Shuck and Jive

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Recommended Holy Week Reading

Our Thursdays With Jesus study group is reading and discussing Marcus Borg's latest, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary.

This is an excellent summary of Borg's thought about Jesus. I especially appreciate his understanding of the last week of Jesus in Jerusalem.

Borg and John Dominic Crossan provided a more complete look at the last week of Jesus (according to Mark) in The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem.

Next week beginning on Sunday, I will post day by day readings from Mark's Gospel and present Borg and Crossan's interpretations and my own thoughts.

In addition, I appreciate the insights of James Tabor in his book The Jesus Dynasty.

Borg and Crossan have a different view of Jesus than Tabor, but I think they are similar in that they all write that Jesus knew what he was doing when he led his anti-imperial parade and turned over tables in the Temple.

The Church tends to miss the very political message and activity of Jesus (probably because we are so cozy with the Empire). Jesus's final week in Jerusalem was a confrontation with the powers.

Other books of interest for Holy Week include the latest by John Shelby Spong, Jesus for the Non-Religious. Spong is always fun to read as he pulls no punches.

This book is no exception. As the title suggests, it is book for those who really want to understand the person and message of Jesus without the fantastical claims about him that so much of the church insists must be taken literally. It is a liberation of Jesus from religious control.

James Tabor recommended another book I hadn't yet read. I ordered it today. Gotta love the title:

Putting Away Childish Things: The Virgin Birth, the Empty Tomb, and Other Fairy Tales You Dont't Need to Believe to Have a Living Faith by Uta Ranke-Heinemann.

Good Reading!


  1. Great list!

    I recently purchased "The Last Week" and "Jesus for the Nonreligious" through My husband is listening to Spong now. I'm going to start The Last Week as soon as I finish Velvet Elvis.

    I didn't know about Borg's new book. Yeah! It's now on my wish list. Keith Ward has a new one coming out in May. I'm going to be busy for a while.

  2. I don't know who Keith Ward is. And I have heard about this Velvet Elvis, but I know nothing about it either. I am so behind.

    Thanks, Kay!