Tuesday, January 30, 2007

William R. Farmer's critique of the Jesus Seminar

William R. Farmer, emeritus professor of the New Testament at Southern Methodist University and research scholar at the University of Dallas, is author of Part Two in the Crisis magazine series on the Jesus Seminar. He begins by posing -- and thetically answering -- a decisive question:
The Church canonized only four Gospels; however, Robert Funk, the leader of the Jesus Seminar, wants to add the Gospel of Thomas and the Sayings Gospel Q to our canon. This poses the question: Why did the Church canonize four Gospels and no more? The answer is that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the only Gospels that tell the story of "the flesh and blood martyrdom of the Son of God."

This is the question Farmer explores in detail in his critique of the Jesus Seminar, "Robert Funk & the Jesus Seminar" (Jesus Seminar Critically Examined, January 30, 2007). Farmer's recent publications include The Gospel of Jesus: The Pastoral Relevance of the Synoptic Problem (1994), Anti-Judaism and the Gospels (1999), and The Last Twelve Verses of Mark (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series) (2005).

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