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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more dangerous Jesus
This is an excellent analysis of the events of the last week in Jesus' earthly life as narrated in Mark's Gospel, and an assessment of their significance as Borg and Crossan see it. It's a companion volume to their successful `A First Christmas' (though written before it), in which they examined the stories of the birth of Jesus as the announcement of a coming empire to...
Published on 18 July 2009 by Jeremy Bevan

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3.0 out of 5 stars A liberal photo-fit of Jesus
I'm an atheist who is interested in New Testament history, and especially the historical Jesus. Borg and Crossan are two fine scholars, of course. I'm very much enjoying Borg's Evolution Of The Word. You would perhaps think their liberal approach would appeal to a non-believer. But it doesn't.
This book uses Mark's Gospel to guide us through Jesus' last week. It's a...
Published 5 months ago by Ap


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more dangerous Jesus, 18 July 2009
By 
Jeremy Bevan (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is an excellent analysis of the events of the last week in Jesus' earthly life as narrated in Mark's Gospel, and an assessment of their significance as Borg and Crossan see it. It's a companion volume to their successful `A First Christmas' (though written before it), in which they examined the stories of the birth of Jesus as the announcement of a coming empire to challenge and supplant the rule of Rome. The overall tenor of this work is similar: so, for example, the first chapter (on Palm Sunday) starts with an account of the humble, peace-heralding entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, contrasted with Pilate's triumphalist and grandly imperial procession through the city gates the same day. Jesus' entry is clearly articulated as a challenge to the `domination system'. Comparing the two Palm Sunday processions, the authors ask `Which procession are we in ? Which procession do we want to be in ?' (30).

But Borg and Crossan's work isn't some dry analysis of a purely `political' Jesus, or a call to unreflecting activism. It's first and foremost a call to modern readers to live like him, to partake in the already-present kingdom, in the awareness that the anti-imperial meaning of Good Friday and Easter Day are bound up with a recognition that both egoism and injustice together are what `ails us' (210). It follows that living this Jesus-like life is a matter of attention to the claims of justice, and that we shouldn't excuse ourselves from its requirements by collaboration with the status quo, religious or otherwise - which is what the authors argue the religious authorities do in the `cleansing of the temple' episode. Similarly, Jesus' actions - like the feeding of the crowds - are more about a miracle of selfless redistribution of goods than divinely-mediated and `miraculous' multiplication of food; while Jesus' death is not so much an atoning sacrifice as the inevitable result of his provocation of the domination system, and thus an example, drawing us (if we are willing) into deeper participation in the painful self-sacrifice needed to bring about the justice of the kingdom.

The authors make good use of a wide range of both scriptural and other ancient sources (like the Jewish historian Josephus) in their analysis. There's some clear literary analysis, too, showing how Mark's framing of one story within another serves to point up meanings more clearly. All in all, both a thorough analysis and an inspiring call to `join the procession'.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confronting authority, 20 Sep 2008
By 
M. G. Wilson (Eastbourne) - See all my reviews
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Borg and Crossan's book follows Mark's account of the days from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday and takes a straightforward expository approach to the text. Their focus is on what Mark is telling us and why, placing the account firmly in its historical context, and drawing out Jesus' confrontation with the authority of Caesar and the compromised and corrupted temple authorities of the time. By taking this approach the authors have produced a highly accessible book which has an appeal beyond the liberal community of which they are part. At least until their account of Easter Sunday, and their treatment of the resurrection as metaphorical and labelling of Jesus' appearances as `apparitions'. A further weakness comes in their attempted application. Ironically their approach is critical of the imbalance they perceive between those who emphasise personal transformation and those who emphasise political transformation. In so doing they miss the crucial dimensions of God's transformation of the whole creation and the central role of community in Christian living.

This is a good book for all of that and recommended reading for Christians across the spectrum.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging conceived thinking and turning over tables., 30 Jan 2011
The Last Week is an insightful and scholarly examination, not just of Passion Week, but of Mark's Gospel and the New Testament as a whole. It is also rare that such an informed and intelligent book should be so clear and easy to read. I can't recommend it highly enough!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ENLIGHTENMENT!, 6 Jan 2010
By 
Searcher (Rugby, England) - See all my reviews
What an enlightening book this is! I had been looking for insights into how the Gospels were written in order to gain a more in-depth picture and understanding of the person of Jesus and the time in which he lived. This book focuses on Mark and outlines some of the techniques the writer used to illustrate his points.

The book deals mainly with Holy Week but the techniques it outlines will serve well for the whole of the Gospel. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars review of "The Last Week", 28 Feb 2013
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J. Holmes - See all my reviews
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This is a very carefully researched and thought-provoking book, which encourages the reader to study the relevant passages in the Gospels and draw conclusions from them, and to be prepared to ditch their preconcieved ideas about Jesus!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Christians should read it, 17 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Last Week (Kindle Edition)
This is an excellent and scholarly book. It sorts out the facts from the myths and offers a reasoned and intelligent approach to understanding the gospel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Week, 18 July 2012
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Surely one of the most profound and reflective treaties on the final days of Christ's life before his crucifion from which we all, those who profess and those who do not profess a faith. Should be treated for what it aims to do - instruct or reflect. Should not be discarded as 'yet another attempt' to convert the disbeliever but enhance or deepen the love of the faithfull for the person who they believe is their pathway to eternal life. More please
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Week, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: The Last Week (Kindle Edition)
This book answers many of my problems with the Gospels. Knowing the actual situation on the ground during the time of Jesus and removing all the "information" preached at you over the years, makes the story of Jesus far more real. Thank you Marcus Borg and John Crossan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book and easy to read, 6 May 2014
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I found this a really helpful book for planning Easter worship services. Lots of thoughts that help connect the events of Holy Week to a modern context and help to encourage congregations to see that the message is relevant to today. Furthermore, it's also easy to read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A liberal photo-fit of Jesus, 15 April 2014
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I'm an atheist who is interested in New Testament history, and especially the historical Jesus. Borg and Crossan are two fine scholars, of course. I'm very much enjoying Borg's Evolution Of The Word. You would perhaps think their liberal approach would appeal to a non-believer. But it doesn't.
This book uses Mark's Gospel to guide us through Jesus' last week. It's a good outline of the last days, from the traditional Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem, to Easter Sunday. Borg and Crossan portray Jesus as a non-violent, proto-Gandhi type character.
They compare, for example, Pilate's militaristic procession into Jerusalem with Jesus' peaceful on-a-donkey procession accompanied the poor and the oppressed; those suffering under Rome's "domination system". They argue that God wanted to show his non-violent nature. That's very odd since God's extremenly violent nature has been on show throughout the Old Testament. Why the Almighty would suddenly have an epiphany with regards his approach to violence is not explained.
They constantly refer to the Jewish aristocracy such as the priests and Pharisees as "collaborators", using loaded language - in the 20th/21st century, the word "collaborator" really refers to one thing and one period.
Their Jesus is a placeholder for their own worldviews, and not useful in historical Jesus studies, though the book is pretty decent as a basic guide to what the Gospels - or Mark specifically - says about the Passion story.
It's interesting and well worth a read if you are interested in the period.
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