On the one hand, I intend to show that the biblical gospels are reliable sources of historical information about Jesus.In spite of their various limitations, these documents can help us to know quite a bit about what Jesus said and did.But, on the whole, the main thrust of the Seminar's work was both academically suspect and injurious to Christian orthodoxy.For the most part, the Jesus Seminar is old news these days.Nevertheless, it seemed good to me to engage the Jesus Seminar on a critical basis.I wrote the series, partly because some of the Fellows from the Jesus Seminar, like John Shelby Spong or Marcus Borg, continue to pass on the sins of the fathers to the children through their writings.Plus, I've added an appendix that answers the question "Was Jesus Married?" This book includes study questions for personal or group study.
I don't mean to imply that every Fellow in the Jesus Seminar was a poor scholar (some were quite fine), or that everything the Seminar produced was worthless.
I am well aware that the topic I'm planning to discuss is vast, complex, and filled with controversies.
If you're not familiar with my background, I should mention that I completed a Ph. in New Testament at Harvard, where I studied with some of the top critical scholars in the world, and where I had many bright colleagues, at least seven of whom ended up as Fellows in the Jesus Seminar.
I hope that I have shown why the Jesus Seminar should be dismissed by folks who want to know the facts about Jesus.
I hope that I will show a better way to determine who Jesus was, what He said, and what He did.