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The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke
Raymond Edward Brown

0385472021 Retail Price: $45.00
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Availability: Out-of-Print Available in Paperback

Format: Hardcover, 752pp.
ISBN: 0385472021
Publisher: Doubleday
Pub. Date: Updated edition May 1999

Book Information:
Reader's Index
About the Author
Table of Contents
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From The Publisher:

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. 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.


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About the Author

Raymond E. Brown, the foremost New Testament scholar in the U.S., is Auburn Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He holds over twenty honorary doctorates from Catholic and Protestant universities. He is author of over twenty-five books on the Bible, including the acclaimed volumes The Birth of the Messiah and The Death of the Messiah.

Table of Contents

Foreword (Original Edition)
Foreword to the New Updated Edition


Scholarship and the Ingancy Narratives
A. The Infancy Narratives and the Rest of the Gospels
B. The Infancy Narratives as History
C. The Infancy Narratives as Vehicles of the Evangelist's Theology


I. General Observtions on the Matthean Gospel and Infancy Narrative
A. The Matthean Gospel
B. The Matthean Infancy Narrative
II. The Genealogy of Jesus
Translation of Matt 1:1-17 and Informational Notes Comment:
A. Matthew's Purpose in the Genealogy
B. Matthew's Genealogy Compared to Luke's
III. The Composition of the Basic Matthean Narrative in 1:18 - 2:23
A. Matthew's Formula Citations of Scripture
B. The Detection of Pre-Matthean Material
IV. The Conception of Jesus
Translation of Matt 1:18-25 and Informational Notes
A. Matthew's Message: the Who and the How - a Christological Revelation
B. The Formula Citation of Isaiah 7:14
C. Matthew's Use of Pre-Matthean Material
V. The Magi Come to Pay Homage to the King of the Jews
Translation of Matt 2:1-12 and Informational Notes
A. Matthew's Message: the Where and the Whence - Reactions to a Christological Revelation
B. Matthew's Use of Scripture in the Service of His Message
C. The Pre-Matthean Background of the Magi Story
D. The Magi in Subsequent Christian Piety
VI. Herod Unsuccessfully Seeks to Destroy the King of the Jews
Translation of Matt 2:13-23 and Informational Notes
A. Matthew's Message as Enhanced by His Use of Scripture
B. The Three Formula Citations
C. The Pre-Matthean Background of the Herod Story
VII. Epilogue

I. General Observations on the Lucan Gospel and Infancy
A. The Lucan Gospel
B. The Lucan Infancy Narrative
II. The Annunciation of the Birth of John the Baptist
Translation of Luke 1:5-25 and Informational Notes
A. The Introduction (1:5-7)
B. The Annunciation (1:8-23)
C. The Epilogue (1:24-25)
D. The Relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus Sectional Bibliography
III. The Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus
Translation of Luke 1:26-38 and Informational Notes
A. The Structure and the Annunciation Pattern
B. The Virginal Conception (1:34)
C. The Future Accomplishments of the Child (1:32, 33, 35)
D. The Portrait of Mary as Handmaid
E. Mary and Old Testament Symbolism?
IV. The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Translation of Luke 1:39-56 and Informational Notes
A. The Structure and Composition of the Scene
B. The Visitation (1:39-45, 56)
C. The Lucan Canticles in General
D. The Magnificat (1:46-55)
V. The Birth and Naming of John the Baptist; Zechariah's Prophecy
Translation of Luke 1:57-80 and Informational Notes
A. The Birth and Naming (1:57-66, 80)
B. The Benedictus (1:67-79)
VI. The Birth and Naming of Jesus
Translation of Luke 2:1-21 and Infomational Notes
A. The Structure of the Sotry in 2:1-40
B. The Setting at Bethlehem (2:1-7)
C. The Annunciation to the Shepherds (2:8-14)
D. The Reaction as the Shepherds Go to Bethlehem (2:15-20)
E. The Circumcision and the Naming (2:21)
VII. The Presentation; Simeon and Anna Prophesy about Jesus
Translation of Luke 2:22-40 and Informational Notes
A. The Sequence and Internal Structure
B. The Setting Supplied by the Law (2:22-24)
C. Simeon Greets the Child and Prophesies
D. Anna Greets the Child(2:36-38)
E. THe Conclusion (2:39-40)
VIII. The Boy Jesus in the Temple Speaks of His Father
Translation of Luke 2:41-52 and Informational Notes
A. Structure, Christology, and Outline
B. The Introduction and the Setting (2:41-45)
C. The Core of the Story (2:46-50)
D. The Conclusion (2:51-52)
IX. Epilogue

Supplement (1993)

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