Monday I watched a video (see below) of a talk given by Dr. William Marshner at a Deeper in Scripture Conference in 2004, entitled “How Do We Know the Early Church?“. I learned some things I didn’t know, especially about the late Fr. Raymond E. Brown, who I had not realized was a Biblical scholar of the modernist camp (see this article for more about modernism). Dr. Marshner discusses Priest and Bishop in the last part (maybe the last half) of his talk. It’s one of Brown’s books–published in 1999, but widely shared in the 70s onward, according to Msgr. Kelly, apparently in booklet form and, unfortunately, by and among–who else?–priests and bishops. It’s available now from Amazon in print or from Logos/Verbum in their tagged and linked format. (This is the only format I want for serious Catholic study these days.)
Note that I am NOT recommending Brown’s books or ideas. I am recommending that Catholics make themselves aware of what damage his ideas did and still do as people insist on teaching and spreading his ideas. Until I heard this talk and began my own research, I had no idea how decidedly un-Catholic many of his ideas were. No wonder he was so popular with Protestants, who I’m sure were only too thrilled to have a highly respected Catholic priest and Biblical scholar reassure them that the claims of the Church were “unfounded” and “lacking in historical evidence”, or so he claimed. So much for the historical-critical method, which has its positive uses (and its not-so-positive uses as well). (Pope Benedict had plenty to say on that matter but some people still haven’t learned to reason, think critically, be faithful or even just listen.) The articles below will explain further:
- A Wayward Turn in Biblical Theory by Msgr. George A. Kelly,
- Traditional Catholic Scholars Long Opposed Fr. Brown’s Theories by Henry V. King,
- Biblical Scholarship & the Faith of the Church by Kenneth D. Whitehead, and
- EWTN Catholic Q&A from 2003 which quotes Fr. Brown’s writings.