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The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem [Paperback]

By Marcus J. Borg (Author)
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Item description for The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem by Marcus J. Borg...

Two authorities on the life of Jesus draw on biblical accounts and historical scholarship to provide a day-by-day account of the events of the Passion and of Christ's final week in Jerusalem, from His triumphant entry into the city to His crucifixion, death, and beyond. Reprint.

Publishers Description

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 Gibson's blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, they discovered that many Christians are unclear on the details of events during the week leading up to Jesus's crucifixion.

Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, Borg and Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesus's 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 church's 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.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   238
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 14, 2014
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060872608  
ISBN13  9780060872601  

Availability  224 units.
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More About Marcus J. Borg

Marcus J. Borg Marcus J. Borg is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. Internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar, he was Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007.

He is the author of nineteen books, including Jesus: A New Vision (1987) and the best-seller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994); The God We Never Knew (1997); The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999); Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), and The Heart of Christianity (2003), both best-sellers. His newest books are Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006), a New York Times Best-Seller; Conversations with Scripture: Mark (2009), and three books co-authored with John Dominic Crossan, The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009).

His novel, Putting Away Childish Things, was published in April, 2010.

Described by The New York Times as “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars,” he has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and “Dateline,” PBS’s “Newshour,” ABC’s “Evening News” and “Prime Time” with Peter Jennings, NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and several National Geographic programs. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he has been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee, and is past president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.

His work has been translated into eleven languages: German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and French. His doctor’s degree is from Oxford University, and he has lectured widely overseas (England, Scotland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel and South Africa) and in North America, including the Chautauqua and Smithsonian Institutions.

Marcus J. Borg currently resides in Portland, in the state of Oregon.

Marcus J. Borg has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars Study
  2. Plus
  3. Seastone

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( C ) > Crossan, John, Dominic
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > New Testament Studies > Jesus Studies

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem?

Provacative conclusions about Jesus' week  Mar 30, 2007
This book gives some interesting thoughts about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and his activity during the last week of his life. The discussion of how Crossan and Borg see the activities, with their comments and OT references, bring some different consideratons to mind. the discussion of what "sacrifice" means and how it "makes sacred" is very good.
Excellent and Readable  Mar 8, 2007
This detailed account of the last 8 days of Jesus' life is well-written, easy to read, and easy to understand. Our church book study group is very pleased with it. Based on the Gospel of Mark, it goes step by step and day by day with helpful information on the history and culture of First Century Jerusalem and it's Roman Rulers. Mark is not the only scripture quoted: similarities and differences from the other Gospels are indicated. To sum up our experience with this book, one of our members said, "I love this book!"
Three reasons to read this book.  Mar 4, 2007
There are many reasons to read this book, but for the sake of brevity I will emphasize three. The authors rely upon the Gospel of Mark to tell the story of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, and in the process explain why and how this gospel was written. For a long time I've held the belief that the gospels were simply a collection of orally circulated stories that the authors wished to preserve in writing. In order to provide some type of cohesive logic, they placed the stories within a loose narrative framework. Thanks to Borg and Crossan, I now understand that Mark wrote a carefully crafted, concisely written book that has a specific purpose --- to demonstrate for Christians that to follow Jesus means to follow him on THE WAY. For Jesus, the road to Jerusalem led to death and resurrection. Those who follow Jesus on this path will also be resurrected to new life. In short, this book greatly enhanced my understanding of Mark. Ever wonder why Jesus condemned a fig tree that bore no fruit out of season? Or why Jesus was so impressed with the woman who anoited his head with oil? Who exactly was in "the crowd" that called for Jesus' execution? Read this book to find out. My second reason for reading the book is the most obvious one. You will understand what happened in Jerusalem and why Jesus died. As Christians we are taught to believe that Jesus was somehow mindlessly fulfilling Biblical prophecy by going to Jerusalem, as if he had no say in the matter. The truth is that in an act of tremendous personal courage, Jesus chose to confront the powerful elite of the city --- the Roman imperialists and their temple collaborators --- and demand an end to oppression and injustice. This is why he was crucified. Finally, Christians who take their religion seriously will be challenged by the authors' assertion that Jesus calls us not only to personal transformation, but to political action. Rather than lunching with Presidents, Billy Graham style, or hobnobbing with the rich and famous, we Christians should be speaking up for the poor, the oppressed, and the disadvantaged. We busy ourselves with arranging the flowers around the altar when we should be out there turning over the tables of the money changers.
Destined for Execution   Feb 18, 2007
"Two processions entered Jerusalem on a spring day in the year 30. It was the beginning of the week of Passover." From the East came a peasant procession with Jesus of Nazareth riding on a donkey and cheered by his followers. From the West came the Roman governor of Idumea, Pontius Pilate, who had come up from Caesarea Maritima. That the two processions occurred on the same day is not recorded in the Bible and, in fact, the two processions may not have happened on the same day. However the Roman governor did travel from Caesarea Maritima for festivals such as Passover. Most of all, for Mark, the procession of Jesus was clearly counter to the procession of Pilate.

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. Jesus parries and asks about the authority of John the Baptist. Most readers know the story and know that the priests lose face. If that were not enough Jesus counterchallenges with the parable about the vineyard. Borg and Crossan emphasize that the priests et al realize that that parable was spoken against them.

So was Jesus destined for execution? From the point of view of the will of God, Borg and Crossan maintain an emphatic negative response: "It is never the will of God that a righteous man be crucified." Judas did not
*have* to betray Jesus. The Temple priests did not *have* to seek execution. (There is a similar story in Josephus of another who preached against the Temple. Interestingly this other man was only flogged.)
Rather it was the inevitability of the domination system that sent Jesus to death. Borg and Crossan wonder what it was about Jesus and his followers that so provoked the authorities.

Certainly the death of Jesus stunned his followers. Borg and Crossan find various ways for the followers of Jesus to come to grips with this within the New Testament and in subsequent centuries. For example, many Christians believe that the real reason (substitutionary atonement) for the death of Jesus was best explained by St Anselm in 1097. But how soon did the followers of Jesus try to begin to explain his death as an atonement? Have a look at 1 John 2.2 and 4.10.
The non-Orthodox Truth about Jesus  Feb 10, 2007
This is a book about Jesus' last week on earth which can appeal to anyone not enmeshed in the orthodox delusions about Jesus being part of the Godhead, dying for the sins of men, and being physically resurrected on the third day.

Crossan and Borg are veterans of the Jesus Seminar, the general attempt of rational and scientific biblical scholars to prune superstition and and antisemitism from the story of Jesus and his life and death.

If only Christians would read it! They would, discover among other things, that Paul of Tarsus never speaks of Jesus' resurrection as a physical event; it was a spiritual event for him and for others who experienced. They would also discover that most of the anti-Jewish themes of the Gospels are either unintentional or intentional slanders: Jesus did not preach against Judaism, or the temple worship, or the commandments, or the Pharisees; he preached in the style of the prophets who found Judaism a pale reflection of what the patriarchs had believed. They would also learn that there is nothing in the Old Testament that predicts Jesus and his career: this was a technique of the Gospel writers to "historicize" prophecy so as to legitimize the teachings of the Christian sect, thus connecting them to the Old Testament and in the process damning the Jews as unpleasing to God, compared to the new Christians.

My only criticism of this book is that it is consciously politically correct: not wanting to offend orthodox Christians any more than necessary. I think that orthodox Christians are in the grip of massive delusion and insanity and need to be shaken out of their torpor. The greatest threat to our liberty today comes from Christo-Fascism -- that means groups like the Southern Baptist Convention and other fundamentalists, they are fundamentally wrong!

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