New book on Jesus Christ hailed as “work of great importance” by former pope, others

23 March 2018 • Yonkers, NY

Pope Benedict XVI and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware are among those praising a monumental new work authored by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev and published by SVS Press.

Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching, Vol. 1 was released in March. It is the first of Metropolitan Hilarion’s six-volume study on the life and message of Jesus.

“As [Metropolitan Hilarion] observes, throughout history there has never been a person about whom so much has been written; and yet the Metropolitan has himself found many new ways to restate, in fresh and vivid terms, the ancient truths about the Savior,” said theologian and author Metropolitan Kallistos Ware.

Priest Ignatius Green, editor and rights manager with SVS Press, said the series addresses a critical need for more Orthodox Christian voices in biblical scholarship.

“The average person hears all sorts of things about 'the newest results in biblical scholarship,' but they don't know how to weigh it, or how to understand it without further context,” said Fr. Ignatius. “And they probably aren't going to slog through a slew of scholarly works. This series distills and synthesizes things; it is not shy to critique what doesn't line up with the tradition, but it also affirms what is consonant with the tradition.”

Jesus Christ: His Life and Teaching has also garnered praise from biblical scholars and theologians outside the Orthodox Church, including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

“This is a work of great importance,” wrote Pope Benedict. “…. I sincerely hope that Orthodox Christians, as well as Christians of the Western world, will be touched by this testimony and thus meet Christ in the midst of a world that is increasingly divorced from God.”

“Whereas scholarship often concentrates on problem issues,” explained New Testament scholar Craig S. Keener, Ph.D., “this book instead gives a well-rounded portrait of Jesus’ character and ministry in the Gospels. I found it edifying and informative.”

SVS Press plans to release the remaining five volumes of Metropolitan Hilarion’s series as they are translated into English. The production and publication of the first volume, titled, The Beginning of the Gospel, was sponsored in part by an anonymous donor.

The book’s author, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, is the chairman of the Department of External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. He has authored numerous works on theology and church history, and is an internationally recognized composer of liturgical music. Several of his works are available through SVS Press, including his landmark Orthodox Christianity series and Christ the Conqueror of Hell.