Talk:Raymond E. Brown

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  • "even of opposing views" – a little vague; maybe something more specific can be installed?
  • "He was clearly Catholic, treading a conservative midpath between text and church authority, yet managed to be clearly modern in his textual criticism." – this is very conjectural. His views are inconsistent with very recent Catholic teaching, from the Second Vatican Council, which said that everything in Scripture is from the Holy Spirit and without error. Trc | [msg] 09:48, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Not quite. VCII said scripture is without error on matters relating to salvation. It also continues to be Church policy that scripture should be interpreted by those who know best, and granted that Father Brown was appointed to advise the pope on the bible, one can assume that he is one of those persons, no? PiCo 07:35, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


An anonymous editor keeps inserting:

"His approach to Scripture, of unimpeachable orthodoxy, praised by Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI,"

Aside from removing links in the process, there are problems:

Firstly, the statement is unsourced. If the statement is going to stay, WP:V says the burden is on the one trying to keep it, to provide sources.

Secondly, even if Brown the person was of unimpeachable orthodoxy, that doesn't mean the approach to scripture of Brown was. What exactly is the "orthodox approach to scripture" — is it verifiable (e.g., defined in some council, or a Papal vitae or bull, or in the Catechism)? I think the intention is to say Brown is orthodox, not his approach to scripture; so even if sourced this needs to be reworded.

Thirdly, was Brown praised because he was of unimpeachable orthodoxy, or because he was polite, or because he helped the poor, or for some other reason? Without sources we have no way of knowing.

So please, anonymous editor, comply with WP's policies and do not insert that clause again until you have properly sourced it. » MonkeeSage « 13:00, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

unattributed quote and bad English[edit]

The artixcle conatins a very long quote which is not referenced. In addition, in the middle it contains this clause: " the God whom he prayed." This is not good English (though it's easy enough to guess that a "to" has been dropped out) and should be corrected. PiCo 07:31, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I've fact-tagged the quotation. But really, I question the value of such long quotations to the article. If the point is that his views on New Testament Christology developed over his career, that can be stated in about two sentences. EALacey 08:35, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
It's a very significant publication of Brown on a very controversial topic, hence its value. A quoted extract is preferable to a paraphrase, for some reason wikipedia editors seem to have trouble accurately representing this particular publication, best to quote it directly. And as for the comment above, "to the God whom he prayed." is perfectly valid English, whereas "to the God whom he prayed to." is not. 21:42, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
"to the God to whom he prayed" is grammatical but clumsy. "to the God whom he prayed to" is actually perfectly grammatical, since the "rule" about ending a sentence with a preposition is more a matter of taste than anything else. Winston Churchill's "This is an impertinence up with which I shall not put" comes to mind. Jhobson1 15:57, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
If Brown's publications on the topic are so significant, then the article ought to explain what makes them significant. And if Brown's views are being misrepresented, then the solution is to correct the misrepresentation. At the moment, I think it's clear that the bulk of the quotations is excessive. EALacey 22:09, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

The issue is highly technical, reducing the small amount of quoted text currently in the article certainly won't make it clearer. 22:33, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

"Highly technical" issues are not normally discussed in biographical articles, at least not in all their technicalities. This is an article about Raymond E. Brown, not about New Testament christology, and the reader who wants to see Brown's arguments in detail can read his work directly. It would be more useful for this article to explain the significance of his views in the context of his career and of New Testament scholarship.
As for the actual summarising of his conclusions, what would be wrong with a paragraph like the following (with footnotes for the citations)?
In a 1965 article examining whether Jesus was ever called "God" in the New Testament, Brown concluded that the title was not used by the historical Jesus or in "the earliest layers of New Testament tradition". However, in about the 50s or 60s, Christians concluded "that God had revealed so much of Himself in Jesus that God had to be able to include both Father and Son". In a later introductory text, Brown wrote that in "three reasonably clear instances in the NT [Hebrews 1:8-9, John 1:1, 20:28] and in five instances that have probability, Jesus is called God", a usage Brown regarded as a natural development of early references to Jesus as "Lord". EALacey 23:02, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this summary. The more detailed text may well be appropriate for an article about Christology, or the Divinity of Jesus, but it's clearly excessive for a biographical one. Rbreen 11:33, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Nihil obstat and Imprimatur[edit]

