The Acts of Jesus

The deeds of Jesus the Fellows voted as most likely to be authentic are:

1.  The Beelzebul controversy (Q, Mark)

Lk 11:15-17    red
Mt 12:24-25    pink
Mk 3:22-23    pink

  • Some who saw Jesus thought he was mad.
  • Some who saw Jesus thought he was an agent of Beelzebul.

2.  A voice in the wilderness (Mark, Q, John)

Mk 1:1-8 (core event)    red
Mt 3:1-12 (core event)    red
Lk 3:1-20 (core event)    red
Jn 1:19-28            black
GEbi 1                red
GEbi 3                pink

3.  John Baptizes Jesus (Mark)

Mk 1:9-11 (core event)    red
Mt 3:13-17 (core event)    red
Lk 3:21-22 (core event)    red
Jn 1:29-34            black
GNaz 2            black
GEbi 4                red
GHeb 3            black

  • Jesus was a disciple of John the Baptist.
  • Some of John the Baptist’s disciples became followers of Jesus.

4.  Jesus proclaims the good news (Mark)

Mk 1:14-15    red
Mt 4:12-17    black
Lk 4:14-15    gray

  • Jesus was an itinerant teacher in Galilee.
  • Jesus preached in the synagogues of Galilee.
  • Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God.
  • Jesus cured some sick people.
  • Jesus drove out what were thought to be demons.
  • Jesus enjoyed a certain amount of popularity in Galilee and surrounding regions.
  • Jesus practiced prayer in seclusion.

5.  Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark)

Mk 1:29-31    pink
Mt 8:14-15    pink
Lk 4:42-44    pink

6.  The leper (Mark, Egerton)

Mk 1:40-45    pink
Mt 8:1-4    pink
Lk 5:12-16    pink
GEger 2:1-4    pink

7.  Paralytic and four (Mark)

Mk 2:1-12    pink
Mt 9:1-8    gray
Lk 5:17-26    gray

  • Jesus told a lame man to pick up his mat.
  • Jesus cured a lame man.

8.  Call of Levi (Mark)

Mk 2:13-14    pink
Mt 9:9        pink
Lk 5:27-28    pink
GEbi 2:4    pink

9.  Dining with sinners (Mark, GosFR 1224)

Mk 2:15-17        red
Mt 9:10-13        red
Lk 5:29-32        gray
GosFr 1224 5:1-2    pink

  • Jesus consorted openly with social outcasts.
  • One label for social outcasts was “toll collectors and sinners.”
  • Jesus was criticized for eating with social outcasts.
  • Jesus justified his practice of sharing an open table in aphorism and parable.

10.  Sabbath observance (Mark)

Mk 2:23-28    pink
Mt 12:1-8    pink
Lk 6:1-5    pink

Excerpt from the introduction of The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds

Robert W. Funk and the Jesus Seminar

For those who believe the Bible to be the word of God a 16% historical accuracy rate may seem ridiculously low. Why did the Seminar end up with so many black (largely or entirely fictive) and gray (possible but unreliable) reports? The results should not be surprising to critical scholars—those whose evaluations are not predetermined by theological considerations. Nevertheless, it is important to both the general reader and the scholars who participated in the Seminar to be as clear as possible about the reasons for this result.

Read more from the introduction