Baker Academic

Friday, October 9, 2015

Raymond Brown was Unimpressed with the Grand Canyon—Chris Keith

Fr. Brown (Photo courtesy of Beverly R. Gaventa)
Here's a little Friday Funny for you from the Jesus Blog.  I had the pleasure to chat with Marty Soards about a week ago.  Although I should have, I didn't know until then that Marty was a student of Raymond Brown's at Union.  I was telling him about how much I enjoyed the pre-SBL conference at St Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore back in 2013, which largely featured Brown's work and, at several points, turned into a big eulogy for him.  It was great to hear all the stories.  Brown was clearly a great man and quite a character.

Marty decided to share some of his own stories and I thought I'd pass along this one.  Apparently Brown was very financially frugal and hitched rides with people whenever he could.  On one occasion, Brown was going to St Patrick's Seminary and University in Menlo Park, CA.  They were taking the southern route and decided to stop and see the Grand Canyon.  According to Soards, who heard this from one of the other two in the car with Brown, when they pulled up to one of the parking lots that looks out over the Grand Canyon, Brown told his companions to go ahead without him.  He was going to stay in the car because he had seen it before.

According to Soards, his lack of enthusiasm for one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world had less to do with actually being unimpressed and more to do with the fact that he cherished his initial experience and didn't want to diminish it.  Still, this is pretty hilarious and I like to imagine Brown not even looking up from a Nestle Aland and a manuscript he was writing out by hand while he briskly brushed aside the Grand Canyon for a footnote that he had to get just right.


  1. Thanks! We hope that one day our entire scribal elite will hear the parts of the texts that told us to observe the lilies, observe nature.

  2. I think LeDonne's interest in economics is a step in the direction of science: material motives, and causation.