Bible Review 5:5, October 1989

What Did Jesus Really Say?

By Marcus J. Borg

About 40 scholars, all specialists in the study of the historical Jesus, are seated around a table. They have just completed their discussion of a saying attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. The time has come for each to vote on a simple but complex question: Do you think Jesus actually said that? Or, to frame the question in semitechnical language, is this saying of Jesus, as reported in one or more of the Gospels, historically authentic to Jesus? Each scholar votes by casting one of four differently colored balls into a ballot box: Red means “Yes, almost certainly”; pink means “More likely no than yes”; and black means “Almost certainly not.”

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