I just wanted to point out on the article that much of his work has been given Nihil obstats and Imprimaturs. Brown even had the power to grant a Nihil obstat. (Runwiththewind 10:26, 8 February 2007 (UTC))

book awards[edit]

I've removed the list of book awards, which is not specific enough and not sourced. The Catholic Book Award, for instance was for a book which Brown co-authored with three others. Not notable enough here? I have left the section about honorary degrees, but the request for citations remains as I have some doubt about these - again, no specifics and no sources. Can anyone help? Rbreen 15:02, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

On Vatican II and the Catechism about historical-critical methods[edit]

In Catechism # 110 the Vatican has indicated that it does use this method but that it is not the only method. I think it is very important to give this method a proper Catholic usage. I think I would be in error to promote the view that the method (1)is not Catholic or that (2)the Church says that we must not use it. In #110, the Catechism suggests that a READER of Sacred Scripture MUST use it. I do not think the Church is saying not to use this method. The previous article did read as a critic of Brown and of the method and mentioned hardly anything about how Catholic it is and how the Vatican has approved it. I feel that the method can be debated but the Church has certainly incorporated it and does promote it as Catholic. (Runwiththewind 12:32, 8 May 2007 (UTC))

I've made some changes here, let me explain my thinking.
First, I've removed the reference to the 'Catholic historical-critical method'. To my mind, this implies a separate method, with a different methodology, which is not correct as far as I know. What we are talking about here, as I understand, is the Catholic approach to the method.
Secondly, the Papal comment was reported here as that 'this is not the only method', but what the text says is that "the historical-critical method claimed for itself the final words on the interpretation of the Bible". The meaning, surely, is not that the Church suggests the use of alternative methods - with the implication that a choice must be made - but that the final interpretation must be subject to the judgement of the Church.
Thirdly, I don't think non-Catholic readers will find the reference to the Catechism and Dei Verbum clear; I have tried to clarify this for the general reader.
Fourthly, I have reverted the order of the references to the Catechism and Dei Verbum, as the logic of the explanation seems to require them in this order (method, use of the method, caution about use). I understand that the Catechism is derived from Dei Verbum, and presumably if anyone is upset over the mix of references, they can change it to make both references refer to one or the other.
Finally, I think there is a little too much detail here about the Catholic Church view - what it really needs is a somewhat shorter explanation of the Church's view, to put Brown's work in context, with the detail (ie long quotes from the Catechism) moved to the historical-critical method article. Rbreen 11:27, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Opinion of Fr. Brown on scripture[edit]

"Brown's approach assumed that Scripture may contain error in matters not pertaining to salvation..." There is a fact tag up on this one. I cannot find any reference that would indicate that this is correct. It seems to be a private interpretation. "The Fundamentalist Challenge" by Fr. Raymond Brown in fact states the contrary, so I am removing this section because it is at odds with Fr. Raymond E. Brown's views on the subject. (Runwiththewind 11:11, 18 May 2007 (UTC))

Please reread the quote: "The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Bible communicates without error that truth which God intended for the sake of our salvation." In other words, it's only the truth intended for the sake of our salvation that is without error. But when the author of Mark wrongly states who was High Priest when David's men ate the consecrated food, that's just a regular old mistake (not about anything intended for the sake of our salvation). Jonathan Tweet 14:33, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for questioning Brown's view. In researching it, I've stumbled across some good material relevant to the topic and included it in the article. Jonathan Tweet 15:07, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Father Brown was in Full Communion with the Church contrary to criticism here[edit]

For anybody not clear on what they are reading here on this article my following experience will help clarify what is happening from the Roman Catholic position. Fr. Brown was a Roman Catholic.

  • (1)Wikipedia does not contain an imprimatur nor is it approved by the Holy See.
  • (2)Not everyone accepts the Second Vatican Council and some have rejected it outright. I do not trust opinions on the Holy See not made by the Holy See. Holy See commentary is approved with their Imprimaturs.
  • (3)Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have made it clear that rejecting Vatican II is wrong in their eyes. Read APOSTOLIC LETTER LAETAMUR MAGNOPERE (Pope Benedict XVI) and APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION FIDEI DEPOSITUM (Pope John Paul II).
  • (4)Not everyone accepts the Catechism of the Catholic Church approved by the Pope because they have rejected the Second Vatican Council. Both the above Apostolic Constitutions clearly state this is an error.
  • (5)The Holy See has never said that Father Brown was not in full communion with the Church contrary to what some critics might say.
  • (6)Trust in God and receive full communion by accessing only Holy See approved statements on Fr. Brown, or which contain an imprimatur.
  • (7)Father Brown’s name is Father Brown, not Brown.
  • (8)Anyone can comment or edit this wikipedia article about Fr. Brown. Obviously it was a mistake to assume that only Roman Catholics, like Fr. Brown would have an interest in presenting the case he actually made rather than the case some people think they have against a good priest like Fr. Brown. I could not handle the malice on this page directed against this priest who has since passed away. I have found love from him and about him through the Holy See.

