Monday, January 29, 2007

Introducing this blog

For some time I have thought that the Jesus Seminar represents a significant, if scholastically dubious and slightly goofy, avant garde of the movement of historical-critical biblical scholarship, which, whatever its earlier antecedents, acquired its important historical momentum in Germany during and following the Enlightenment period. In one way, it might be characterized as the historical-critical movement gone to seed. In any case, over the past decade I have taught several courses in hermeneutics and epistemology, and at least one course explicitly dealing with the philosophical background of the historical-critical interpretation of the Bible; and these classes have reinforced my belief in the importance of addressing the issues at the popular avant garde level. Perhaps it is unfortunate that in this case "avant garde" does not mean the most scholarly sophisticated level. Yet when one looks at where the influence of these studies are found in the present culture, it is not in the world of academe, but rather in the world of popular culture. I include in that culture not only phenomena such as the Jesus Seminar, but spin-offs such as Dan Brown's insanely (and I used the word advisedly) popular book and film Da Vinci Code, which parasitically cull from the 'scholarship' as well as underlying presuppositions of the Jesus Seminar 'scholarship' (I say "insanely popular" because Brown disengenuously passes numerous historical fabrications about Jesus, Mary Magdeline, and the Catholic Church off as 'facts' under the pretext that he is merely writing a 'novel' -- and the vast majority of his readers who appear to be utterly taken in by this deception must must be utterly insane if they are not utterly innocent of history).

Hence, the purpose of this blog: to post articles -- by no means entirely by myself -- on the subject of the Jesus Seminar and closely related treatment of Jesus and the Bible in popular media, in order to expose the underlying agenda and assumptions, as well as disingenuous arguments and conclusions mounted by their adherents.


Realist said...

Alright, you have seen the light of reviewing historical Jesus documentation and the

critical conclusions of said experts in the area.

Recommended references for your Jesus Seminar blog:

1. A list of Historical Jesus exegetes to include biographies and their books and


2. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels

3. Conservative Jews reject Torah, allegedly in light of archaeology

4. Early Christian Writings, title and Date with description


5. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias

6. Historical Jesus Studies :

7. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
(Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
by Douglas Groothuis:

8. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church,
Pontifical Biblical Commission
Presented on March 18, 1994

9. The Jesus Database :

10. The Jesus Database- newer site:

11. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:

12. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:

13. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:

14. The Greek New Testament:

15. Diseases in the Bible:


16. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,

theologians, ethics, etc.

17. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:

18. The New Testament Gateway - Internet NT sources :

19. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.

20. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:

21. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code


22. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separted

into time periods:

23. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the

above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:

24. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel:

25. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by title with the complete

translated work in English :

26. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?

27. NT and beyond time line:

28. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:

29. See for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other

Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now

be read on line with no purchase necessary

Realist said...


Make the site address for reference 6, Historical Jesus Studies: