cover image The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions

The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions

Marcus J. Borg. HarperOne, $24 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-06-060875-0

In this valuable book, historical Jesus scholars Bog (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time) and Wright (Jesus and the Victory of God) engage in a lively debate on the significance of historical Jesus research for the Christian faith. Each of the seven sections of the book contains alternating chapters by the two authors. For example, in a section called ""How Do We Know About Jesus?"" Borg argues that the ways people ""see"" Jesus are determined by the critical lenses and methods they use to look at the sources, while Wright claims that we ""know"" Jesus as a result of a dialogue between faith and history. In similar fashion, Borg and Wright exchange remarks on topics ranging from the Virgin Birth and ""Was Jesus God?"" to the crucifixion, the resurrection and the Second Coming. Borg's conclusions about the historical Jesus arise out of his conviction that the Gospels are not historical reports that can be factually verified but documents in which history is ""metaphorized"" to reveal symbolic meanings about Jesus' life. Wright, on the other hand, argues that a historical reading of the Gospels supports a Christian's ""faith-knowledge"" of Jesus. This is a splendid introduction to contemporary conversations about the historical Jesus as well as an excellent primer on New Testament Christology for general readers. (Jan.)