Resourcing Progressive Christians

First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God – DVD Edition


This curriculum edition DVD program may be used for online study via a computer DVD drive and screen sharing.
Purchase of First Light Curriculum Edition includes a one-year renewable license to use the downloadable/printable participant reader and facilitator guide.

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?



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 DVD and 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.

Participant Reader written by John Dominic Crossan: “It is all I have to say about Jesus after half a century of study —in succinct summary.”

Purchase of First Light includes a one-year license to use the downloadable participant and leader guides. At the end of the first year, the license to use the written materials can be renewed annually for $25.00. Please see policy page for additional information. This DVD program is not closed captioned.


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 DVD and resource materials 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 one-year license to use the downloadable participant and leader guides. At the end of the first year, the license to use the written materials can be renewed annually for $50.00.


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