Main CategoriesChrist and Mystic ChristianityThe Historical Christ Death of the Messiah, The (Volume 1)

Death of the Messiah, The (Volume 1)

Product no.: 0-385-49448-3
Now available in paperback, Raymond E. Brown's masterful study examines every detail of the four Gospel stories of the final agonizing days of Jesus' life.

Product is in stock

Additional product information

Publisher's Synopsis

Since its original publication in 1994 as a two-volume hardcover boxed set, The Death of the Messiah has lived up to early expectations and become the benchmark by which any future study of the Passion narratives will be measured.

Where others simply describe the accounts of the death of the Messiah as if they were one seamless whole, Father Brown reads and explains each Gospel on its own terms and elucidates the themes that make each one unique. The Death of the Messiah is the ideal complement to Brown's Birth of the Messiah, as thorough and expert in its handling of the Passion narratives as his book on the infancy narratives of the Gospels.


"A stunning array of fresh insights into how the passion stories came into being and what, scene by scene, the four Evangelists really say about the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus."     ~Newsweek

"In a stunning addition to the Anchor Bible Reference Library, Raymond E. Brown, the preeminent scriptural scholar who won great acclaim for his The Birth of the Messiah, now crowns a distinguished career with this much-awaited companion work. The biblical accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of the death of Jesus comprise, as Brown points out, 'the central narrative in the Christian story'; and the result of Brown's treatment of them here is an unprecedentedly complete but amazingly accessible exegesis of those four Gospels' passion narratives.

Combining a lucid synthesis of the vast body of scholarly passion literature with his own insightful explanation of what the evangelists wrote, Brown breaks down the walls of theological density to recapture the full drama and meaning of Jesus' final days from his arrest to his execution and burial. While scholars may be staggered by Brown's exhaustively comprehensive bibliography and assured grasp of its contents, his introductory division of the passion's unfolding into four 'Acts' and several 'Scenes' will especially appeal to pastors and devout lay readers. Indeed, rarely has the gap between Christian scholars and the non-academic faithful been bridged more successfully than in this definitive masterpiece."     ~Publishers Weekly


Meaning of Jesus’ Death Cry. At 3 p.m., after three hours of darkness over the whole earth, the crucified Jesus speaks for the first and only time. (Although it is often said that Mark has Jesus die at this hour, the “ninth hour” is affixed to Jesus’ scream with aloud cry, not to his death, even if we may assume that he expired shortly thereafter — especially the “loud cry” is simply a presumption of the “loud cry” of v. 34.) “Speaks” is not precise, for Mark uses the verb boan and Matt uses anaboan; moreover, they both refer to what emerges from his mouth as phone megale (“a loud cry,” which will be repeated two or three verses later as Jesus dies).

The range of boan and anaboan includes solemn proclamation, the acclamation or shout of a crowd, and a desperate cry for help. In Luke 9:38; 18:38 boan is used to describe a man crying out loudly or insistently to Jesus, and in 18:7 for voices crying out to God for help. In Mark/Matt Jesus speaks in Semetic the words of Ps 22:2a, “My God, my God, for what reason have you forsaken me?” The second part of that verse (22:2b) in Hebrew refers to God being far from “the words of my cry.” Clearly, then, the scream and loud cry lend desperate urgency to Jesus’ petition.


Over his illustrious career, Raymond E. Brown, S.S., Ph.D., was internationally regarded as a dean of New Testament scholars. He was Auburn Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, received over thirty honorary degrees from Catholic and Protestant universities worldwide, and was elected a (Corresponding) Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to serving as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Society of New Testament Studies, two popes appointed Father Brown as the sole American on the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Some of the best known of his more than thirty-five books on the Bible are three volumes in the Anchor Bible series on the Gospel and Epistles of John, as well as the Anchor Bible Reference Library volumes The Birth of the Messiah, The Death of the Messiah, and An Introduction to the New Testament, winner of the 1998 Catholic Press Association Award for Biblical Studies. Father Brown’s untimely death on August 8, 1998, saddened all who knew him.

Author Brown, Raymond E.
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 877 pp.
Publisher ABRL Doubleday 1998
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

We also recommend