Publishers Weekly, 1994-03-14 In a stunning addition to the Anchor Bible Reference Library, Raymond E. Brown, the preeminent scriptural scholar who won great acclaim for his The Birth of the Messiah , now crowns a distinguished career with this much-awaited companion work. The biblical accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of the death of Jesus comprise, as Brown points out, ``the central narrative in the Christian story''; and the result of Brown's treatment of them here is an unprecedentedly complete but amazingly accessible exegesis of those four Gospels' passion narratives. Combining a lucid synthesis of the vast body of scholarly passion literature with his own insightful explanation of what the evangelists wrote, Brown breaks down the walls of theological density to recapture the full drama and meaning of Jesus' final days from his arrest to his execution and burial. While scholars may be staggered by Brown's exhaustively comprehensive bibliography and assured grasp of its contents, his introductory division of the passion's unfolding into four ``Acts'' and several ``Scenes'' will especially appeal to pastors and devout lay readers. Indeed, rarely has the gap between Christian scholars and the non-academic faithful been bridged more successfully than in this definitive masterpiece. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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