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Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary Hardcover – October 31, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Borg pours a lifetime of scholarship into this provocative overview of Jesus’s life.” (Detriot Free Press)

About the Author

Marcus J. Borg (1942–2015) was a pioneering author and teacher whom the New York Times described as "a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars." He was the Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, and he appeared on NBC's The Today Show and Dateline, ABC's World News, and NPR's Fresh Air. His books have sold over a million copies, including the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Jesus, The Heart of Christianity, Evolution of the Word, Speaking Christian, and Convictions.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060594454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060594459
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Okay...once I started this book I could not put it down. I just finished it and I don't know what to think about it. I would have to say I'm very contemplative right now. This is a fantastic book, but, dependant on where you are in your journey of faith, you may find it a bit disturbing. I learned so much and it was such a wealth of knowledge. The reason I find it disturbing, even a bit offensive, is because it challenges, persuasively, I might add, alot of the Christian norms. I'm telling you, it addresses probably every subject. These include: scripture, miracles, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the resurrection and more. The New Testament was a human process mixed with history remembered and early Christian belief about Jesus containing metaphorical meaning. Therefore, miracles, other than healings and exorcisms, were purely metaphorical stories. The virgin birth was a metaphorical tale opposing Roman imperialism. The deity of Christ...Jesus was not divine, essentially he was just a prophet. And the ressurecton did not physically occur, but, happened through visions and experience. I am not saying this is bad, but, for me, it was a big pill to swallow. I mean, it's still caught in my throat and I'm still trying to work it down. I would, however, refrain from reducing this fantastic contribution as simply that. When it comes to Jesus, He paints an incredible, personal and passionate Jesus.

Jesus was a Jewish peasant who was deeply compassionate and fought for justice. As a mystic, Jesus was deeply rooted in an experiential knowledge of God and what God's character was. Jesus was in line with other Jewish prophets, like Isaiah and Jeremiah. The Spirit of God was upon him and did mighty deeds through him.
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Format: Hardcover
Marcus Borg, professor at Oregon State University, is one of a very few prominent New Testament scholars who writes for the everyday Christian, who declares his passion for a vibrant faith, who shares personally from his own experience, who is unapologetic but irenic in presenting his views, and on top of it all an excellent writer. Although I have my disagreements with him at any number of places, I have previously enjoyed his other popular books, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994), Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), and The Heart of Christianity (2003). If you have read these previous books, you won't learn much new by reading Jesus. The book began as a modest revision of Jesus: A New Vision (1987), but has been marketed as a new book because the revisions were so extensive.

Borg promotes what he repeatedly and irritatingly calls "mainstream scholarship," as if others who are not part of his club are best disregarded. He does a good job of incorporating that movement's strengths, and at times admits where and why some issues are complex, opinions divided, and the choices more like a subjective art. But he ignores the corrosive tendencies of extreme historical criticism, along with the best evangelical scholarship that has interacted with it (unlike in his book co-authored with NT Wright, The Meaning of Jesus; Two Visions, 2000). What he calls the "emerging Christianity" of mainline denominations positions itself in clear contrast to conservative evangelicalism. The latter, Borg believes, is wrongly preoccupied with biblical literalism, the afterlife, and believing right doctrines. Emerging Christianity, he argues, is "way-centered" instead of belief-centered.
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Format: Hardcover
In Marcus J. Borg's most recent book, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, we are presented with a through and comprehensive version of Jesus from the emerging paradigm that views the Bible through a historical-metaphorical lens. According to Borg, the story of Jesus is not about the popular notions of sin, salvation, and the afterlife; it is more transforming than this, more revolutionary, and more enlightening. In Jesus, He argues that Jesus was a Jewish mystic who was intoxicated with and close to God. This Jewish mystic did not follow the status quo of conventional practice and thought, but rather used subversive wisdom to teach the way or path which resulted in a new way of being. This path was the way, and it was about centering oneself in God and God's passion. Jesus's passion led him to critique the domination system of his day through non-violent resistance and indictments of injustice.

This book is clear and concise. The chaper layout is well done. Borg examines the historical context in which Jesus lived and then goes on to study the character and sayings attributed to Jesus. Borg's treatment of Jesus's passion for justice, and God's character is wonderful. He assumes nothing and uses evidence to back up claims. He supports his position through exposition of stories and parables attributed to Jesus. This is a great work that will make you think deeper about Jesus.
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Format: Hardcover
Marcus Borg has been fine tuning his view of emerging Christianity for many years and each time he writes another book the message becomes more clear and compelling. This book focuses on Jesus but he also takes this opportunity to once again explain his important understanding about how to read the Bible and about how to live a Christian life. Modern Christianity has lost its ability to tell a convincing story about Jesus but in this book Borg shows us how to tell the story to the many people today that can no longer follow the religious-right. I can't imagine anyone reading this book without making a decision to follow Jesus. The story is compelling once you learn to strip away the dogma and Borg does an excellent job of helping us with that task.
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