Friday, April 07, 2006

The Gospel of Judas: No News Here

I have ignored the flurry of attention given to the National Geographic's release of the supposed lost Gospel of Judas, because anyone who has studied such things knows that there is really nothing new here, and certainly there is nothing that poses any kind of challenge to traditional Christianity. Evidently, there are many who have never studied such things, given the amount of attention the matter has received.

For a quick overview by someone who has studied such things, see Mark Daniels here.

Since all ideological movements, whether religious, political, or philosophical, spin off heretical associated movements, it comes as no surprise that such happened with early Christianity. The later New Testament books -- written in the late first century -- began warning against incipient forms of Gnosticism, a heretical movement that denied the humanity of Jesus and that was radically disdainful of the physical world generally. That incipient form grew into fuller blossom in the second century, and was rejected by those churches that followed the teaching of the Apostles. It should be noted that gnostic philosophy has stubbornly shown up in various forms of disparate Christian groups, some more orthodox than others, throughout history. I once created a stir in a breakfast meeting by impolitely telling the pastor of a large church that his theology bore more resemblance to Gnosticism than to Christianity.

As Hugh Hewitt notes, this discovery "makes for good television specials," but there really is not any new ground broken.

Update: Donald Sensing has more here.

1 comment:

goliah said...

Like the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi discoveries, this latest 'gospel' increases the amount of new scriptural material only available this century, making the concept of 'canonical scriptures' untenable and any claims of understanding founded upon them both incomplete and even less credible.

What might 'Christianity' look like if all these resources were available from the beginning? Check this link: