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John the Baptist: Prophet and Disciple Paperback – January 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: St. Anthony Messenger Press (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867167378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867167375
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Burke s book will stimulate interest in, and renewed devotion to, John the Baptist and, one hopes, even further research into the person and heritage of this glorious saint. --Fr. Joseph T. Leinhard, S.J., professor of theology, managing editor, Traditio, Fordham University

Burke argues convincingly that is our guide to Christ and the master of the spiritual life. John the Baptist makes an excellent choice for Scripture study groups, prayer groups, faith-based reading clubs and personal reflection. --Susan M. Timoney, S.T.D., Education Parish Service Network

Burke argues convincingly that is our guide to Christ and the master of the spiritual life. John the Baptist makes an excellent choice for Scripture study groups, prayer groups, faith-based reading clubs and personal reflection. --Susan M. Timoney, S.T.D., Education Parish Service Network

About the Author

ALEXANDER J. BURKE, JR., is professor of English and freshmen composition at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. He has a Ph.D. in theology from Fordham University. He also wrote Raising Lazarus and the Passion of Jesus in John 11 and 12: A Study of John’s Literary Structure and His Narrative Theology (Edwin Mellen Press). He lives in Manhasset, New York.

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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Carol Blank on July 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Early in this comprehensive work, the author reminds us that John the Baptist's message emphasized sin, repentance, judgment, and hell, "topics that run counter to the more user-friendly religion of the twenty-first century." Burke, who holds a doctorate in theology from Fordham University, begins by tracing Old Testament patterns and prophesies that set the stage for John's appearance as "the last of the prophets and the first of the Christians." We learn of the culture into which John emerged after 20 years in the desert, his effect on the Israelites, and the parallels between his message and that of Jesus.

The chapter on John as a Model for Contemporary Christians goes into detail about what Burke calls "the sterner Christian virtues that need reinvigoration today," centered on repentance. Burke suggests that if John were alive today, his priority would be restoration of the sacrament of confession to a position of central importance. "He would require sincere acts of mortification as evidence of good faith."

Burke's work on John the Baptist, though scholarly, is nonetheless accessible to the layman. The layout and style are clear and inviting, and the author has included a number of tables to help clarify the text, questions for reflection on each chapter, and a detailed index. The text is enriched by references to artists' renderings of John the Baptist and their significance as well as opinions of scholars that may differ from those presented by the author. Burke closes with several pages of devotions to John the Baptist.

Individuals and groups would profit most by studying this work straight through, but an alternative approach that tailors the material to time constraints would also be of benefit.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L. E. Bowers on December 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I needed to write a biography on John the Baptist for class. I didn't think it would be so hard, but finding a good book on John the Baptist wasn't so easy. This is the best one I found anywhere. This is the most exhaustive text on John I found anywhere and it takes everything into consideration. I highly recommend it for research, but it is written so well that it is good for even a curious reader.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent work on the ministry of John the Baptist. Burke places him in the proper context in history and theology.
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By Dawn Hiatt on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband loves this book. He wanted to study John the Baptist and we can not find many books on him. I would recommend this to everyone.
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10 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Lucifer on October 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Having just finished reading Alexander J. Burke's fine biography of John the Baptist, I was sorry to see that it has gotten only two Amazon.com reviews ("Repent, repent, repent!"; and "Excellent Research Text"). Both of my precursors rightly give the book 5 stars: L.E. Bowers is right that Burke provides excellent grist for schoolroom essays. And Carol Blank is right that Burke's book stresses "the sterner Christian virtues that need reinvigoration today," such as mortification of the flesh. (How many Christians today still flagellate themselves? How many OUGHT to!)

Burke covers the usual sources on John the Baptist--the gospels, Josephus's _History of the Jews_, and patristic literature. And I especially admire the book jacket: Burke reproduces a wonderfully sexy, ooh-la-la portrait of John, painted by Valentin de Boulogne.

(P.S. Don't be misled: the historical John looked less like the Valentin portrait than like the actor John Lahr in his role as the Geico Insurance caveman.)

That said, Burke's biography is comprised chiefly of well-written speculation based on second-hand sources.

I'd like to a few words in loving memory of John the Baptist. As I remember him, John was an odd fellow, and quite literally dirt-poor. He was not one of these evangelists who strut to the pulpit in a dry-cleaned powder-blue $3000 Armani suit and shiny $500 Gucci shoes, with an $80 calfskin Zondervan NIV Study Bible tucked under their arm. In physical appearance, John the Baptist's clothing and rhetoric better resembled that of the well-known American hermit, Theodore J. Kaczynski, than that of someone like Rev. Kenneth Copeland or the Rev. Billy Graham.

Even as a young man, John was not a flashy dresser.
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