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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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The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times + The Gospel and Epistles of John: A Concise Commentary, Revised Fourth Edition
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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: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,749 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

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I for one will deeply miss Father Raymond E. Brown, and I'm assiduously acquiring everything he wrote or edited.
Alan E. Barber
Generally, Conservative Catholics and Evangelical Protestants along with Fundamentalist Protestants all find Brown's work in this book anathema.
David E. Blair
By taking this approach, Brown assures us that both the story of Jesus and the Johannine community could be accessed and reconstructed.
Celucien L. Joseph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 76 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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56 of 62 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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35 of 41 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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16 of 18 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David E. Blair on August 30, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is rare indeed for a specialized monograph to still be the authority on its topic of choice after nearly thirty years. In the case of this book, "The Community of the Beloved Disciple," which stirred controversy at its publication and still does today, it is even more remarkable. Building on the seminal work of his associate, J. Louis Martyn, at Union Theological Seminary, Brown explicates a fully fleshed out historical and textual criticism of the Johannine Corpus. And what did Brown posit that still manages to raise such passions? He posits five persons named John plus an unnamed Beloved Disciple as responsible for the corpus instead of one solitary John the Apostle. For Brown, these persons named John were John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, John the Redactor, John the Presbyter, and John the Revelator. The only one that might not be important for the development of the Johannine corpus in Brown's read is the Apostle John.

Mainstream Reformed Protestant seminaries are still willing to to deal with only one John who was the Apostle and the Beloved Disciple and all else rolled into one. Generally, Conservative Catholics and Evangelical Protestants along with Fundamentalist Protestants all find Brown's work in this book anathema. Apostolic authority seems to be the rock upon which their textual acceptance is built in the case of the Johannine corpus. Therefore, against all odds and facts, they firmly reject Brown's well grounded historical analysis and textual criticism for what appear to be little more than dogmatic reasons. Upon the Reverend Father Brown's death recently, the Catholic Commonweal Magazine opined that American Catholicism had lost its greatest scholarly treasure. Few are willing to deny that Raymond E.
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