entête

Raymond E. Brown, The Birth of the Messiah. A Commentary on the Infancy Narrative in Matthew and Luke. New York: Doubleday, 1977, 594 p.

(Detailed summary)


Raymond E. Brown was born on May 22, 1928 in New York City, Bronx. After high school in Miami, where the family of two boys had moved, he entered the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he earned his Master of Arts degree in Philosophy in 1949. He studied at the Gregorian University in Rome (1949-50). In 1951, he entered the Sulpician Society after receiving his bachelor's degree (1951) and his licentiate (1953) in sacred theology from St. Mary's Seminary and University of Baltimore. He was ordained a priest on May 23, 1953 in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida and received his doctorate in theology in 1958 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. In 1958-59, he spent time in Jerusalem and Jordan working on the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 1963 he received his Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. From 1971 to 1990 he was professor of biblical studies at the Protestant Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he became professor emeritus. He was appointed to the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1972 and 1996. President of several biblical associations, such as the Catholic Biblical Association, the Society of Biblical Literature (1976-7) and the Society of New Testament Studies (1986-7), he is considered one of the most important American biblical scholars. He holds 24 honorary doctorates from American and European universities, including Protestant institutions. He died of a heart attack at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, California, on August 8, 1998, after retiring from teaching to devote himself to research at the age of 70. His latest book, A Retreat With John the Evangelist: That You May Have Life (St. Anthony Messenger Press), was published a day before his death.

Raymond Brown became known for his research on the Gospel of John, of which he published a commentary in 1966 and 1970, and for his studies of the Johannine community in 1979. Among his many publications are the following:

  • The Semitic Background of the Pauline Mystērion (Ph.D. Diss.). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University, 1958, 243 p.
  • New Testament Essays. Milwaukee: Bruce, 1965, 280 p. (reprint: Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968).
  • The Gospel According to John (i-xii), v.1. Garden City, NY: Doubleday (Anchor Bible, 29), 1966, 538 p.
  • Jesus God and Man: Modern Biblical Reflections. Milwaukee: Bruce, 1967, 109 p. (reprint: (New York: Macmillan, 1972)
  • The Semitic Background of the Term “Mystery” in the New Testament. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968, 72 p. (abbreviated version)
  • Jerome Biblical Commentary (co-publisher), 2 v. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968, 637 et 835 p.
  • Exégèse et Théologie: Les Saintes Écritures et leur interprétation théologique: Donum natalicium Iosepho Coppens septuagesimum annum complenti D.D.D. collegae et amici (co-publisher). Gembloux: Duculot, 1968, 327 p.
  • The Gospel According to John (xiii-xxi), v.2. Garden City, NY: Doubleday (Anchor Bible, 29A), 1970, 539 p.
  • The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus. New York: Paulist, 1973, 136 p.
  • Peter in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars (co-publisher). New York: Paulist, 1973, 181 p.
  • Biblical Reflections on Crises Facing the Church. New York: Paulist, 1975, 118 p.
  • The Birth of the Messiah. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977, 594 p.
  • Mary in the New Testament: A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars (co-publisher). New York: Paulist, 1978, 323 p.
  • The Community of the Beloved Disciple. New York: Paulist, 1979, 204 p.
  • The Critical Meaning of the Bible. New York: Paulist, 1981, 150 p.
  • The Epistles of John. Garden City, NY: Doubleday (Anchor Bible, 30), 1982, 812 p.
  • Antioch and Rome: New Testament Cradles of Catholic Christianity (co-author). New York: Paulist, 1983, 242 p.
  • The Churches the Apostles Left Behind. New York: Paulist, 1984, 156 p.
  • Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine. New York: Paulist, 1985, 171 p.
  • The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (co-publisher). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1990, 1475 p.
  • Responses to 101 Questions on the Bible. New York: Paulist, 1990, 147 p.
  • The New Jerome Bible Handbook (co-publisher). London: Chapman, 1992, 456 p.
  • The Death of the Messiah: From Gethsemane to the Grave: A Commentary on the Passion Narratives of the Four Gospels. 2 v. New York: Doubleday, 1994, 1608 p.
  • An Introduction to New Testament Christology. New York: Paulist, 1994, 226 p.
  • Reading the Gospels with the Church: From Christmas Through Easter. Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger, 1996, 90 p.
  • An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997, 878 p.
  • A Retreat with John the Evangelist: That You May Have Life. Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger, 1998, 102 p.
  • An Introduction to the Gospel of John (ed. et rev. Moloney). New York: Doubleday, 2003, 356 p.

