THE MEANING OF JESUS - TWO VISIONS
This is the title of our December book by Marcus J. Borg (author of The Heart of Christianity) and N.T. Wright (author of Simply Christian). The cover of the book describes it thus:
The leading liberal and conservative Jesus scholars present the heart of the Historical Jesus debate.There are eight sections to the book and in each the two authors are given a chapter each to present their fascinatingly contrasting visions. Thus Part I sets out the very basics of historical theology and asks How do we know about Jesus? with chapter 1 by Marcus Borg (Seeing Jesus: Sources, Lenses, and Method) and chapter 2 by Tom Wright (Knowing Jesus: Faith and History).
It's unlikely that we will be able to do the book justice in one week's discussion and so for this first meeting on December 7th we will focus on those first two chapters and then go on to see how the two authors interpret the subject of Part V: Was Jesus God? There is a clue to their differing approaches in the title of their respective chapters: Borg (ch 9) calls his Jesus and God, Wright (ch 10) sets out his stall in The Divinity of Jesus.
Maybe in the month of December and a time of celebration (in theory) of the nativity we should have opted for Part VI The Birth of Jesus, but there will be many more occasions to tackle other topics in the book, not least Part IV which gets quotation marks for its title - presumably to keep everyone happy: "God raised Jesus from the dead". More anon, I imagine.
One review described the book as a "thorough and accessible scholarly exchange" and another as "a refreshingly respectful exchange". No doubt our discussion at Wychwood Library will be, as always, respectful if not particularly scholarly!
Was Jesus God? The discussion at Wychwood Library on December 7th, from 7pm to 9pm (latest), will be based on the book by Marcus Borg and N T Wright The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, published by HarperOne (1999), focussing on Parts 1 and 5. As always, anyone is welcome to attend and contribute their own views and comments on the book.