After 12 years of systematically examining the sayings (Phase 1) and deeds (Phase 2) attributed to Jesus, Jesus Seminar Fellows turned their attention to the question of what kind of figure was emerging from the evidence they had found to be most probably historically authentic.
More than 20 Fellows presented papers over the two-year period from 1996-1998 in which they either drew a profile of Jesus based on the evidence or critiqued important books on the historical Jesus by other scholars. The six critiques were published in Westar’s academic journal, Forum, in fall of 1998.
Profiles of Jesus comprises 9 of the 15 profiles written for Jesus Seminar sessions, together with three other profiles by Fellows that had previously appeared in Westar’s popular magazine, The Fourth R.
The authors, all Jesus Seminar Fellows, agreed on several points:
Some of the profiles are based primarily on Jesus’ words, while others rely on Jesus’ social location and/or religious typology as crucial to drawing his profile.
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