Two major literary personalities coming out of the controversial 'Jesus Seminar', Borg and Crossan offer another shot across the bow of orthodox belief. This time, instead of harmonizing the Gospel accounts of the week before the Resurrection, the authors deconstruct and contrast them. The book uses the Gospel of Mark as the basis for examining this series of events, bringing in relevant passages from Matthew, Luke and John when they feel necessary, even dipping into spurious sources such as the Gospel of Peter. The authors argue for the subtext of the Resurrection, not the context, concentrating more on its meaning than the reality or veracity of it and thereby slyly weaving doubt into the mind of the reader.
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Customer Reviews for The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus' Final Days in Jerusalem
Review 1 for The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus' Final Days in Jerusalem
This book asks us to think and not assume
Date:March 21, 2013
Having read the short introduction to this book on this website, I had to chuckle at the implied judgement against this "shot across the bow of orthodox belief" that "slyly weav[es] doubt into the mind of the reader." I found that The Last Week did anything but that. Crossan and Borg ask faithful readers to set aside the assumptions we all learn over many years of hearing the accounts of Jesus' Passion and Resurrection and to engage with the Scriptural texts themselves. Although there are some conclusions that might ask a bit too much of a stretch of traditional doctrine, there was nothing that made me lose faith. Reflecting on the political nature of Jesus' teaching and ministry was refreshing, particularly the emphasis on the justice demanded by the Kingdom of God. Discussing the events of Holy Week especially through the eyes of Mark but also with references to Matthew, Luke, and John, was helpful because it allowed greater understanding of the motivations of the evangelists as they recorded their accounts some years after the events they portray. The Last Week is highly recommended reading for anyone who wishes to reach a better understanding of the mission of Jesus and to recall the Church to a more faithful following of "The Way". My one criticism of the book is that, while the authors very helpfully included a study guide, the questions were often obscure and not particularly helpful for the average Christian "in the pew".