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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