God bless you all and a special blessing to anyone who seeks the truth through the Pope’s teachings. The fullness of truth, not half of it, will be yours I am sure. God bless the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Runwiththewind 21:40, 19 May 2007 (UTC))

Someone reverted the above edit, and I'm not sure why, so I put it back. Jonathan Tweet 22:08, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Ratzinger and Brown[edit]

I have once again had to revert the deletion of a perfectly valid edit. The quotation, properly sourced from a published text and clearly indicated as being a second-hand account, is a useful commentary made by a respected commentator on the subject (all other references from this book having been, as far as I can see, eliminated). Editor keeps deleting this for no other reason that he does not believe it to be possible.

This is a clear case of POV pushing. There is no doubt that Ratzinger is critical of the use, in certain circumstances, of the historical-critical method. There is no evidence that I have seen that he directed this criticism specifically at Brown. If there is such evidence, by all means let it be included. (The page referred to says nothing about Brown) But the idea that it should be deleted because you don't want to believe he said what he is quoted as saying is blatantly POV. If there is no evidence of direct criticism then to delete it because you think you know what his assessment of Brown is, is original research.

If you want to engage in extended and controversial edits of this or other article you have an obligation to other editors and to Wikipedia readers to sign up for an account, or sign in to one if you have one already. Rbreen 10:19, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

The quote is inaptly used because it is out of context, implying that Ratzinger approves of the controversial positions of Brown, when in truth the vagueness of the quote implies nothing of the sort, and any such inference is contradicted by the work of Ratzinger himself. For example, Ratzinger does not believe that parts of the Gospels are untrustworthy (see the intro to his new text, Jesus of Nazareth). What we have is a hearsay quote applied to a context in which we have no reason to think it applies, given its vagueness. I think you have an obligation to give the original context of the quote. 12:13, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
It's relevant. It's sourced. I reverted anonymous's deletion. If there's a conterweight source for people thinking that Brown's out to lunch, let's add it. Better to add information to complete a picture than to delete information and leave the picture blank. Jonathan Tweet 13:36, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

‘Woodrow Wilson’s handling of the First World War was a break in traditional American foreign policy, and has been subject to criticism, though he considered it thoroughly American and good. President Bush, though highly critical of policies exactly like those employed by Wilson, is on record in one interview as saying ‘we could do well to have more presidents like Wilson.’ What’s wrong with this? Its an abusive use of a quote – its quote farming. There is no necessary or express connection between the quoted statement and the greater context. Bush might have admired Wilson’s domestic policy, whilst loathing his handling of the post-war peace. The quote depends on its context, which is not furnished, and implied to fit this context. Rbreen, would you use a quote like this in a PhD thesis? No, you wouldn’t dare, because its irresponsible. If someone can show the context of the quote then we can determine its inclusion in this section, otherwise the quote is out. Sanctum Cor Leonis 21:53, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. Quote mining is a problem when it is done by a Wikipedia editor, because in that case it constitutes original research. In this case, it is clear that according to the secondary source, Francis J. Moloney's article, the quote as used in this article is appropriate within the greater article context. This can be seen from the information provided in the footnote. The article text even goes the extra mile in this regard, using phrases such as "was described as" and "is quoted as saying".
Now, if you disagree with my assessment that the secondary source supports the use of the quote in this article, then we can examine more of the secondary source to make that judgment. However, if you are accusing Moloney of quote mining, and are insisting that we, as Wikipedia editors, review Moloney's primary source to pass judgment on his scholarship, then what you are suggesting is original research, and has no place on Wikipedia. If this is the case, then you need to find another scholarly source that points out this problem with Moloney's article. -- Cat Whisperer 00:33, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
SCL, please find us a quote in which a Catholic of reasonable authority criticizes Brown. Or are there already such quotes in the article? Jonathan Tweet 03:37, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Dei Verbum, Ratzinger/Benedict and original research synthesis[edit]

Sanctum Cor Leonis has recently added to the article two sections that I think violate WP:SYN. One discusses the significance of the use in Dei Verbum of Providentissimus Deus, and the other discusses the views of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Bendict XVI on the historicity of the gospels. As far as I can see, the only way in which these bear upon the topic of Raymond E. Brown is to suggest that his views were inconsistent with those of the Catholic Church and of Ratzinger.

