A Gateway to the Research of the Jesus Seminar

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- Recent Reaction -

  • Bob Funk's Radical Reformation Roadshow -- Jeffrey Sheler surveys reaction to the traveling seminars sponsored by the Westar Institute from supporters, critics & fellows of the Jesus Seminar (U.S. News & World Report 8/4/97).

  • Debate Rages Over the Jesus Seminar -- Matt Andrews' 1994 review of the controversy surrounding the publication of The Five Gospels (Midwest Today 3/94).


You do not have to look far to find someone saying something nasty about the Jesus Seminar, from pulpits, in print or on the internet. The Seminar has no desire to dignify such abuse with counterattack. The critiques selected here are those that raise substantive issues that merit an intelligent response.

  • The Jesus Puzzle: Was There No Historical Jesus? -- Earl Doherty posts essays in radical historical criticism arguing that Jesus never existed; pages include a review of R. W. Funk's Honest to Jesus.

  • The Gospel according to the Jesus Seminar -- Birger A. Pearson's 1995 critical review of The Five Gospels calls the Jesus Seminar for faulty historiography for ascribing eschatological materials to sources other than Jesus while failing to recognize the eschatology implicit in sayings it recognized as genuine & claims the Seminar produced a non-Jewish secularized image of Jesus. (Expanded version of article printed in Religion 25, pp. 317-338).

  • The Corrected Jesus -- Richard B. Hays 1994 critical review of The Five Gospels faults the "attempt to assess the authenticity of Jesus' sayings in isolation from a more comprehensive reconstruction of the events of his life, ministry, and death" as "methodologically problematic" (First Things 43; posted 12/6/96).

  • The Gospels According to Luke -- summary of L. T. Johnson's critique of Jesus Seminar in The Real Jesus with reaction from fellow Emory scholar and JS Fellow Vernon Robbins (Emory Magazine Fall/96).

  • Jesus Seminar Under Fire -- twice updated transcript of Gregory Koukl's flamboyant 1995 diatribe from the radio show ironically entitled, "Stand to Reason."


- This page was revised 18 December 2019 -


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