Marcus Borg

Wikipedia open wikipedia design.

Marcus Borg
Marcus Borg speaking in Mansfield College chapel.JPG
Borg speaking in Mansfield College chapel
Marcus Joel Borg

(1942-03-11)March 11, 1942
DiedJanuary 21, 2015(2015-01-21) (aged 72)
Spouse(s)Marianne Wells Borg
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisConflict as a Context for Interpreting the Teaching of Jesus[2] (1972)
Doctoral advisorG. B. Caird[1]
InfluencesW. D. Davies
Academic work
Sub-disciplineNew Testament studies
School or tradition
InstitutionsOregon State University

Marcus Joel Borg[3] (1942–2015) was an American New Testament scholar and theologian.[4] He was among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity. As a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, Borg was a major figure in historical Jesus scholarship.[5] He retired as Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University in 2007 and died eight years later at the age of 72, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at his home in Powell Butte, Oregon.[6][7][8]

Early life and education[edit]

Borg was born March 11, 1942, in Fergus Falls, Minnesota,[9] and raised in a Lutheran family in North Dakota. After high school he attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Initially planning to be an astrophysicist, he decided to major in math and physics. He later changed his major to political science and philosophy. Though plagued by doubt as a young adult, after his undergraduate studies Borg accepted a Rockefeller Brothers Theological Fellowship to study at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he became familiarized with liberal theology. A profound influence on Borg during his seminary years was the theologian W. D. Davies. After his studies at Union, he matriculated at Mansfield College, Oxford, where he earned his Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.[10]


Borg taught at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, from 1966 to 1969 and 1972 to 1974; South Dakota State University in Brookings from 1975 to 1976; and Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, from 1976 to 1979. He was a faculty member at Oregon State University from 1979 until his retirement in 2007 as Distinguished Professor in Religion and Culture and the Hundere Endowed Chair in Religious Studies.[11] Borg was appointed Chair of the Religious Studies Department in January 1988. The Religious Studies Department was closed at the end of the 1991–1992 academic year and Borg became a faculty member in the Philosophy Department.[12] During his time at Oregon State he organized and led two nationally televised symposia, one in 1996 (Jesus at 2000), and another in 2000 (God at 2000). Borg also served as Visiting Professor of New Testament at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley (1989–1991) and the Chism Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington (1986–1987).[13]

Borg served as national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee and president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.[14] On May 31, 2009, he was installed as the first canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.[15]

Borg frequently collaborated with his friend John Dominic Crossan.[16][17][18][19] He was a friend of N. T. Wright since their days together at Oxford, despite having theological differences. The two discussed those differences in their book The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999, rev. 2007).[20][21] Borg was often featured in programs on networks such as PBS, NPR and National Geographic, and appeared on ABC World News and The Today Show.[22] In 2001, he debated William Lane Craig over the resurrection of Jesus.[23] Borg also debated Craig Blomberg and James White on topics such as the historical reliability of the gospels and the historical Jesus.

Borg died on January 21, 2015, in Powell Butte, Oregon.


