Brown, one of the most eminent American Catholic interpreters of the New Testament, here takes up the important question of the relationship between historical-critical exegesis of scripture and the developed doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Much of the book is devoted to criticism of those who see too great a tension between the two, both liberals who want to reject church doctrine because of this tension, and conservatives who reject critical exegesis because of it. Brown's own view is that the literal sense of scripture does not conflict with church doctrine, though part of scripture or even scripture as a whole may be silent about a given matter. In such instances Roman Catholics must rely on the guidance of the church, not merely on scripture. A significant contribution to the discussion of this question. Terrance Callan, NT Studies Dept., Athenaeum of Ohio, Cincinnati
Raymond E. Brown (1928-1998), a Sulpician priest, was Auburn Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary, New York. He was twice appointed a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, by Pope Paul VI in 1972 and by Pope John Paul II in 1996. He wrote extensively on the Bible and was known worldwide as an expert in Johannine literature.