The following attempts to summarize his commentary on The Birth of the messiah.


The Birth of the Messia. A Commentary on the Infancy Narrative in Matthew and Luke

Introduction

Scholarship and the Infancy Narrative

  1. The Infancy Narratives and the Rest of the Gospels

    1. The Formation of the Gospels

    2. The Development of Christology

  2. The Infancy Narratives as History

    1. The Problem of Corroborating Witnesses

    2. The Problem of Conflicting Details

  3. The Infancy Narratives as Vehicles of the Evangelist's Theology

Book One: The Matthean Infancy Narrative

  1. General Observations on the Matthean Gospel and Infancy Narrative

    1. The Matthean Gospel

    2. The Matthean Infancy Narrative

      1. The Relation of Chs. 1-2 to the Rest of the Gospel

      2. The Internal Organization of Chs. 1-2

  2. The Genealogy of Jesus

    1. Matthew's Purpose in the Genealogy

      1. General Observations

      2. How Matthew Composed the Genealogy

      3. Why Bring on the Ladies?

      4. Fourteen - the Magic Number

      5. Could Matthew Count?

    2. Matthew's Genealogy Compared to Luke's

      1. Who Was Jesus' Grandfather?

      2. The Family Tree of the Son of God

  3. The Composition of the Basis Matthean Narrative in 1:18-2:33

    1. Matthew's Formula Citation of Scripture

      1. Purpose of the Citations

      2. Relation of the Citations to Their Context

      3. Origin of the Formula Citation

    2. The Detection of Pre-Matthean Material

      1. The Method Employed in the Detection

      2. Summary of the Results

  4. The Conception of Jesus

    1. Matthew's Message: the Who and the How - a Christological Revelation

      1. The Quis: Who Jesus Is

      2. The Quomodo or the "How" of Jesus' Identity

    2. The Formula Citation of Isaiah 7:14

      1. The Placing of the Citation

      2. Isaiah 7:14 in the Hebrew and Greek Bibles

      3. The Matthean Use of Isaiah 7:14

    3. Matthew's Use of Pre-Matthean Material

      1. The Annunciation of Birth

      2. Begotten of a Virgin through the Holy Spirit

      3. Summary

  5. The Magi Come to Pay Homage to the King of the Jew

    1. Matthew's Message: the Where and the Whence - Reactions to a Christological Revelation

      1. The Place of 2:1-12 in the Plan of Chapter Two

      2. The Relation of the Plan to Matthew's Message

    2. Matthew's Use of Scripture in the Service of His Message

      1. The Formula Citation of Micah 5:1 and II Sam 5:2 in Scene 1

      2. The Implicit Citation of Isa 60:6 and Ps 72:10-11 in Scene 2

    3. The Pre-Matthean Background of the Magi Story

      1. History and Verisimilitude

      2. The Balaam Narrative

    4. The Magi in Subsequent Christian Piety

  6. Herod Unsuccessfully Seeks to Destroy the King of the Jews

    1. Matthew's Message as Enhanced by His Use of Scripture

      1. Chap. Two, Scene 3 (v. 13-15)

      2. Chap. Two, Scene 4 (v. 16-18)

      3. Chap. Two, Scene 5 (v. 19-23)

    2. The Three Formula Citations

      1. The Citation of Hosea 11:1 in Matt 2:15b

      2. The Citation of Jer 31:15 in Matt 2:18

      3. The Citation of Isa 4:3 and Judg 16:17 in Matt 2:23?

    3. The Pre-Matthean Background of the Herod Story

      1. History and Verisimilitude

      2. The Joseph/Moses Narrative

  7. Epilogue

Book Two: The Lucan Infancy Narrative

  1. General Observations on the Lucan Gospel and Infancy Narrative

    1. The Lucan Gospel

