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Gospel of Judas back in spotlight after 20 centuries
Middle East Online ^ | 2005-03-30 | Patrick Baert

Posted on 04/04/2005 10:11:49 AM PDT by robowombat

2005-03-30 Gospel of Judas back in spotlight after 20 centuries Swiss foundation seeks to shed light on controversial Christian text named after apostle said to have betrayed Jesus. By Patrick Baert - GENEVA -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About 2,000 years after the Gospel according to Judas sowed discord among early Christians, a Swiss foundation says it is translating for the first time the controversial text named after the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus Christ.

The 62-page papyrus manuscript of the text was uncovered in Egypt during the 1950s or 1960s, but its owners did not fully comprehend its significance until recently, according to the Maecenas Foundation in Basel.

The manuscript written in the ancient dialect of Egypt's Coptic Christian community will be translated into English, French and German in about a year, the foundation specialising in antique culture said on Tuesday.

"We have just received the results of carbon dating: the text is older than we thought and dates back to a period between the beginning of the third and fourth centuries," foundation director Mario Jean Roberty said.

The existence of a Gospel of Judas, which was originally written in Greek, was outlined by a bishop, Saint Irenee, when he denounced the text as heretical during the second century.

"It's the only clear source that allows us to know that such a Gospel did exist," Roberty explained.

The foundation declined to say what account Judas is said to give in his alleged gospel.

According to Christian tradition, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ by helping the Romans to find him before he was crucified.

"We do not want to reveal the exceptional side of what we have," Roberty said.

The author of the text is unknown.

"No one can clearly state that Judas wrote it himself," Roberty said, while pointing out that the other gospels were probably not written by their supposed authors either.

The four recognised gospels of the New Testament describe the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and are said to record his teachings from the eyes of four of his disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Roman Catholic Church limited the recognised gospels to the four in 325, under the guidance of the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine.

Thirty other texts - some of which have been uncovered - were sidelined because "they were difficult to reconcile with what Constantine wanted as a political doctrine," according to Roberty.

The foundation's director said the Judas Iscariot text called into question some of the political principles of Christian doctrine.

It could also to some extent rehabilitate Judas, whose name has often come to symbolise the accusation of deicide - God-killing - levelled by some Christian teachings against the Jewish people, he added.

After the manuscript is restored, the text is due to be translated and analysed by a team of specialists in Coptic history led by a former professor at the University of Geneva, Rudolf Kasser.

Jean-Daniel Kaestli, an expert on gospels who has seen the manuscript, said the discovery was "very interesting", although the papyrus was in a bad state.

He added that it was not going to lead to a revolutionary change in the vision of the Bible, although it could shed some new light on parts of Christianity's holy text.

The Maecenas Foundation, which aims to protect archaeological relics found in poor countries, hopes to organise exhibitions around the manuscript and to produce a documentary on the process of unravelling the text.

The full launch is due in Easter 2006.

Gospel of Judas back in spotlight after 20 centuries Swiss foundation seeks to shed light on controversial Christian text named after apostle said to have betrayed Jesus. By Patrick Baert - GENEVA -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About 2,000 years after the Gospel according to Judas sowed discord among early Christians, a Swiss foundation says it is translating for the first time the controversial text named after the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus Christ.

The 62-page papyrus manuscript of the text was uncovered in Egypt during the 1950s or 1960s, but its owners did not fully comprehend its significance until recently, according to the Maecenas Foundation in Basel.

The manuscript written in the ancient dialect of Egypt's Coptic Christian community will be translated into English, French and German in about a year, the foundation specialising in antique culture said on Tuesday.

"We have just received the results of carbon dating: the text is older than we thought and dates back to a period between the beginning of the third and fourth centuries," foundation director Mario Jean Roberty said.

The existence of a Gospel of Judas, which was originally written in Greek, was outlined by a bishop, Saint Irenee, when he denounced the text as heretical during the second century.

