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Marcus J. Borg, 1942-2015

Marcus J. Borg, biblical scholar, churchman

Marcus J. Borg, biblical scholar, churchman

Progressive Christian biblical scholar and churchman, Marcus Borg, died on Wednesday, January 21. He was 72.

Marcus Borg was a founding scholar of contemporary liberal and progressive Christian approaches to biblical studies. He was one of a handful of recent scholars to revive interest in the historical Jesus and was a leading member of the Jesus Seminar. He challenged Christians of every variety to appreciate the sacred mystery of our scriptures alongside what he called “the political vision of the Bible.”

Borg authored more than twenty-five books that have helped many rediscover new vitality and spiritual transformation in Christian faith. According to New Testament scholar Scot McNight (Northern Seminary), “Most of his published work was geared toward educated lay persons and clergy, books he hoped would get them to engage with serious ethical and theological matters, including the Bible, itself.” Some of Borg’s recent titles include:

    Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally (2001)

    The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (2003)

    Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006)

    The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’ Final Week in Jerusalem (2006)

    The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon (2009)

    Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith (2010)

    Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written (2013)

    Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most (2014)

The debt we owe to Marcus Borg — as progressive Christians and other people of faith — is beyond measure. We pray for peace and comfort for those he loved, and we praise God in celebration of a life that has brought such light to the world.

    “Religion’s purpose is to mediate the sacred and, by so doing, to inform, engender, and nourish a transforming relationship to ‘the More.'”

    Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity (2003)