Did anyone happen to see the news tonight, with the story about this "Judas gospel"? ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Basically, it's a text, written in Coptic, claiming that Jesus encouraged Judas to betray him. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Of course, ABC had Elaine Pagels weighing in. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I really didn't pay that much attention, since I don't like to take the media as much of a source on religion, but I was just wondering if anyone else saw this and had an opinion?
I would hazard a guess that Elaine Pagels was interviewed because she is a scholar of ancient Gnostic works and a cursory look at a quote from this manuscript translation shows that it is just that, Gnostic. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š This isn't something that was "left out" but from another angle/group. The article says that she is excited about it being added to the "Gnostic canon" not the mainstream of Christianity as it now stands. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
Then there's this bit from the Independent article linked to:
"And though the manuscript has been carbon-dated to around 300AD, it is likely to be a copy of an earlier Greek manuscript written around the year 150AD, in the same period when the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were also written down."
Note the phrase "likely to be a copy". ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š That is hazarding a surmise, a guess that it might
be a copy. As to the 150 AD date of the 4 Gospels being written down, there has been work with paleography and papyrus fragments that has some scholars pushing the earliest gospel dates into the first century around 70 AD. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š The suggested date of the "original" is based on such an "gospel" being written against by Irenaeus of Lyons in his "Against Heresies" (note the title).
Then there's the usual "oh the RC must have known and has hidden it for Centuries to perserve their power" line. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
I think that some people are wildly overestimating how much Chistianity will be "rocked" by this. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š It's not new. Oh yes, and the manuscript has, as the article mentioned, a "dodgy" provenence. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š The "when" and "Where" and "Who found it" and all are ummm not clear.