"It's the only clear source that allows us to know that such a Gospel did exist," Roberty explained.

The foundation declined to say what account Judas is said to give in his alleged gospel.

According to Christian tradition, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ by helping the Romans to find him before he was crucified.

"We do not want to reveal the exceptional side of what we have," Roberty said.

The author of the text is unknown.

"No one can clearly state that Judas wrote it himself," Roberty said, while pointing out that the other gospels were probably not written by their supposed authors either.

The four recognised gospels of the New Testament describe the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and are said to record his teachings from the eyes of four of his disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Roman Catholic Church limited the recognised gospels to the four in 325, under the guidance of the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine.

Thirty other texts - some of which have been uncovered - were sidelined because "they were difficult to reconcile with what Constantine wanted as a political doctrine," according to Roberty.

The foundation's director said the Judas Iscariot text called into question some of the political principles of Christian doctrine.

It could also to some extent rehabilitate Judas, whose name has often come to symbolise the accusation of deicide - God-killing - levelled by some Christian teachings against the Jewish people, he added.

After the manuscript is restored, the text is due to be translated and analysed by a team of specialists in Coptic history led by a former professor at the University of Geneva, Rudolf Kasser.

Jean-Daniel Kaestli, an expert on gospels who has seen the manuscript, said the discovery was "very interesting", although the papyrus was in a bad state.

He added that it was not going to lead to a revolutionary change in the vision of the Bible, although it could shed some new light on parts of Christianity's holy text.

The Maecenas Foundation, which aims to protect archaeological relics found in poor countries, hopes to organise exhibitions around the manuscript and to produce a documentary on the process of unravelling the text.

The full launch is due in Easter 2006.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Israel; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: artbell; bible; conspiracytheories; gospelofjudas; tinfoilalert
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1 posted on 04/04/2005 10:11:49 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat

For some very interesting info on these matters and related topics, read the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail". It's fascinating.


2 posted on 04/04/2005 10:14:31 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: cinives

What are your opinions on these extra gospels? I have hear about them but never read them.


3 posted on 04/04/2005 10:15:19 AM PDT by kingsurfer
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To: robowombat
Isn't it a little hard to write a book dangling from a rope by your neck?

A fool and his money......
4 posted on 04/04/2005 10:17:46 AM PDT by Mark in the Old South (Sister Lucia of Fatima pray for us)
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To: robowombat

There were two Judas'.

Joh 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?


5 posted on 04/04/2005 10:20:24 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: kingsurfer

I have read some excerpts. What I read is not in any way consistent with the real gospels. I did not find them compelling.


6 posted on 04/04/2005 10:22:32 AM PDT by twigs
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: robowombat
Thirty other texts - some of which have been uncovered - were sidelined because "they were difficult to reconcile with what Constantine wanted as a political doctrine," according to Roberty.

Sounds like he's been drinking some of that Dan Brown Kool- Aid.
8 posted on 04/04/2005 10:26:04 AM PDT by WinOne4TheGipper (When did Michael Schiavo hire Baghdad Bob to represent him?)
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To: robowombat

Judas' suicide note?


9 posted on 04/04/2005 10:26:16 AM PDT by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: kingsurfer

There are numerous gnostic texts available at places like Barnes and Noble. They include numerous 'gospels' and are almost unbelievably pathetic attempts to paint fantasy as religiosity.

The difference between the tone and doctrine of these supposed 'gospels' and the canon of the Bible as we know it is more than significant.

It's like the "Jesus Seminar" on crack.


10 posted on 04/04/2005 10:27:13 AM PDT by ColoCdn (Neco eos omnes, Deus suos agnoset)
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To: robowombat

The Holy Bible influenced by the Emperor Constantine? Couldn't be - I've had so-called Christians spit in my face for suggesting that.