Since these additions do not cite a reliable source that connects the sources they cite with Brown, it seems to me that they constitute a "synthesis of published material serving to advance a position". The example of unacceptable synthesis given at WP:SYN is quoting a definition of plagiarism from the Chicago Manual of Style in a discussion of whether an article's subject committed plagiarism when no cited reliable source had applied that definition to the subject. SCL's additions strike me as precisely analogous, since they cite statements on acceptable Catholic Biblical interpretation in a discussion of the "Catholicity" of Brown's Biblical interpretation, when no cited reliable source has applied the relevant statements to the subject of Brown's work. EALacey 14:59, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time to fix this up! Both of the additions were indeed violations of WP:SYN. Cardinal Ratzinger's detailed view on the historicity of the gospels is irrelevant to this article. The material regarding Providentissimus Deus could possibly be rewritten, but as added was a clear violation of WP:SYN due to the manner of its inclusion (e.g., the use of "However"). -- Cat Whisperer 16:05, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree, especially since it seems to be commonly accepted that Dei Verbum, though in keeping with tradition it quoted from Providentissimus Deus, actually reflected a change of policy, in favour of the sort of research Brown was doing. In addition, there is no evidence that Ratzinger was anything other than supportive of Brown as a scholar, even though they came to very different conclusions. The result leaves the article presenting a crude caricature of the subtle politics of Catholic scholarship. Rbreen 17:03, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see a violation of policy. There seems nothing wrong with simply expressing the citations one document makes of another. It hardly even strikes of research - its more like listing. And why would it be against a policy to list Ratzinger's views on the gospels and especially the infancy narratives. Ratzinger was brought into the article in reference to the topics at hand, so why not give his views on the topics at hand? I think he deserves a full, accurate treatment, and the only caricature seems to be a highly selective and vague quote taken outside of the context of his views on the relevant topics. This strikes me as censorship via appeal to policies, rather than a real desire to list all the relevant material. Sanctum Cor Leonis 20:25, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
This article is about Brown, not Ratzinger, so material is included only as it bears on Brown. Ratzinger's views on Brown, as recorded in Wikipedia:Reliable sources, can certainly be cited. However, per WP:SYN, we cannot incorporate other material to imply conclusions about Brown not stated in our sources. If the article were about Views of Pope Benedict XVI on Biblical interpretation, it would be reasonable to quote from the preface of Jesus of Nazareth, but we can't do that in this article unless another source has compared the Pope's views with Brown's specifically.
With regard to the suggestion of censorship, I have no personal stake whatsoever in what the current Pope thinks of Brown. EALacey 20:50, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
You did more than express the citation that Dei Verbum makes of Providentissimus Deus. You structured that citation (e.g., via the use of the introductory word "However") to advance your own argument that Brown's position is contradicted by Providentissimus Deus. Your introduction of the word "Nonetheless" into the article's description of Brown's explication of Divino Afflante Spiritu is likewise problematic original research.
The problem with your introduction of Ratzinger's views on the infancy narratives is the lack of relevance to the article, which is about Fr. Raymond E. Brown and not about Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. Brown's research is relevant, as are notable reactions to his research. However, Ratzinger's own research conclusions as to the infancy narratives are not a reaction to Brown's, and your attempt to portray them as such is also a violation of WP:SYN. -- Cat Whisperer 21:00, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the edits are perfect, and I'm willing to listen. If there is a policy violation, then I understand upholding that position. Yet the information added, technical matters aside, just seems straightforward and factual. Its hard to see how or why quotes from documents could be excluded in principle. So how should such matters be presented? I’m willing to listen as to how such information should be included. And I apologize if I made unfounded accusations, but its hard for me to see the exclusion of text from church documents as anything other than a pro-Brown polemic – I mean, what is there to hide? Dei Verbum cited other documents – it’s a fact. And as for Ratzinger, while I understand the points, it doesn’t seem fare to me to make it look like the pope agrees with Brown’s conclusions (and that’s what the quote makes it look like) when the facts are that he doesn’t. Why exclude the facts? It looks like a slant to me. Sanctum Cor Leonis 21:32, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
EALacey pointed out a good example (the definition of plagiarism example) where adding a fact to an article isn't appropriate, because of the conclusions that a reasonable reader would come to based on trying to see the fact as relevant to the article. I think the key here is to avoid implying anything for which there is no justification (i.e., a reliable source). On a personal level, I am able to admire a person's scholarship without necessarily agreeing with their conclusions, so I did not read into Ratzinger's quote that he necessarily agreed with Brown's conclusions. But now that you point it out, I can see how someone might conclude that from his quote. Unless someone beats me to it, I will try to edit the article tomorrow based on this discussion. -- Cat Whisperer 02:43, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I see what you mean about the words 'however' and 'nonetheless'. I can see how those two words could imply an 'argument'. I was attempting to give text from documents, but perhaps such a framework subconsiously entered into the text. If I need to find some other kind of source, or phrase the text better, then that's what I'll do. Sanctum Cor Leonis 06:19, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm glad someone's on the Providentissimus Deus angle. This material has bugged me for a while, but I just didn't have the energy to confront SCL over it. I don't see a good reason to include this s tuff, unless we want to use them as context for Vatican II ("more liberal than previous statments, such as PD") or something. Jonathan Tweet 06:14, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

