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The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Paperback – January 1, 1972
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As usual, Ray Brown clearly knows where the Catholic line in the sand has been drawn and although he doesn't step past it, he recognizes far more than most traditional Catholics would dare consider, given the high visibility of these two issues. And his brilliance allows him to see that both conservatives and liberals can and will take him to task for the conclusions he draws. Other current theologians, both Protestant and Catholic, believe there is ample evidence out there that points toward a modern understanding of the issues, (and that this evidence ought to engender some change in official church teaching) but Brown, who clearly knows all the evidence, won't quite go there.Read more ›
Brown's agenda is pursue the issues in a scholarly and objective manner. He does not assume the truth of the Catholic position ab initio as part of his scholarship, but argues cogently that Catholicism is not well-served by anything less than an adherence to the best traditions of objective scholarship. As a faithful Catholic, I had no problems with his approach, and I found nothing in his text or conclusions that was in the least bit threatening to my adherence to either the doctrine of the Virgin Birth - or, more specifically, the Virgin Conception (since as Father Brown points out, the Virgin Birth extends to the less well-known doctrine that the Blessed Virgin Mary remained virginally intact after the birth of Jesus) - or the Resurrection.
The book is really two monographs with an epilogue that summarizes Brown's conclusions. The short length of the book makes this book a less daunting book to read than either Brown's The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) or The Death of the Messiah: From Gethsemane to the Grave (2 Vol. Boxed Set).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is a great way to find out how the historical critical method can be utilized to drive one away from any miraculous claim. Read morePublished 4 months ago by mjk
An excellent book written by Rev. Brown which pulls no strings discussing two of the most fundamental issues in Christianity. Not an easy read. Rev. Raymond E. Read morePublished 17 months ago by jml1931
I found this a very thorough and scholarly study of these two important Christian beliefs. it is not for casual readers.Published on May 21, 2014 by Gloria J. Callaci
good service...good tho dated read...always find Raymond Brown an interesting and learned author. Read this years ago so wanted to read again.Published on November 9, 2013 by Azule Cat
Once again, premier scripture scholar Raymond Brown presents two great mysteries of Christianity in a brief work that is accessible to all. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Amazon Customer
This is a classic monograph by one of the premier exegetes of the twentieth century. He applies the historical critical method to the virginal conception (sometimes inaccurately... Read morePublished on May 10, 2009 by M. J. Bolesta
Raymond Brown does his usual superb job of explaining the subject and providing Scriptural and historical support for his presentation, while clarifying misconceptions. Read morePublished on May 24, 2008 by R. Vosburg