The Authentic Parables of Jesus of Nazareth
The following parables are considered to be nearest to the genuine words
of Jesus as we can get, according to the Jesus Seminar's scholars.*
[to be edited, this is a placeholder for now]
The scholars identified approximately 500 sayings and parables of Jesus,
found in the four canonical gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke and John) and
the Gospel of Thomas. They then debated the sayings and parables and took
a vote on the authenticity of each saying, averaging their votes and then
assigning a weighted average between 1.00 and 0.00 (from most to least
authentic). Ninety-one of the sayings and parables rated a weighted average
of 0.50 or above. The sayings are listed on this page. Click
here for the Authentic Sayings of Jesus of Nazareth.
To me, there are three (and possibly four) core sources for the sayings:
the Gospel of Mark, the Sayings Gospel Q (which both Matthew and Luke
used), and the Gospel of Thomas. Therefore, I've labeled sayings from
GMatt and GLuke below as Q. I list the passage cite in parentheses after
the saying. The fourth source would be a "proto-Q" or earlier
sayings gospel used by Mark. See below for more on that theory. In the
case of either Matthew or Luke having a saying that the other does not
use, I'm more inclined to think that the saying was in Q, but that one
or the other decided for their own reasons not to include it. Therefore,
all M and L attributions are shown as Q below.
All the canonical sayings below are taken from the World
English Bible, which is a public-domain translation based on the American
Standard Version (1901) of the Bible. The Thomas sayings below are taken
from the Patterson-Myers translation (the same used in The Five Gospels,
but also found at the Gnostic
Society Library web site) because there is no public-domain version
of the text available.
Ed. note: It's late and I'm tired. I'll add more of the sayings when
I get some more time.
* For a more complete explanation of the methodology of the Jesus Seminar,
I suggest you get the book, The Five Gospels, edited by Robert W. Funk,
Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar (copyright © 1993 by Polebridge
Press). The sayings below are NOT taken directly from that book, since
that book uses a brand new translation prepared by the Jesus Seminar,
copyrighted by them. All I got from that book is the list of sayings.
I'm also not showing the color rankings nor the weighted averages with
the sayings, since I believe those are also copyrighted facts of the J.S.
I have, however, listed below in the same order, most authentic to those