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Conversations with Scripture - The Gospel of Mark (Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars Study) Paperback – July 1, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Borg reminds us that the gift of Mark's Gospel comes from the revelation of its meaning rather than from the literal translation of its text. Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark is a must-read for those who long to understand more fully the Kingdom of God and the person of Jesus as Son of God." --John Bryson Chane, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C.<br /><br />"Marcus Borg guides readers through Mark's Gospel with wisdom and insight. Borg's perceptive literary, historical, and theological observations accompany readers on their path through the Gospel. Laypersons and religious professionals alike will appreciate this accessible, engaging journey through Mark." --Greg Carey, Professor of New Testament, Lancaster Theological Seminary<br /><br />"The biggest mysteries of the Bible are the ones of the men behind the pens. Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark investigates the gospel of Mark, one of the most crucial books of the Bible and how it came to be. With much historical sources, Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark seeks to understand Mark, and through that, gain a greater understanding of the Bible." --The Midwest Book Review

Review

"Marcus Borg guides readers through Mark's Gospel with wisdom and insight. Borg's perceptive literary, historical, and theological observations accompany readers on their path through the Gospel. Laypersons and religious professionals alike will appreciate this accessible, engaging journey through Mark."

"Famed scholar Marcus Borg takes seriously the title of the series as he engages readers in interactive conversation about the Gospel of Mark. Borg offers his own interpretation of the text, at times profound and always provocative, inviting readers to consider their own interpretation along the way."
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Product Details

  • Series: Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars Study
  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: MOREHOUSE PUBLISHING (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819223395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819223395
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I admit a bias in favor of Marcus Borg. That said, "Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark" Puts together the range of Borg's scholarship on the Gospels in a format that lures you further and further into what he has to say. You'll want the Gospel of Mark handy just because you'll want to read it with fresh eyes. The study questions in the back are especially useful if you're mentoring adult study groups.
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With 133 pages of text, Scripture popularizer Marcus Borg makes the earliest and shortest gospel come alive for the lay reader. He encourages the reader to read "Mark" through in one two-hour sitting before doing anything else, a great suggestion. The Gospel is a structured narrative in three parts: Jesus in Galilee at the start of his ministry; Jesus enroute to Jerusalem to symbolize his "way"; Jesus in Jerusalem to suffer, die and be reborn.

Marcus clearly loves "Mark" and sees the Gospel as the closest text we have to the historical Jesus and his central message: God's reign is upon us; here is the way to it.

If you are familiar with Borg and his recent collaborator on popular books like "The Last Week," the more serious Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan, you know his familiar themes and controversies.

There are also what I call the "Borgian Code Words." Take the word "rich," as in "rich in meanings," or "rich in symbolic import." When it refers to a passage, it means "never really happened." Take the Baptism of Jesus by John when the heavens opened and a voice from above claimed Jesus was the voice's son. Borg does his tap dance around the fact that believers have traditionally believed it actually happened by reinterpreting the event as wholly symbolic. In this case, the event is some kind of internal vision and "audition" experienced only by Jesus.

Matthew and Luke in their Gospels make it an actual visitation by God, but, says Borg, they are just embellishing Mark who knows it was not a publicly witnessed divine appearance. Typically, and not at all compellingly, Borg goes on to claim that the event as a private experience inside Jesus' head "does not in any way diminish its significance." Of course it does!
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I have been a fan of Marcus Borg for some time now. He is one of a handful of biblical scholars who have as a mission of bringing the fruits of critical biblical scholarship into the pew. Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark is not a verse by verse commentary on Mark. Rather it is an overview that breaks the gospel into five segments for discussion: Overture and Beginning (Mk. 1-3); Parables and Miracles (Mk. 4-5); Rejection, Miracles and Conflict (Mk. 6-8); From Galilee to Jerusalem (Mk. 8-10) and Jerusalem, Execution and Ressurection (Mk. 11-16). Borg writes ffrom both a Christian perpective and a mainstream scholarly perspective. Each chapter explores different themes found in the related chapters of Mark, what they meant to the hearers of Mark's gospel in the 1st century and what they might mean to us today. The book includes an extensive Study Guide (not written by Borg) with excellent questions for group or individual study. While Borg is a world-recognized bilical scholar he is gentle with those who are unfamiliar with this work and whose understanding may be more traditional. For me, it is high time that the church embrace this kind of work and include its findings in its own messaging. Co-incidentally, I am starting a Bible Study tomorrow based on this book and am quite excited about it.
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Dr. Borg is so gifted in taking complex knowledge based on years of study and distilling it so anyone can have access. He is as valuable to the professional as he is to a novice bible student. Not all the people agree with his perspectives, for sure. Nevertheless, those perspectives are important to hear and ponder. I have no apology to make for offering his thoughts to others. How they respond is always interesting and the basis for further dialogue. For me, this is an incredible formation process for the people of God.
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I've been a Christian for over 30 years. Only recently have I been getting into Marcus Borg's work. I must say that he presents things in a realistic and applicable fashion that is easily understandable without getting into high level exegesis, which he is quite capable of in some works. I find this book to be refreshing and informative, I walk away from this work feeling complete and not asking more questions than I had when I first started reading as I do with a lot of Christian writing. He presents the facts and not developed traditon, although he explains how the tradition develops over time. I encourage readers to purchase this book as well as other works by Marcus Borg. The voice of reality.
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This gives you a lot to think about and great for small groups. Be prepared for some liberal thoughts. Definitely worth reading and given some liberal thinking will give a group a lot to share and discuss.
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This is one of the best curricula I seen in many years of Bible study classes. It stimulates thinking and conversation. Well organized and thought provoking.
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We are using this book for a Bible study at church! Very thought provoking!
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