Marcus Borg

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Marcus Borg speaking in Mansfield College chapel.

Marcus J. Borg (born 1942) is an American New Testament scholar, theologian and author.[1] He is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar and was formerly Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University, a position from which he retired in 2007. Borg is among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity and is a major figure in scholarship related to the Historical Jesus.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Borg was born 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 decided to study at Union Seminary in New York City, where he became familiarized with liberal theology. One of the profound influences on Borg during his seminary years was his professor and the noted theologian W. D. Davies. After graduating from Union he then matriculated at Mansfield College, Oxford University, where he earned his D. Phil.[4]


Borg 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. 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.[5] 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 has been 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.[6] On May 31, 2009, he was installed as the first canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.[7] Borg has been a frequent collaborator with his friend John Dominic Crossan[8][9][10][11] He is also a friend of N.T. Wright, despite their theological differences. The two discussed their differences in their book The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (2000).[12][13] Borg has frequently been featured in programs on networks such as PBS, NPR and National Geographic, and has also made appearances on ABC World News and The Today Show.[14] In 2001, he debated William Lane Craig over the resurrection of Jesus.[15] Borg has also debated Craig Blomberg and James White on topics such as the historical reliability of the gospels and the historical Jesus.


  • Conflict and Social Change, 1971
  • The Year of Luke, 1976
  • Conflict, Holiness and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus, 1984 (rev. 1998)
  • Jesus: A New Vision, 1987
  • The Search for Jesus: Modern Scholarship Looks at the Gospels, co-authored with John Dominic Crossan and Stephen Patterson, ed. by Hershel Shanks, 1994
  • Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship, 1994
  • Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, 1994, ISBN 0-06-060917-6
  • The Lost Gospel Q, ed., 1996
  • Jesus at 2000, ed., 1996
  • Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, ed., 1997
  • The God We Never Knew, 1997
  • Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate Between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan, 1998 (Marcus Borg, Respondent)
  • The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions. Co-authored with N. Thomas Wright, 1999, ISBN 0-06-060875-7
  • 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 C. Allison, John Dominic Crossan, and Stephan J. Patterson, 2001
  • God at 2000 (editor, with Ross Mackenzie, 2001)
  • The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (2003)
  • 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
  • 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
  • "Executed by Rome, Vindicated by God," Stricken by God?, ed. by Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin, 2007, 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
  • 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


  1. ^ Haught, Nancy: "Belief and meaning: His faith in Jesus doesn't deter Marcus Borg from asking difficult questions about divinity", The Oregonian, 2007-03-24
  2. ^ Marcus Borg. Explore Faith. Accessed January 21, 2008.
  3. ^ "School of History, Philosophy, and Religion". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Page Not Found « Westar Institute Westar Institute". Westar Institute. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Guide to the Marcus J. Borg Papers 1969–2000". Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon. 
  6. ^ Marcus J. Borg. Westar Institute. Accessed January 21, 2008.
  7. ^ Oregon: Marcus Borg named canon theologian at Trinity Cathedral in Portland. Diocesan Digest Episcopal Life Online. Accessed September 26, 2009.
  8. ^ "Christian Pilgrimages with Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan at The Center for Spiritual Development". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Interview on 'First Paul' with Marcus Borg & John Dominic Crossan - Explore". Explore. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Living the Questions". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  11. ^ "The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Birth: Marcus J. Borg, John Dominic Crossan: 9780061430701: Books". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Meaning of Jesus, The: Marcus J. Borg, N. T. Wright: 9780060608767: Books". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  13. ^ "N. T. Wright & Marcus Borg — Idolatry". Christian Conversations Now. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ "About Me". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  15. ^ Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? on YouTube Debate with William Lane Craig

External links[edit]