Customer Reviews for

First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Birth

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    THIS IS A THINKING-PERSON'S BOOK

    I applaud Christian Theologians who are willing to use the brain God gave to them. There is never any question that any of us has "the whole answer," which means that even Borg and Crossan will be wrong on some issues, part of the time. But they are also right on many of the issues. And they have logically explained many parts of the Christmas story that just didn't jive. Maybe those who take the Bible literally should stay away from thinkers, and be happy just "swallowing the whole pill." But for any person who has turned away from Christianity because they just "couldn't buy it: hook, line and sinker," I would say: READ THIS BOOK. If the Bible cannot stand up to scrutiny and debate, then it is not a viable religion anyway. Discussion leads to understanding, and sticking one's head in the ground leads to a dead-end belief. I have no problem embracing Christianity with Jesus as the center of a "new era and covenant" that God ushered in two thousand years ago. Every detail does NOT have to be a sacred cow, and the story line is still important and relevant. Hallelujah for men and women who are not afraid to think out loud. Would that we could all dialogue patiently with each other and learn from each other. Sigh. Probably not going to happen. But when the "old Christianity" dies because it is unyielding and rigid, I hope the new believers will be able to connect with the meaningful Christianity of the present. Perhaps The Lord God knew that this time and era would have the ability to peer behind history, and piece together some of the puzzle. Yet...there is still plenty of mystery, and that is wonderful too. God Bless Each of Us as we try to make sense of Life, of the World He has created and Eternity. Peace in Jesus' Name. Terry

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Mostly a Good Read with Surprising Conclusions

    "The First Christmas" by Marcus J. Borg & John Dominic Crossan" expounds on the descriptions of Jesus' birth portrayed in Matthew and Luke. Both authors are Christians, but:

    * They own up to historical inaccuracies in the Biblical stories.

    * They admit Jesus' genealogies, which differ somewhat between two the accounts, were fabricated

    * They acknowledge the alleged prophesies of Jesus' birth misconstrue Old Testament accounts of other events.

    To the authors, however, these do not matter because they contend the birth stories are parables that reveal deep truths even if they're not factual.

    Most of the book is an interesting read. It is filled with intriguing historical tidbits, surprising revelations, and thought-provoking theories. However, near the end there are a few stretches that turn philosophical, repetitive, and boring. One point the authors drive home throughout is the contrast between Jesus' vision of peace through justice versus the Romans' and future empires' vision of peace through victory.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Locates the sources of Christmas traditions

    Borg & Crossan untangle the two Christmas stories found in Matthew and Luke. They then untangle the Christian understanding of Christmas from various secular traditions (Greek and Roman primarily). In so doing, the reader is then able to better understand what God did in the gift of Jesus, how we are to receive this gift and use it to help bring about God's realm of peace through justice.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Not what I was looking for

    This book disapointed me greatly. I got this about 2 weeks before Christmas to read just to get myself in the Christmas mood but all it did was make me furious. This book continually stated that the Bible was wrong or in other words 'joking'. If you want to read a book with great Christian ethics and making the right opions about the Bible then don't get this book because it dashed the Bible so many times

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    This book helped to explain the reaso for the gospels and what their purpose was for the Bible. Very enlightening!

    Reflector

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    Posted January 12, 2010

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    Posted January 14, 2010

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    Posted December 20, 2009

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    Posted October 17, 2009

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