Robert W. Funk
Robert W. Funk an American biblical scholar, was co-founder of the controversial Jesus Seminar
Jesus Seminar
The Jesus Seminar is a group of about 150 critical scholars and laymen founded in 1985 by Robert Funk under the auspices of the Westar Institute....

 and the nonprofit Westar Institute
Westar Institute
The Westar Institute is best known as the sponsoring organization of the Jesus Seminar. A non-profit foundation founded in 1985, it is, according to its mission statement, a "research and educational institute dedicated to the advancement of religious literacy." It is considered to be one of the...

 in Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. The 2010 census reported a population of 167,815. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country and fifth largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont and 26th...


Funk, an academic, sought to promote research and education on what he called biblical literacy. His approach to hermeneutics was historical-critical, with a strongly skeptical
Skepticism has many definitions, but generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere...

 view of orthodox Christian belief, particularly concerning historical Jesus
Historical Jesus
The term historical Jesus refers to scholarly reconstructions of the 1st-century figure Jesus of Nazareth. These reconstructions are based upon historical methods including critical analysis of gospel texts as the primary source for his biography, along with consideration of the historical and...

. He was one of the most important representatives of recent American research into Jesus' parables. He and his peers described Jesus' parables as containing shocking messages that contradicted established religious attitudes.

Funk had bachelor's of divinity and master's degrees from Butler University
Butler University
Butler University is a private university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 1855 and named after founder Ovid Butler, the university offers 60 degree programs to 4,400 students through six colleges: business, communication, education, liberal Arts and sciences, pharmacy and health...

 and its affiliated Christian Theological Seminary
Christian Theological Seminary
Christian Theological Seminary is an ecumenical seminary related to the Christian Church . It is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and provides eight degree-level education courses...

 in 1950 and 1951, a PhD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 in 1953 from Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1873, the university is named for shipping and rail magnate "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided Vanderbilt its initial $1 million endowment despite having never been to the...

 and was a Guggenheim Fellow and a Senior Fulbright Scholar.

He taught at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, was chairman of the graduate department of religion at Vanderbilt University and executive secretary of the Society of Biblical Literature
Society of Biblical Literature
The Society of Biblical Literature, founded 1880, is a constituent society of the American Council of Learned Societies , with the stated mission to "Foster Biblical Scholarship"...

. He was founder and first executive director of Scholars Press (1974–1980).

Dr. Funk is survived by his wife, Char Matejovsky, and two daughters.


  • A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature: A Translation and Revision of the ninth-tenth German edition incorporating supplementary notes of A. Debrunner (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961)
  • Language, Hermeneutic, and Word of God (1966)
  • A Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek (1977).
  • The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus (1993)
  • Honest to Jesus: Jesus for a New Millennium (1996)
  • The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds (1998).
  • A Credible Jesus (2002).
  • Funk on Parables: Collected Essays (Polebridge Press, 2006).

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.