Benedict XVI's volumes on Christ's life.

Excerpts from Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week continue to make news -- almost a week after their release. Response to the book is extraordinary.

"This theological masterpiece courageously confronts head-on two centuries of historical exegesis," Dr. Neusner said, "and establishes a fresh way of reading the Gospels as both biography and theology in a coherent way."

"This is a splendid, penetrating study of the central figure of Christian faith," said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of the Archdiocese of Denver. "(The book is) a learned and spiritual illumination not only of who Jesus was, but who he is for us today."

A very limited number of spots remain available for media wishing to be part of this special tele-press conference. Media wishing to join should contact Alexis Walkenstein of the Maximus Group (678-990-9032) as soon as possible. For more information about Jesus of Nazareth II, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Ignatius Press Publisher Jesuit Fr. Joseph Fessio or others, please contact The Maximus Group's Alexis Walkenstein at 678-990-9032 or Christine Schicker at 404-610-8871.