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The Gospel of Jesus: According to the Jesus Seminar Paperback – March 1, 1999


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The Gospel of Jesus: According to the Jesus Seminar + The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus + The Parables of Jesus (Jesus Seminar Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Polebridge Press (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0944344747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0944344743
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Bold and meticulous scholarship, with astonishing results. -- James Carse

This book will excite, challenge, intrigue and threaten readers. -- Bishop John Shelby Spong

From the Publisher

Composing a gospel like The Gospel of Jesus is nothing new. As the editor points out, creating a work like this is simply following the practices of the first evangelists: "The authors of the ancient gospels freely plundered the work of their predecessors in composing their own texts...New compositions were written out by hand and often presented as solely the product of the new authors. The composers of the New Testament gospels created their gospels in the same way."

Customer Reviews

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116 of 128 people found the following review helpful By David Harris on October 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you have time for only one book by the Jesus Seminar, this is the book you should consider as it contains a short but useful synopsis of much of their work.

Features:

1- The book reads like a New Testament gospel, so you can read it straight through if you just want the straight scoop. But if/when you want additional information, there are notes on the left side of each page showing the source(s) of each grouping of verses, including chapter and verse, to enable comparisons. There are also more extensive notes on each chapter at the end of the book, including comments about why such and such an event or parable was included and what the consensus of the JS was on the various events.

2- An index in the back of the book gives a short description of each of the ancient gospels from which Funk and his colleagues drew the facts and inspiration for their own gospel. Unfortunately, they have neglected a couple of the gospels mentioned in the book, among them Pseudo Mark which, as far as I can tell, refers to a short section of Mark Chapter 16. (see the notes for the Epilogue on page 105)

3- Another short appendix gives a description of the Jesus Seminar: who they are and some details about their Biblical research. This section is very informative and would be useful to those who know little or nothing about the group. I want to give the book to my father as a gift as I think the contains a wealth of information about both the Jesus Seminar and their scholarship in suitable form for those who know little or nothing about them.

4- Yet another appendix gives detailed notes for each chapter of the gospel.
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Doherty on November 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I believe that THE GOSPEL OF JESUS is best used as an adjunct to the New Testament Gospels. It also helps if the reader is familiar with some of the early Christian scriptures which are not included in the New Testament canon.

Reading this book was a thoroughly positive experience for me, resulting in the emergence of a more credible Jesus. The explanatory material contained in the introduction and appendices was especially useful.

I recommend THE GOSPEL OF JESUS without reservation to anyone who wishes to add spice and understanding to their bible reading.
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79 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Donald K. Slaughter on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book, like all of the books by those involved with the Westar Institute, gives the reader a chance to make intelligent decisions about one's faith on one's own. Unlike many so-called theological books on the market, this book does not attempt to proselytize and force a particular viewpoint onto the reader.
Read, enjoy, and expand your theological and faith horizons.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much has been said---pro and con---about the Jesus Seminar, which came to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s; their viewpoint is defended in books such as The Jesus Seminar and Its Critics. Critiques of the Seminar are available in books such as The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus, The Jesus Quest, Jesus Under Fire Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, etc.

This 1999 book is the compilation of their interpretation of the "authentic" words and deeds of Jesus. They note in the Introduction, "[The book] is a composite gospel created out of the short stories told about and words ascribed to Jesus in the ancient gospels. The selection of anecdotes and sayings was dictated by the decisions of the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar and reported in The Five Gospels - What Did Jesus Really Say? and The Acts of Jesus: What Did Jesus Really Do?. The arrangement of the words and reports was based, in part, on the Gospel of Mark. In other respects, the clustering of reports was suggested by the forms of stories, and the grouping of sayings and parables reflects common or related topics... The authors of the ancient gospels...
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44 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Josh on August 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
A lot of people have attacked the Jesus Seminar and its credibility. For those who have doubts read "The Jesus Seminar and its Critics." Though I don't agree with everything they believe (i.e. their view on miracles) they have done some respectable things that can only help in our search for the truth, such as this book. This book should not replace the canonized gospels but shouldn't be discarded either.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lowell Prescott on February 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's likely that people will take issue with which things about Jesus have been included and excluded here, but the scholarship behind the choices is pretty much unquestionable. Understanding how the oral period worked, and the circumstances under which things were finally written down, strips layers of varnish off the stories. Getting back to the basics of what Jesus taught (and what is known about who he was) brings about an immediacy which is shocking, while also kind of hard to describe.

The authors allow that other interpretations of the texts are possible, and that many of their decisions on how to group and order things are somewhat arbitrary, but don't let such things distract from enjoying the story of a man who taught things like radical inclusiveness and radical forgiveness and radical (while peaceful) social justice 2,000 years ago.
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