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A Prophet Is Rejected in His Home Town (Mark 6.4 and Parallels): A Study in the Methodological (In)Consistency of the Jesus Seminar

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image of Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

While some might construct their view of the historical Jesus based upon the published findings of the Jesus Seminar, others may re-examine individual pericopae and argue that a change of 'colour' would be appropriate. Here it is suggested that the arguments offered by the Seminar to justify the colouring of one saying of Jesus—that a prophet is rejected in his home town (Gos. Thom. 31.1, Mk 6.4, Matt. 13.57, Lk. 4.24, and Jn 4.44)—as a (deep) pink are flawed. Arguments based upon multiple attestation, plausibility and embarrassment are considered and rejected, leading to the conclusion that black is the most appropriate colour for the saying. Two explanations for its inclusion in the Gospels are offered: that it is a proverb inserted by the writers because it mirrored their own circumstances, and the more speculative view that the saying was viewed as appropriate because of Jesus' own hyperbolic characterization of discipleship (cf. Lk. 14.26).


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