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Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written Paperback – 27 Aug 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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  • Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written
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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Bravo Ltd; Reprint edition (27 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062082116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062082114
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

The most helpful thing that Borg has to offer is a contextual introduction to each of the 27 books of the New Testament . . . An eminently readable and eye-opening addition to religion shelves, as well as a new and fascinating way to read the New Testament. --Booklist (starred review)

From the Back Cover

Everyone knows the New Testament begins with the Gospel of Matthew, but how many know Matthew was actually one of the later books to be written? (It wasn't even the first Gospel!) But Evolution of the Word is not your typical New Testament.

Marcus J. Borg, esteemed Bible scholar and bestselling author, shakes up the order of the New Testament as we know it by putting the books in a completely new order--the order in which they were written. By doing so, Evolution of the Word allows us to read these documents in their historical context. For the first time, see how the core ideas of Christianity took shape and developed over time.

Borg surveys what we know of the Jewish community of Jesus followers who passed on their stories orally. Into this context emerges the apostle Paul, whose seven authentic letters become the first collected writings that would later become the New Testament. Borg offers helpful introductions for each book so that as we read through these biblical documents, spanning over a century in time, we see afresh what concerns and pressures shaped this movement as it evolved into a new religion.

In this groundbreaking format, Borg reveals how a radical and primitive apocalyptic Jewish faith slowly became more comfortable with the world, less Jewish, and more pre- occupied with maintaining power and control. Evolution of the Word promises to change forever how we think about this historic work.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marcus Borg is one of the great New Testament scholars alive today. In THE EVOLUTION OF THE WORD, he puts the Books and Letters of the New Testament into the order in which they were written rather than the current New Testament order. He also gives each of them an introduction and a date of composition.which is followed by the New Testament text using the New Revised Standard translation. It is obvious, for some this will be for the first time, that the writings of St. Paul predate everything else. Several of the so-called Pauline Letters such as Ephesians and Colossians, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus cannot possibly have come from Paul's pen [or dictation] as he had been executed long before they were written. Mark is the first Gospel written followed by Mathew, John and finally Luke and The Acts of the Apostles. The other New Testament Letters are interspersed among them ending with 2 Peter well into the Second Century of the Common Era. This is a challenging book that sets the record straight. As Evangelical Lutheran Bishop Lowell Erdahl says in his Foreword: "I think every pastor, seminary professor, and seminary student should have a copy of this chronological New Testament...It will change the way we see the emergence and development of earliest Christianity. It will be an adventure of exploration and discovery." I couldn't agree more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading the gospels in the order they were actually written, reveals an incredible truth. This book, by a Christian who was one of the world's greatest Bible scholars, will give you a greater insight into Christianity than you can possibly imagine. Unmissable by anyone interested in the truth.
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For the novice Bible student like me, putting the contents of the Bible into chronological order, and explaining why, is a revelation in itself, but there is much else provided by Marcus Borg that clarifies and provides historical context, and a 'fresh take' on familiar verses and the less familiar passages of scripture.
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I wish I this book had been available many many years ago. Biblical research in our lifetime has become a meticulous science. This book by Marcus Borg offers any reader an intelligent introduction to the New Testament and to those who read it from a present-day Christian perspective it will deepen their confidence and faith.

Marcus Borg’s “Evolution of the Word” is the complete NRSV version of the New Testament, set out in the order the ‘books’ were written, with a concise introduction to each. It enables us to begin to see how the first three generations of disciple-communities developed their understanding of who Jesus is. Subsequent generations, right up to the present day, have each projected their own agenda and interpretation: As many have said “we look down a well two thousand years deep and in the bottom see our own reflection.” Marcus Borg has set out the findings of the most recent research which is often sadly dismissed by many fundamentalist evangelicals. There is nothing to fear in using common sense and academic rigor in approaching these first century texts. Having read his “Meeting Jesus in Mark” (2011) I knew “Evolution of the Word” would be an invaluable scholarly resource to trust.
Borg writes (page 424): “The rule I have sought to follow… is to reflect consensus conclusion when possible and, when there is no consensus, to follow majority opinion.” In dating each manuscript he has some surprises especially putting Luke-Acts after John’s Gospel. Time and again he points out that the later the document the more often one finds that the disciple communities have conceded their stance to the prevailing standards in society.
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Even if you don't entirely agree with the order, this book makes thoughtful comments on the historical progression of Christian doctrine. It's accessible and interesting, and the mandate to read chronologically makes you read the bible text very carefully.
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Evolution of the Word.... throws new light for the reader on the story of Jesus and how it evolved. It also gives an opportunity to read the New Testament again with this new perspective. Helpful, interesting and a great read.
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This well written book makes modern Biblical scholarship easily accessible to anyone. Well worth a read for any thinking person who is a follower if Christ, or who is interested and fascinated by the subject.
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