In 1985, the Jesus Seminar, a group of biblical scholars, embarked on a new translation of the gospels. In pursuit of the historical Jesus, they attempted to determine the authenticity of the more than 1500 sayings attributed to him. Did Jesus really give the Sermon on the Mount? Is the Lord's Prayer composed of his authentic words? This book aims to answer these questions. Each saying attributed to Jesus is presented in a colour-coded text. Only those sayings that appear in red type are considered by the Seminar to approximate what Jesus actually said. The words in pink, in the judgment of the Seminar, less certainly originated with Jesus. Those in grey are considered not his, though the ideas they contain are close to his own. Finally, the sayings that appear in black have been ruled to be embellishments by his followers, and entirely inauthentic. According to the Seminar, no more than 20 percent of the sayings historically attributed to Jesus were actually uttered by him. This book contains commentary and notes on the text of the gospels and explores the historical and literary factors that formed the basis for the Seminar's findings.
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