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God’s Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office

, 2008
ISBN: 9781621643722
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Digital list price: $11.99
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In this book Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI’s, presents the Word of God as a living reality in the Church. God’s Word, according to Ratzinger, is encountered in the Bible, in Tradition, and through the teaching office of the bishop, who, through apostolic succession, is to be the servant of and witness to the divine Word. Ratzinger examines as well the relationship between the episcopacy and the papacy. He also considers the nature of apostolic succession, and he responds to Reformed objections to the Catholic view of the subject. His treatment is sympathetic to the concerns of non-Catholic Christians while remaining faithful to Catholic teaching and practice.

This book also includes the famous Erasmus Lecture of Cardinal Ratzinger, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of modern critical approaches to biblical interpretation. Ratzinger proposes a new approach that avoids the pitfalls of a narrowly critical outlook on the Bible without succumbing to fundamentalism.

God’s Word provides profound insights into Pope Benedict XVI’s efforts to renew the Church’s participation in God’s truth through the divine Word, as well as the Church’s mission to proclaim the Word to all people.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Select Works of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI (21 vols.).

Key Features

  • Presents the Word of God as a living reality in the Church
  • Examines the relationship between the episcopacy and the papacy
  • Considers the nature of apostolic succession
  • Provides profound biblical teaching for both Protestants and Catholics


  • Primacy, Episcopacy, and Successio Apostolica
  • The Question of the Concept of Tradition: A Provisional Response
  • Biblical Interpretation in Conflict

Top Highlights

“The succession is the form of the tradition, and the tradition is the content of the succession” (Page 28)

“Scripture is not revelation but, in any case, is only a part of this greater reality.” (Page 53)

“Tradition’ is indeed never a simple and anonymous handing on of teaching, but is linked to a person, is a living word, that has its concrete reality in faith.” (Page 23)

“Can the word be handed over to the Church without having to fear that it will lose its own life and power under the shears of the Magisterium or amid the uncontrolled growth of the sensus fidelium? That is the Protestant’s question to the Catholic. Can the word be set up as independent, without handing it over to the arbitrariness of the exegete, to be emptied in the disputes of historians, and thus to the complete loss of normative authority?” (Page 46)

“The Bible that has freed itself from dogma has become a document about the past and, thereby, itself belongs to the past.” (Page 99)

Praise for the Print Edition

The calm, clear, and precise teaching that has characterized the theological work of Joseph Ratzinger as peritus, archbishop, prefect, and pope is placed before the Christian reader in this newly republished volume, God’s Word: Scripture, Tradition, Office. Both refreshing and prophetic, this writing lays the groundwork for the two great initiatives that Pope Benedict XVI has stated are the top priorities of his pontificate, evangelization and ecumenism. Bypassing the bland contemporary approach that reduces these noble objectives to mere niceness, this book faces the problems that, if resolved, will make possible the ‘New Evangelization’ envisioned by Pope John Paul II and the ‘full and visible unity of all Christ’s followers’ so desired by Pope Benedict XVI himself. This book, though not light reading, will be of interest and inspiration to all Christians who honestly seek truth and unity.

—Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz

This book brings together three important treatises on the issue of Scripture and Tradition from the pen of one of the greatest theologians ever to hold the papal office. Written with clarity and insight, this book helps us to trace the development of this important theme in Catholic theology since Vatican II, and it also opens up fruitful avenues of ecumenical advance. A little masterpiece!

—Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

Product Details

About Joseph Ratzinger

Joseph Ratzinger is one of the most revered Catholic prelates, scholars, theologians, teachers, and authors of our time. He has spoken on many crucial subjects, including sexual consumerism, roles of men and women today, marriage, the priesthood, and the future of the world. On June 29, 1951, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Freising on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. He also received his doctorate in theology in 1953 from the University of Munich. Starting in 1959, Ratzinger taught theology at the University of Bonn.

After many years of teaching at several German universities, Ratzinger was appointed by Pope Paul VI as Archbishop of Munich and Freising in March 1977, and was elevated to cardinal in June 1977. In November 1981, Ratzinger was summoned by Pope John Paul II to Rome, where he was named Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and President of the International Theological Commission.

On April 19, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to be the 265th pope. He took the name Benedict XVI, after St. Benedict of Nursia. As pope, he received worldwide respect and was a spiritual influence to Christians and non-Christians alike. In 2013, he resigned the papacy, becoming the first pope to do so in since the fifteenth century. He retired to a monastery in the Vatican Gardens, where he continues to study and write.


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    Digital list price: $11.99
    Save $3.00 (25%)