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The Gospel and Epistles of John: A Concise Commentary
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
This concise commentary on the Gospel and epistles of John, at less than 130 pages, packs in an immense amount of Father Brown's unparalleled scholarship while retaining his typically fresh and readable style. If Fr. Brown's work is the perfect way for Christians to delve deep into Catholic and Orthodox biblical studies, this book is the perfect introduction to his work. If you've read one of his massive tomes (which themselves are highly recommended, but be prepared for an intellectual commitment), this one may seem a bit thin, but even so it will be worthwhile.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is now 23 years old, but it is one that every Bible scholar must read. Raymond Brown is considered by many to be the premier Johannine scholar of the 20th century, and is widely acknowledged by both the Church and by academia. Brown began writing about John and the Johannine community in 1960, culminating a quarter-century later in an exhaustive, 800-page tome on the epistles in 1982. This book brings it all together in one concise commentary. If you fancy yourself a Bible scholar but you don't have time to study all of Brown's works, you must at least read this short book.

You'll find in this book no comprehensive discussion of the Johannine community, of the development and authorship of the Gospel, or even of Johannine theology in general. You'll find very little about Brown's contributions to understanding Johannine eschatology or to the identification of the "beloved disciple." What you will get is a concise verse-by-verse commentary of the Gospel and epistles, which in itself provides a taste of Brown's thinking.

Scripture from the Revised New Testament is printed on the top of each page, with Brown's commentary on the bottom half. Because it's a summary only, providing nothing new or provocative, I have a hard time granting it more than three stars, yet it is a must-read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
A clear and concise exploration of the New Testament Traditon of John in the exegetical method through exploration of themes and overarching messages of the Jesus tradition as portrayed in John. Primarily using accurate historical consideration (ie. geographic, class, and other differences of the time)to explain the written and translated text in an understandable way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Fr. Raymond Brown is deceased, (1998), but his works live on. He was a noted Catholic Biblical scholar and a real good human being and priest. I have tapes of many of his talks that he did over the years and several of his books, the latest I bought being "The Gospel and Epistles of John". He wrote extensively on Biblical subjects and did several Bible Commentaries, notable the Anchor Bible Commentary section on John's Gospel. I just enjoy reading his insights and admire his scholarship. I was first introduced to Fr. Brown at the Religious Education Congress held yearly in Anaheim. He gave a wonderful talk on the story of the woman at the well (Jn.4:42) and I loved to listen to the tape of this talk--he made you feel like you were there.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Raymond Brown was the dean of all schollars who concentrated on John. His translation and interpretation is the best I have found. His finding the nuances of the Gospel writers style gives Brown's readers a unique insight to the Gospel.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
Excellent tool to expand my knowledge and to know a more precise perspective of the gospel and epistles of John.
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on February 21, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Brown is known for his scholarly work. This commentary is an abbreviated version of a larger work. This gets right to the heart of the matter, and is a great help in an in-depth study of John, and the epistles of John.
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13 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
While I can't quite place this book of Father Brown's on the same level as his "Crucified Christ In Holy Week" or "A Once and Coming Spirit At Pentecost," this book of Father Brown's is still well done and presents some things we should know as Christians. One of the most airheaded things I have ever heard about the Gospel According to John was that she didn't like it because of its hostile tone. Well, she apparently didn't know that at the time this 4th Gospel was written, the early Christians were being persecuted by the Jewish authorities. It was NOT my priest who made this airheaded comment, but it was someone in authority. She apparently doesn't read much about why the Gospels were written. What Father Brown does in this book is that he gives you the text from the Gospel According to John as well as the Epistles from John. And he provides his commentaries beneath the passages. (It's virtually a sermon on the the whole Gospel According to John as well as his epistles.) Some interesting points Father Brown raises is that John the Baptist is foreshadowed in Isaiah 40:3 as well as Malichi 3:1. Also, he points out that the reason Jesus may have chased out the money changers was to emphasize that burnt offerings were outdated. (Amongst other things, why waste money or kill the animals if there is no point?) We all have heard the story of the Good Samaritan. In this book, Father Brown explains that a Samaritan is a Jew who only acknowledges the first 5 Books of the Old Testament and to some extent follows some Pagan beliefs. (Today, we could see that as perhaps saying that the most religious person is not the most holy. A moderate church goer who knows some things and tries to be a good person may come off better than someone who knows the Bible inside and out.) As Christians, we know that Pentecost is the Descent of the Holy Spirit. Father Brown explains that this goes back to a Jewish tradition. 50 days after Passover, the Jews would have a feast that renewed their covenant with Moses. He also brings up how many people who don't like Christians consider the communion cannibalistic. (My priest actually brought that issue up recently.) If anything, the Eucharist is MUCH CLOSER to a wedding. (2 becoming one flesh) As most of us know, Jesus had his clashes with the Jewish authorities, and he would often defeat them by throwing their questions back at them. If we are willing to see the side of Jesus' enemies, we can understand their position. They had been taught (and not without some elements of fear) that strict adherence to the letter of the law was required. Now Jesus comes along and starts pointing out the flaws in their religion and contradicts their way of life by saying that it's alright to bend the law if it means doing a greater good. So we can easily understand the divided opinions of the religious authorities. This will mount to not only hostility towards Jesus, but hostility between the authorities who like Jesus and the ones who oppose him. Interestingly, only John mentions the Palms during Jesus' march into Jerusalem. (Hence: Palm Sunday) John makes Jesus more powerful by deleting Jesus' agony at Gethsemane; there is also no Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry his cross. Jesus also almost seems in full control of the crucifixion. Father Brown also presents an interesting interpretation of Pilate. Pilate could NOT have been ignorant of Christ. Interestingly, Father Brown explains that if we had any sympathy for the religious authorities who opposed Jesus, it disappears when they apparently accept Caesar as their king to have Christ crucified. Even if not voluntarily, Pilate seems to accept Jesus in a way. The sign he has hung on the cross ("This Is the King of the Jews") almost indicates this. As Father Brown says, this: "...ironically indicates that the Gentiles will ultimately uphold the kingship of Christ." After the resurrection at Easter, John makes Jesus more powerful by having him breathe on the apostles to give them the Holy Spirit. (In "Luke" they have to wait for some time.) One final thing worth pointing out is that Father Brown points out that the biggest weapon against our own imperfect natures it to recognize our wrong doings. He could very well be saying that being a Christian does not mean being without sin. Rather, it is to recognize our faults and try to rise above them. While I can't quite hold this book as vital as Father Brown's "A Crucified Christ In Holy Week," this is still a great book to read and study.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
A book that summarizes the essential themes of John's Gospel
and offers thoughts that help relate the Word of God to daily life.

Its concise style shows Brown's scholarship and his fidelity to
the truths that John's Gospel offer to the searching reader.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
The standard work. More referenced than any other, it is the manual. Frank, it admits the known and unknown. Difficult to read, it is intended for scholars - like Koestner. It could use updating by someone.
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