Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The meaning of Jesus (Marcus Borg & Tom Wright)

Stimulating and interesting. Borg isn't as much of a liberal as I have previously supposed, although I still find Wright more persuasive on most points. Borg makes a telling point about Wright's methodology being 'flat', ie Wright pays no systematic attention to the high probability that Matthew (and Luke to a lesser extent) used Mark, and that therefore some of the material in Matthew or Luke is less historically reliable. I think that there are ways to respond to that, particularly for theological purposes, but historically Wright's stance seems problematic. I have his more substantial books on my shelf, as yet unread, so he may not be vulnerable to that criticism.

In any case I'd happily recommend this book to someone just starting to engage with the issues. It's pretty clear and it gives a good feel for the shape of most of the debates.

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