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on 20 September 2008
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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on 15 April 2014
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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on 10 April 2017
A well researched amazing book about the high point of the Christian year. Certainly it challenges some of the conventional ideas about the events of this pivotal week in Christianity. Rather than challenge faith it invites the reader to deepen one's understanding of this week, leading to a deeper faith and better understanding of both the events of the week itself and what transpired afterwards - the beginning of the Christian church. This is not a book for those unwilling to be challenged in the way they view the events of this week. It is a book for those willing to engage in thinking more deeply about the meaning of this event in Christian history.
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on 30 January 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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on 18 July 2012
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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on 6 January 2010
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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on 13 April 2014
This is the kind of biblical understanding that the churches have been missing in the last half century. If only books and scholarship of the quality of Borgand Crossan had been available when I read theology in the 1960s and had been preached in the churches during recent decades, our society might have been different and Dawkins would have been given no cause to write his contradictions to the confusions so often spread in the churches.
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on 3 February 2015
A well written book examining in detail the events of the last week of Jesus's life as portrayed by the Gospel of Mark. For anyone who has been troubled by the inconsistances as portrayed in the four Gospels, it comes as a breath of fresh air. I wish I had read this 50 years ago - it might have saved 50 years of angst!
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on 6 December 2014
Interesting book and well written from 2 different authors although this does not spoil the "flow". Easy to read but informative. A good book for the general reader interested in historical facts of the passion story
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on 6 May 2014
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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