Marcus Borg: The Battle Over Jesus Today

Marcus Borg asks, “What Jesus was killed for?”

Borg states: “We have to remember that Jesus didn’t simply give his life but that he was killed, and he was killed because he was a social prophet who challenged the domination system. If we only recall the idea of Jesus offering up his life for the sins of the world, we lose track of what Jesus was willing to get killed for. He was willing to get killed for his passion for social justice, because of his radical critique of the domination system; because he stood for the kingdom of God and against the domination systems of his world. We live in the only major religious tradition whose founder was executed by the established authority – it is not better, but it is different. Whenever we lose track of that fact, we commit a political domestication of Christianity that easily turns Christianity into an individualized and privatized religion that is no threat to anybody, or into a legitimator of whatever domination system the religion happens to be living within, and we betray exactly that which Jesus was willing to give his life for by being killed. The historical study of Jesus helps us to recover the alternative social vision of Jesus and the prophets. It is a vision that combines religion and politics, spirituality, compassion, and a passion for social justice in the world. The Historical Study of Jesus and the bible is providing a way back for millions of mainline Christians who are interested in reading the bible in ways that makes persuasive sense to them.”

Leave a Reply