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by Marcus Borg

  • ISBN: 1569751218
  • Category: Christian Books
  • Author: Marcus Borg
  • Subcategory: Bible Study & Reference
  • Other formats: lrf docx mbr rtf
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press, Seastone (July 22, 1997)
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • FB2 size: 1159 kb
  • EPUB size: 1148 kb
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 315
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The first thing you notice about JESUS AND BUDDHA: THE PARALLEL SAYINGS is that the book itself is very .

The first thing you notice about JESUS AND BUDDHA: THE PARALLEL SAYINGS is that the book itself is very attractive. The sayings of Jesus are on the left page with the sayings of Buddha on the right, and the paper is deckle edged. Both of these scholars come to the same conclusion: there are many similarities between both these great teachers’ lives and their sayings.

Jesus and Buddha were separated by five hundred years, three thousand miles, and two drastically different . I recommend, with a caveat, Marcus Borg’s book Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary

Jesus and Buddha were separated by five hundred years, three thousand miles, and two drastically different cultures. I recommend, with a caveat, Marcus Borg’s book Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary. If you are a thinking Christian, you may not like it. If you are a Christian who turns your mind off at the door of the church, you may not like it either. Nevertheless, Mr. Borg has something useful for the both of you, and for those of you in between.

In Jesus and Buddha, these sayings, as well as equivalences between Jesus and later masters of Zen Buddhism, are presented in parallel fashion on facing pages. It is easy to see the fault of others but hard to see one's own", Buddha remarked. Uncovers the strange and unexplained parallels Jesus's sermons, Buddha's sayings, and the koans of Zen Buddhist masters. Through his teachings, Jesus not only created the Christian heritage, he also transcended traditional Western thought to reveal many of the universal truths of Buddhism. As a result, the sayings of Jesus and Buddha are often nearly identical.

Jesus and Buddha book

Jesus and Buddha book. Start by marking Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

The Parallel Sayings - Parallel Sayings, Parallel Lives - Compassion - Wisdom - Materialism .

The Parallel Sayings - Parallel Sayings, Parallel Lives - Compassion - Wisdom - Materialism - Inner Life - Temptation - Salvation - The Future - Miracles - Discipleship - Attributes - Life Stories. Are there universal truths to guide us through life? If we compare the sayyings of Jesus and Budda, the answer is a heartfelt yes. Both provide the same advice on loving, living a full life, and experiennncing the sacred. One came from the West, the other from the East; and they created two distinctly different religions. Books for People with Print Disabilities.

Jesus and Buddha - Marcus Borg. See and know this for yourself, said the Buddha. Jesus pointed in the same openhanded fashion when he said, The Kingdom of God is within you. That this is universal wisdom there can be no doubt. The Parallel Sayings. Parallel sayings, parallel lives.

JESUS & BUDDHA THE PARALLEL SAYINGS This remarkable collection reveals how Jesus and Buddha . Marcus Borg You hold in your hand a remarkable and beautiful book. Jesus and Buddha are now meeting in an encounter of the spirit.

JESUS & BUDDHA THE PARALLEL SAYINGS This remarkable collection reveals how Jesus and Buddha-whether talking about love, wisdom, or materialism-were guiding along the same path. Jesus & Buddha also delves into the mystery surrounding their strikingly similar teachings and presents over one hundred examples from each. As a Christian, I grew up with Jesus and have lived with him all my life. I have not lived with the Buddha. When we listen deeply to their words we find that in many ways, they speak with one heart.

JESUS & BUDDHA THE PARALLEL SAYINGS This remarkable collection reveals how Jesus and Buddha—whether talking about love, wisdom, or materialism—were guiding along the same path.

Buddha organized his teachings into the Eightfold Path, while the teachings of Jesus are given sporadically in different books of The Holy . The quotes above contain just a few of the parallel sayings between Jesus and Buddha.

Buddha organized his teachings into the Eightfold Path, while the teachings of Jesus are given sporadically in different books of The Holy Bible. To learn more about the Eightfold Path, see: The Buddhist Eightfold Path for Modern Times. They both advocate what has come to be called The Golden Rule -treat others as you would wish to be treated. There are many others and also parallels with other Eastern teachers. You'll come away with a better understanding of religious syncretism.

