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Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith Paperback – March 3, 1995

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Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith + Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally + The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (March 3, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060609176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060609177
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

All Christianity is, to some extent, idolatrous. Christian worship is a response to a worshiper's image of Jesus, and all images of Jesus fall short of his reality--in the same way that all biographies and portraits fail to depict a whole person. In Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, New Testament scholar Marcus Borg attempts to understand how popular images of Jesus connect Christians to their savior and isolate them from him. Borg writes about his own evolving ideas of who Jesus was, considers the scholarly and popular religious evolution of Jesus' public image, and investigates with special care the effects of Historical Jesus research on contemporary images of Jesus. Meeting Jesus Again is written in an affable, gracious, and unflinchingly honest voice. Borg's description of his own faith particularly exemplifies these qualities, and gives the reader a simultaneously safe and unsettling new perspective on the peasant from Galilee: "[T]he central issue of the Christian life is not believing in God or believing in the Bible," he writes. "Rather, the Christian life is about entering into a relationship with that to which the Christian tradition points, which may be spoken of as God, the risen, living Christ, or the Spirit. And a Christian is one who lives out his or her relationship to God within the framework of the Christian tradition." --Michael Joseph Gross

From Library Journal

Borg (religion and culture, Oregon State Univ.) provides an account of contemporary Jesus scholarship--told in simple language for lay readers--and of his personal struggle to find authentic, mature faith. Here, the historical pre-Easter Jesus and the post-Easter Jesus (whom other writers have referred to as the Christ of faith), or the Jesus revealed by scholarship and the Jesus of Christian tradition are brought together as Borg articulates his own struggle from doubt to faith. His struggle is grounded in contemporary scholarship, personal experience, and "an understanding of the Christian life as a relationship to the Spirit of God--a relationship that involves one in a journey of transformation." Highly recommended.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

I read this book in one sitting.
Cynthia T. Whaling
We need more books like this one in order to ensure that the vast majority of the Christian flock do not go astray because of a continued disconnect with the religion.
I found this book very interesting to read and, for the most part, found the author's conclusions logical and well supported.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

197 of 215 people found the following review helpful By Peter A. Kindle on October 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Conservative and evangelical Christians often attack the audacity and impiety of the Jesus Seminar. Just imagine - a collection of scholars proposing to vote on the authenticity of the New Testament record of Jesus life and words! As one once anchored in contemporary fundamentalism, I find it easy to understand this offense.
Borg challenges this reaction. He writes with a sensitivity, honesty and spirituality that is much to be admired. Like so many others, he found traditional and conservative beliefs about Jesus unsatisfying in early adulthood. His personal hold on traditional Christian beliefs waned as he embraced a modern worldview and liberal religious scholarship. He became a closet agnostic, then a closet atheist. Yet, Borg was somehow drawn to always keep searching. This book is a record of his search; a moving description of Truth as Borg has found it; a very personal answer to the question, "Who is this Jesus?"
His essential premise involves the importance, even primacy, of our personal image of Jesus. Is Jesus the savior who requires faith? Or, is Jesus a great teacher of moral ideals? Borg rejects both in chapter one. Borg imagines Jesus as one to whom spirit, and the experience of spirit, was foundational. Accordingly, Borg does not understand the Christian life to be "about believing or about being good .... It is about a relationship with God that involves us in a journey of transformation."
Reconstructing the pre-Easter life of Jesus with historical criticism, Borg explains that Jesus was a spirit person (chapter two), a social prophet and movement founder (chapter three), and a teacher of wisdom (chapter four).
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am glad I read this book. I think it has helped to redirect my search for God and to help me rebuild my faith in Him, so that I move from a fearful relationship with an angry Supreme Master to one with a loving Supreme Parent.
I first read the Bible cover-to-cover on my own as a youngster. This was probably not a good thing, as I mostly came away with an impression of an Angry God. And I certainly was in no position to understand at the tender age of 11 the cultural background of the world of the Hebrews or Jesus.
The trouble is that in some ways reading about the life of Christ is a bit like reading a mystery. Sure you can read the book again, but you already know whodunit the next time you go back to it, and having that knowledge changes the way you see things from then on. "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time" has clarified for me the difference between pre-Easter and post-Easter Jesus. Before this when I reread the Gospels and looked over what Jesus said or did prior to his death and resurrection, I looked at it as though He was the post-Easter Godly Jesus the entire time, that He was always God right from the get-go. Now I am looking at Him more in the sense of His humanity as it was recorded in the first 3 gospels. When I stop to think about it, I expect He was a pretty normal kid, and I am not sure that He really saw Himself as God as that point waiting around to be worshipped. Rather I do think He was very much a man constantly in touch with His Father, so I am giving more consideration to the example He set where he showed me how to live and how to be in touch with the Father all the time. (Or at least try to be.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By G. B. Brown on March 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Say what you will, Borg's Meeting Jesus Again is a great book if you want to build your faith on something other than blindness. Although this book did not answer all my questions, when added to other books (i.e. Robert Funk's Honest to Jesus and several of Shebly Spong's books and John Dominic Crossan) you arrive at a complete and satisfying understanding of Jesus & of Christ and through that develop a mature and intelligent faith.
Borg's message is simple - we see in Jesus a model of a relationship with the divine and eternal that we call God. Through our understanding of Jesus, we can enter into a relationship with that eternal.
To understand Borg's book, you must be willing to ask real questions about not only the bible, but about God and Jesus; if you refuse to abandon the belief that the Bible is literal and inerrant truth, you will hate this book.
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent. It liberated me from the views of Jesus advocated by conservative Christians, which I could not accept and caused me to leave the church. Borg showed me to focus on changing my heart, rather than believing in doctrine. If you are an educated, open thinker with confused views about Christianity, or if you just want to reaffirm that there are others out there that can't accept what the fundamentalists insist is Gospel, then please read this book. It will free you and change you. Also, Borg is an excellent writer, and is easy to understand. If you buy only one book about Jesus in your life, buy this one.
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