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The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem [Hardcover]

By Marcus J. Borg (Author) & John Dominic Crossan (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.48" Width: 6.42" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2006
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060845392  
EAN  9780060845391  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
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. 60,000 first printing.

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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More About Marcus J. Borg & John Dominic Crossan

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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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Jesus's last eight days  Mar 14, 2007
In this simple exposition written for a general audience, two leading New Testament scholars use the Gospel of Mark to explain what happened to Jesus during his final week. They use Mark because most scholars consider it the earliest of the four Gospels, the primary source for Matthew and Luke, and because when you read carefully you see that Mark details the last eight days of Holy Week, from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. He even specifies "morning" and "evening" for three of these days:

Palm Sunday: "When they were approaching Jerusalem" (11:1)
Monday: "On the following day" (11:12)
Tuesday: "In the morning" (11:20)
Wednesday: "It was two days before the Passover" (14:1)
Maundy Thursday: "On the first day of Unleavened Bread" (14:12)
Good Friday: "As soon as it was morning" (15:1)
Holy Saturday: "The Sabbath" (15:42, 16:1)
Easter Sunday: "Very early on the first day of the week" (16:2).

Mark even describes what happened at five three-hour intervals on Good Friday (pp. ix-x). The book, then, consists of eight chapters, one for each day of Holy Week.

For Borg and Crossan the gospels are not records of straightforward historical facts remembered by the author, but stylized interpretations of the believing community. There's an element of truth in this, of course; you could say the same about nearly all written history. But I'm sometimes dubious about historical reconstructions two millennia after the events that claim to know more and to know better than the first witnesses, or that do not give compelling explanations about how and why the first recorders got things so badly wrong and yet attracted the allegiance of so many converts (who must have known they were "wrong" about the literal facts).

Borg and Crossan do a wonderful job of illuminating the religious background of first century Judaism and especially the centrality of the temple, and the cultural and political background of the Roman empire, showing how the Biblical texts and these two contexts interact. If you've read any of Borg's many books, it will come as no surprise that the authors understand the "passion" of Jesus not as a sacrifice or substitution (as it has been understood by much if not most of Christendom), but as an incarnation of God's justice which subverts the status quo of political oppression, economic exploitation, and religious legitimation. The 2007 edition of this book has the sensational sub-title What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem.
A Must Read  Mar 3, 2007
For me The Last Week is a must read for a preacher who takes seriously the Markan text as it relates to the religious-political setting within which it arose. For too long we Christians have defanged Mark's gospel by ignoring its assault on the power elite of Jesus' day, including the Roman oppressors and their religious-leader collaborators. But Mark wrote of more than what we might warmly encapsulate as spirituality: he excoriated against religious legitimating of the domination system that has shaped and misshaped human lives for millennia... and which shows up in more refined, perhaps thereby more demonic, ways in our Pax Americana world.

Not that any of that is abnormal in human history. To the contrary, that's `how the world works'... which is quite the opposite of how the Reign of God works. In the mind of Borg-Crossan, Mark's Jesus suggested this with his ragtag parade by donkey on Palm Sunday, as he approached from the east. His action posed a dramatic contrast to Pilate's ceremonious, leather-slapping, hoofed clomping, military procession into Jerusalem for Passover, which would have come the west. So, Mark's Jesus puts himself into a collision course with Roman authority (and the collaborating religious institutions), hence, the cross. That's not the Palm Sunday sermon I remember from growing up in Orlando, Florida.

If you wish to keep your religious world as it is, do not open this book. However, if you wish to encounter an understanding of Jesus that will expand your perceptions and possibly transform your Christian experience, you cannot pass it by.
At least it's not as ghastly as most of their books   Feb 28, 2007
He's baaack--the hippie Jesus that Crossan has been trying to get people to believe in for decades.

Crossan, as everyone knows, is a fallen away Catholic priest who has spent the last half of his life trying to stamp out Christianity. In "The Last Week" he and Borg, in a collaborative effort, give their version of the last week of Jesus' life.

Apparently this was meant to counter Gibson's "The Passion".

In that, they failed. Their writing is anything but entertaining, since at least half of the book is merely quotations from the gospel of Mark. The rest is full of dubious assumptions, not to mention the many, many times they try to obscure the truth.

"In Mark, Jesus' message is not about himself--not about his identity as the Messiah, the Son of God" (p 23), which is nonsense. The very opening words in Mark proclaim that Jesus is the son of God. So does the end. This is a very common way in the ancient world to emphasize the main point. As Crossan and Borg, both scholars, know well.

Then there was the point where they bring in the Gospel of Peter and the talking cross. "Its account of the resurrection is unique...his body reaches from earth of heaven!" (p 177). That fragmentary text (and it may not even be the Gospel of Peter) was written about 300 years after the crucifixion, and likely was never thought by anyone to be anything other than fiction. A pious entertainment for the faithful. Comparing it to the gospel of Mark and saying, "Its account of the resurrection is unique" is silly. Crossan has argued before that there may be elements going back to early memories. But the clear lack of understanding about Jewish customs, not to mention the cross and angels that rise to the heavens, argues strongly against it.

The argument that Jesus was a hippie Cynic went better when hippies roamed the fruited plains. It's getting more and more threadbare today. As more scholars have emphasized the Jewishness of Jesus, it's clear that Jesus had much, much more in common with other Jews of his time than with Greek philosophers. Moreover, no evidence has even turned up indicating any Cynic presence in Galilee in the time period.

Anyone interested in early Christianity would be better off reading Martin Hengel or N T Wright.
Destined for Execution   Feb 21, 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.

This review refers to the paperback edition.
A scholarly tour through "The Last Week"  Jan 11, 2007
This is a book that shows us that the Jesus Seminar participants, Crosson and Borg, can share the fruit of their scholarship with the intelligent general readers. It is an excellent study of the Gospel of Mark and can be the basis for deepening of spirituality.
Crosson and Borg have proven that the student of the Bible need not turn off that switch of critical thinking once the book is open. This is a book for those who are tired of the rantings of the religious right and who want to open a new world of understanding.

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