Raymond E. Brown, S.S., was a Sulpician priest and Auburn Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Union Theological Seminary in New York City, at the time of his death in August 1998. He was twice appointed a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, by Pope Paul VI in 1972 and by Pope John Paul II in 1996. A prolific author, he wrote several commentaries on the Johannine literature, including The Gospel and Epistles of John: A Concise Commentary (Liturgical Press) and The Gospel According to John (Anchor Bible Commentary, Doubleday). He wrote Reading the Gospels With the Church: From Christmas Through Easter (St. Anthony Messenger Press).
Raymond Edward Brown lived in the state of New York. Raymond Edward Brown was born in 1928 and died in 1998.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus?
Excellent scholarship by Raymond Brown May 24, 2008
Raymond Brown does his usual superb job of explaining the subject and providing Scriptural and historical support for his presentation, while clarifying misconceptions. This is highly recommended even for those who are not in doctoral programs in Religious Studies.
second time May 15, 2007
that was the second time I ordered books from this site. the itens I ordered, arrived in brazil right on the schedulled time, well packaged, no damages noted; both of them are new. along with "the virginal conception..." I ordered "the birth of the messiah", I'm a theology student, and the theme of the books are of great concern to my studies.
For a clearer understanding of Christian faith. Apr 11, 2007
Whatever the reader's convictions this book is an opportunity to reflect on two very sensitive topics for Christian faith. The author tackles them carefully and yet constructively. The book was authorized by those who are in charge of maintaining Roman Catholic tradition and yet it opens interesting perspectives to the reader who is not necessarily always satisfied with ready-made and non-negotiable formulations of what one should believe. As usual, two well known questions are raised here about the Scriptures. There is what they say and there is what some people try to make them say in order to justify their point more forcefully. There is also the nature of the language of the Scriptures : is it literal or symbolic, or a mixture of both ? Regarding, the virginal conception:
At the beginning there is a problem of translation. In this case a « young woman » in Hebrew was changed into a « virgin » in Greek. In itself, this could be enough to drop the matter altogether, but one should not go too fast. It is indeed interesting to consider that this error may have been inspired in order to reveal a fundamental message. This message is linked to the fact that if Man needs to be saved, it seems obvious that, for that purpose, he will need the help of someone greater than him, namely the help of God ; whether God acts directly or through a Saviour.
And what the text actually means when it says that the Saviour was conceived in the womb of a « virgin » is clearly that man is not at the origin of his own salvation, because the Saviour was not born from the action of a man. This is a simple and elegant message in symbolic language, but it is also highly significant.
The real difficulty arises when one continues to speak of virginity after the birth of Jesus. Such a statement lacks any reference in the gospels, has no useful implications and tends to have a reverse effect on the credibility of the virginal conception, especially if one is not allowed to separate the two notions of virginity before and after the birth of Jesus. Regarding, the bodily resurrection of Jesus:
Here, we are faced with two contradictory and yet simultaneous messages conveyed by the litteral/symbolic language of the gospels. The first is that the person who appeared for a certain period of time to a certain number of people is actually Jesus of Nazareth who had been previously crucified. He himself tries to convey this genuinely crucial message, by showing, for example, the scars of his wounds. The second is that this risen Christ is significantly different from the crucified Jesus. He appears and disappears at will, he is not affected by the presence of walls, nor conditioned by space or time. His closest friends or disciples do not recognize him when he joins them. And when eventually they recognize him, it is no longer as Jesus, but as the Lord. Definitely, something has changed in him, and Raymond E brown tells us that there are two options which are of importance to each one of us inasmuch as we are, at a certain point in time, going to follow Jesus through this same mysterious resurrection process. The first option is that our body will be completely destroyed and that something altogether new will appear within the framework of a new creation. The second option is that of a transformation. And the virtue of this second option is that our body being part of the person that will live forever after being transformed, retains a genuine value that it would not deserve if it were intended to be permanently discarded. Raymond E Brown tells us that this second option is the one suggested in the Scriptures by the fact that Jesus did not abandon his body to corruption, but rose bodily from the dead. And as we are going to do the same when our time comes, this has a major impact on the way we should respect and treat our own body.