The protocols of the elders of Gnosticism

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 13, 2006

I am shocked-- shocked!-- to read in the New York Times that some people are questioning the legal shenanigans behind the unveiling of the "Gospel of Judas." Do they really mean to suggest that the shadowy antiquities dealer who could get $2 million in the deal, and the National Geographic Society, which launched a high-profile promotional campaign just before Easter, are motivated by something other than pure scholarly interest? Astonishing!

Still, the Times wants to make sure we keep sight of the essential message:

No one questions the authenticity of the Judas gospel, which depicts Judas Iscariot not as a betrayer of Jesus but as his favored disciple.

That's nonsense, to put it politely.

No one questions that the National Geographic Society is showing a really, really old manuscript, which portrays Judas in a favorable light. To call that manuscript a "gospel," however, is to invite open ridicule. The text, scholars agree, was produced by members of a defunct religious sect, and written several decades after the death of any eyewitness to the life of Jesus.

This is not a document that reflects beliefs of early Christianity. It is a document produced by people who broke away from the early Church, whose views were promptly recognized as dangerous by the Christians of their own times.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 18, 2006 3:30 PM ET USA

    This "Gospel" was a combination of 4 earlier works probably written in Greek and translated into Coptic about 350 A.D. Gnostic "gospels" caused great consternation because of their disinformation and propaganda. The whole purpose of John's Gospel, 3 letters and even Revelations (tailored for them) to knock down this Greek mystical culture who had seen Jesus, but who could only define Him within their narrow world view. John exists today to "set the record straight" & to proclim Him as God.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 17, 2006 12:16 AM ET USA

    Robert Morey a Bible researcher Dates the "Gospel of Judas" as a third or fourth century Syrian Gnostic work not written in Greek but Coptic. Cainites went through biblical history and rewrote it to turn all villains into heroes. Cain murdered his brother Abel. The gnostics turned him into a hero. They were because of their enthusiasm in defense of Cain the were called Cainites.They went through the the Bible and turned anyone evil into a good person.They didn't believe in good or evil. RM re

  • Posted by: - Apr. 15, 2006 12:08 AM ET USA

    With its characterizations of priests as "slayers of children" and "those who sleep with men," it might be expected that the loudest denunciations of the writing are from the Society of Judas itself.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 14, 2006 4:39 PM ET USA

    You are wromg HumptyDumpty. The four gospels were written by original witnesses and were completed within 15 years of Jesus death.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 14, 2006 10:15 AM ET USA

    All of the Gospels, both neo-orthodox and those rejected, were written 30>60 years after Christ died. None of the writers was an eye-witness. "Gospel" means Good News, and the sole authenticity of the Four was not promulgated until the Council of Trent.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2006 11:31 PM ET USA

    How many problems and how much confusion could be avoided if more people studied history, especially Church history. This would be a non-story, and the Da Vinci Code would be just a mildly entertaining but absurd thriller.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2006 7:53 PM ET USA

    "ALL THE NEWS THA'S FIT TO TINT"; that's the NY Times.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2006 6:41 PM ET USA

    So says the Gospel of the Times.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Apr. 13, 2006 6:11 PM ET USA

    Some time ago, National Geographic Magazine announced its intention to de-emphasize its original scientific focus in favor of "progressive" cultural and political activism. Its recent feature article on Darwinism (fully accepted as incontrovertible in its most extreme neo-Darwinian, atheistic form) and Intelligent Design (dismissed as fundamentalist claptrap) is a good example of the result. It's no surprise they've chosen to hype the Judas "gospel" at a time most offensive to Christians.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2006 1:01 PM ET USA

    It is a very historically significant document. It is little spiritual significance. It is not a Gospel but it is titled "the gospel of judas." I am waiting to see how much of this document the Jesus Seminar accepts as "gospel". I'm betting is it is more that they accept from all four of the real Gospels combined.