77 of 89 people found the following review helpful
A Liberal Look At the Words of Jesus
, February 20, 2002
This review is from: The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus (Paperback)
The Jesus Seminar, whether famous or infamous depends on your religious barometer. This is not a book for the conservative Christian who accepts every word written in the gospels, Acts and the Letters to be the actual words of Jesus, written by his Apostles, (which the evangelists were not). If you are an open-minded seeker of truth and are not easily shocked by religious controversy, you will delight in this easily readable unbiased examination of the Words of Jesus and the attempts by the Seminar to pin down what really was said and by whom, 2000 years ago.
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.
If you enter the reading in a searching mode, ready and open to all ideas on who Jesus was and what he really did say, you will find this book very engaging. I was not at all threatened by the content, but a Catholic Fundamentalist friend was outraged by it. The book is simply an example of scholars doing what they are supposed to do, theorizing on something of which we have precious little unbiased material.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you?