The voice of Raymond E. Brown refering the Gospels, and particularly the Fourth Gospel is an important 1. His bold and un-conventional sentiments sing the Gospels and Gospel surveies have already made contentions chiefly among the conservative bookmans. This article, “ Roles of Women in the Fourth Gospel ” is another survey of Brown which touches a hot “ modern-day argument about the function of adult females in the Church and about the possibility of enacting adult females to the priesthood. ” Though 30 six old ages have been passed after the publication of this article, still this is a ‘contemporary ‘ argument in the Catholic Church, though the Magisterium has “ infallibly ” declared the impossibleness of adult females ‘s ordination since it is “ founded on the written Word of God, and from the get downing invariably preserved and applied in the tradition of the Church ” .
Brown begins his article saying the possibility of different attacks refering the scriptural groundss in this peculiar argument. One attack that he mentions is a general treatment of first-century ecclesiology found in the NT texts. But he asks whether such grounds “ about the foundation of the Church and the establishment of the sacramentsaˆ¦..is culturally conditioned? ” The 2nd attack he points out is the treatment of the expressed texts that “ mention severally to the equality and the subordination of adult females in society and cult. ” He bluffly states that he is non convinced of this treatment, since each text has a counter-text to back up or deny. A 3rd attack, that he wishes to follow is sing the general image of adult females in the 4th Gospel, and in Johannine community. Before get downing the survey he gives a general debut to the Evangelist and his community. He highlights the distinctive feature of the Johannine community, viz. the importance given to the followers of Christ and obeying his word, instead than holding “ particular ecclesiastical charism from God ” .
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Brown starts his treatment stating that we do non hold much information about “ church offices ” in the 4th Gospel, and about “ adult females in church offices ” . But he says the text of Martha functioning at the tabular array ( diakonein ) has a significance in the historical context ( in the 90 ‘s ) when such a service had been already go a ministry of an “ appointed ” individual. Except for this one transition, Brown reminds, our treatment will be on “ the general place of adult females in the Johannine community ” .
The narrative of the Samaritan adult female is the first one to be discussed. Samaritan adult female who perceives Jesus as Christ testifies this to others. The Evangelist ‘s remark that the Samaritan villagers believe because of the adult female ‘s word ( 4,39. 42: Defense Intelligence Agency ton logon pisteuein ) , says Brown, is notable because it occurs once more in the “ priestly ” supplication of Jesus for his adherents: “ I do non inquire in behalf of these entirely, but for those besides who believe in Me through their word ” ( 17,20 ) . Brown writes that the “ Evangelist can depict both a adult female and adherents at he Last Supper as bearing informant to Jesus through sermon and therefore conveying people to believe in him on the strength of their word ” . Then the writer trades with the duologue between Jesus and the adherents shortly after the departure of the Samaritan adult female and merely before the coming of the Samaritans to Jesus because of what the adult female has told them. The of import footings like apostellein, to seed, and to harvest in this transition are clear cogent evidence of the existent missional map of the Samaritan adult female, Brown provinces. The narrative explicates that “ the adult female has sown the seed and therefore prepared for the apostolic crop ” .
Chapter 20 is another illustration given by Brown to explicate that the revivalist gives a “ quasi-apostolic function to a adult female ” . Sing the risen Christ is considered to be an built-in portion of the apostolate ( 1 Cor 9,1-2 ; Gal 1,11-16 ; 1 Cor 15,5 ; Lk 24,34 ) . In the Fourth Gospel, it is a adult female, Mary Magdalene who sees the risen Lord for the first clip and is sent by the Lord himself to give the message to his “ brothers ” . Brown notes that “ what she proclaims is the standard apostolic proclamation of the Resurrection: I have seen the Lord. ” She is the “ apostle to the apostles ” .
In the narrative of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, the confession of Martha: “ You are the Christ, the Son of God ” ( 11,27 ) substitutes the supreme confession of Peter which is found in other Gospels.
Sing the topographic point of adult females in Johannine forms, Brown makes another interesting observation. He notes that “ discipleship is the primary Christian class for John, and the adherent par excellence is the Disciple whom Jesus loved ” . But in 11,5 we see “ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. ” Another cogent evidence is given from Chapter 20 once more, where Mary Magdalene recognizes the voice of her maestro. In an allegorical fable ( 10,3-5 ) a adherent is like a sheep who recognizes the voice of its shepherd. Since the sheep are “ his ain ” ( twice in 11,3-5 ) , it is clear that even adult female can be in the “ same class of relationship to Jesus as the Twelve ” .
The 2nd portion of the article is dedicated to another of import “ adult female ” in the 4th Gospel, who is none other than the female parent of Jesus. After explicating the tradition behind the miracle at Cana in item, Brown indicates that the revivalist understands the function of the female parent in relation to discipleship. This point is clear from the 2nd scene where she appears – at the pes of the cross ( 19,25-27 ) . There are two great symbolic figures whose personal names are ne’er mentioned in the Gospel. The ground, says Brown, is that “ their primary ( non sole ) importance is in their symbolism for discipleship instead than in their historical callings. ”
The adult females, in this Gospel, are “ excellent ” adherents by stating that Jesus loved Martha and Mary and that Mary Magdalene was one of “ his ain ” sheep. The female parent of Jesus is given a further of import function. She portions with the Beloved Discipleship “ an equal plane as portion of Jesus ‘ true household. ”
Brown is certain, after researching the grounds of the 4th Gospel, that the Johannine community valued the followers of Christ and there was no difference male and female in that. To stop the article, Raymond Brown writes: “ but even John has left us with one funny note of rawness: the adherents, surprised at Jesus ‘ openness with a adult female, still did non make bold to inquire him, “ What do you desire of a adult female? ” ( 4:27 ) . That may good be a inquiry whose clip has come in the Church of Jesus Christ. ”
The Magisterium has “ closed ” any treatment on the possibility of enacting adult females. But this article of Raymond E. Brown convinces his readers that there is still possibility of a treatment about the function of adult females in the Church as existent “ missionaries ” and “ apostles ” to attest the risen Lord to the whole universe. I may stop my overview of this article with the words of Brown which he puts in one of his footers:
“ At a clip when we are engaged in a necessary argument as to who among the baptized can be ordained to priesthood or bishopric, it may be utile to remind ourselves that it remains more of import to be baptized than to be ordained, more of import to be a Christian than to be a priest, bishop, or Catholic Pope. ”