Marcus Borg 1942-2015

Marcus Borg 1942-2015 January 22, 2015

The news has been breaking that Marcus Borg has passed away.

Borg was an important figure in two areas that I also live and work in: Biblical studies, with particular focus on the historical Jesus; and progressive Christianity.

Borg wrote a number of excellent books, including ones which illustrated the ability of people who disagree in pronounced and fundamental ways with one another to be friends, as for instance in his co-authored book with N. T. Wright, The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions.

Even when I didn’t find his views persuasive, I appreciated his arguments, his clarity, and most of all his honesty, as for instance when he explained his reason for thinking that Jesus was not an apocalyptic figure: such end-of-the-world figures seemed to Borg to be out of their minds, while Jesus seemed sane.

I used one of Borg’s books as a textbook in my course on the Bible for many years: Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally.

Borg’s presence and contribution will be missed.

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  • R Vogel

    Very sad. He has been an important figure in my rediscovery of faith in the last few years. His writing was excellent and he was always patient and gracious in his discussion on his blog. He will be missed

  • Bethany

    🙁 Reading the Bible Again For the First Time changed the entire way I thought about the Bible, God, and faith — I don’t think it’s exaggerating too much to say it was life-changing for me.

  • SK

    I join with many others in saying that if it weren’t for Borg’s writings, I would have walked away from my faith years ago.
    So thank you, Dr Marcus Borg, for helping me meet Jesus all over again. RIP.

  • Paul E.

    I hadn’t read anything of his since, I think, the late 90s, but when I started perusing Patheos last fall, I looked at his blog a few times, and was reminded, in addition to his being so open and honest about his (excellent) scholarship, how nice he seemed. So many scholars’ blogs seem to be haughty or contemptuous of the general audience, or get bogged down by impolite responders or trolls. From what I saw, his wasn’t, and it seemed to reflect a genuinely gracious personality that invited, and almost quietly demanded, respectful dialog. Impressive.

  • Andrew Dowling

    A great and humble scholar and theologian. His responses to being unfairly pilloried by the right wing were always full of grace and respectful patience. He will be missed.