When Raymond E. Brown died in 1998, less than a year after the publication of his masterpiece, An Introduction to the New Testament, he left behind a nearly completed revision of his acclaimed two-volume commentary on the Gospel of John. The manuscript, skillfully edited by Francis J. Moloney, displays the rare combination of meticulous scholarship and clear, engaging writing that made Father Brown’s books consistently outsell other works of biblical scholarship.
An Introduction to the Gospel of John represents the culmination of Brown’s long and intense examination of part of the New Testament. One of the most important aspects of this new book, particularly to the scholarly community, is how it differs from the original commentary in several important ways. It presents, for example, a new perspective on the historical development of the Gospels, and shows how Brown decided to open his work to literary readings of the text, rather than relying primarily on the historical, which informed the original volumes. In addition, there is an entire section devoted to Christology, absent in the original, as well as a magisterial new section on the representation of Jews in the Gospel of John.