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Author Topic: Judas Gospel  (Read 4066 times) Average Rating: 0
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suzannes
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« on: April 07, 2006, 12:16:33 AM »

Did anyone happen to see the news tonight, with the story about this "Judas gospel"?  Basically, it's a text, written in Coptic, claiming that Jesus encouraged Judas to betray him.  Of course, ABC had Elaine Pagels weighing in.  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?
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2006, 12:33:51 AM »

History of Christianity: The Gospel according to Judas
Yesterday, a 62-page codex, written from the point of view of the man who betrayed Christ and said to date from the 3rd or 4th century, was unveiled in Washington. A seismic moment for the Christian church? Paul Vallely and Andrew Buncombe report
Published: 07 April 2006
You can read the entire article at http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article356265.ece Same old Gnostic stuff, nothing new.
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2006, 12:36:36 AM »

There's going to be a National Geographic Channel show on that sometime this week.  I can't remember when.

P
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2006, 09:09:04 AM »

There's going to be a National Geographic Channel show on that sometime this week.  I can't remember when.

P
Perfect timing for Pascha.

On Channel 10 News (here in Sydney) tonight one reporter ranted rabidly about how this would shake up Christianity. She said it's not a matter of opinion, its a fact BECAUSE it's been carbon dated as authentic from c.300s!

I was so enraged I'm going to write to them. How stupid can someone be? On another news on another channel (this time Channel 2) they actually got it right by saying that the age of the document makes it seem unlikely as being genuine.
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2006, 09:12:01 AM »

I think this could be interesting, I'd like to see more.  There are two sides to every story...

Anyway, the first thing that popped into my head whn i heard about this was Dumbledore and Snape...some of us have a theory that DD asked Snape to do him in.  I know, I'm a hopeless HP nut.  I do wish i had cable, because you know anything indepth is probably going to be run on Discovery or someplace like that.
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2006, 09:28:59 AM »

I think this could be interesting, I'd like to see more.  There are two sides to every story...
Cool, let's wait to hear Satan's account of Genesis!  Huh
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2006, 09:36:46 AM »

Did anyone happen to see the news tonight, with the story about this "Judas gospel"?  Basically, it's a text, written in Coptic, claiming that Jesus encouraged Judas to betray him.  Of course, ABC had Elaine Pagels weighing in.  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.  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. ÂÂ

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".  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.  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.  Roll Eyes

I think that some people are wildly overestimating how much Chistianity will be "rocked" by this.  It's not new. Oh yes, and the manuscript has, as the article mentioned, a "dodgy" provenence.  The "when" and "Where" and "Who found it" and all are ummm not clear.

Ebor
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2006, 09:37:13 AM »

Cool, let's wait to hear Satan's account of Genesis!  Huh

Well, there's always "Paradise Lost" by Milton

 Cheesy

Ebor
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2006, 09:47:44 AM »

I think this could be interesting, I'd like to see more.  There are two sides to every story...

If not more.  Wink  And when it comes to being shaken to the foundations, I think many of us are of sterner stuff.


Quote
Anyway, the first thing that popped into my head whn i heard about this was Dumbledore and Snape...some of us have a theory that DD asked Snape to do him in.  I know, I'm a hopeless HP nut.  I do wish i had cable, because you know anything indepth is probably going to be run on Discovery or someplace like that.

Now there you go!
 Wink
Ebor
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2006, 10:04:43 AM »

Cool, let's wait to hear Satan's account of Genesis!

What, you don't think that would be an interesting read?   Tongue

Nobody said you had to BELIEVE it...I just find looking at things from multiple viewpoints interesting on occasion.  
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2006, 10:10:04 AM »

If I could give credit to Elaine Pagels for anything, it would be that when she spoke at my school I was unable to defend myself against her points in my mind, so I wanted to learn more.


Isn't there some ABC program going to air about this?
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2006, 11:15:04 AM »

Cool, let's wait to hear Satan's account of Genesis!

