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Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in…
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Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were…

by Marcus J. Borg

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Excellent way to read the New Testament. Borg gives a nice introduction to each book and then you can read each in the proper historical order of composition. Of course, there is some disagreement among scholars as to the proper historical order of the books, but Borg works from the main consensus. Altogether an excellent book to own and read. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
This is a big book, 593 pages, but over half of it is a reprint of scripture. After an introduction, Borg goes book-by-book through the New Testament, providing a few pages of overview for each, primarily discussing its historical context, and then presenting the Biblical text. Borg's contributions are a little sparse and offered without much argument, so if you're looking for exhaustive commentary, that's not his purpose.

Also, do not imagine that scholars have some kind of universal agreement about when each of the N.T. books were written! Borg humbly admits there is no consensus, and in places, admits his opinion differs from the majority. In general, Borg dates many of the books just a little later than I do. For example, he follows the recent trendy dating of Luke/Acts well into the second century, while I remain unconvinced and still date these two books around 85-95. And, of course, we won't agree on Revelation, since in my own book I rely heavily on a historical-critical interpretation to place its date right around the year 80 CE, which differs from almost every New Testament scholar.

But while there's no exact consensus, that's not really the point. The point of Borg's book is to portray how Christianity evolved in its earliest years, as evidenced in the writings we have in our Bible. Indeed, the New Testament itself is an evolutionary outgrowth of the Old Testament. Quite a bit of the discussion centers on Paul, and on the letters written in his name, as this is where the most serious change occurs over the span of the New Testament ... issues like the role of women in the church and of how to regard Christian slaves like Philemon.

Overall, I enjoyed the book but found few surprises, and the reading went fast since I didn't take time to reread all of the scripture. ( )
2 vote DubiousDisciple | Sep 15, 2012 |
Everyone knows the New Testament begins with the Gospel of Matthew, but how many know Matthew was actually one of the later books to be written? (It wasn't even the first Gospel!) But Evolution of the Word is not your typical New Testament.

Marcus J. Borg, esteemed Bible scholar and bestselling author, shakes up the order of the New Testament as we know it by putting the books in a completely new order—the order in which they were written. By doing so, Evolution of the Word allows us to read these documents in their historical context. For the first time, see how the core ideas of Christianity took shape and developed over time.

Borg surveys what we know of the Jewish community of Jesus followers who passed on their stories orally. Into this context emerges the apostle Paul, whose seven authentic letters become the first collected writings that would later become the New Testament. Borg offers helpful introductions for each book so that as we read through these biblical documents, spanning over a century in time, we see afresh what concerns and pressures shaped this movement as it evolved into a new religion.

In this groundbreaking format, Borg reveals how a radical and primitive apocalyptic Jewish faith slowly became more comfortable with the world, less Jewish, and more pre- occupied with maintaining power and control. Evolution of the Word promises to change forever how we think about this historic work.
1 vote | Lake_O_UCC | Sep 9, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062082108, Hardcover)

Everyone knows the New Testament begins with the Gospel of Matthew, but how many know Matthew was actually one of the later books to be written? (It wasn't even the first Gospel!) But Evolution of the Word is not your typical New Testament.

Marcus J. Borg, esteemed Bible scholar and bestselling author, shakes up the order of the New Testament as we know it by putting the books in a completely new order—the order in which they were written. By doing so, Evolution of the Word allows us to read these documents in their historical context. For the first time, see how the core ideas of Christianity took shape and developed over time.

Borg surveys what we know of the Jewish community of Jesus followers who passed on their stories orally. Into this context emerges the apostle Paul, whose seven authentic letters become the first collected writings that would later become the New Testament. Borg offers helpful introductions for each book so that as we read through these biblical documents, spanning over a century in time, we see afresh what concerns and pressures shaped this movement as it evolved into a new religion.

In this groundbreaking format, Borg reveals how a radical and primitive apocalyptic Jewish faith slowly became more comfortable with the world, less Jewish, and more pre- occupied with maintaining power and control. Evolution of the Word promises to change forever how we think about this historic work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:46 -0400)

Analyzes the New Testament chronologically through each book of the Bible, detailing how the core values of Christianity took shape and developed over time.

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