Looking for thoughts on: Raymond E. Brown Collection (5 vols.)

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 4:45 PM

In retrospect, thanks for pointing it out. I had no idea how harsh I sounded until I reread it. 🤦‍♂️

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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 5:42 PM

Thank you everyone. I think I’ll pass on this one due to some strange views he is presenting. 

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 7:54 PM

Now that Matillo has considered his options (I agree with DAL), there's 2 resources on March sale, in the critical-mold for others' consideration:

This one gets some kudos from surprising sources (eg Neusner). And it's being compared to Schweitzer's Quest:


The second one looks directly at 'miracles' in the period surrounding Jesus. The question surrounds what a 1st century person would consider unusual (even Paul's dangerous opponents had 'the power').


Both of these won't meet ones devotional needs, suffice it to say.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 4717
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 19 2020 7:07 PM

From my perspective, which--I, too, am Catholic--is really not very friendly to the late Fr. Brown's school of thought, he is nonetheless necessary reading and makes many valuable points.

As a historical critical scholar, he was excellent, in his time. One of the best.

His exegesis does seem to have become more sympathetic to a traditional Catholic reading as he neared the end of his life.

Nonetheless, I read him not because I think he is always right, or because I think he was doing the right thing in general, but because he did a better job of what he was doing than just about anyone else doing it ever had done or has done since. I also highly doubt anyone--Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or Jewish--who could plausibly claim to be in his league would disagree with that assessment. He's decently readable, too.

How would I correct his work? Well, let me point you to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's 1988 essay on the subject, republished and available from Faithlife with the title "Biblical Interpretation in Conflict: On the Foundations and the Itinerary of Exegesis Today."

"The saints are the true interpreters of Holy Scripture. The meaning of a given passage of the Bible becomes most intelligible in those human beings who have been totally transfixed by it and have lived it out." - Pope Benedict XVI

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