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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.
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