11 posted on 04/04/2005 10:27:43 AM PDT by Old Mountain man (Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice!)
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To: kingsurfer
Read Eusebius. He wrote the first history of the Church in the 4th century. Some of these extra gospels are mentioned and dismissed as fairly recent (recent by 4th century standards) heresies. When he wrote the Bible was not a single book as we think of it and he expresses some doubts about some of the books we accept today.

To be included in the Bible a book needed to meet several specific qualifications. I can not remember them all but one was, it had to be compatible with Old Testament works. and doctrinally in agreement with the other Gospels. The Gospel according to Thomas is one example of a book that fails this test completely. It was also written sometime in the second century. A second qualification was it had to be written no later than the apostolic age. (approx 100 AD or earlier).
12 posted on 04/04/2005 10:28:13 AM PDT by Mark in the Old South (Sister Lucia of Fatima pray for us)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Mark in the Old South

Cheers, it looks like I will have to do some reading about this. I already have about 50 books piled up for me to read already.


14 posted on 04/04/2005 10:31:39 AM PDT by kingsurfer
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To: ColoCdn

Actually a large number of these texts co-date or pre-date the accepted writing period of the four gospels, which are believed to be put together at the end of the first century.

The Gospel According to Thomas is a good example, it fits well into the synoptic gospels.

And the Nag Hammadi scrolls found a copy of the book of Isaiah, a copy which was IDENTICAL to the current version we have.

And we have somewhere between four and six copies of parts of the New Testament written in Aramaic, some may pre-date the Greek.


15 posted on 04/04/2005 10:34:28 AM PDT by djf
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To: robowombat
The Roman Catholic Church limited the recognised gospels to the four in 325, under the guidance of the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine.

New Age horsefeathers. The four canonical gospels were recognized long before 325, and Constantine had nothing to do with that decision.

Other parts of the New Testament canon were "in play" as late as AD 400, but not the Gospels, and not most of the Pauline epistles, either.

16 posted on 04/04/2005 10:35:39 AM PDT by Campion
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To: cinives

>>Holy Blood, Holy Grail". It

Blah, nobody takes that book seriously...


17 posted on 04/04/2005 10:38:01 AM PDT by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: kingsurfer

There are many books that did not make it through the decision processes of the church to be in the official Bible. I have no doubt that many if not most of them are controversial, they were chosen not to be included for a reason.

Relying on them to prove or disprove faith or orthodoxy would be like relying on international law to determine the constitutionality of something.


18 posted on 04/04/2005 10:38:22 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: djf
I've read in the past that the decisions about which books to include was as much a political decision based upon lobbying than a religious one. Also, that John is the only one who claims Jesus is devine. That John's Gospel is substantially different than the other three, but it was needed for the church to establish Jesus as the son of God.

I welcome factual information about these questions.

19 posted on 04/04/2005 10:39:06 AM PDT by bigsigh
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To: kingsurfer

Most, perhaps all, of the extra 'gospels' are gnostic texts, and were rightly ignored by the Church.

Unlike the teaching of the Church, which was public, and included no hidden esoterica, the gnostic 'gospels' were esoteric, and the basis for 'secret' teachings among the gnostic heretics. (Yes, some things in the old days weren't preached to those who weren't catechumens, but this was a matter of security during the persecutions, but even these were public in the sense that the apologists explained them briefly to pagans in an attempt to avert persecutions).

It's not surprising that this manuscript was found in Egypt: Alexandria was the center of Greco-Roman intellectual life, and was a hot bed of one or another heresy (based on either rationanlist or esoteric speculation) for centuries.


20 posted on 04/04/2005 10:39:53 AM PDT by The_Reader_David
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To: Old Mountain man; All

Constantine asked that the Church define the canon of the NT... A synod of biships gathered, and in about 360 they requested that this be undertaken.. In 390, the first "official" canon was assembled under Pope Damascus..


21 posted on 04/04/2005 10:39:56 AM PDT by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: AppyPappy

Otherwise known as St. Jude, who, in tradition, is believed to be a cousin of Jesus.


