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Keystone Ideas

AKA the Quest for the Historical Jesus. "Demythologizers" - reject the supernatural. The Q document. A sayings document. No textual evidence for Q. Revisit the canon question. Five Gospels - the prominent role of the Gospel of Thomas. The three Gospels are less reliable than Thomas. They are much less critical about Thomas than the real Gospels. Fellows of the Seminar vote, using colored beads to indicate the degree of authenticity of Jesus' words or deeds. Of the 387 reports of 176 separate events reported in the Gospels, the Jesus Seminar voted that only 10 have a high level of assurance that the event really happened. Combined with the probably took place category, the total rises to 29 events or 16%.. This is primarily parables and aphorisms. Some are nearly complete historical disbelievers. Crossan - only the resurrection is historical. They claim that their results are not predetermined by theological considerations. The "scholars" include Robert Funk, Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, [Bishop] John Shelby Spong. Elaine Pagels is not a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, but shares their views on Thomas, etc. Extend work of liberal Tübingen, Germany school of late 1800's. The Jesus Seminar has no connections with the two major groups of New Testament scholarship, the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for the Study of the New Testament -- neither of which has endorsed or interacted with the Jesus Seminar. Deny the resurrection and Virgin Birth (Bishop Spong as prominent example of this position.) Mostly associated with secular universities. Adept at media manipulation. They dominant the public airwaves on Easter, etc., but deny the Easter message of the resurrection. Theories All of the theories of the Jesus Seminar present a one-sided view of Jesus. Each scholar lays claim to his own interpretation of Jesus.

Jesus as Revolutionary (Crossan - Mediterranean Jewish peasant. Also Funk.)

Jesus as Prophet (Borg - Jesus as mystic) Teacher of Wisdom (Borg) Founder of a Movement (Borg) Jesus as Apocalyptic Preacher (Schweitzer) Jesus as charismatic hasidic Jew (Vermes) Links Against the Jesus Seminar Doug's Paper on the Jesus Seminar Is the Gospel of Thomas Reliable? (site answers "no") Links Supporting the Jesus Seminar The following sites contains information supporting the Jesus Seminar. They are included so that the investigator can check out what they say. Use discernment and caution when visiting these sites.

Jesus Seminar Homepage

Introduction to the Jesus Seminar The Gospel of Thomas Homepage PBS Frontline Show "From Jesus to Christ" The Search for a No-Frills Jesus

Books Against the Jesus Seminar

All of these books are reliable and conservative books.

  • Blomberg, Craig. The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
  • Boyd, Gregory. Cynic, Sage, or Son of God?
  • Bruce, FF. The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?
  • Copan. Will the Real Jesus Stand Up? A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan
  • Craig, William Lane. Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment?
  • Habermas, Gary. The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ
  • Johnston, Luke. The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus
  • Montgomery, John Warwick. History and Christianity
  • Moreland, JP. Jesus Under Fire
  • Wright, N. T. Jesus and the Victory of God: Christian Origins and the Question of God - Volume 2