When we compare the sayings of Jesus and Buddha, we see universal truths that guide us through. Now I find the answer. is plain enough to see. Happiness is impermanent, like everything else.

Gathers over one hundred examples of Jesus' and Buddha's teachings on matching pages to reveal strikingly similar teachings.
Reviews about Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings (7):
I recommend, with a caveat, Marcus Borg’s book Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary. If you are a thinking Christian, you may not like it. If you are a Christian who turns your mind off at the door of the church, you may not like it either. Nevertheless, Mr. Borg has something useful for the both of you, and for those of you in between.
With very sloppy applications of the meanings for the words “truth” and “reality” and a new (non-dictionary) definition for the word “literal,” Mr. Borg takes you on a detailed journey through all the significant metaphors surrounding his “developing tradition” thesis about the meaning of Jesus. He explains that very little of the gospel text is historically accurate, that is, verifiable as “facts.” He concludes that “…metaphorical narratives [such as in the gospels] can be powerfully truthful, even though not literally factual.” (page 75)

I thoroughly enjoyed The First Christmas by Marcus Borg and Dominic Crossan. However, the book of this review, Jesus, by Mr. Borg as sole author seems to be at cross purposes internally. In Christmas, Borg and Crossan challenged the reader to face the obvious issues surrounding the biblical Christmas texts. They didn’t shield you from the uncomfortable feelings that might well up inside you when the Christmas stories are directly compared to each other. The lack of historical accuracy is laid bare. Contradictions are exposed. In the end, however, the authors offer you a very reasonable approach to these inconsistencies. You walk away feeling that you have learned something, that these authors have enriched your Christian perspective.
Not so with Borg’s Jesus. You should read Borg and Crossan’s Christmas first to get a bite-sized feel for Mr. Borg’s approach to the meanings within Christian scripture. You need a warm-up.

The book earns a “4” for an excellent description of the historical context of the time and environment of Jesus. Borg delivers the most concise, comprehensive and accurate context summary I have encountered. Another positive point is that Mr. Borg routinely points out what have become glaring inconsistencies among the gospels. He details significant historical inaccuracies. He starts to challenge you to think about what you are reading, to try to comprehend these issues. But he then backs off of the critical approach to show you how to avoid discovering something other than what is currently comfortable for you. This was a missed opportunity for him, in my humble opinion. However, had he chosen to emphasize critical rather than conventional Christian thinking, he would have risked losing a significant chunk of the book’s Christian-based market.

An “aha!” is his explanation of how about four or five centuries ago the functional definition of “believe” changed. Prior to that point in civilization (the Enlightenment), people “believed in.” The use of “believe” was then personal and associated with people. One believed as one beloved, he tells us. Thereafter, people routinely “believed that.” The focus shifted to believing “statements about something,” rather than “in someone.” The roots for Christianity’s shift to “believing that” can be traced back to the 3rd Century and the beginning of the development of authorized religious creeds (and the subsequent supporting doctrines, dogmas and rituals).
Also very positive is Borg’s “Epilogue,” which gets very personal. The reader can learn some enlightening perspectives from his candid discourse. Here, he delivers mental enrichment.

The book gets a “2” for his primary thesis that Christianity’s understanding of Jesus as a “developing tradition,” the strained logic of selectively applying that thesis, the sloppy use of the words “truth” and “reality, and a new (contrary to the dictionary) definition for the word “literal” that conveniently serves his dialectic purposes.

The overall rating for this book is therefore a “3.”

A “developing tradition” implies a process that generates an openly evolving story. That story increasingly distances itself from its origin in historical, verifiable facts (page 28). The resulting tradition must be interpreted according to current custom and must be read as a “metaphor.” As a consequence, it can take on any meaning the reader wants. So it does.
Mr. Borg asserts that the four gospels canonized into the New Testament are a final(?) product. They are the developed tradition. That is, they are texts documenting how early Christians living during the latter half of the First Century understood Jesus. To paraphrase Mr. Borg (page 43), clergy continue to explain what Jesus should mean to us today based on what we interpret he meant to early Christians of the first and second centuries. This implies that the “development” of the Christian tradition did not cease abruptly after the gospel of John was written and frozen in time. The “developing tradition” continues unabated today.
Hence, I use the more present-leaning term “developing” for the remainder of this review.

