Brown describes the primary aim of this book as "to explain in detail what the evangelists intended and conveyed to their audiences by their narratives of the passion and death of Jesus," adding, "I do not think of the evangelists themselves as eyewitnesses of the passion; nor do I think that eyewitness memories of Jesus came down to the evangelists without considerable reshaping and development. Yet as we move back from the gospel narratives to Jesus himself, ultimately there were eyewitnesses and eyewitnesses who were in a position to know the broad lines of Jesus' passion." He candidly admits that "I can scarcely reconstruct how a book of mine published twenty years ago was composed. Therefore, I, for one, cannot hope to reconstruct with great exactitude the interrelationships of the Synoptic Gospels."
"Too often, however, the truth has led people to assume that everything related in the NT about Jesus has to be historical. The problem is compounded when it is assumed that the Gospels, the NT writings centered on his life, are historical biographies."
The Death of the Messiah
"In particular, E.L .Martin assumes Matthean historicity and harmonizes Matt with Luke, which he assumes to be equally historical... It is regrettable that Martin mars his thesis with such extravagantly precise hypotheses reflecting overhistorizing."
The Birth of the Messiah
On WCG's Ernest Martins taking the story of Jesus birth too literally
Father Brown also always intended to stay in the good graces of "The Magisterium" of the Church and could pull a good punch leaving it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions without danger to his status in the Church