Top Jesus scholars Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan join together to reveal a radical and little-known Jesus. As both authors reacted to and responded to questions about Mel Gibsons blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, they discovered that many Christians are unclear on the details of events during the week leading up to Jesuss crucifixion.
Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, Borg and Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesuss final week of life. They begin their story on Palm Sunday with two triumphal entries into Jerusalem. The first entry, that of Roman governor Pontius Pilate leading Roman soldiers into the city, symbolized military strength. The second heralded a new kind of moral hero who was praised by the people as he rode in on a humble donkey. The Jesus introduced by Borg and Crossan is this new moral hero, a more dangerous Jesus than the one enshrined in the churchs traditional teachings.
The Last Week depicts Jesus giving up his life to protest power without justice and to condemn the rich who lack concern for the poor. In this vein, at the end of the week Jesus marches up Calvary, offering himself as a model for others to do the same when they are confronted by similar issues. Informed, challenged, and inspired, we not only meet the historical Jesus, but meet a new Jesus who engages us and invites us to follow him.
John Dominic Crossan
John Dominic Crossan is Professor Emeritus at DePaul University, Chicago. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus and Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, and three written with Marcus J. Borg: The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009).
Marcus J. Borg
Marcus J. Borg was Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007. He is now Canon Theologian at Trinity Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of eighteen books, including Meeting Jesus in Mark (2011) and three written with John Dominic Crossan: The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009).
Borg (religion & culture, Oregon State Univ.; Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time) and Crossan (Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography), prolific biblical scholars and veteran members of the Jesus Seminar, bring their expertise to bear on the account of Jesuss final week, largely focusing on the Gospel of Mark. Writing in clear, readable prose and devoting one chapter to each day of the week in question, they provide some useful historical and textual information. Those familiar with the authors previous work will not be surprised to find that Jesuss words and actions are consistently given a progressivist political spin (e.g., the "cleansing of the Temple" is a protest against Jewish-Roman collaboration, not against money-changing in the Temple per se) and that traditional theological concepts like the Resurrection and the Atonement are rejected or reinterpreted. As a rejoinder to Mel Gibsons The Passion of the Christ (cited disapprovingly in the preface), this book is a little bit behind the times, but the release of the film version of The Da Vinci Code this summer will likely renew interest in pop-revisionist New Testament scholarship. Recommended for public libraries.
- Charles Seymour, Wayland Baptist Univ., Library Journal
"If there is [...] one book for the redemption of Holy Week, this is it. This is a must read..."
- Peter J. Gomes, Harvard University
"[...] Borg and Crossan show one of the most careful and insightful readings of the Bible Ive ever come across."
- Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian
"It is difficult to underestimate the importance of this volume[...]"
- Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Leaving Church and Preaching Life