The historical story behind any tradition tends to evolve into a legend, or perhaps a myth. But, for Mr. Borg, the legend/myth of Christianity is “metaphorically truthful” (page 53). He very intimately and frequently associates “truth” with the meaning of a “metaphor.” Yes, the meaning conveyed by the metaphors of Christian scripture may indeed be accurately represented in the interpretations of the texts (my opinion). However, an accurate understanding of a tradition’s or story’s meaning does not make the story true. Not factual. Not historical. Not verifiable. Not reality. “Truth” deserves to be all of these descriptors, in the positive form, whenever a written statement is claimed to be true.

Think Harry Potter, or the Kennedys, or even the “neo” traditions that have “developed” around Nazism since Hitler. These modern, very real examples of “developing tradition” are not the traveling companions Mr. Borg would want to be associated with the story of Jesus. But, these examples, and many more, all fit the process he describes as his “developing tradition” thesis.
Mr. Borg presents an excellent case for the “developing” aspect of the Christian tradition as accounted in the gospels. As a fact (real fact), later gospels are longer than earlier ones, more detailed, have more quotes for what Jesus said (even when no human was implied to be within earshot of him). All of these layers and embellishments of meaning were undeniably added by later interpolators onto the evolving legend of Jesus. The historical Jesus then receded in time. That overall Christian “tradition developed” over the succeeding centuries is historically documentable. Any publication focused on the history of Christianity will demonstrate this very clearly. Mr. Borg indeed accurately describes and documents the operational process of his “developing tradition” thesis. It worked throughout Christian history. It is operative today.

To further support his thesis, Mr. Borg makes some comparisons of Old Testament texts to those of the New Testament. He describes Old Testament texts that obviously employ metaphorical meaning. However, he never links these metaphors to an ancient Israelite tradition that was “developed” through precisely the same process as he ascribes to the New Testament. His thesis of “developing tradition” apparently is not meant to apply outside of the gospels and other Christian scripture. We get the impression from him that the Old Testament is in fact―factual. Historically true. To be literally read. Ancient metaphorical texts are valuable for reinforcing specific metaphorical interpretations of the New Testament, as he sees them. Which he freely does.
What are we to do with Borg’s developed Christian traditions―those significant metaphors not based in fact? He draws the conclusion that those Christian metaphors are (in fact) “powerful truths” (pages 75 and 287). He then devotes the bulk of the book to describing the metaphorical meanings of most of the familiar gospel situations, miracles and parables. Along the way, he searches for historical validity for these important gospel stories. When he finds essentially none, he justifies a probable historicity using a variety of statements to the effect that “it certainly makes sense that this could have really happened.”

If you are not fortunate enough to have a skillful priest or minister who is routinely interpreting significant Christian and biblical metaphors for you, I sincerely and strongly recommend Borg’s well-written summary in the middle of this book. For the practicing Christian, Mr. Borg is correct. Metaphorical meaning is an essential form of meaning for Christians, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not.

To support the veracity of metaphorical meanings in general, Mr. Borg redefines the word “literal.” The literal meaning of a poem, he says, is its metaphorical meaning. After offering other examples equating literal meaning with metaphorical meaning, he concludes that one gets the “literal” meanings of the gospels from their metaphorical meanings (page 69). This is not how the dictionary defines “literal.” I object.

In a manner of his sloppy (or convenient) use of the word “truth,” Mr. Borg also plays fast and loose with the word “reality.” In a section devoted to the Apostle Paul, the topic of visions as experiences of Jesus is discussed. He says “…all visions are not hallucinations. They can be disclosures of reality” (page 277). The impression given is that the “reality” of a vision is the equivalent of “truth.” Truth would be insulted by association with any vision, regardless of whether the vision is a medical or drug hallucination or an honorable religious experience. Mr. Borg does not call to the reader’s attention the documentable fact that the frequency of religious visions has declined exponentially over the last millennium. A somewhat controversial explanation for the decline of “visions” is proposed in Julian Jaynes book, The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. No supernatural powers are invoked in his explanation.

Before the final section of this review, a bit of background is necessary. Mr. Borg divides the Christian understanding of Jesus into two phases: the pre-Easter Jesus and the post-Easter Jesus. The pre-Easter Jesus is the focus of the first half of the book. The post-Easter Jesus is the focus of the second half. Roughly speaking.