What, you don't think that would be an interesting read? ÂÂ  Tongue

Nobody said you had to BELIEVE it...I just find looking at things from multiple viewpoints interesting on occasion. ÂÂ

To you it might be an interesting view and you might not believe it. But to those who are weak in faith, or are struggling at the moment trying to seek who the true God is, or are having trouble believing who Jesus is, this can be devastating, the media has a great way of displaying this deception and I'm sure many will be deceived and any faith they did have or any thoughts of turning to Jesus will go away. Same with the da vinci code and all the other deceptions that are out there. This Judas theory is going to turn a lot of people away from the true gospel. And the weak away from Jesus all together.
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2006, 11:24:16 AM »

Quote
"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."

What I find fascinating is that for certain scholars there is a tendency to push the dates of historical documents which are favorable to Christians later and later in time, while there is a tendency to push the dates of historical documents which contradict Christian beliefs earlier and earlier in time.
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2006, 04:40:11 PM »

The commentary that I read in one of the liberal newspaper was by Bart Ehrmann, the head of the Religious studies department at NC University at Chaplin Hill and he commented that this "manuscript" actually shows that the "christians" believed in a variety of beliefs in the early centuries. The stupidity of such claim by Ehrmann is clear as the authorship of the document is unknown and cannot be traced back to the supposed author, Judas, and as such cannot be taken as an eyewitness. Before this "amazing" discovery, there is no trace about the existence of such beliefs except by a hint by St. Ireneous who spoke for all christians at the time, and the supposed gnostic groups if they actually existed were outside the Church together with the Ibionian and Valentinians and other heretical group. A totally different religion.

The plan of attack is to portray christianity as an ideology that evolved and suffered from various ideological disputes in the search for a religion. This plan is assisted by people in the Church who hold the same views and present the faith as such. Maybe these are different methods but the end is one and the same.
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2006, 08:15:25 PM »

Interestingly, Ehrman wrote an entire book on the subject, Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, which I bought today at Barnes and Noble.
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2006, 11:43:40 PM »

Cool, let's wait to hear Satan's account of Genesis!

What, you don't think that would be an interesting read?
Its purpose would be (if it existed (unless you count the Koran Smiley )) would be to confuse and cause doubt.
Nobody said you had to BELIEVE it...I just find looking at things from multiple viewpoints interesting on occasion. ÂÂ
Sure, and to go to a less extreme, we can always get kids to read the neo-Nazi account of the life of Adolf Hitler; in the search for a 'balanced' view point.
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2006, 11:46:25 PM »

The commentary that I read in one of the liberal newspaper was by Bart Ehrmann, the head of the Religious studies department at NC University at Chaplin Hill and he commented that this "manuscript" actually shows that the "christians" believed in a variety of beliefs in the early centuries. The stupidity of such claim by Ehrmann is clear as the authorship of the document is unknown and cannot be traced back to the supposed author, Judas, and as such cannot be taken as an eyewitness. Before this "amazing" discovery, there is no trace about the existence of such beliefs except by a hint by St. Ireneous who spoke for all christians at the time, and the supposed gnostic groups if they actually existed were outside the Church together with the Ibionian and Valentinians and other heretical group. A totally different religion.

The plan of attack is to portray christianity as an ideology that evolved and suffered from various ideological disputes in the search for a religion. This plan is assisted by people in the Church who hold the same views and present the faith as such. Maybe these are different methods but the end is one and the same.

