The First Christmas

  • by Marcus J. Borg, John Dominic Crossan
  • Narrated by John Pruden
  • 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fine book from Crossan and Borg, as always, but...

I have to say that someone who reads books in a particular discipline (in this case, scripture and to a lesser extent Christian liturgy) ought to have a bit more expertise in the vocabulary of that discipline. "Magnificat", general pronounced with soft Italian (or liturgical Latin) vowels, was constantly pronounced like a character in a Lloyd Webber musical. "Collect", meaning a specific liturgical prayer in the liturgy, was pronounced with the accent on the second syllable, like the verb. Things like this are a distraction from the text as a whole, and really should be better directed and edited. No complaints about the book itself, and I'm grateful that this kind of book, somewhat less in vogue than, say, John Grisham or Stephen King, is also made available for us audio addicts.
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- Rory Cooney

Not a Good Listen

I have read and enjoyed a number of books by these 2 authors, and much that they point out here is interesting. BUT they say it over and over again. I'm just not sure that so very much repetition is acceptable in any book. The reader, also, doesn't help. He is very much of the college-professor-reading-a-lecture style. There is no feeling in his reading -- not sure he's even registering himself what he says.
Then there's a personal complaint. Extensive quotations from the Bible are very appropriate, of course, but using the "plain English" version as opposed to the beautifully poetic King James version is really a crime here, and it especially mars the audio edition. The selected translation may be accurate, but it is very drab and so diminishes the power of the Biblical Christmas stories.
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- C. Telfair "Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-24-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio