on 2 December 1998
Brown's "Introduction" (if something over 800 pagescan be called an "introduction"!) is nothing less than a masterpiece of Modern Biblical Scholarship. It covers every NT topic imaginable - The NT Social and Political World, Authorship, Christology, major Themes, historicity, Theological divisions, Manuscript Dating, even the Historical Jesus Debate - in an even-handed, (fairly) non-technical, heavily footnoted manner. The book is extremely well documented with charts and maps and references from some of the world's most renowned Catholic and Protestant Scholars.
If you must own only ONE Intro. to The New Testament, MAKE IT THIS ONE.
on 22 June 1999
Father Brown puts 10 pounds of information into a 5 pound bag! Very informative and smothered with footnotes and bibliography. Written with the novice in mind, he does a great job of presenting the views of the latest in biblical scholarship even if he does not agree with the majority opinion. I must admit though, I find myself with more questions after reading a section than I had before I read it. Heavy reliance on a particular scientific method with little attempt to reconcile with other methods of interpretation.
on 21 May 1999
A thorough and scholarly examination of the New Testament which is entirely accessable to the lay reader. Father Brown lucidly sets forth the social, religious, political and historical context of each book without losing sight of the essential Christian message. His approach is an intellectually-challenging counterbalance to the work of the "Jesus Seminar"; he expounds on the development of each New Testament book without challenging its essential, spiritual veracity. Well done, indeed.
on 18 February 2013
I have very recently started to get interested in trying to learn and understand more of the bible, in particular about the New Testament and Jesus. I wanted a book that would cover the background, content, and main issues of contention for each of books in the New Testaments, and do so in an easy to read but thorough way. I fortunately came across and purchased this one. It is excellent. The breadth and depth of the analysis is awesome, as is the magnificent way Raymond Brown handles the material.
Raymond Brown is one of the great New Testament scholars, and this work is a fitting testament to his brilliance and reputation. This is a big book with 878 pages. It is an extraordinarily comprehensive, clear, insightful and authorative introduction to the New Testament. The book opens with a general introduction, followed by a detailed section covering a whole host of preliminaries for reading the New Testament (5 chapters). It then has a detailed introduction to the Gospels as a whole before looking at each Gospel in turn. Each Gospel is covered in-depth. You get a general analysis of the main message, the source's and compositional features, who wrote it (authorship), the locale or community involved, the date of writing, issues and problems for reflection, and the chapter ends with a bibliography for further reading sources. This approach really works very well, covering both historical and spiritual aspects of the Gospel. It's really opened up my understanding and appreciation of what I'm reading when I read a Gospel.
The Introduction to the New Testament then has a detailed section giving an overview of Paul, his life and his letters / epistles (covering 3 chapters) before looking at each letter / epistle in a very good degree of detail. For the letters and epistles it gives the background, general analysis of the message, an in-depth look at one of the main aspects of the letter, who it was written to (to where?) and when?, an in-depth look at another key aspect of the letter, issues and problems for reflection, and then ends with a bibliography of possible further reading. Having covered all Paul's many letters / epistles the book then looks at the other letters and epistles in the New Testament plus Book of Revelation (The Apocalypse). Whilst I have benefitted greatly from the content of this these chapters overall, I must say that I have really benefitted from the additional background and insight this section gives to Paul, his letters and epistles. It has really added such valuable meaning and understanding to each of the letters / epistles.
Such is the quality and quantity of this book, this review cannot do it justice. All I can say is that if you have a Bible and want to add immeasurably to the insight and understanding to what you are reading, then you should seriously consider getting this Raymond Brown Introduction to the New Testament. Of all the books on Jesus, and the New Testament I have, this really is the one that's made a difference, and one I wouldn't want to be without. I continually reread or refer to it before reading a particular Gospel, letter or epistle. I unreservedly highly recommend it!
on 10 December 1998
This book is the best New Testament guide I have found. The author guides you through the many issues surrounding the origins and authorship of the New Testament, and provides the reader with a balanced understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the many positions. There are so many different approaches to these issues that it is easy to assume in reading a particular book that one view is "the" way it is. The author provides the reader with some perspective. I think the book's greatest contribution is in explaining what the current NT documents are, and how they fit together.
on 12 November 1998
Raymond Brown, now dead, has surely produced a widely accessible introduction. Without the usual flummery so common in general texts, Father Brown's moderate and scholarly approach is a treat. I specially enjoy the numerous references at the end of each chapter. The footnotes are excellent and highly useful. If there is one flaw it is that there are no "must have" references within the recomended reading lists.
on 2 September 1998
The book is substantive enough for use in university settings yet accessable for those who for the first time wish to seriously engage in a review of the New Testament. Father Brown (who past away in early August, 1998) was widely recognized by both Catholics and Prostestants as one of the leading Biblical scholars of our day. His writing is readable yet thourough, allowing progress through the material while giving the reader a confidence that the basics of each of the books of the New Testament have been communicated.
on 22 November 2010
This is an excellent commentary on the NT. However, I would always recommend having another commentary. This commentary is from a Biblical Critical Scholars viewpoint. Hence, if one is protestant or catholic then get a commentary may be from a more conservative viewpoint, just to balance the perspective. For Catholics I would possibly recommend the Navarre Commentaries or the one's produced by Scott Hahn. I've been following the Church readings on Revelation and this commentary provided me with ample background material on Revelation.
on 14 May 2011
Raymond Brown must be the leading Catholic New Testament scholar of the 20th century. In this extensive volume he draws upon the whole of modern scriptural scholarship to present a balanced and intellectually scrupulous account of the New Testament documents, covering authors, addressees, contents and dates, while remaining an orthodox Catholic scholar acting within the remit of the Second Vatican Council. His erudition is extraordinary; his outstanding quality is his intellectual honesty.