BobFunkDirector of the Westar Institute
and founder of the Jesus Seminar

d. 2005

Robert W. Funk was a distinguished teacher, writer, translator and publisher in the field of religion. A Guggenheim Fellow and Senior Fulbright Scholar, he served as Annual Professor of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem and as chair of the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University. Robert Funk was a recognized pioneer in modern biblical scholarship, having led the Society of Biblical Literature as its Executive Secretary from 1968–1973. His many books include The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus (1993) and The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds (1998) (both with the Jesus Seminar) and Honest to Jesus (1996), and A Credible Jesus (2002).

Robert Funk’s Twenty-one Theses: The Coming Radical Reformation appeared in Westar’s magazine The Fourth R in 1998.

Robert Funk’s Obituary

Books by Robert Funk

Academic Credentials

  • A.B., Butler University
  • M.A., Butler University
  • B.D., Christian Theological Seminary
  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Special Study

  • University of Toronto, Canada, 1973–1974
  • University of Tübingen, Germany, 1965–1966
  • Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, Switzerland, 1947

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Religious Studies, University of Montana, 1969–1986
  • Professor of New Testament, Vanderbilt University, 1966–1969
  • Associate Professor of New Testament, Drew University, 1959–1966
  • Assistant Professor of Biblical Theology, Emory University, 1958–1959
  • Annual Professor, American School of Oriental Research (Jerusalem), 1957–1958
  • Instructor, Harvard Divinity School, 1956–1957
  • Assistant Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University, 1953–1956

Professional Service

  • Co-chair, The Jesus Seminar, 1985–2005
  • Founder and Director, Westar Institute, 1986–2005
  • Founder and President, Polebridge Press, 1981–2005
  • Founder and Director, Scholars Press, 1974–1980
  • Chair, Department of Religious Studies, University of Montana, 1974–1976
  • President, Society of Biblical Literature, 1974–1975
  • Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Montana, 1971–1972
  • Executive Committee, American Council of Learned Societies, 1970–1972
  • Conference of Secretaries, American Council of Learned Societies, 1968–1973
  • Board of Directors, American Academy of Religion, 1968–1973
  • Executive Secretary, Society of Biblical Literature, 1968–1973
  • Chair, Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University, 1967–1969

Awards and Honors

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Butler Univeristy, 2005
  • Society of Biblical Literature, Fellowship, 1980–1981
  • American Council of Learned Societies, Fellowship, 1973–74
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar, University of Tübingen, Germany, 1966–1967
  • Guggenheim Fellow, 1966–1967