JT, the reason why it should be included is because Dei Verbum cites it in the very passage in question. The notion that Dei Verbum is 'more liberal than previous statements' seems an unusual thought given that Dei Verbum itself never said that, and quoted and cited the previous statements in makeing its points. Whatever the case, if a document cites another, its reasonable to give the material from both texts. In fact, to not do so would be inappropriate, I would think, especially when 'describing the views' of the second document. Sanctum Cor Leonis 06:19, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
A bit of searching turns up this book chapter by William Most, who's mentioned in King's Wanderer article as one of Brown's critics. Since Most specifically argues against Brown's views, we can cite him without worrying about original research, provided we don't add to his arguments. I would suggest something like: 'This position is rejected by William Most, who takes Dei Verbum to be saying that Scripture in general is "for the sake of salvation" and argues that Brown's interpretation is inconsistent with earlier doctrinal statements cited by Dei Verbum itself.[1]' (I see that the current article doesn't actually cite a source for Brown's own interpretation of Dei Verbum. That should be fixed.) EALacey 07:34, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I apologize, but I am unable to spend the time on this article that I thought I would be able to in the near term, until some tasks I am responsible for at work are complete. The Most article looks good; secondary sources are better than primary ones. -- Cat Whisperer 03:55, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Pope Benedict XVI clearly states in the preface to Jesus of Nazareth that the historical critical method is Indispensable. This is the same statement made in Dei Verbum which is also made in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  • The POV stuff aimed at critism of Father Brown is merely non-Roman Catholic interpretation of Roman Catholic material. It would be best suited to remove the material that is a minority view which I am going to because it is undue weight. See WP:UNDUE (Runwiththewind 21:15, 8 July 2007 (UTC))

Doubt on Resurrection, etc.[edit]

User:Saultopaul has raised an objection to the article's statement that Brown "cast doubt on ... such dogmas as Jesus' physical Resurrection, the Transfiguration, that Jesus founded the One True Catholic Church and instituted the priesthood and the episcopacy, that 12 Apostles were missionaries from whom the bishops are successors, the virginal conception of Jesus, and the omniscience of Jesus (via his divine nature)", inserting the following comment: "THIS IS COMPLETELY UNTRUE! SHOW ME THE WRITINGS BY R E BROWN THAT DISCOUNTS THE RESURRECTION TRANSFIGURATION OR THE VIRGIN BIRTH.PLEASE DO NOT DIRECT PEOPLE TO THIS WONDERER SITE BELOW- IT IS PLAINLY BIGOTED". EALacey 16:38, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I agree that statements about the contents of Brown's work should cite that work directly. Articles critical of him should be cited only as sources for their criticisms. EALacey 16:48, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Lets take some time to check. There is a source for the statement (its almost a quote, but toned down, actually), but I've no problem with finding the places in his works where this is expressed. Sanctum Cor Leonis 22:47, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
*What we have are Bible readers (not scholars) not taking the time and patients to follow Father Brown's commentary/editorial and making mistakes and then claiming those mistakes as Father Brown's. Also I noticed how Brown's most influential work, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary is simply dismissed by the ultraconservatives without so much as giving the work a glance. Do they not know that teams of Catholics worked on this publication? There is like 50 scholars who are mentioned in the introduction, each specialized in their field. The criticism of this publication is simply without merit. It still has an imprimatur. Got a case to revoke that? Then write to the Archbishops concerned... and just as a note to the ultraconservatives... we are talking about Archbishops who have not been excommunicated for their ultraconservative stance. The bottom line is that Vatican II is valid not invalid.
* There also seems to be a complete misunderstanding that the NJBC represents the final say on Biblical exegesis. Nothing is further from the truth as the Preface to that work clearly states. Misrepresenting Priests and statements on the Holy See should be ended here and now. Why not just start an Ultraconservative Catholic wiki article and propose your position there instead.(Runwiththewind 12:43, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