  • Conflict and Social Change, 1971; ISBN 978-0806694610
  • The year of Luke: Advent/Christmas/Epiphany, 1976
  • Conflict, Holiness and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus, 1984 (rev. 1998); ISBN 978-1563382277
  • Jesus: A New Vision, 1987; ISBN 978-0060608149
  • The Search for Jesus: Modern Scholarship Looks at the Gospels, co-authored with John Dominic Crossan and Stephen J. Patterson, ed. by Hershel Shanks, 1994; ISBN 978-1880317143
  • Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship, 1994; ISBN 978-1563380945
  • Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, 1994; ISBN 0-06-060917-6
  • The Lost Gospel Q: The Original Sayings of Jesus, ed., with an introduction by Thomas Moore, 1996; ISBN 978-1569751893
  • Jesus at 2000, ed., 1996; ISBN 978-0813332536
  • Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, ed., with an introduction by Jack Kornfield, 1997; ISBN 978-1569754610
  • The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith, 1997; ISBN 978-0060610357
  • Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate Between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan (Marcus Borg, Respondent), 1998; ISBN 978-0801021756
  • The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, co-authored with N. T. Wright, 1999; ISBN 0-06-060875-7 (second edition, The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (Plus), 2007; ISBN 978-0061285547)
  • Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally, 2001; ISBN 0-06-060918-4
  • The Apocalyptic Jesus: A Debate, co-authored with Dale Allison, John Dominic Crossan, and Stephan J. Patterson, 2001; ISBN 978-0944344897
  • God at 2000, ed., with Ross H. McKenzie, 2001; ISBN 978-0819219077
  • The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, 2003; ISBN 978-0060730680
  • Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, 2006; ISBN 0-06-059445-4
  • Living the Heart of Christianity: A Guide to Putting Your Faith into Action, co-authored with Tim Scorer, 2006; ISBN 978-0061118425
  • The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem, co-authored with John Dominic Crossan, 2006; ISBN 0-06-084539-2
  • The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus' Birth, co-authored with John Dominic Crossan, 2007; ISBN 978-0061430718
  • Stricken by God?, ed. by Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin, 2007 (Marcus Borg, contributor, "Executed by Rome, Vindicated by God"); ISBN 978-0-9780174-7-7
  • The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon, co—authored with John Dominic Crossan, 2009; ISBN 0-06-143072-2
  • Conversations with Scripture - The Gospel of Mark, 2009; ISBN 978-0819223395
  • Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith, 2010; ISBN 978-0-06-188814-4
  • Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning, 2011; ISBN 978-0-06-197655-1
  • Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written, 2013; ISBN 978-0-06-208211-4
  • Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most, 2014; ISBN 978-0062269973 (published in England as Convictions: A Manifesto for Progressive Christians, 2014; ISBN 978-0281073115)


  1. ^ Alker, Adrian (February 6, 2015). "Professor Marcus Borg". Church Times. London: Hymns Ancient and Modern. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  2. ^ Borg, Marcus J. (1972). Conflict as a Context for Interpreting the Teaching of Jesus (DPhil dissertation). Oxford: University of Oxford. OCLC 43405002.
  3. ^ Ruby, Mary, ed. (2012). "Marcus J. Borg". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. 237. Detroit, Michigan: Gale. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-4144-8172-2. ISSN 0275-7176.
  4. ^ Haught, Nancy: "Belief and meaning: His faith in Jesus doesn't deter Marcus Borg from asking difficult questions about divinity", The Oregonian, 24 March 2007.
  5. ^ Marcus Borg. Explore Faith. Accessed January 21, 2008.
  6. ^ "Marcus Borg, leading liberal theologian and historical Jesus expert, dies at 72". Religion News Service. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  7. ^ "HarperOne Mourns the Passing of Beloved Bestselling Author Marcus Borg". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  8. ^ Marcus Borg, Liberal Scholar on Historical Jesus, Dies at 72 - The New York Times Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  9. ^ " Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series".
  10. ^ "Marcus J. Borg". Westar Institute. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  11. ^ " Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series".
  12. ^ "Guide to the Marcus J. Borg Papers 1969–2000". Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.
  13. ^ "Marcus J. Borg". Westar Institute. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "Marcus J. Borg". Westar Institute. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  15. ^ Oregon: Marcus Borg named canon theologian at Trinity Cathedral in Portland Archived August 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Diocesan Digest Episcopal Life Online. Accessed September 26, 2009.
  16. ^ "Christian Pilgrimages with Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan at The Center for Spiritual Development". Archived from the original on October 4, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  17. ^ "Interview on 'First Paul' with Marcus Borg & John Dominic Crossan – Explore". Explore. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  18. ^ "Living the Questions". Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  19. ^ "The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Birth: Marcus J. Borg, John Dominic Crossan: 9780061430701: Books". Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  20. ^ "Meaning of Jesus, The: Marcus J. Borg, N. T. Wright: 9780061285547: Books". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  21. ^ "N. T. Wright & Marcus Borg — Idolatry". Christian Conversations Now. Archived from the original on October 10, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  22. ^ "About Us". Archived from the original on October 4, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  23. ^ Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? on YouTube Debate with William Lane Craig

External links[edit]

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by contributors (read/edit).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.