“Virgin Birth”: A Further Reading Suggestion
Further to my posting about Andrew Lincoln’s new book on the “virgin birth” of Jesus, I will mention briefly an earlier and still-valuable study that all serious students of the Gospel birth-narratives should know and consult: Raymond E. Brown, The Birth of the Messiah (Doubleday, 1977). This is a massive (594 pp.) study of the two birth-narratives in Gospel of Matthew and Gospel of Luke. Brown was a highly respected NT scholar and a Roman Catholic priest, and much of his career was devoted to the promotion of a scholarly, critical engagement with the NT among fellow Catholics (an emphasis for which he took a good deal of flak from “right-wing” Catholics).
Anyway, as with practically any book, there are places where one would judge differently, but it’s hard to find a matter that Brown ignores or buries. And the engagement with other scholars is impressive too (many and copious bibliographies).