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Conflict, Holiness, and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus Paperback – June 1, 1998


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Conflict, Holiness, and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus + Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; Revised edition (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156338227X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563382277
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Certainly one of the most constructive and original books about Jesus to have been written in recent years. There is also a great deal of fresh and valuable detailed exegesis...an illuminating perspective on Jesus in the social context of his day (and) an important contribution to an important ongoing debate." —Themelios

"Belongs to the forefront of recent study on the politics of Jesus. Remarkably free from religious bias, this superb historical analysis combines thorough familiarity with the scholarly literature and an unusually lucid expository style...A must for research libraries, the book will have as primary audience seminary students, graduate students, and research specialists." —Choice (CHOICE)

"...a significant attempt to ascertain the programmatic character of Jesus' ministry within the political, social, and cultural crisis of Israel's resistance to Roman rule...This study presents a productive framework for re-examining the content, goals and material consequences of Jesus' ministry and sets a pressing agenda for future research." —Catholic Biblical Quarterly (Catholic Biblical Quarterly)

"Full of wise judgments and fresh insight...The argument is crisp; the perspective is fresh and ground breaking; the judgments are sound and serious. On balance, this is an excellent study, of exceptional insight and coherence." —Biblical Theology Bulletin (Biblical Theology Bulletin)

"This book is a first rate achievement and marks the advent on the scene of gospel studies of an author with a fine critical mind...a model of scholarship...a brilliant conceptional contribution to the discussion." —Journal of Biblical Literature (Review of Biblical Literature)

"I have only scratched the surface of this rich and illuminating study from which I have learned much and will expect my students to learn as well. Perhaps one of its main contributions is the argument for the internal connections among the roles of Jesus and for the interrelatedness of religious experience, social ethics, and historical destiny." —Journal of American Academy of Religion (Journal of the American Academy of Religion)

"A convincing account of the relation between the political and mystical dimensions of the renewal movement inaugurated by Jesus." —Journal of Theological Studies

"Now in a new and completely updated edition of a truly core work for anyone seeking the ‘historical’ Jesus...This new edition is enhanced with an extended new introduction by Borg that relates his central arguments to subsequent Jesus scholarship. Also highly recommended is Marcus Borg’s Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship, which is also available from Trinity Press." —The Midwest Book Review, August 1998 (Midwest Book Review)

"Its argument is crisp and clear. It carves out fresh space wich many readers of the New Testament had never imagined existed and fills it with exegetical detail that is not only patient and well-documented but also creative and innovative." —N.T. Wright (N.T. Wright)

"An excellent republication of a classic book." — Fred W. Burnett, Anderson University, reviewing for Religious Studies Review, July 1999 (Fred W. Burnett Religious Studies Review)

"I wish so much that this would have been a book close at hand at the beginning of my ministry instead of during my retirement years. Two issues, namely the feasting of the saints (or breaking of bread) and the place of worship in the temple provide much food for thought and elevate one's conscience to the Divine Presence. While in a sense a theological textbook, it is the type of work that lends scholarship to Chrisitian Faith and Practice, a discipline long overdue in the Body of Christ." — Raymond B. Knudsen, Editor, The Counselor, April 11, 1999 (Raymond B. Knudsen Professional Counselor)

"Its argument is crisp and clear. It carves out fresh space wich many readers of the New Testament had never imagined existed and fills it with exegetical detail that is not only patient and well-documented but also creative and innovative." —N.T. Wright (Sanford Lakoff)

"An excellent republication of a classic book." — Fred W. Burnett, Anderson University, reviewing for Religious Studies Review, July 1999 (Sanford Lakoff Religious Studies Review)

"I wish so much that this would have been a book close at hand at the beginning of my ministry instead of during my retirement years. Two issues, namely the feasting of the saints (or breaking of bread) and the place of worship in the temple provide much food for thought and elevate one's conscience to the Divine Presence. While in a sense a theological textbook, it is the type of work that lends scholarship to Chrisitian Faith and Practice, a discipline long overdue in the Body of Christ." — Raymond B. Knudsen, Editor, The Counselor, April 11, 1999 (Sanford Lakoff Professional Counselor)

About the Author

Marcus Borg is Hundere Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University, lecturer, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time and the award-winning The God We Never Knew.

More About the Author

Marcus J. Borg is professor emeritus in the philosophy department at Oregon State University, where he held the Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture, and author of the New York Times bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, The Last Week, and Jesus. He was an active member of the Jesus Seminar when it focused on the historical Jesus and he has been chair of the historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By peculiar on December 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Let me say right off the bat that I disagree fundamentally with one assertion of Borg in this book: I believe Jesus was very much an eschatologically orientated and motivated figure in distinction to Borg who regards such beliefs as "taken for granted" and "in need of reexamination". But that is just a difference in our interpretation of the Jesus traditions. Virtually everything else Marcus Borg writes in this study of the historical Jesus I regard as highly suggestive and very persuasive. It is one of the best books i have read which enables the modern reader to site Jesus in his first century Jewish environment. This, as Borg writes very lucidly, was a matter of resistance to Rome, Jewish holiness and purity and a matter of politics in the widest sense of that word. Things I find particularly useful in this study are Borg's concentration on compassion as Jesus' form of holiness, his existence as a "spirit person" and his discussion of the multiform existence of first century Judaism. Put simply, this book is a substantial attempt to ascertain what was behind the teaching and activity of Jesus in its political, social and cultural contexts which doesn't forget the necessary "religious" aspects to studying Jesus. That Borg is a member of the Jesus Seminar, those trashers of previous consensus and arch-publicists, might put some people off this book - but it shouldn't. Borg is the sensible face of that group and his conclusions are significantly different at several points. This book deserves to be read, mused upon and weighed due to its insight and judicious handling of the first century situation in which we find Jesus. Conclusions come and go but this study by Borg sets out an argument which most readers of the historical Jesus will need to address sooner or later.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mark Horne on July 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book as an Evangelical Pastor; and as long as "Jesus Seminar" types occasionally write such valuable works I don't think there is much chance I will change my commitments! Borg has written a beautiful and challenging book that helps us imagine Jesus as a real historical figure. I would disagree with some of the details of Borg's analysis and reject out of hand some of his "pre-theoretical commitments" (to borrow a term from the Dutch Reformed philosophers), but I found the basic thesis extremely helpful.
Borg insists on placing Jesus in the historical and socio-political milieu of first-century Palestine. Specifically, Jesus was in a "conflict" over the "politics" of "holiness" embraced by the majority of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were not simply "religious leaders" as we think of them today. Their concern for "holiness" was not simply limited to individual piety. Rather, "holiness" fit in a scheme designed to protect their culture from the pagan dominance of that day and faithfully await vindication from God. Jesus, however, taught that their strategy could only doom them to destruction, a destruction that would not be a faithful martyrdom but rather the actual wrath of God delivered through the Romans.
What was wrong with the Pharisaical program? It interpreted the call to be holy and separate as a call to make visible the distinction between faithful Jews and their Gentile neighbors along with those Jews who, in some way, compromised with them. What this meant was that many Pharisees taught practices that put up increasing barriers between themselves and the Gentiles (My own example: the refusal to come into Pilate's house to try Jesus as recorded in John's Gospel.
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By Rachel Boeding on April 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I hadn't already spent an entire semester going over every possible claim that other scholars have made about this subject, I'm sure I would have enjoyed this book more, but I would definitely recommend it to other people wanting to know more about the politics of Jesus.
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