Raymond Edward Brown (May 22, 1928 - August 8, 1998), was an American Roman Catholic priest and Biblical scholar. He was regarded as a specialist concerning the hypothetical Ã¢â‚¬ËœJohannine communityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, which he speculated contributed to the authorship of the Gospel of John, and he also wrote influential studies on the birth and death of Jesus. Brown was professor emeritus at the Protestant Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he taught for 29 years.Brown was one of the first Roman Catholic scholars to apply historical analysis to the Bible. As Biblical criticism developed among Protestants in the 19th century, the Roman Catholic Church opposed this scholarship and essentially forbade it in 1893. In 1943, however, the Church issued guidelines by which Catholic scholars could investigate the Bible historically. Brown called this encyclical the "Magna Carta of biblical progress." Vatican II further supported higher criticism which, Brown felt, vindicated his approach.Brown remains controversial among traditionalist Catholics because of their claim that he denied the inerrancy of the whole of Scripture and cast doubt on the historical accuracy of numerous articles of the Catholic faith. He was regarded as occupying the centre ground in the field of biblical studies, opposing the literalism found among many fundamentalist Christians while not carrying his conclusions as far as many
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