    2. The Lucan Infancy Narrative

      1. The Relation of Chs. 1-2 to the Rest of Luke/Acts

      2. The Internal Organization of Chs. 1-2

  2. The Annunciation of the Birth of John the Baptist

    1. The Introduction (1:5-7)

    2. The Annunciation (1:8-23)

      1. Echoes of Daniel in the Appearance of Gabriel

      2. The Message(13-17)

      3. Zechariah's Response (18-20) and the Conclusion (21-23)

    3. The Epilogue (1:24-25)

    4. The Relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus

  3. The Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus

    1. The Structure and the Annunciation Pattern

    2. The Virginal Conception (1:34)

      1. Does the Present Account Contain a Virginal Conception?

      2. Did the Original Account Contain a Virginal Conception?

      3. The Logic of Mary's Question in 1:34

    3. The Future Accomplishments of the Child (1:32.33.35)

      1. The Davidic Messiah (32-33)

      2. The Son of God through the Power of the Holy Spirit (35)

    4. The Portrait of Mary as Handmaid (1:38)

    5. Mary and Old Testament Symbolism

      1. Daughter of Zion in the Old Testament

      2. The Salutation in 1:28

      3. The Ark of the Covenant in 1:35?

  4. The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

    1. The Structure and Composition of the Scene

    2. The Visitation (1:39-45.56)

    3. The Lucan Canticles in General

      1. The Composition of the Canticles

      2. The Canticles and the Jewish Christian Anawim

    4. The Magnificat (1:46-55)

      1. The structure

      2. The Contents

  5. The Birth and Naming of John the Baptist; Zechariah's Prophecy

    1. The Birth and Naming (1:57-66.80)

    2. The Benedictus (1:67-79)

      1. The Setting and the Structure

      2. The Contents

  6. The Birth and Naming of Jesus

    1. The Structure of the Story in 2:1-40

    2. The Setting at Bethlehem (2:1-7)

      1. The Census of the Whole World (1-5)

      2. The Birth, the Swaddling, and the Manger (6-7)

    3. The Annunciation to the Shepherds (2:8-14)

      1. The Symbolism of the Shepherds (8)

      2. The Annunciation by the Angel of the Lord (9-12)

      3. The Canticle of the Heavenly Host (13-14)

    4. The Reaction as the Shepherds Go to Bethlehem (2:15-20)

    5. The Circumcision and the Naming (2:21)

  7. The Presentation; Simeon and Anna Prophesy about Jesus

    1. The Sequence and Internal Structure

    2. The Setting Supplied by the Law (2:22-24)

    3. Simeon Greets the Child and Prophesies (2:25-35)

      1. The Characterization and Symbolism of Simeon

      2. The Problem of the Two Oracles

      3. Simeon's Nunc Dimittis (29-32)

      4. Simeon's Second Oracle (34c-35)

    4. Anna Greets the Child (2:36-38)

    5. The Conclusion (2:39-40)

  8. The Boy Jesus in the Temple Speaks

    1. Structure, Christology, and Outline

    2. The Introduction and the Setting (2:41-45)

    3. The Core of the Story (2:46-50)

      1. Jesus Is Found in the Midst of the Teachers (46-48a)

      2. The Mother's Question Leads Jesus to Speak about His Father (48b-50)

    4. The Conclusion (2:51-52)

  9. Epilogue

Appendixes

  1. Levirate Marriage

  2. Davidic Descent

  3. Birth at Bethlehem

  4. Virginal Conception

  5. The Charge of Illegitimacy

  6. Other Jewish Background for Matthew's Narrative

  7. The Census under Quirinius

  8. Midrash as a Literary Genre

  9. The Fourth Eclogue of Virgil