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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI has completed his trilogy on the life of Jesus Christ with a new book exploring Christ's birth and its significance for Christians today.
"The Infancy Narratives: Jesus of Nazareth" hits bookstores in 50 countries just in time for the Christmas season.
It's the final installment of a project the 85-year-old Benedict conceived a decade ago and began writing soon after he became pope in 2005. The first two books dealt with Jesus' public ministry and his death, leaving only Jesus' birth to complete the series.
In the book, Benedict blends history, theology, linguistics and even astronomy to interpret the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, which describe the months just before and after Jesus' birth.
Benedict concludes that Jesus was indeed conceived immaculately to Mary and was born poor, in a stable in Bethlehem. Yet he was revered by even his first visitors who brought him gifts befitting a king -- the first visitors of what would become billions of followers.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)