Resourcing Progressive Christians

First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God – Digital Home Edition (Private Listing)


This is a PRIVATE Digital Home Edition Listing

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Why did Jesus happen when he happened? Why the confluence of the Baptism movement of John and the Kingdom movement of Jesus? Why the tiny villages around the Lake? Why the confrontations in Jerusalem? Why then? Why there?



This is a PRIVATE Digital Home Edition Listing

First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God
Featuring John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg

Why were the titles of Caesar Augustus — Divine, Son of God, God from God, Lord, Redeemer, Liberator, and Savior of the World — taken from a Roman emperor on the Palatine hill and given to a Jewish peasant on the Palestine plain? Was it low lampoon or high treason? Either way, the Romans were not laughing.
What were the priorities of Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom? How was the status quo of Roman imperial theology subverted by this obscure Galilean whose message continues to indict empire today?

First Light is a 12-session digital/web-based study of the historical Jesus and the Kingdom of God with two of the world’s leading Jesus scholars on location throughout the Galilee and Jerusalem.


John Dominic Crossan

Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at De Paul University, John Dominic Crossan is generally acknowledged to be the premier historical Jesus scholar in the world. He has written twenty books including Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, Who Killed Jesus? and The Birth of Christianity. A Roman Catholic monk for nineteen years and a priest for twelve years, Crossan is a former co-chair of The Jesus Seminar and chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Marcus Borg

(1942–2015) was among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity. He was the Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland. His books have sold over a million copies, including the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Jesus, The Heart of Christianity, Evolution of the Word, Speaking Christian, and Convictions. His work has been translated into eleven languages. The Marcus J. Borg Foundation is a repository of his work and the continuing conversation he so deeply engaged.


First Light includes downloadable and printable leader and participant guides with weekly readings and discussion questions.* Each session includes a 20-minute video segment and may be conducted in one hour or expanded to include a meal and personal sharing. The flexible web-based study can be used in variety of class, retreat, and other formats. The themes for the twelve sessions are:

  1. The Matrix of Jesus
  2. The Advent of the Messiah
  3. God’s Great Cleanup
  4. Collaborative Eschaton
  5. The Lake as the World
  6. Parables as Lures
  7. Jesus as Lord
  8. Substitutionary Atonement?
  9. Demonstrations in Jerusalem
  10. The Crowd & the Crucifixion
  11. Resurrection as Resistance
  12. America as the New Rome

*As indicated in the program description, purchase of First Light includes a renewable one-year group use license and one-year access to the streaming/digital program and supplemental study materials (that you may download and print/e-distribute). The license is automatically activated upon purchase of the program. At the end of your one-year license, you will be contacted by email about renewing your license for continued group use of the digital program and access to/use of the digital files and downloadable/printable supplemental materials. License renewal price = $30.00.


This was the best presentation we have viewed by Borg and Crossan! Thank you for such excellent material. It has meant a lot to me and to the people who have attended the classes.

Al Gordon
Cocoa Beach Community Church, United Church of Christ in Cocoa Beach, FL