- Paperback: 122 pages
- Publisher: Polebridge Pr Westar Inst (March 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0944344747
- ISBN-13: 978-0944344743
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gospel of Jesus: According to the Jesus Seminar Paperback – March 1, 1999
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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."
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This gospel does not at all imply that Jesus came as the Savior of humanity, that he came as God in the flesh, or any such theology at all. Of course, orthodox Christians will surely vilify this gospel as gravely erroneous with respect to what it excludes.
One thing to remember about this gospel is that it is not merely a composition of one scholar’s ideas and outlook, but is comprised of the summary views of numerous “Bible” scholars – mostly people who devote their lives to studying and teaching about the “Bible”, including the various “gospels” that have been created to describe and discuss the life of the great spiritual teacher, Jesus of Nazareth.
I am enough impressed by the work that Robert Funk and his fellow scholars have produced in creating this “The Gospel of Jesus: According to the Jesus Seminar” that I plan to buy a previous work of theirs, “The Five Gospels”. This seminar has contributions from over 200 scholars, as well as 75 of whom have signed on to the two major reports completed by the seminar. This, by no means, confers any infallibility on this work, but it does offer reason for granting considerable weight of credibility to the projects produced by the seminar.
Some serious rethinking might be in order concerning the past two thousand years of Christian teachings. Projects like Robert Funk’s offer serious grounding for approaching Christianity in a greatly different fashion from what mainstream Christianity has been committed to portraying.
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.