a genuine fraud

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 07, 2006

The National Geographic Society has unveiled the "Gospel of Judas," and the New York Times reports that the ancient document "will set off years of study and debate." The story continues:

The debate is not over whether the manuscript is genuine-- on this the scholars agree.

Whoa! Hold on just a minute! The document is apparently genuine, all right. But it's a "genuine" product of the Gnostic sect, dating back to around 300 AD-- or about 270 years after Judas died.

The "Gospel of Judas"-- of which this document is apparently a copy-- was produced by an unknown Gnostic author earlier. We know this (as the Times helpfully reminds us) because St. Irenaeus, writing late in the 2nd century, has already identified the "Gospel of Judas" as a fraud.

But hey, it's a genuine fraud.

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  • Posted by: flmike - Apr. 09, 2006 10:32 PM ET USA

    Pseudodionysius, What's with invoking Eric Voegelin?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 08, 2006 12:34 PM ET USA

    Art, you just hit a grand slam: The Councils of Hippo and Carthage codified the canon of Sacred Scripture and the pope agreed. Along with Pope John Paul II, it was reading the Bible that brought me into the Catholic Church. I had read the Bible as an Episcopalian but it was not until a Catholic priest friend gave me "Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church" by Msgr. Henry Graham did I start looking at conversion. Bible commentaries by Dr. Scott Hahn cemented my decision!

  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Apr. 08, 2006 2:03 AM ET USA

    There were a LOT of "gospels" and "epistles" floating around. It was the Catholic Church which decided which ones were the inspired word of God and which were not. Protestants are scared to touch that subject because it proves the authority of the Church. But without the authority of the Catholic Church, the "Gospel of Judas" is no more or less valid than the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 10:36 PM ET USA

    Dan Rather seems to have found a job to his taste with the National Geographic

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Apr. 07, 2006 10:24 PM ET USA

    Actually Judas married the woman at the well and passed the real truth about his times to his children. His progeny now teach in any number of "Catholic"universities.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 9:23 PM ET USA

    genuine fraud -- just like the US dollar!

  • Posted by: Venerable Aussie - Apr. 07, 2006 8:39 PM ET USA

    So we've rediscovered the sacred feminine, and now the sacred betrayer. What's next?

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 07, 2006 7:04 PM ET USA

    Any Easter now, I'm expecting the New York Times to come up with an ancient manuscript proving that the Blessed Virgin used to spank the baby Jesus.

  • Posted by: Web Doctor - Apr. 07, 2006 5:21 PM ET USA

    RE the ongoing discussion below: the argument of whether the laity is responsible for the bishops or vice versa is a "which came first" (egg or chicken) argument. Both are true. A bishop comes from a family and a community. He is representative of the laity from which he emerges. However, he holds a certain position, and can presumably read about the Faith that he represents -- and therefore is cuplable in his own right. The real crime is the lack of discernment by he who appointed the bad bish.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 3:19 PM ET USA

    Few people know this but St Iranaeus got suspicious when the Gospel of Judas was typed in Times New Roman font which wasn't developed until 400 Ad in Brittania (what would one day become London). A "sign of the Times"?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 3:17 PM ET USA

    Where's the Money Roger -- the people in the pews are ignorant because their shepherds are failures in their role to feed their sheep. I too used to think the pewmeisters were to blame. No longer.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 3:10 PM ET USA

    For all the distrust we hear concerning things held in secret, I find it amazing that people will laud a document like this with nary a thought... "The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week, three days before he celebrated Passover." As I read the gospels accounts, Jesus does not seem particularly enamored with intrigue and secrecy. The Judas document is way out of character. Isn't it the father of lies who digs secrecy?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 3:08 PM ET USA

    Anyone who's had any college theology, even at a relatively liberal Catholic school, should be able to tell you that the discovery of this document says NOTHING against the truthfulness of orthodox Christianity. And trust me, I've taken plenty of theology at a relatively liberal Catholic school. I suppose if I were a scholar of Gnosticism, I'd be overjoyed. But as such, this is just another excuse for the media to make religion look old fashioned and unscientific.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 2:51 PM ET USA

    Here's the thing - I know lots of in the pew practicing Catholics -whom I can not get to subscribe to CWN, the Register, Crisis, Catholic World Report, Catholic Answer, etc etc etc - but they never ever miss one of these shows. The more outlandish the better..... It is true the Bishops are guilty of lack of leadership but even worse is that they are very representative of American Catholics.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2006 2:31 PM ET USA

    Eric Voegelin pray for us.