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The Meaning of Jesus Paperback – May 27, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing (May 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281052549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281052547
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 8.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Just a Putz in WI on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book will provide you with a good overview of the opinions of Wright and Borg. It is written for someone searching for an introduction into the world of (as Borg so often states) "mainline" scholars. I recommend it as a starting place for someone looking to discern the "mainline" arguments. From here, you can certainly go onto to other books by either author (or the works they site in their endnotes.)

A previous reviewer discounts the book as worthless, as both authors do write from a Christian perspective and are for all intents and purposes writing to build the Christian believer, not call into doubt Christianity. It is not a book designed to provide fodder for doubters, but to demonstrate that a true Christian can wrestle with issues of history, come up on different side of an issue and still be Christian. (It sometimes frustrates me how I can vehemently disagree with Borg on his assessment of the historicity of the Gospels, yet so completely agree with him on most accounts of what a Christian life looks like.)

So if you are looking for a "Jesus never lived" vs. "Jesus is Lord" Jerry Springer kind of debate, go elsewhere - these two men are gentlemen as well as scholars. If you are looking to see how Biblical scholars are approaching the Bible and the history of Christianity, it is a good introduction.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dr. James Gardner VINE VOICE on September 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This 1999 book is subtitled "Two Visions" and consists of successive chapters by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright discussing various issues surrounding the life and death of Jesus (e.g., What did he do and teach, the death of Jesus, etc.). Unfortunately, Borg and Wright are more like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum than they are like Bill Clinton and George Bush, so the discussions and controversies are very weak indeed. For example, they both agree that Jesus is the Savior and Messiah. Wright thinks Jesus knew it all along, and Borg isn't so sure. Not much room for heated debate there? For example, Wright thinks Jesus knew he was going to die in Jerusalem and Borg isn't so sure. Again, not exactly screaming and throwing chairs. How about a scholar (and there are many) who thinks Jesus didn't die in Jerusalem? Or one who believes he was a magician, not a messiah? Now that would be interesting and would stir some debate.

Another annoying aspect of this book is that both authors never tire of discussing their own life and their own personal views. Quite frankly, as a reader, I don't care. I'm looking for information about Jesus, not Marcus Borg or N.T. Wright. Spare me the personal stuff, guys.

Another annoying element is the fact that the essays are extremely long, so that by the time you finish reading one it's hard to know exactly what the two authors were agreeing and/or disagreeing about. Part of the problem is that they don't differ very much to start with, but after plowing through the long essays, often times you can't put your finger on what the debate was about.

Lest this book be dismissed as completely worthless, the individual essays by both authors are interesting and informative, though hardly provocative or news worthy.
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