Synopses & Reviews
“Who could argue with the message the authors draw from the Bibles Christmas stories? Light in the darkest time of the year, hope in a period of creeping despair—these are powerful and universal themes that can give everyone a stake in Christmas.”
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 literal story—the inner truth rather than the historical facts—to offer a clear and uplifting message of hope and peace. With The First Christmas readers get a fresh, deep, and new understanding of the nativity story, enabling us to better appreciate the powerful message of the Gospels.
"Borg and Crossan analyze the genealogies, annunciations, places, characters, and imagery of Matthew and Luke with a fidelity to the texts that conjures up visions of Bible students assiduously fingering the lines. Led by Borg and Crossan, such study is high adventure, not drudgery." Booklist
The follow-up to The Last Week, this is Borg and Crossan's account of the two nativity narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Focusing on the meaning of the Christmas story, the authors hope that readers will see the nativity story anew and appreciate the Gospels powerful message.
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.
About the Author
Marcus J. Borg is Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and author of the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, The God We Never Knew
, and Jesus
John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus at De Paul University, is widely regarded as the foremost historical Jesus scholar of our time. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus and Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. He lives in Minneola, Florida.