It may be true insofar as some Christians were mistaken, because St. Paul was always cajolling the early churches to retain unity of faith; but there must have therefore also been a 'benchmark' of faith for which St. Paul used to compare these communities against.
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2006, 04:54:05 AM »

Move along folks...nothing to see here except the same old gnostic crap written way after the Pauline books. Probably written by some smuck that wanted to make a buck off the gullible masses more than likely. I would put this up their with other garbage like the Davinci Code for what it's worth. I guess that Judas was so 'beloved' that he went so far as committing suicide.... Does it mention Jesus walking on ice and marrying an ex-prostitute also... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2006, 05:16:42 AM »

Move along folks...nothing to see here except the same old gnostic crap written way after the Pauline books. Probably written by some smuck that wanted to make a buck off the gullible masses more than likely. I would put this up their with other garbage like the Davinci Code for what it's worth. I guess that Judas was so 'beloved' that he went so far as committing suicide.... Does it mention Jesus walking on ice and marrying an ex-prostitute also... Roll Eyes

My main concern is the motives of those who are advertising this as a new/genuine gospel, and yet...

Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2006, 05:24:58 AM »

History of Christianity: The Gospel according to Judas
Yesterday, a 62-page codex, written from the point of view of the man who betrayed Christ and said to date from the 3rd or 4th century, was unveiled in Washington. A seismic moment for the Christian church? Paul Vallely and Andrew Buncombe report
Published: 07 April 2006
You can read the entire article at http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article356265.ece Same old Gnostic stuff, nothing new.

Bergschlawiner,

According to the article you linked, Judas' Gospel opens by identifying itself as "The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot three days before he celebrated Passover..."

If the thing's a secret account, why call it a Gospel as if it were news?  There's a big difference between something secret or confidential and something intended to be spread worldwide.  If the people pushing the text really respect it, shouldn't they have kept it a secret and not bothered us with it?

In Christ,
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« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2006, 05:55:01 AM »

If the people pushing the text really respect it, shouldn't they have kept it a secret and not bothered us with it?

In Christ,
Mathetes

It's no secret that the secular world wishes to beset the righteous.
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2006, 10:24:18 AM »

How could this supposedly authentic-through-carbon-dating document be written by Judas?  Judas committed suicide right after the betrayal.  Beyond that, he would have been hundreds of years old if he wrote this document which was said to be from the 3rd or 4th century!

The Christianity that I know will not be rocked by this:  " . . . and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."  Matthew 16:18
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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2006, 11:38:38 AM »

It's no secret that the secular world wishes to beset the righteous.

Amen!  I wonder if the secular media will ever realize that the church officials who burned Judas' "Gospel" were showing it the respect a secret account deserves.   Grin  Remember those self-destructing tape recordings on "Mission Impossible"?
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2006, 07:34:34 PM »

mathetes, I am unsure too how we should approach this insult. I am writing to one TV channel about how they presented this story.
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2006, 11:05:13 PM »

Grin  Remember those self-destructing tape recordings on "Mission Impossible"?

"This papyrus will self-destruct in 5 centuries.  Good luck, Jim.'

 Cheesy Cheesy

Ebor
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2006, 11:06:46 PM »

What I find fascinating is that for certain scholars there is a tendency to push the dates of historical documents which are favorable to Christians later and later in time, while there is a tendency to push the dates of historical documents which contradict Christian beliefs earlier and earlier in time.

I'd noticed that as well.  But there are also serious scholars of paleography who compare writing styles and kinds of materials.

Ebor
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« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2006, 05:03:37 AM »

I'd noticed that as well.  But there are also serious scholars of paleography who compare writing styles and kinds of materials.

Ebor
One of my favourites is where people have 'reconstructed' the Q-Gospel; they believe that there must have been a 'source' for some of the other Gospels, because they are close in their accounts - ignoring the fact that they would be close, given they're covering the same events.
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« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2006, 05:04:14 AM »

How do you use the Quick Reply function?
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« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2006, 07:35:05 AM »

One of my favourites is where people have 'reconstructed' the Q-Gospel; they believe that there must have been a 'source' for some of the other Gospels, because they are close in their accounts - ignoring the fact that they would be close, given they're covering the same events.

Although I don't agree with the Q hypothesis, I think you're too quick to undermine the intelligence of those scholars who purport it; scholars who clearly do not simply "ignore" the fact you allege they do.
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« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2006, 08:09:39 AM »

One of my favourites is where people have 'reconstructed' the Q-Gospel; they believe that there must have been a 'source' for some of the other Gospels, because they are close in their accounts - ignoring the fact that they would be close, given they're covering the same events.

