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The Epistles of John: 30 (Anchor Bible Commentaries) [Paperback]

R Brown

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Book Description

3 Dec 2007 Anchor Bible Commentaries (Book 30)
With this study - companion to the masterful two-volume "The Gospel According to John" - Raymond E. Brown completed his trilogy on the Johannine corpus. Meticulous in detail, exhaustive in analysis, persuasive in argument, it examines controversies that have long troubled both biblical scholars and lay readers. Questions of authorship, composition, and dating, as well as the debate over source theories, are discussed at length; but these are kept subordinate to the overall question of meaning.What gives this commentary special interest and excitement is the bold, imaginative reconstruction of the setting of the Johannine work - in particular of the "opposition figures," who are only dimly sketched in the Epistles - so that we see clearly that the author is writing to his flock both about the dangers and difficulties confronting them, and about the eternal life that is theirs by the gift of God. In this way, the "Epistles of John" become intelligible as broadsides in a critical engagement between the forces of light and darkness.In addition to his superb textual analysis of the letters, Raymond Brown has brought to life the community in which these works were formed and shaped. We are forcefully reminded that the Gospel and the Epistles were addressed to very real people living in the first century a.d., people with religious problems not unlike our own. In all respects, "The Epistles of John" stands out as a model of biblical scholarship and study.

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About the Author

Over his illustrious career, the late 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. Among his more than thirty-five books on the Bible are three volumes in the Anchor Bible series, 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.

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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Commentary 23 Nov 2005
By C. Hafer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I probably own at least 20 commentaries on the Epistles of John and I consider this the best. With that said, however, it is not for everyone. Brown's commentary is exceptional for it's grammatical and syntactical interpretation, but would probably be too heavy for people without at least some knowledge of Greek. The commentary is light on theology, but heavy on grammatical interpretation. I consider this a strength, but again make sure it is what you want. One good point here is that while Brown is a Catholic priest, it is not filled with Catholicism. As a non-Catholic literalist Bible scholar, I consider this book invaluable for its pure grammatical analysis. I typically would run from a book by a Catholic priest, but this book is the exception.

If you are looking for an advanced Greek exegesis book to help explain the language of First John, this book is perfect. If you are looking for a readable overview of the Epistle or theological explanations of the Epistle, look elsewhere.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Commentary 19 Nov 2011
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Originally published in 1982, Raymond Brown's `The Epistles of John' is an instalment in Yale University Press' acclaimed Anchor Bible commentary series. Brown is a leading late twentieth century New Testament (NT) scholar.

Overall, this is an excellent modern critical commentary with much strength. From a structural perspective the text is laid out in the standard format for modern commentaries; a detailed introduction discussing dating, authorship, audience and situating the author's work within the broader body of scholarship followed by a section-by-section analysis of the text. The latter analytical portion is sub-divided into a general commentary discussing the section's main points as well as detailed notes on translation, textual and interpretive issues. While from a qualitative standpoint, as one would expect from the Anchor Bible series and Brown, this is an erudite, insightful and well written text.

Despite its clear strength it is important for prospective readers to recognize that this is an academic commentary and as such may not be the best starting point for readers seeking an initial overview of the epistles (some general NT introductions would be better starting points). While interesting and well presented, Brown's interpretation rests on speculative assumptions about authorship (late and not John the Apostle) and audience (parochial rather than universal). For instance, Brown posits the existence of a Johannine community, a small largely isolated cluster of churches in a particular geographic locale. While this `community' view is still popular it has been subjected to growing criticism by commentators such as Richard Bauckham and is beginning to look untenable when understood in a strong sense.

Overall, despite its limitations this is an outstanding critical commentary well worth a look by NT scholars and students. Readers interested in this subject may also enjoy an excellent series of audio lectures by Jack Crabtree on the Johannine epistles available through itunes u/Guttenburg College.
5.0 out of 5 stars A good Commentary 10 May 2014
By larry kirk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It arrived in good condition and by its estimated arrival time. Good background information on all counts [audience, time of writing, etc...]. I appreciated the fact that Mr. Brown was gentle with the text and let the author dictate the arrangement of the material rather than shove the material into a nice rigid framework suitable for outlining. Highly recommended.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too detail! 12 Sep 2013
By L. Stanley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Only seven chapters of the epistles of John occupied 812 pages is too much !!Also this is not the first time the book was
folded in the edges during transportion. The protection of items of amazon need much improvement.
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