Mr. Borg closes with a discourse on the Easter story. Early on in the book (Page 109), Mr. Borg shocks his readers by saying: “Many Christians are accustomed to thinking of Jesus as God...The fourth-century Nicene Creed declares [that Jesus is God]…About the post-Easter Jesus, this language is correct: the risen, living Christ is one with God, a divine reality.”
If we flash back to the preamble to the early section of the book, in which he addresses the pre-Easter Jesus. Borg says: “What was his relationship to God? To state [this section of the book’s] central claim in advance, the pre-Easter Jesus was not God, but God was the central reality in his life. So the gospels present him” (page 109). I reiterate his words. Jesus was not God. Perhaps Mr. Borg is speaking metaphorically here. Regardless, the intended meaning is not clear to me.

Please notice the subtle equating of “reality” with the meanings for “truth” or “fact.” Mr. Borg frequently uses this writing technique to suggest such equivalences to his readers, urging them to occur naturally and unconsciously as we read his statements, such as those quoted above.

We return in this review to the post-Easter section of the book. There, as necessarily follows from his “developing tradition” thesis, the meaning of Easter for Christians, both early and current, is identified as metaphorical. He shifts at times to use the term “parabolical meaning.” He admits that useful, independently verifiable, historical or archeological evidence for the Easter story, outside of the gospel texts, is nonexistent.

Nevertheless, he confidently writes, “I find these [Easter] stories to be powerfully true as parables of the resurrection. It does not matter to me as a Christian whether any of them describe events that you or I could have witnessed. It does not matter to me whether the tomb was empty” (page 287). This position is reinforced with his claim: “The obvious point is that parabolic narratives can be true―truthful and truth-filled―independent of their factuality…Seeing the Easter stories as parables need not involve a denial of their factuality. The factual question is left open…A parabolic meaning insists that the importance of these stories lies in their meanings” (Page 280). “I highlight their [the Easter stories] meaning as parable, as truth-filled stories. I leave open the question of how much of this [actually] happened, even as I affirm that their truth does not depend on their public factuality” (Page 281).

But we humans often prefer to not distinguish between “fact” and “metaphor/parable.” Such distinctions require deliberate mental effort. If a passion or belief is deeply and emotionally significant to us, it appears to us to be much more than a “developed metaphorical tradition that is powerfully truthful.” One would be hard-pressed to find a practicing Christian for whom the bodily resurrection of Jesus in the Easter sense is not an automatic “fact,” in the full, historical, unadulterated, non-metaphorical and sincerely truthful sense.

This book will be a roller coaster ride for a Christian who rarely asks “why?” But, Mr. Borg offers you a safe and reassuring ride. You may be uncomfortable at times. In the end, all will be as it was. Or, if you paid attention and engaged your mind, all may not be as it was.
I had read Marcus Borg's original book of which this one is a kind of "replacement". I have only just started on this one, but it is pure Marcus Borg, and as such is "right up my alley", ha ha! I've been a student of the (so-called) "Historical Jesus" movement for quite a long time. Borg and Crossan and Ehrmann and Spong and many other "professional" scholars have been like colleagues to me, though I've only met Jack Spong a couple times. While I think of myself as an "amateur" in this area of study, I have been on this journey of discovery as long as most of these fellows. It is a rare thing for me to have a big "aha!" moment any more, but they teach me how to better articulate ideas, while also providing substantial source material. It has not been yet one month since brother Marcus died, and along with many others I am both in mourning and thanking God for such a marvelous prophetic person as was Marcus Borg.
The same Spirit that was in Jesus is in us. The difference is the degree to which he lived in unity with and related to God's spirit within him, within others and within the world. As Christians we look to Jesus as our pointer to this way of closer communion, commitment and relationship with God and how to live daily with love and justice in this world God loves, now as Jesus did then. There is much I have highlighted as important to me, things that have been clarified, things that have challenged me and things that have encouraged me in this thought provoking book by Marcus Borg. I find it difficult to live with question and find great encouragement in his ending that from the moment we are born till the day of our exit, we are in an ongoing conversation with God about Jesus, life, love and justice. Thank you for making me examine my faith and to live in the tension of knowing that today and tomorrow I will learn and experience so much more about God than I do right now.

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