Re: [John_Lit] A Letter from Raymond Brown
- On Fri, 7 Dec 2001 Maluflen@... wrote:
> In a message dated 12/7/2001, butlerfam5@... wrote:
> > Knowing that Raymond E. Brown carried responsibility in the
> > U.S.A. for evaluating which NT books would receive the approval
> > of the Roman Catholic church, I reasoned that if his research had
> > taken him in the direction of considering Mary or Martha of
> > Bethany as a candidate for the BD (as seemed logical when he
> > began his search by identifying them along with Lazarus as
> > "people whom Jesus loved"), then it would take something like
> > a papal directive to prevent him from publishing his conclusions.
> Tom, would you care to reword the opening of this paragraph?
> As it stands, it is clearly a howler, or you are not making your
> meaning clear: "Knowing that Raymond E. Brown carried
> responsibility in the U.S.A. for evaluating which NT books
> would receive the approval of the Roman Catholic church..."
> Leonard Maluf
Yes, I WOULD care to reword the opening of that paragraph.
Thank you for pointing out how poorly it was worded. What I
meant to say was, "Knowing that Raymond E. Brown carried
responsibility in the U.S.A. for evaluating which books about the
NT that were written by Catholic scholars would receive the
approval of the Roman Catholic church ..."
Even that was not as clear as it should be. Instead of beginning
with "Knowing that ..." I should have said, "I understand that ..."
I did not mean to imply that Raymond Brown decided which
one of the books of the New Testament Roman Catholics could
read. Please forgive me for writing my sentence in such a way
as to give the impression that that was what I meant.
I do understand that Dr. Brown did carry an important role in
determining which books about the NT, written by Roman Catholics,
could be properly used in RC churches to teach matters pertaining
to RC doctrine. I hope that says it more clearly.
My point, once past that faulty beginning, was that Raymond
Brown carried responsibilities within his denomination that might
have prevented him from exploring matters that he, as a scholar,
might have otherwise considered in an effort to make his study
complete, namely the question of whether or not Martha or Mary
of Bethany could have been the Beloved Disciple. The letter
that I wrote to him was motivated by that spark of curiosity. His
letter to me clarified that he did not avoid considering them for
the reason that was teasing at my brain.
Nonetheless, Raymond Brown did set forth a reasonable
set of criteria, then demonstrated how to apply it as he
considered whether or not Lazarus could have been the BD.
He also did not apply that set of criteria to Martha or Mary,
even though he had identified them, along with Lazarus, as two
of the three people listed in Jn. 11: 5 as people whom Jesus loved.
After receiving his letter, I felt free to use his method to consider
whether Martha or Mary might qualify.
I found that Mary of Bethany did.
Yours in Christ's service,