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Bible Review, April 1997


Special Section

Battling Over the Jesus Seminar


Who was Jesus? What did he really say? And can we distinguish Jesus’ beliefs from those of the authors of the Gospels, written down more than a generation after Jesus’ death? These are questions the Jesus Seminar has set out to answer. Since 1985, this...Read more ›

Battling Over the Jesus Seminar

Why the Ugly Attacks?

Scholars know some sayings are inauthentic

By Robert J. Miller

The Jesus Seminar has received a good deal of attention from scholars, most of it negative. The polemical rhetoric of some of the seminar’s critics is, in all honesty, the ugliest I have ever encountered in scholarly writing. The reason for this may have a lot to...Read more ›

Battling Over the Jesus Seminar

Buyer Beware!

Sensationalist claims sold here

By Ben Witherington III

Robert Miller’s thoughtful response to critics of the Jesus Seminar, myself included, is of value not least because of its irenic tone. It was my aim when I wrote The Jesus Quest (InterVarsity Press, 1995) to approach the matter in the same way. Arguments should be answered...Read more ›

Battling Over the Jesus Seminar

The Gospel Truth?

Read the Bible critically

By Robert J. Miller

Ben Witherington’s response to my essay is helpful in that it does more than just find fault: It begins to grapple with some fundamental issues. My crucial claim is that a large majority of critical scholars share the Jesus Seminar’s basic view that the Gospels are a...Read more ›


As Simple as ABC

What acrostics in the Bible can demonstrate

By Harvey Minkoff

Acrostics are alphabetical texts. Bible scholars disagree on their purpose. Consequently, translations differ. Despite differences in emphasis, Every translator acknowledges that Form and meaning are connected. Given the strictures of acrostics, however, Holding on to both is impossible. If the acrostic in a poem is Just an...Read more ›

Understanding Matthew’s Vitriol

By Anthony J. Saldarini

Seven times in one chapter (23) of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus curses the “scribes and Pharisees” as hypocrites and blind guides. This occurs after numerous disputes with leaders of the Jewish community in Galilee and a series of confrontations with the authorities in...Read more ›

A Case of Mistaken Identity

The judges in Judges don’t judge

By Ellis Easterly

Our idea of a judge is someone who wears a black robe, sits behind a huge paneled desk, adjudicates disputes and bangs a gavel to control a courtroom. If we project the concept back into Old Testament times, we picture elders sitting on stone benches at the...Read more ›


Bible Books

Reviewed by Ronald S. HendelJohn J. PilchWilliam M. Schniedewind