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Last edited by mountainaxe
March 20, 2018 | History

Raymond Edward Brown

1928 - 1998

Raymond Edward Brown SS was an American Catholic priest, a member of the Sulpician Fathers and a prominent biblical scholar. He was regarded as a specialist concerning the hypothetical "Johannine community", which he speculated contributed to the authorship of the Gospel of John, and he also wrote influential studies on the birth and death of Jesus. Brown was professor emeritus at Union Theological Seminary (UTS) in New York where he taught for 29 years. He was the first Catholic professor to gain tenure there, where he earned a reputation as a superior lecturer.

Brown was one of the first Catholic scholars to apply historical-critical analysis to the Bible. As biblical criticism developed in the 19th century, the Catholic Church opposed this scholarship and essentially forbade it in 1893. In 1943, however, the Church issued the papal encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu, which authorised Catholic scholars to investigate the Bible historically. Brown called this encyclical the "Magna Carta of biblical progress." The Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) further supported the method of higher criticism, which, Brown felt, vindicated his approach.

Brown remains controversial among traditionalist Catholics because of their claim that he denied the inerrancy of the whole of scripture and cast doubt on the historical accuracy of numerous articles of the Catholic faith. Some conservatives were angered at his questioning of whether the virginal conception of Jesus could be proven historically. He was regarded as occupying the center ground in the field of biblical studies, opposing the literalism found among many fundamentalist Christians while not carrying his conclusions as far as many other scholars.

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March 20, 2018 Edited by mountainaxe Edited without comment.
March 20, 2018 Edited by mountainaxe Added new photo
September 12, 2008 Edited by RenameBot fix author name
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import