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The First Christmas: What The Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Birth
HarperOne / 2009 / Paperback
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In The First Christmas Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, top Jesus scholars and authors of The Last Week, help us see the real Christmas story buried in the familiar Bible accounts. Basing their interpretations on the two nativity narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Borg and Crossan focus on the inner truth rather than the historical facts. The result is a clear and uplifting message of hope and peace. Readers will gain a fresh, deep, and new understanding of the nativity story, enabling them to better appreciate the powerful message of the Gospels.
In The First Christmas, two of today's top Jesus scholars, Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, join forces to show how history has biased our reading of the nativity story as it appears in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. As they did for Easter in their previous book, The Last Week, here they explore the beginning of the life of Christ, peeling away the sentimentalism that has built up over the last two thousand years around this most well known of all stories to reveal the truth of what the gospels actually say. Borg and Crossan help us to see this well-known narrative afresh by answering the question, "What do these stories mean?" in the context of both the first century and the twenty-first century. They successfully show that the Christmas story, read in its original context, is far richer and more challenging than people imagine.
MARCUS J. BORG is canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture, emeritus, at Oregon State University. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, Borg has been national chair of the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature and is the author of the bestselling books Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Jesus, and Speaking Christian. Visit Borg online at www.marcusjborg.com.
John Dominic Crossan,professor emeritus at DePaul University, iswidely regarded as the foremost historicalJesus scholar of our time. He currentlyserves as the president of the Society of BiblicalLiterature. He is the author of severalbestselling books, including The HistoricalJesus; Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography; and,most recently, The Greatest Prayer. Crossanlives in Minneola, Florida.
“With meticulous scholarship and accessible language, “The first Christmas”... uncover(s) the genuine meaning of...the Birth of Jesus.”
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