This booklet presents Raymond Brown’s thoughts on the biblical basis of priesthood, as well as some reflections on the role of bishop. Not setting out to give a “complete, scientific treatment of the biblical background of priesthood,” he presents his intentions for compiling these reflections this way: “I have culled the Scriptures to offer material for thought at a crucial moment in the history of the Roman Catholic priesthood. With the whole Christian world looking on, we Catholics have entered a sometimes acrimonious debate with ourselves as to what should be expected of those who are in the special ministry of the Church . . . What manner of life should our priests live and work should they do?”
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Raymond E. Brown was a Sulpician priest and bible scholar. He taught for many years at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore and was professor emeritus of biblical studies at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. Over his lifetime he was awarded more than dozen honorary doctorates from American and European universities and was commended by Pope Paul VI for his “learning, prudence, and Catholic regard for the Magisterium of the Church.” Brown was the author of three books in the Anchor Yale Bible series on the Gospels and Epistles of John. He died in 1998.