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The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem Paperback – January 30, 2007
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“[...] Borg and Crossan show one of the most careful and insightful readings of the Bible I’ve ever come across.” (Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian)
“It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this volume[...]” (Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Leaving Church and Preaching Life)
“These controversial Jesus Seminar scholars provide lots to ponder.” (The Kansas City Star)
“Borg and Crossan brilliantly chronicle the tension that forced everyone to pledge allegiance -- either to Rome or to Jesus.” (Los Angeles Times)
“A readable and attractive reinterpretation of Jesus’ death and resurrection. . . .” (Houston Chronicle)
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Top Customer Reviews
In some ways Borg and Crossan are biblical literalists. They try to sweep away traditional interpretations that have accrued to the Bible stories and instead try to read them in the context for which they were written. To do this they bring to bear a knowledge of biblical history that makes clear some parts of the Gospel story, which appear opaque to modern readers who don't know the milieu. Especially when Jesus is preaching in the temple, this explication really helps clear up common misunderstandings associated with Christian teaching.
There are times when the authors veer from the strictly literal, however. This is most apparent when they write about the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter. Since the Gospels slide over that day with only a fleeting mention, the authors fall back on legends of the Harrowing of Hell. There's nothing wrong with this in principle, but when the authors bring in references to the Gospel of Peter, which is little more than a late anti-Semitic forgery, they risk descending into silliness.
Also, many readers may object to the strongly political aspect of this book. Though the authors don't blow their noses on the spiritual importance of Jesus and his teachings, their emphasis in this writing lies on his anti-imperial politics.Read more ›
The inevitable confrontation may be described as the "domination system" which had developed in Jerusalem. Borg and Crossan explain that domination system is a shorthand for political oppression, economic exploitation, and religious legitimation. Jerusalem had become a society where only a few ruled, the monarch, the nobility, and the wealthy. A high percentage of the society's wealth came from agriculture. Structures of laws of land ownership, taxation, and indenture of labor, put between a half and two-thirds of all of the wealth into the coffers of the few. In ancient societies, these structures were legitimized by religious language: the monarch ruled by divine right and the social order was the will of God.
The day after Jesus made his procession into Jerusalem, he drove the moneychangers from the Temple and aroused the severe wrath of the temple priests. The next day, Tuesday, was a day of challenges. Jesus returns to Jerusalem. As he is walking Jesus is challenged by the chief priests, scribes, and elders who want to know the authority he has for committing his prophetic act in the Temple.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Last Week brings to light the historical meaning (as Borg and Crossan see it) of the last week of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Mark. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rachel
Recommended by a friend, I read this before and during Holy Week. I am re-reading parts because even though on the first read-through, I learned a lot, I'm still not sure about... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Henry Dell
Excellent - one gets a picture of the "take" of Mark without the stories from all the Gospels being smooshed together.Published 2 months ago by Dorothy C Hall
I wasn't impressed. The book is written for a popular audience. It is lacking the depth I had expected from these Jesus scholars. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chris Armer
I began reading the book this morning (Palm Sunday) as a Holy Week discipline. I was a little put off by the arrogance of the subtitle, "What the Gospels Really Teach About... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kenneth R. Knapp