The first major publication of the Jesus Seminar. The book, edited by Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover and the Fellows of the Seminar, is part of the search for the authentic words of Jesus. Drawing on the Gospels of Mark, Matthew,&Luke, and John, plus the extra-canonical Gospel of Thomas, they evaluate all the known sayings and vote on the degree of authenticity. It's an excellent introduction to New Testament studies, and research on the historical Jesus

Recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand some basic issues in biblical scholarship. Very clearly written, with plenty of fascinating sidebars.

The fellows of the Jesus Seminar compiled their own modern English translation of the text, which is notable because it doesn't try to sound solemn or "biblical" and yet isn't self-consciously folksy.

The bible published by Jesus Seminar. I believe they call it the "The Scholar's Version", which seems to imply other translations aren't scholarly. The Jesus Seminar used a colored bead voting system to determine if Jesus said what the gospels attribute Him saying.
  • A red bead meant Jesus definitely said it.
  • A pink bead meant Jesus may have said it.
  • A gray bead meant He didn't say it, but the context is similar to Jesus' ideas.
  • A black bead meant Jesus definitely didn't say it.

Their conclusions were that Jesus did not say 82% of what the gospels attribute. Of the remaining 16%, they are only give "red" to 2%. For example, in the Lord's Prayer, the seminar only believes Jesus said "Our Father".

In addition to the four traditional gospels, the group includes the Gospel of Thomas, which is rejected by mainstream scholars.

Also see: What's wrong with the Jesus Seminar?, Are the gospels reliable?

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