Aggiornamento rejection is not Catholic[edit]

Aggiornamento occured at Vatican II. What is going on here with the Father Brown bashing is simply Vatican II rejection. Pope John XXIII in his opening speech on October 11, 1962 decried the "prophets of gloom" and doom. If there is a Church policy to try and renew the condemned prophets of doom and gloom who wish to go back to the days of ultraconservativism then the onus is on those who reject Aggiornamento to show where these prophets have been accepted back into the Church. (Runwiththewind 16:13, 8 July 2007 (UTC))

Historical-critical method and Brown[edit]

People interested in Father Brown would do well to consult [[1]]. Here is an example of why WP:UNDUE undue weight is assigned to minority views that do not represent the actual position of the Roman Catholic Church. (Runwiththewind 13:16, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

Modernism (Roman Catholicism)]] is not the historical-critical method[edit]

Make sure people are not confusing Modernism (Roman Catholicism) with the historical-critical method.(Runwiththewind 22:29, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

some points for discussion[edit]

I think I have an observation that may help this issue. There are three topics at hand, (1) application of historical methods to scripture, (2) the position that scripture contains errors, (3) the view that inspiration is limited to certain parts of scripture. Now, everyone seems to be conflating all these. But, in affirming the use of (1), there is no logical necessity for affirming (2) and / or (3). So, while Church teaching documents may be shown supporting the limited use of (1), I believe the controversy is over (2) and (3) (which, one should note, have not been shown to be affirmed by any Church teaching documents that I know of). I think this matter is being obscured by the false assumption that accepting (1) entails accepting (2) and thus (if one wants to believe in inspiration anymore) also accepting (3). 12:11, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

What the critics of Father Brown and the Historical-critical Method want to claim essentially is that any Imprimatur granted to Brown's work mean nothing. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary still contains the imprimatur it received back in the 1960s, over 40 years ago. The imprimatur has never been revoked so what the critics are doing is going back as early as they can to critic Brown's earlier work which he subsequently corrected in later editions and pretending that the corrects never happened. They also claim that Brown's current position is that the Bible contain errors. That is rubbish and without any validation what-so-ever. (Runwiththewind 21:20, 11 July 2007 (UTC))

Where does Brown state that the Bible contains errors? (Please quote below)[edit]

To quote from the article Brown remains controversial among traditional Catholics because of his denial of the inerrancy of the whole of Scripture and his casting doubt on the historical accuracy of numerous articles of the Catholic faith. This is weasel worded. Brown never made any such statement. The citation... Henry V. King. "Traditional Catholic Scholars Long Opposed Fr. Brown's Theories", The Wanderer, September 10, 1998, pp. 1, 11. Retrieved on 2007-06-23. ... says nothing about Brown claiming Biblical inerrancy. It makes the unfounded claim that Brown supports this position. Nowhere does it quote Brown saying anything about Bible inerrancy.

