One of the more controversial examinations of the Bible is coordinated by a group of scholars known as The Jesus Seminar. They are systematically scrutinizing the gospels to decide if Jesus really did say what the gospels claim he said.
After examining from many points of view a verse quoting Jesus, they vote on its authenticity with a system of colored beads. Black means Jesus said it, red implies he did not, while pink and gray signify varying degrees of probability. The aim is to produce a version of the Bible printed in black, red and varying shades of pink and gray.
To be fair, a red bead does not mean that the seminar believes the verse should be removed. The latest announcement from the seminar is that they don't think Jesus ever said he was going to return. This has Christians from many different persuasions concerned. We sympathize - for we believe very firmly that Jesus said he would return. When properly understood, not only the gospels but the entire message of the Bible attest to this.
However, The Jesus Seminar would seem to be a particularly difficult group to argue with. If they have decided Jesus never said he was coming back, how do you convince them that he meant it? This I fear is an argument that won't be solved unless or until Jesus does return - maybe not even then for some. Jesus Christ often found himself confronting learned and scholarly men who had painted themselves into an intellectual corner. So sure were they in their interpretation of God's Word that they could not - or would not - accept the evidence of the messiahship of Jesus.
Jesus Christ was a popular and well-accepted figure-until his teachings began to correct and undermine the personal standard of righteousness of the religious leadership. They couldn't change him, so they rejected him. "We know that you are a teacher sent from God," admitted Nicodemus, but that did not stop certain of the people he represented plotting to destroy Jesus.