Main CategoriesChrist and Mystic ChristianityThe Historical Christ Birth of the Messiah, The

Birth of the Messiah, The

Product no.: 0-385-49447-5

Raymond Brown's commentary on the Gospel narratives of Jesus' infancy, The Birth of the Messiah, was widely acclaimed on its original publication in 1977 as an outstanding achievement, marked by comprehensiveness and clarity.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Now, with this new edition, Brown brings his classic work completely up-to-date with all the latest research on the Christmas story.

Raymond Brown has been called by Time magazine "probably the premier Catholic Scripture scholar in the United States", and this work represents the very best of modern biblical criticism. In this volume, he combines his unique skills with insight into the scriptural concerns of the Gospel authors and the early Christian community. Throughout, Brown meticulously explores each facet of the nativity story - from Jesus' conception, to the Annunciation, the travels of the magi, the watching shepherds and the mysterious star.

In all, this is an unparalleled investigation into an all too neglected area of biblical research, and many have relied upon it as the only comprehensive and reliable guide to the infancy material. The Birth of the Messiah is the highest example of accessible, intelligible scholarship for Catholic or Protestant, priest or pastor, and interested readers of all kinds. With this updated edition, a classic is reborn.


"A line-by-line exegesis that not only synthesizes a generation of modern scholarship but also provides a coherent and compelling explanation of what the stories of Christ's birth were meant to convey. Brown manages to rescue the Christmas story from both the contempt of experts and the sentimentality of naive laymen... Ordinary Christians can thank this priestly scholar for helping them to put the adult Christ back into Christmas."        ~Newsweek


"I acknowledge my scholarly debt to many writers both Jewish and Christian. In particular, as the reader will see, the infancy narratives have been an area in which Roman Catholic writers have shown considerable interest because of their devotion to Mary; and from such detailed research this commentary has profited. However, historical criticism of the New Testament is relatively new on the Catholic scene, and many of those studies were written at a time or with a mentality that I shall have to reject as uncritical.

As a Roman Catholic myself, I share their faith and their devotion; but it is my firm contention that one should not attempt to read later Marian sensibilities and issues back into the New Testament. (I do not mean that there is no need to relate the NT to later theology, but one must respect historical development.) I see no reason why a Catholic's understanding of what Matthew and Luke meant in their infancy narratives should be different from a Protestant's."

Author Brown, Raymond E.
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 752 pp.
Publisher ABRL, Doubleday 1999
Series The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
Browse these categories as well: The Historical Christ, Biblical Exegesis and Pseudepigrapha, Masterworks of the Western Mystery Tradition

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