22 posted on 04/04/2005 10:41:41 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: kingsurfer

1 (888) ASK-HANK


23 posted on 04/04/2005 10:42:14 AM PDT by Sybeck1 (Michael, is it the movie and books deals you're waiting for, my boy?)
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To: msdrby

ping


24 posted on 04/04/2005 10:42:20 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (My flag is at half staff. Is yours?)
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To: TonyRo76

..its the devil.. he planted it to cause confusion.. just imho.... I dont think I will be reading anything "written" by a man who killed Him...


25 posted on 04/04/2005 10:44:46 AM PDT by FreeManWhoCan ("Credo!")
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To: djf
Re: "Actually a large number of these texts co-date or pre-date the accepted writing period of the four gospels, which are believed to be put together at the end of the first century. The Gospel According to Thomas is a good example, it fits well into the synoptic gospels."

Bull. I will take Saint Jerome's word over the above any day. Eusedius also pans it. The Gospel according to Thomas is so far from the Gospels of Matthew Mark and Luke that no reasonable person could possibly see it as synoptic. In addition there is no reference to it in any work earlier than the middle of the second century. Both valid reasons for leaving it out.
26 posted on 04/04/2005 10:46:12 AM PDT by Mark in the Old South (Sister Lucia of Fatima pray for us)
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To: bigsigh
All four Gospels declare the divinity of Jesus.

The other three are synoptic, in that they begin with His birth (Matthew, Luke) or the beginning of His earthly ministry (Mark). In contrast, virtually all of the book of John takes place in the weeks before the crucifixion.

27 posted on 04/04/2005 10:46:26 AM PDT by Skooz (Host organism for the State parasite)
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To: kingsurfer

You asked this question just to enliven your day didn't you?

Like to stir the pot don't you?
;-}


28 posted on 04/04/2005 10:47:27 AM PDT by Mark in the Old South (Sister Lucia of Fatima pray for us)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: bigsigh

When I say the Thomas gospel fits, it is because there are quite a few references to events that are described in the four gospels, and enough info to show that it's not something totally made up. It is very gnostic in flavor, and goes along and extends John.

As far as I know, I thought the accepted version of the Bible was established at the Council of Nicea in 325. Supposedly there was alot of politics involved.


30 posted on 04/04/2005 10:48:50 AM PDT by djf
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To: Skooz

I'll either have to move on or do some homework. I'm a lazy poster.


31 posted on 04/04/2005 10:48:51 AM PDT by bigsigh
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To: Mark in the Old South

lol, I only expected one or two replies to my post. By tommorow I will have about a hundred I expect.


32 posted on 04/04/2005 10:49:45 AM PDT by kingsurfer
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To: bigsigh

It sounds like Dan Brown stuff. I'm amazed that so many people use a novel as a factual basis for information. John's Gospel looks just like the others. All claim that Jesus was divine. The resurrection proves that.

You didn't present facts. Only opinions.


33 posted on 04/04/2005 10:50:54 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: djf
I'm trying to remember the role of Ireneaus in John being adopted.

Why wasn't Thomas acceptable?

Wasn't the difference that the Gnostic books contained the philosophy that man could work out his view o God without the church and the church couldn't have that?

34 posted on 04/04/2005 10:51:03 AM PDT by bigsigh
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To: robowombat
"No one can clearly state that Judas wrote it himself," Roberty said,

Really? Kinda tough to write a gospel after hanging yourself.

35 posted on 04/04/2005 10:52:29 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: AppyPappy

I din't intend to come off as an expert. I asking questioons from my readings about 10 years ago, including Thomas. Didn't hear about Dan Brown then. If you have more to add, I'll read it.


36 posted on 04/04/2005 10:52:29 AM PDT by bigsigh
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To: bigsigh

We are opining about things that happened 1700 years ago. There is a very little factual information. There is a whole lot of speculation.


