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The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus Paperback – December 19, 1996
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- W. Alan Froggatt, Bridgewater, Ct.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
It's a shame such an attempt at rational, dispassionate biblical scholarship should have been received in such a tepid way by the general public who, frankly, understand very little about biblical scholarship, methodology, linguistics, historiography, genre, etc.
For the reader whose mind remains fluid, whose horizons have not been rendered brittle and narrow by faith and emotionalism, this book will present many interesting insights about not only the authorship of the canonical gospels and the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, but also explains how the 72 scholars arrived at the conclusions presented in this volume, particularly the phrasing of the text (SV) and how the opinion of the Jesus Seminar was reached. Also interesting for the lay-reader, armchair philosopher and others are the few unabashed statements about how the early Church leaders tampered with the several gospels, though this is not a point the Jesus Seminar dwells upon.
As an introductory book that is easy to read and understand, I recommend it to any person unafraid to think critically, beyond the box, about the nature of not merely the canonical gospels and their message and origins, but also the humanity --the divine humanity-- of what inspires so much of what informs human consciousness and awareness in whatever form, be it parable, fable, myth, or other borrowed story.Read more ›
As anyone can note from the title, this is an attempt to add a new gospel to the canonic testaments of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Without saying as much, the book seeks to raise the standing of a newly discovered ancient 'book': 'the Gospel of Thomas'. The 1945 discovery of 'Thomas', a previously unknown gospel of about the same antiquity as the canonic gospels, demands a reassessment of the traditional canon. Some might say this reassessment is the job of scholars, and has already been accomplished with a dismissal of Thomas as derivative and heretical. This book presents an extensive argument against this conclusion, and makes it in an accessible manner for the lay reader,
The format of Thomas presents a significant problem. Thomas is not a narrative, but a list of 114 'sayings'. Thomas tells many of the canonic parables, but the Thomas versions are shorter and often bereft of any moral interpretation. 10 or 15 sound very much like 'Jesus', but are entirely missing from the canon. Many of the remaining 50 or so sayings invoke what scholars might call 'Gnostic' philosophy. Thomas fails to mention the resurrection story and includes only one mention of 'the cross.'
Fitting Thomas into any holistic understanding of Jesus will not be easy. In particular, a 'list of sayings' is far harder to trust than a coherent narrative. It is far easier for the man writing a copy to insert their opinions when no 'statement' need continue a thought from the prior paragraph.Read more ›
The Seminar is a group of liberal biblical scholars, with a historical perspective on Jesus. They, herein vote on the efficacy and accuracy of the recording of Jesus' words. Sentences in RED are those they believe probably came from the lips of the Master, pink, gray and black denote how the vote rated the words attributed to Jesus, only about 20% of which are accepted as most likely his ideas, as he might have spoken them.
The of the rest of the words of Jesus in the four gospels are seen as either created by the evangelists, writing 35 - 87 years after his death as more shedding light on their problems within the infant church of their day, than Jesus' struggles in his. Much of the rest of the material (of the gospels) is not rejected but instead Is subjected to varying degrees of uncertainty as to whether or not they were the original words and intent of Jesus or simply created by writers, redactors and revisionists, from tradition, hearsay, educated guesses by the evangelists on what Jesus might have said in certain situations, and/or insertions of self-serving, propaganda by biased others.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
anyone even mentioning the Jesus Seminar needs to grab a few new books to snap out of it. First century Judaism is the historical context we should be looking at the words of Jesus... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kimie Schneider
Useful to see how the Gospels are as historical rather than theological documents. Really don't understand why the Jesus Seminar arouses such passion. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Lona Hansen
Excellent book for anyone who is searching for the truth. I commend these scholars for producing such a valuable book. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Russell
Any serious student of the New Testament needs to read this book.Published 11 months ago by GARY MCCASLIN
I primarily bought this book for the critical analysis of the Gospel of Thomas, but the canonical Gospels are well worth reading as well. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer