In the first volume of Raymond E. Brown’s magisterial commentary on the Gospel according to John, all of the major Johannine questions—of authorship, composition, dating, the relationship of John to the Synoptics (Mark and Luke)—are discussed. The important theories of modern biblical scholarship concerning John are weighed against the evidence given in the text and against prevailing biblical research. In sum, what is attempted is a synthesis of the major scholarly insights that bear on the fourth Gospel.
The translation—as Raymond E. Brown states at the outset—strives not for any formal beauty but rather for an accurate and contemporary version: “the simple, everyday Greek of the Gospel has been rendered into the ordinary American English of today.” The result is a translation that will strike the reader with uncommon immediacy.
Brown also analyzes, in the appendixes, the meaning, use, and frequency of certain key words and phrases that occur in John, and examines the differences between the Johannine and Synoptic treatments of the miracle stories.
The chapters of the Gospel translated here (1–12) comprise the prologue, which opens with the famous “In the beginning was the Word,” and the Book of Signs, an account of the miracles of Jesus and of his ministry.
“First, there are differences of Greek style in the Gospel.” (Page xxiv)
“Second, there are breaks and inconsistencies in sequence.” (Page xxiv)
“This first day closes with a reference to the site where John the Baptist gave witness. Closing a section with a geographical reference is common in John (6:59, 8:20, 11:54). This site across the Jordan will be mentioned again by way of inclusion in 10:40, which in an earlier stage of the Gospel may have marked the end of the public ministry. John has other geographical information about John the Baptist not found in the Synoptics, for example, concerning John the Baptist’s ministry at Aenon near Salim (3:23). As Dodd, Tradition, pp. 249–50, insists, these geographical details lend color to the theory that the Fourth Gospel preserves independent tradition about John the Baptist.” (Page 54)
“John does not put primary emphasis on the replacing of the water for Jewish purifications, nor on the action of changing water to wine (which is not described in detail), nor even on the resultant wine. John does not put primary emphasis on Mary or her intercession, nor on why she pursued her request, nor on the reaction of the headwaiter or of the groom. The primary focus is, as in all Johannine stories, on Jesus as the one sent by the Father to bring salvation to the world. What shines through is his glory, and the only reaction that is emphasized is the belief of the disciples.” (Pages 103–104)
“John specifically relates it to the other miracles of Jesus and to a concrete place in the ministry of Jesus. Then John tells us what the sign accomplished: through it Jesus revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him. Thus, the first sign had the same purpose that all the subsequent signs will have, namely, revelation about the person of Jesus.” (Page 103)
Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use this volume effectively and efficiently. With your digital library, you can search for verses, find Scripture references and citations instantly, and perform word studies. Along with your English translations, all Scripture passages are linked to Greek and Hebrew texts. What’s more, hovering over a Scripture reference will instantly display your verse! The advanced tools in your digital library free you to dig deeper into one of the most important contributions to biblical scholarship in the past century!