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The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times Paperback – January 1, 1978

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press; New edition edition (January 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809121743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809121748
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Raymond E. Brown, S.S., taught for many years at Saint Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and was Professor of Biblical Studies at the Union Theological Seminary for two decades. He was the author of three books in the Anchor Bible series on the Gospels and Epistles of John and wrote the classic Anchor Bible Reference Library volumes The Birth of the Messiah, The Death of the Messiah, and An Introduction to the New Testament. He died in 1998.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John Switzer on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Have you ever purchased a book that seemed promising in regard to helping you understand the Bible, but when it came it was either far too simplistic or just over your head? For most readers, this book provides insight and commentary that will avoid both pitfalls.
Using the uncommon characteristics of the Fourth Gospel, Raymond Brown laid out in this readable volume his theories of why this account of the gospel is so unique. With accompanying charts that lay out the various groups which may have composed the "Community of the Beloved Disciple," Brown makes his theory especially easy to grasp.
Losing Raymond Brown was a great loss for the entire Christian Church. Having heard him speak in person and having read many of his works, I strongly urge this particular volume upon you if you have an interest in the Fourth Gospel.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Woods on January 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
In 1965 Father Brown published his great magisterial two volume commentary on the Gospel of John in which he advocated the traditional view the John the son of Zebedee was the evangelist. In 1965 J. Louis Martyn published his monumental work "History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel," wherein he proved, once and for all, that John the son of Zebedee could not be the evangelist. Now what would be Brown's reaction? This is it. He simply admitted that he was wrong and builds on Martyn's work in this marvelous book. Hopefully you can also read Martyn's book with this one, but this one alone will give you a glimpse into a first century religious community.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
The late Raymond E. Brown (1928-1998) is renowned worldwide by many biblical scholars as THE foremost authority on the Johannine Literature in the New Testament. This book is a "must read" for anyone doing serious research on the Gospel of John. If you are beginning a study of the Fourth Gospel I highly recommend that you buy this book. I also suggest that you read Joseph Grassi's THE SECRET IDENTITY OF THE BELOVED DISCIPLE.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alan E. Barber on October 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm not Roman Catholic, so I don't have the visceral reactions that some reviewers have had to this work (whose reviews I don't find helpful, by the way, because they are so vitriolic). I've admired Fr. Brown ever since I acquired The Gospel According to John I-XII (Anchor Bible Series, Vol. 29) and The Gospel According to John, XIII-XXI (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) many years ago. Sadly, he is no longer with us. He was a remarkable exegete, a careful and conservative scholar, one who reached out to Christianity as a whole. He was probably the greatest Johannine scholar of his generation.
In this short book, Fr. Brown tackles some of the thorny problems that the Gospel of John and the Johannine Epistles present. Brown makes the not unreasonable assumption that these books were written for particular communities of early Christians, communities that considered themselves the spiritual descendants of the "Beloved Disciple," traditionally assumed to be John son of Zebedee but unnamed in the Gospel of John. These communities, Brown believes, were characterized by a high Christology (that is, a belief in the pre-existent divinity of Jesus as well as in his complete humanity) and a low ecclesiology (that is, a reliance on the Paraclete or Comforter (in the KJV) as the ultimate source of religious truth and a suspicion of ecclesiastical authorities).
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on March 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Words such as poetic, beautiful, challenging, baffling, and perhaps even confusing can come to mind when reading or studying the Gospel of John. The fourth gospel is believed to have been written after the three gospels known as the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and unlike the synoptic gospels which share similar backgrounds and sources, John's Gospel takes a completely different direction.

Raymond Brown, a respected scripture scholar, and perhaps the best known Catholic scripture scholar, gives the reader an excellent introduction to the community behind the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine epistles. He discusses this gospel, narrated by the so called "Beloved Disciple" who may or may not have been John, the struggle this community had with Jewish leaders, as well as the community's struggles with other Christian groups. This community was from a different geographic locale than many of the other Christian groups, most notably the Pauline churches, and theologically different from these groups as well. This history of this community spans a period of time that includes the Apostolic era, the Fall of the Temple, and its aftermath. We see the struggles of this community in the gospel itself, and how it derived strength and purpose from the Jesus Christ in the Gospel who is not afraid of controversy.

This book was published in 1979 and it has become a standard in studying John, at least from a Catholic perspective. Brown is not without controversy. Throughout his life he was always first and foremost a scholar and at times his writings ruffled a few feathers of more traditional Catholics and no doubt, some people who read the Bible literally.
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