  • The whole case for the Brown critic is the claim that Brown states that the Bible contains errors. Since Brown's last work, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary is clearly the historical-critical method commentary in question, where does Brown make this claim. I want to see reference to this commentary. I think saying Brown's position is that the Bible contains errors is simply false and misleading. (Runwiththewind 21:26, 11 July 2007 (UTC))
The claim that Father Brown rejects Biblical inspiration is clearly false. The NJBC which Father Brown granted a Nihil Obstat on and edited has a whole section on Inspiration between pages 1023-1033 which starts by citing Vatican II documents as the key documents on Inspiration.(Runwiththewind 15:39, 12 July 2007 (UTC))
Since a large portion of the criticism was based on an unfounded criticm of Father Brown it is removed. (Runwiththewind 15:21, 13 July 2007 (UTC))

Brown totally wrote that the Bible included errors, just not errors in matters of salvation, etc. One example he gives is the author of Job saying there's no afterlife. Jonathan Tweet 04:25, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

There is no quote from Brown that the Bible in inerrant in the citations given. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary contains an Imprimatur that has not been revoked. It is free from moral and doctrinal error. Your claim doesn't actually support Biblical inerrancy. In the commentary on the book of Job there is no statement in the section in question that Job wrote errors. (Runwiththewind 10:55, 18 July 2007 (UTC))
Someone here quoted that p.1169 of The New Jerome Biblical Commentary denies Biblical inerrancy. It does not deny Biblical inerrancy. Read all of Dei Verbum again. It is exactly in line with the policy of Vatican II. (Runwiththewind 19:50, 23 July 2007 (UTC))

Dispute tag added[edit]

I added the dispute tag because there is already a dispute ongoing at traditionalist Catholics that is managing to find its way across to other articles like this one and Church Dogma like Dei Verbum. (Runwiththewind 10:55, 18 July 2007 (UTC))

There needs to be an explanation of what information provided on this page is disputed - without specific points, it's difficult to know whether the issues are outstanding or not. Anyone care to help? --Rbreen 19:50, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
There has been no explanation of what the dispute tag is about after requesting comment a month ago, so evidently this is no longer an active dispute. I have removed the dispute tag. Rbreen (talk) 06:36, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


The article contains this statement:

Brown's work was controversial among traditionalists who objected to his position that the Bible, including the Gospels, contains historical errors, and the elements of his work that they regarded as casting doubt on the historical accuracy of numerous articles of the Catholic faith.

Can someone please identify, by publication and page number, where Brown explicitly wrote that the Bible "contains historical errors" (bold added)? Specifically, please show where Brown used the word "errors" to characterize something in the apostolic autographs per se.

Msgr George A. Kelly, in his article on cited as Note 25 above, does not use the word "errors" in criticising Brown's analyses. The word "errors" appears nowhere in Kelly's essay.

Richard David Ramsey (talk) 21:29, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Good point. Do you want to reword it to something more accurate? Be bold! --Rbreen (talk) 21:51, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your quick post, but I was honestly just asking a question. Maybe Brown did use the word "errors" in describing the Bible. I'm just unaware of where and suspect that maybe he didn't. For one thing, "errors" has a way of being a lightning-rod extreme term (one likely to provoke the type of alarm he liked to avoid), and an inexorable feature of his mentality was to land between the extremes, meaning that he had antagonists on both the right and the left. --Richard David Ramsey 13 January 2008 22:51 (UTC)

No revelance[edit]

User:EALacey decided my data had no relevance in improving this article on Mr. Brown. I decided to drop the subject. Kazuba (talk) 00:35, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

The statement "Brown was one of the first Roman Catholic scholars to apply historical-critical analysis to the Bible." is quite wrong. If you follow the "historical-critical" link you will find the following statement "The Dutch scholars Desiderius Erasmus (1466? - 1536) and Benedict Spinoza (1632–1677) are usually credited as the first to study the Bible in this way.", and when you follow the "Desiderius Erasmus" link you will find he was a Catholic Priest. In short, catholics where using the method back in the 1500's thereby making Raymond Brown no where close to being one of the first Roman Catholics to apply. A better sentence would be something like "A Roman Catholic Priest and a Jewish scholar are credited with being the first to study the Bible by this method" (insert here footnote to the wiki link on "Higher criticism". The way it is written presently tosses credit far away from where it properly belongs. If wiki is to become a good research tool as opposed to a second rate biased filled thing, its going to need to clean up stuff like this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ William G. Most (1985). "Scriptural Inerrancy in Science and Religion". Free From All Error: Authorship, Inerrancy, Historicity of Scripture, Church Teaching, and Modern Scripture Scholars. Libertyville, Illinois: Marytown Press. pp. paragraphs 6–9. Retrieved 2007-06-24.