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An Introduction to the Gospel of John (Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) [Hardcover]

By Raymond E. Brown (Author) & Francis J. Moloney (Author)
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Item Number 158086  
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Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.13" Width: 6.46" Height: 1.34"
Weight:   1.41 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 2003
Publisher   Anchor Bible
ISBN  0385507224  
EAN  9780385507226  

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Item Description...

When Raymond E. Brown died in 1998, less than a year after the publication of his masterpiece, An Introduction to the New Testament, he left behind a nearly completed revision of his acclaimed two-volume commentary on the Gospel of John. The manuscript, skillfully edited by Francis J. Moloney, displays the rare combination of meticulous scholarship and clear, engaging writing that made Father Brown's books consistently outsell other works of biblical scholarship.
An Introduction to the Gospel of John represents the culmination of Brown's long and intense examination of part of the New Testament. One of the most important aspects of this new book, particularly to the scholarly community, is how it differs from the original commentary in several important ways. It presents, for example, a new perspective on the historical development of the Gospels, and shows how Brown decided to open his work to literary readings of the text, rather than relying primarily on the historical, which informed the original volumes. In addition, there is an entire section devoted to Christology, absent in the original, as well as a magisterial new section on the representation of Jews in the Gospel of John.

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More About Raymond E. Brown & Francis J. Moloney

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Raymond E. Brown, S.S., taught for many years at Saint Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and was Professor of Biblical Studies at the Union Theological Seminary for two decades. He was the author of three books in the Anchor Bible series on the Gospels and Epistles of John and wrote the classic Anchor Bible Reference Library volumes The Birth of the Messiah, The Death of the Messiah, and An Introduction to the New Testament. He died in 1998.

Francis J. Maloney, S.D.B., is Katherine Drexel Chair for Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Among his many distinguished books are The Gospel of John, A Hard Saying: The Gospel and Culture, and The Gospel of Mark.

Raymond E. Brown was born in 1935.

Raymond E. Brown has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Anchor Bible Reference Library
  2. Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament   [2808  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > New Testament   [2831  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > New Testa   [1782  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Typical Ray Brown document  Oct 23, 2007
Ray Brown is splendid in his explanations of how he developed his understanding of The Fourth Gospel. We will miss him.
Magesterial   Jun 27, 2007
Raymond Brown is one of a small handful of Biblical interpreters whose work will be read and reread for ages to come. This is a wonderful introduction for all levels of Bible sudents.
Insights into the Gospel of John  Aug 23, 2006
This scholarly yet very readable book, researched by Raymond Brown and after his sudden death completed by Francis Moloney, gives interesting insights into the community for which the gospel was written,the historical setting of the community and the biblical references that would have helped them understand the meaning of the life of Jesus and how it effected their own lives. The symbolism, explored and explained,the divisions of the gospel and the outline from the book of signs to the book of glory help us today to greater understanding of the action of God in the world.
Brown's final gift  Jan 17, 2004
Before his sudden death in 1998 Raymond Brown was working on a revision of his widely acclaimed two-volume commentary on the Gospel of John (AB 29, 29A). What he left behind was a nearly completed new Introduction which, however, needed to be edited before publishing. The job fell to the highly qualified Francis Moloney, himself the author of several well-received publications on John. The result is a very valuable updating supplement to Brown's earlier work. My attempt to give something of the content and flavor of this book is of necessity selective.

The major effort is Brown's, but the contribution of Moloney is substantial. He supplies (1) a helpful editor's introduction, (2) a speculative conclusion, (3) an excursus on narrative-critical approaches to the Gospel of John (adapted, mostly word for word, from a similar excursus in his Sacra Pagina commentary), (4) an excursus on the history of the Johannine community, (5) editor's notes to clarify or add to Brown's text, (6) the outline and major themes of chapters 13-21 that Brown did not get around to writing, and (7) updates of Brown's bibliographies. Not least interesting are those instances where the two scholars differ. Thus in his Introduction Moloney debates the Johannine use of Son of Man, and again in an extended note where Brown first dismisses Moloney's 1976 exegesis of two relevant verses (p. 257, n. 87). He objects to Brown's references to the replacement of Jewish institutions and is much happier when Brown, rather, speaks of their fulfillment. Whereas, had Brown written the outline of chapters 13-21, he would (presumably) have approached what appears to be contradictions and repetitions in 13-17 in terms of the historical development of the Gospel, Moloney looks at the text as we have it and see unified themes and careful structure in a reverse A-B-B'-A' pattern. (He uses the technical term "synchronic" -- as opposed to Brown's presumed "diachronic" -- reading of the text.)

The question inevitably comes up: How does the new Introduction differ from the original one of 1966? The subjects covered are the same and arranged in the same order. Some of the changes, where they occur, are purely stylistic (unnecessary words unloaded, all Brown's "we" references to himself replaced by "I"). Yet the rewriting can be incisive, too. The ending of the section dealing with influences on the religious thought of the Gospel is similar in both editions; but what was almost a casual statement in 1966 has been turned into a most thought-provoking question: "The Fourth Gospel claims to be dependent on the testimony of a disciple who was particularly loved by Jesus ... Is this not also a claim to a certain connaturality of thought between Jesus and those responsible for the development and writing of John?"

Other changes are more far-reaching. In 1966 Brown proposed five stages in the composition of the Gospel. These have been collapsed into three, partly because some critics found the original theory too complex. With less than innocent humor he remarks that "a number of reviewers found counting up to five very difficult..." (!) The modified theory corresponds to what is generally accepted for the composition of the synoptic gospels. Brown's exposition of apologetic motifs covers the same groups as before (adherents of John the Baptist, etc.) but he is now clear in the belief that the apologetics "pertain to the context out of which the Gospel developed [referring to the Johannine community's controversies with other groups] rather than to its purpose." He does not think the purpose of the Gospel was to refute or persuade non-believers but to strengthen the faith of those who already believed. Moloney concurs. The section dealing with apologetics against the Jews has been completely rewritten and expanded. Previously Brown considered that "the Jews" designated the Jewish authorities, but now recognizes that it refers broadly to all Jews whose role in the narrative is to oppose Jesus. He candidly admits, "I did not wrestle with the issue sufficientlty in my first edition, and the flood of writing on the subject since that time has caused me to be more careful" (p.164, n.37). Under Crucial Questions in Johannine Theology a new section on Christology has been added, with Son of Man and Wisdom motifs treated in detail. (Widom Motifs was a sub-section of Theology in the original Introduction.)

Moloney comments on the emphasis Brown gives to studying the Gospel as it now stands, and detects a shift in Brown's position. How much this would have influenced Brown's projected revision of the commentary is a matter of speculation. What seems certain is that Brown would not have given up the historical-critical method at which he excelled, but in addition to it would have benefited from the scholarly work of others in developing new approaches to the Gospel of John.

Anyone who has followed the writings of Raymond Brown, adimired his analytical prowess, and perceived that his lucid prose is as much a tribute to his clear thinking as it is to his writing skill, would not want to miss this final gift from one who has justly been called a great scholar and a master interpreter.


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