What is the Jesus Seminar?

Hello M,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

The Jesus Seminar was begun by New Testament “scholar” Robert Funk in the 1970s. It is a gathering of the skeptical-minded individuals who deny the inspiration, authority, and inerrancy of the Bible. Instead of demonstrating historical objectivity, their project constitutes false propositions:

1.They presume the Gospels to be error-ridden and implicitly inferior to all other sources contemporary to them. For example, they effectively give the Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas greater weight than the canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

2.They reject the miracle stories of Jesus and regard them as fiction.

3.They presume the faith-motivated first Christians weren’t interested in history, and willingly put words into Jesus’ mouth to fulfill their own needs.

Their conclusions are published in “The Five Gospels.” The Jesus Seminar work goes through the four biblical gospels and the gospel of Thomas and proceeds to determine what Jesus truly said and taught. It divides Jesus’ words from the gospels into categories based on how likely it is that Jesus truly said them. Words in red indicate words that Jesus most likely said. Words in pink represent words that Jesus possibly said. Words in grey indicate words that Jesus likely did not say, but are close to what He might have said. Words in black represent words that Jesus definitely did not say. In this work, there are more words in black than in red, pink, and grey combined. And almost the entire gospel of John is in black while the gospel of Thomas has more of red and pink words than the biblical gospels.

In conclusion: The “scholars” of the Jesus Seminar do not believe in the deity of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the miracles of Christ, the substitutionary atonement death of Christ and the inspiration of the scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Sadly, they promote their own “special version of Jesus” instead of the Jesus of the scriptures .

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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