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The Birth of the Messiah

The Birth of the Messiah The truth behind the Gospel accounts of the Nativity updated to include the latest research a classic by a renowned scholar hailed as masterly and definitive in the original edition From the Hardcov

  • Title: The Birth of the Messiah
  • Author: Raymond E. Brown
  • ISBN: 9780385494472
  • Page: 431
  • Format: Paperback
  • The truth behind the Gospel accounts of the Nativity, updated to include the latest research a classic by a renowned scholar, hailed as masterly and definitive in the original edition From the Hardcover edition.

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    1 thought on “The Birth of the Messiah

    1. I took Ray Brown's Survey of Apocalyptic Literature course at Union Theological Seminary in New York during the second semester of 1977/78. Having become increasingly interested in biblical studies during seminary, I used the class as an occasion to do something original, namely an exhaustive concordance of all number references (except the number "one") in all the Hebrew and Christian canons as well as in the epigraphal and pseudepigraphal fringes of both. The canonical work was easy, there bei [...]

    2. I read this book at the suggestion of a retired colleague, well, more like insistence, really. "Surely," he wrote me, "you've read the CLASSIC The Birth of the Messiah." I hadn't.The problem with classics is that by definition they've been around a while. "The Birth of the Messiah" was originally published in 1977, a then-rare bit of critical Biblical scholarship from a Roman Catholic scholar. I've no doubt it was ground-breaking. But by the time I was in seminary in the late 80s, the core argum [...]

    3. This book is a classic of biblical exegesis. As a layperson, I’ve no doubt that this book owes much to other scholars, and in the time since this was published much scholarly debate has continued beyond what is in these pages. However, I’m ignorant of most of it. In my view, this is an incredibly well-written and orderly exegesis of the birth narratives found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. “It is the central contention of this volume that the infancy narratives are worthy vehicles of [...]

    4. Dr. Raymond E. Brown, S. S has authored a commentary on the infancy narratives of Jesus found in the gospels of Luke and Matthew. After the Theological Faculties at the Universities of Edinburgh, Uppsala, and Louvain bestowed upon him honorary doctorates in Divinity and Theology between the years of 1972-1976, Dr. Brown published the first edition of this book in March 1979. His scope for this work aims to reach “fellow scholars, students of theology and of the Bible, and interested Christians [...]

    5. Raymond Brown's book is still the standard work in its field, even a few decades after it was first published. It's a great resource for information on Jesus' childhood. Unfortunately, though, Brown often draws false conclusions from the abundant information he's gathered. He radically underestimates the level of agreement between Matthew and Luke. He doesn't address some relevant Biblical passages that are supportive of a more conservative view of Jesus' childhood (e.g John 1:15, 8:12, 1 Timoth [...]

    6. Brown's commentary on the Matthean and Lucan infancy narratives is impressive. Over 700 pages on 4 biblical chapters, the most thorough treatment available, and characterized by insightful and balanced exegesis. Even the appendixes are worth careful reading. My major criticism of the commentary is Brown's dependence on his reconstructions of "layers" that he discerns within the text, of "pre" Matthean and Lucan material. This sort of form and structural criticism is normal in critical scholarshi [...]

    7. Everyone thinks they know the Christmas story, but Raymond Brown’s commentary on the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke convinced me that actually I hardly know them at all. Brown unpacks layer upon layer to show that the Gospel writers had some very special things to say when they crafted these stories. In particular, Brown argues, they tell us “the essence of the Good News, namely, that God has made Himself present to us in the life of His Messiah who walked on this earth, so truly pre [...]

    8. Brown presents a thorough study of the birth narratives from a moderate viewpoint. He acknowledges the potential limitations presented by Catholic censors, and indicates no limitations on what he has written. This version includes an updated look at more recent works in the appendix. The final 15 or so pages provide a thoughtful conclusion to a fine work. Brown is no-nonsense but always a gentleman when evaluating the work of other scholars and theologians. He leaves the reader to ultimately mak [...]

    9. A solid commentary on the Birth Narratives in the Gospels (Matt and Luke). This book is an excellent supplement to commentaries and provides more information on this niche area of scholarship. Brown's method is heavily dependent on historical and source criticism and his frequent skepticism and intentionally contradictory positions are sometimes irritating. I think what Brown does is open up questions about the birth narratives that we would normally not pose. While he does not answer all of the [...]

    10. Should you need some sound theological analysis of the Nativity (as I did, when working on a book about Christmas), you can do no better than Raymond Brown's "The Birth of the Messiah." Though you should also be warned that if you're looking for affirmation of the manger-angels-December-25th-star-virgin-birth stuff, you're in for a bit of a correction. Many people are not particularly fond of being told that the whole thing is a contextual origin story, appropriate to 1st-century readership. (No [...]

    11. This time through, I only read the introductory material and the Matthew section, since it was liturgical year A. Again, the book is a great summary of the scholarship of Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. His conclusions are rather conservative, but never unreasonable, and he is very clear what are his conclusions and why, as well as listing other options.

    12. A fantastic resource for scholars, preachers, students. One of the greatest scholars of modern times writing in an accessible way. Read this book while in seminary and it was a great joy to read it again in preparation for Advent.

    13. Brown's best quality is his clarity. His expertise affords him the ability to elucidate the issues surrounding the infancy narratives SO accessibly. Great writing, great thinking, and overall a thorough commentary for Matt 1-2 and Luke 1-2.

    14. An amazing opus. Written with skill and depth, critical but still open for understanding and reception of the Christian tradition.

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