The list/description of which of his teachings can be historically and accurately attributed to Jesus.

The list was result of the "Jesus Seminar", made up of fairly liberal New Testament scholars. John Dominic Crossan, who wrote a book (which shares this node's name) about the conclusions of the seminar, was one of the big heads at the seminar.

In the end, the seminar concluded that only about 2% of what Jesus is purported to have said can realistically be trusted as authentic. (This is according to Lee Strobel's book "The Case for Christ", which attempts to say the seminar's findings were biased and Jesus was is and will always be LORD, DAMNIT!!!)

Many think that the actual teachings of Jesus were much more philosophical than religious, if you're willing to make that distinction. That is, his teachings may have indeed centered more on social revolution (true egalitarianism, something fairly unheard of in contemporary western civilization) than claiming himself to be god and the only way into that much-touted heaven the celebrities are always talking about.


It is possible, perhaps even likely, that Jesus' reputation as being the Messiah of the Jews didn't solidify into anything like it is now until long after his death. All of how today's Christians see Jesus is based on stories about him that were written no sooner than 30 and possibly as long as 70 years after his death. It was only after Paul (formerly Saul and later the Saint, of course) took Jesus' pacifistic and egalitarian message and mixed it with Greek philosophy and the kind of organization that was popular with Romans at the time that it became "I am the way, the truth, the light" and all that.

Will anyone ever REALLY know for sure what Jesus REALLY said? Surely not. Some hope for the existence of the hypothetical "Q" gospel, from which the New Testatment gospels might have been written from, which is supposed to be an actual transcript of sorts, rather than the retrospectives that the New Testament versions must be (being as postdated as they are).

Regardless, devout Christians remain convinced of Jesus' divinity and take the bible to he his word, incontrovertibly accurate. And they have some reason to think that. However, and just the same, skeptics and those of other faiths find reason to doubt that the Jesus of the Bible is really anything like that man who wandered the Eastern Mediterranean 2000 years ago.

What do YOU think?