Montalban, it's time for a basic course in the Documentary Hypothesis. It's not too hard to notice that the synoptic gospels are more similar than can be accounted for by simply recounting the same story. When analyzed, it can be seen that almost all of Mark appears in both Matthew and Luke, and that there is a large chunk of material common to both Matthew and Luke but not in Mark. (This is not a modern idea, BTW: it's mentioned by some much older writers, but their analysis is colored by the commitment to Matthean priority. There are some modern scholars who hold to Matthean priority, but it's definitely a minority view now.)

The Germans deduced the existence of Q from the observation that the non-Markan material shared by Matthew and Luke has a definite form: with the exception of a few stories (e.g the temptation) the shared materail consists of sayings. Therefore, they postulated a sayings document that is now lost. All of this had no implications outside the world of the scholars until the text of the Gospel of Thomas was recovered at Nag Hammadi, because it consists amost entirely of sayings, and a lot of those sayings appear (in some form) in the shared Mathean-Lukan material.

This led to three main versions of the documentary hypothesis:
  • That Q did exist and that Matthew, Luke, and Thomas all depend upon it. This is by far the majority position.
  • That Thomas is Q. This is a popular controversialist position but the fact that the gnostic material seems to be about a century younger than the Orthodox gospels makes it hard to justify.
  • That differences between the Matthean and Lukan versions of Q imply that it never existed as a single, separate text. This is a minority view but is respected by the majority.

Obviously the first and last are consistent with orthodox theology while the second tends to question its authenticity. In any case, scholars being who they are, those who believe in a Q document are sorely tempted to work out what it was trying to say, which leads to three problems:
  • Obviously accepting Thomas as Q leads to the conclusion that the orthodox tradition suppressed an older, competing gnostic tradition. Unfortunately for this theory, it is almost certainly true that gnosticism is a century younger than the canonical texts.
  • If Q was a separate document, the parts that we don't have captured in surviving texts could have said anything. It could even have been multiple documents to different purposes, as suggested by some of the narrative material that is also shared. Likewise, the sayings THomas can also be a composite.
  • What we have left isn't really enough to form a viewpoint about. It's one thing to view Matthew and Luke both responding to the deficiency of sayings material in Mark by amplifying the latter, and it is easy to see them turning to the "same" list of sayings for precisely that amplification. But that list is its own justification; it doesn't need a theological viewpoint.

As long as one stays away from the dubious "Thomas as Q" theory, none of this detracts from an orthodox reading of the gospels.
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« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2006, 09:05:11 AM »

Please stay on topic.  Separate topic created for "Q" Theory.
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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2006, 10:10:07 AM »

Um, you've made rather a hash of this, because you've left behind three "Q" posts and taken two "Judas" posts to the new topic.

It's interesting to watch the reaction to this echo around the internet, because the universal reaction is that this document is a lot of hype. Elaine Pagels, for all her diligence as a student of gnostic texts, has a commitment to them as exemplars early Christian difference that hardly anyone else shares (except the woo-woo fringe). As for Bart Ehrman, I have seen nothing but disappointment, if not contempt, expressed for Misquoting Jesus; it has been universally depicted by scholarly reviewers as a popularized version of a scholarly paper which nobody in the community agreed with. Even Spong (another "usual suspect" for reporters seeking sensationalist quotes) thinks that this "gospel" has no impact upon Christian belief.

Here's a nice article from The Boston Globe and another from Slate about the real god in this exercise: Mammon.
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« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2006, 10:20:39 AM »

Um, you've made rather a hash of this, because you've left behind three "Q" posts and taken two "Judas" posts to the new topic.
I think "hash" is being quite courteous.

"I destroyed it" is probably better.  I only realized it, after the fact.  I'm not sure I can fix it.  If I can, I will.
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