Marcus J. Borg is internationally known in both academic and church circles as a Jesus and biblical scholar, lecturer and author whose interests are also broader, focusing on what it means to be Christian today — especially what it means to be an American Christian in a time of a deeply divided American Christianity.
He is the author of twenty-one books, several of which have been best-sellers. Many have been about Jesus. And some have been about God, the Bible, the New Testament, the heart of Christianity, and reclaiming Christian language. One is a novel whose characters wrestle with these issues.
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.
His books have been translated into twelve languages: German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, French, Swedish, and Russian. His doctor’s degree is from Oxford University, and he has lectured widely overseas (England, Scotland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel, South Africa, Sweden, and Australia) and in North America, including the Chautauqua and Smithsonian institutions.
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, president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars, and a Fellow of the Jesus Seminar.
He taught at Oregon State University for 28 years where he held the Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture at the time of his retirement in 2007. He also has been Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon.
His books include Jesus: A New Vision (1987) and the best-seller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994); The God We Never Knew (1997); The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999); Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), and The Heart of Christianity (2003), both Publishers Weekly best-sellers. Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006), was a New York Times best-seller. Subsequent books include Conversations with Scripture: Mark (2009); his first novel, Putting Away Childish Things (2010); Speaking Christian (2011); Evolution of the Word, a chronological New Testament in which the documents of the New Testament are introduced in the order in which they were written (2012). His 21st book is Convictions: How I Have Learned What Matters Most (2014).
He is the co-author with N. T. Wright of The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions; and three books with John Dominic Crossan: The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009).
Notable facts about Borg’s books
• Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994) is the single best-selling book by a contemporary Jesus scholar.
• The God We Never Knew was named “one of the ten best books in religion in 1997″ by Publishers Weekly.
• The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, 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) made Publishers Weekly “ten best selling books in religion.”
• Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary is a New York Times best-selling book.
• The Heart of Christianity (Harper San Francisco, 2003) has been a group study book in hundreds of churches. A very useful study guide for The Heart of Christianity is published by Woodlake Books and authored by Tim Scorer. At 160 pages long, it teaches the book’s themes 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: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart
“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, An Altar in the World, and most recently Learning to Walk in the Dark
“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