Marcus J. Borg

Marcus Borg... combines the critical eye of the scholar with the mediating sensitivity of faith.

~ Fred Burnham

Marcus Borg describes himself as both a historical Jesus scholar and a Christian.

Marcus J. BorgMarcus J. Borg is internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar. Holder of the Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007, he is now Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, OR.

He is the author of seventeen books, including:

  • Jesus: A New Vision (1987)
  • Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994), the single best-selling book by a contemporary Jesus scholar
  • The God We Never Knew (1997), named “one of the ten best books in religion in 1997” by Publishers Weekly
  • The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999), co-authored with N. Thomas Wright, a well-known British New Testament scholar from the conservative side of the spectrum, won the “Best General Interest Book of 1999” award from the Association of Theological Booksellers
  • Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), has made Publishers Weekly “ten best selling books in religion.”
  • The Heart of Christianity (2003), a best-seller, has been a group study book in hundreds of churches.

His newest books are:

  • Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006), a New York Times best-seller
  • Three books co-authored with John Dominic Crossan:
    • The Last Week (2006)
    • The First Christmas (2007)
    • The First Paul (2009)

His next books are:

  • The Gospel of Mark, to be published in June 2009.
  • Time After Time, a novel to be published in early winter 2010.

Described by The New York Times as “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars,” he has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and “Dateline,” PBS’s “Newshour,” ABC’s “Evening News” and “Prime Time” with Peter Jennings, NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and several National Geographic programs.

A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he has been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee, and is past president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars and a regular columnist for “Beliefnet.” His work has been translated into eleven languages: German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and French.

Dr. Borg’s doctoral degree is from Oxford University, and he has lectured widely overseas (England, Scotland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel and South Africa) and in North America, including the Chautauqua and Smithsonian Institutions.

In addition to the seventeen books he has authored or co-authored, he is the editor or co-editor of:

  • The Lost Gospel Q (1996)
  • Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings (1997)
  • God at 2000, co-edited with Ross Mackenzie (2000)

A very useful study guide for The Heart of Christianity is published by Woodlake Books and authored by Tim Scorer. 160 pages long, it teaches “Heart” in twelve sessions, with suggestions for small group formation and activities, a DVD that includes handouts, visuals, and some video. Similar study guides for Reading the Bible Again for the First Time and Jesus are also available from Woodlake Books.

Comments about Borg’s books

Borg is one of the very few New Testament scholars of our age whose learning is so lucid that it takes the Bible back from the specialists and makes it available in all its complexity and splendor to the general reader: nothing short of a blessing, even a miracle! If Marcus Borg did not exist, we would have to invent him for we have no better guide to the recovery of an authentic Christian faith for these difficult times than this articulate and prolific public theologian.

~ Peter Gomes, author of The Good Book

Writing with a simplicity that never becomes simplistic, Borg manages to convey the essence of Christianity in a way that does justice to those who do not share his views and will greatly enrich the understanding of those who do.

~ Frederick Buechner, author of many books, including most recently Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart

A marvelous book, The Heart of Christianity is both challenging and illuminating, and effecting exactly the kind of transformation that Borg describes so lucidly.

~ Karen Armstrong, author of best-sellers A History of God and The Battle for God

Marcus Borg is a key force in the emerging “new paradigm” of Christian faith.

~ Walter Brueggemann, author of more than thirty books on the Hebrew Bible

With great clarity and pastoral genius, Borg offers questioning Christians a way to keep their faith without shutting down the search for truth.

~ Barbara Brown Taylor, priest, professor and preacher and author of many books, including Leaving Church and An Altar in the World

In every generation there is a handful of writers of whom it can be said, “Read everything they write.” Marcus Borg is one of these today.

~ Walter Wink, author of Engaging the Powers, Jesus and Non-Violence, and many others

NextLenses through which Borg sees Jesus

See the scholarship and experiential perspective which informs Marcus Borg’s work.