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Download The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Birth Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesuss Birth (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Marcus J. Borg
3.73 out of 53.73 out of 53.73 out of 53.73 out of 53.73 out of 5 3.73 (22 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marcus J. Borg Narrator: John Pruden Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN:
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In The First Christmas, two of today's top Jesus scholars, Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, join forces to show how history has biased our reading of the nativity story as it appears in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. As they did for Easter in their previous book, The Last Week, here they explore the beginning of the life of Christ, peeling away the sentimentalism that has built up over the last 2,000 years around this most well known of all stories to reveal the truth of what the gospels actually say.

Borg and Crossan help us to see this well-known narrative afresh by answering the question, What do these stories mean? in the context of both the first century and the 21st century. They successfully show that the Christmas story, read in its original context, is far richer and more challenging than people imagine.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 2/7/2014

    " Another interesting offering from Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. I am one of those who take the Bible seriously, but not literally. I would be interested in the reactions to this book of folks who are encountering these theologians for the first time. I don't think I learned anything brand new, perhaps just stated a little differently. The stories are not diminished in any way. In fact I feel as though the truth of the stories are enriched and enhanced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 2/1/2014

    " At some points it gets tough to wade through, but it is an admirable task - unpacking the meaning behind the Christmas stories in the New Testament. Given that most of the stuff in the traditional Christmas story probably never happened (census, trip to Bethlehem, wise men, star, shepherds, etc.), this attempts to understand WHY those stories were told - What is the symbolism and meaning of those stories and how are they relevant today? The authors present the information in a way that they hope will be useful to both people who believe the events described actually happened and those who realize that it probably wasn't that way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 1/27/2014

    " I liked how the authors drew out the parabolic nature of the Christmas stories within Mark and Luke. It gave me some good food for thought during this season. The authors also have a similar book called The Last Week for the Easter season that i would like to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mari | 1/24/2014

    " Chapter 9 is very thought-provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod | 1/17/2014

    " If you want an informative, illuminating (especially appropriate for this book), and entertaining walk through the two stories of Jesus' birth (in Matthew and Luke), then you couldn't have better guides than John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg. Find out what's in the text that has been ignored, and what is most decidedly not in the text that gets added. And reacquaint yourself with the rebel, Jesus... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 1/16/2014

    " More academic than I was interested it, but certainly an enlightening view of the Bible in its historical context as it might have been understood by Jesus' followers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 1/6/2014

    " Excellent summary and treatment of the various Scriptural traditions regarding the birth of Christ. Accessible and readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scheri | 12/30/2013

    " Interesting study of the Luke and Matthew birth narratives and what they really mean for us as Christians. Scholarship is clearly articulated and cutting edge. Enjoyed the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn Hutchings | 12/12/2013

    " this book has helped me to preach my way through several Advents and Christmases! A must for preachers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 12/11/2013

    " A wonderful and challenging book. There is much more to the traditional story of Christmas than meets the eye. It has opened my eyes to new ways of seeing this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lelisia | 10/27/2013

    " Interesting, but not as scholarly as I was hoping it would be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie Lee | 10/27/2013

    " Makes you think! I found this book enlightening about the themes and context of Matthew and Luke. I heard Dom Crosson lecture on the first Christmas at First United Methodist Church of Orlando, which gave me insights as I was reading, especially concerning the use of overtures in literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 3/13/2013

    " Read prior to trip to Israel to gain understanding into the period and political landscape of the times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Troy | 2/5/2013

    " This is a very worthwhile read, though it is not a terribly easy read. However, if you want to get a better feel for the symbolism of the nativity stories (and "competing" contemporary stories to those oft-told stories), it is excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Weatherwax | 11/3/2012

    " Confirms for me what I already believed about the story of Jesus's birth and introduces some new aspects. A good read for people unhappy with the conservative literal approach to the Christmas stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rod Buchanan | 2/26/2012

    " Great scholarship in many areas and great insights. However, they discount the historicity of the Gospels at every point. Not sure how you can believe that and still be motivated to study the Scriptures. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherri Losee | 1/28/2012

    " This book helped me reconcile many doubts I had about the Biblical account of Jesus's birth, and even Jesus himself. Jesus truly is our saviour! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James Kayler | 1/16/2012

    " Authors are either the grinches who stole Christmas or they are right on in their assessment of the fate of powerful empires as they pursue peace through violence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 12/19/2010

    " More academic than I was interested it, but certainly an enlightening view of the Bible in its historical context as it might have been understood by Jesus' followers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jarkko | 11/18/2010

    " A bit repetitive at times, but brings great insight into the birth stories in the Bible. We are called to be changed by Christmas and work together with God in creating a world of "peace through justice" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scheri | 12/9/2009

    " Interesting study of the Luke and Matthew birth narratives and what they really mean for us as Christians. Scholarship is clearly articulated and cutting edge. Enjoyed the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rod | 10/12/2009

    " Great scholarship in many areas and great insights. However, they discount the historicity of the Gospels at every point. Not sure how you can believe that and still be motivated to study the Scriptures. "

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About the Author
Author Marcus J. Borg

Marcus J. Borg (1942–2015) was canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture, emeritus, at Oregon State University. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he had been national chair of the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature and was the author of the bestselling books Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, The God We Never Knew, Jesus, and Speaking Christian.

About the Narrator

John Pruden is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator. His exposure to many people, places, and experiences throughout his life provides a deep creative well from which he draws his narrative and vocal characterizations. His narration of The Killing of Crazy Horse by Thomas Powers was chosen by the Washington Post as a Best Audiobook of 2010.