Pope Benedict XVI has dismissed the image of Jesus Christ as a “political revolutionary” in a new book yesterday in which he also absolves the Jews of responsibility for Christ’s death. Pope Benedict writes in the second volume of Jesus of Nazareth, his biography of Christ, according to an Italian version of the book, that the son of God “did not come as a destroyer, he did not bring the sword of a revolutionary”.

Christ instead came to the world “with the gift of healing”, the Pope says, adding: “His power is the power of love.” The Vatican said 1.2 million copies of the book had already been published in seven languages, including 200,000 copies in German, 150,000 in English and 100,000 in French and Spanish. E-book and audio book versions are planned. In the biography, Pope Benedict also speaks out against religious violence, following a wave of attacks on Christians in several parts of the Muslim world, including the New Year’s Eve bomb outside a church in Egypt which killed 23.

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