What is the Jesus Seminar?

BibleAsk Team

Table of Contents

The Jesus Seminar

The Jesus Seminar was begun by the 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 as follows:

  1. They presume the Gospels to be error-ridden and much 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 see them as fiction.
  3. They presume that the early believers 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 to determine what Jesus truly said and taught. It divides Jesus’ words from the gospels into sections based on how likely it is that Jesus truly said them.

Words in red show words that Jesus most likely said. Words in pink show words that Jesus possibly said. Words in grey show words that Jesus likely did not say, but are close to what He might have said. Words in black show 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 whole gospel of John is in black while the gospel of Thomas has more of red and pink words than the biblical gospels.


The “scholars” of the Jesus Seminar do not believe in the deity of Christ, His resurrection, His miracles, His substitutionary atonement death on behalf of the humans race, and the inspiration of the scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Sadly, they promote their own “version of Jesus” instead of the Lord Jesus of the New Teatament .

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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