37 posted on 04/04/2005 10:55:12 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: AppyPappy
[ There were two Judas'. ]

Judas was not a rare name then..
Course Hebrew and Greek have no "J's"..
Only latin has "J's".. no orginal text was written in latin..
Actually Jesus name was not Jesus and Jehovas name was not Jehova..
really, the so-called Jehova has no name..(Ex;Ch 3)

39 posted on 04/04/2005 11:01:20 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been ok'ed by me to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Mark in the Old South

I agree it is marginal and appears to have not been known till recently.

And it does not seem to be ANOTHER synoptic gospel, being almost entirely sayings of Jesus, almost all pararaphs and verses starting "Jesus said..."

But by the same token one could say the Dead Sea scrolls were fraudulent because early historians didn't mention them.

I just try to keep an open mind on the subject, my personal favorite being Murdocks translation of the Syriac Peshito, 1851.

(In 1982 I found and original hardcover in a barn back east. Had it rebound last year).


40 posted on 04/04/2005 11:02:25 AM PDT by djf
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To: AppyPappy

well that doesn't bode well for the position of the church on the gnostic gospels. Many people here paint themselves as experts on the Word and I'm hoping some of them will set us straight.


41 posted on 04/04/2005 11:03:09 AM PDT by bigsigh
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To: robowombat

The New Testament Books (canonical)

The scholarly literature on the New Testament books is (of course) huge and easily accessible. There is no attempt here to discuss them individually. Here is their approximate order of composition:

I and II Thessalonians

~50 CE

I and II Corinthians

54-56

Galatians

~56

Romans

56-57

Colossians

~61

Philemon

~61

Philippians

~62

Gospel according to Mark

65-70

Gospel according to Matthew

80-85

Acts and Gospel according to Luke

85-90

Hebrews

85-90

Gospel according to John

90-100

Revelation of John

~95

Ephesians, James, and I Peter

95-100

I, II, and III John

100-110

I and II Timothy and Titus

110-130

Jude, II Peter

130-150


42 posted on 04/04/2005 11:03:16 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: robowombat; All
Who said you can't make additions to accepted Church doctrine? As I recall there, was a certain German malcontent who took a whore-nun as a wife and lived on a diet of worms? A lot of people accept his teachings. There was also the Geneva Taliban and the 37 Articles of Faith.
The Church accepts the tales of 3 or 4 men who may or may not have been contemporaries of Christ yet rejects and denies the influence of a Persian religion that was quite possibly proto-Judaism.
The Bible is nothing more than the Hebrew interpretation of Norse mythos, Freya being Mary, Thor the Son of Odin and his nemesis, Loki as Satan, the god of deception.
43 posted on 04/04/2005 11:05:23 AM PDT by olde north church ("Hi America, I'm Dr. Howard Dean. Turn your head and cough.")
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To: robowombat
Thirty other texts - some of which have been uncovered - were sidelined because "they were difficult to reconcile with what Constantine wanted as a political doctrine," according to Roberty.

Horse manure

Table of authorities.

44 posted on 04/04/2005 11:06:17 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: hosepipe

Latin had no "J"s.

That's why Pilate inscribed on the cross:

Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm

Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Judeans.


45 posted on 04/04/2005 11:06:21 AM PDT by djf
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To: robowombat
Thirty other texts - some of which have been uncovered - were sidelined because "they were difficult to reconcile with what Constantine wanted as a political doctrine," according to Roberty.

Not this nonsense again.

46 posted on 04/04/2005 11:06:41 AM PDT by The Iguana
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To: Campion

True. Don't have the references here, but I recall the first authoritative listing of what would become the cannon of the New Testament being in a Christmas letter sent out by one of the apostolic church bishops some time in the 2nd century A.D.

As for Constantine, he had a tremendous influence on the development of institutional Christianity by: 1) stopping the persecution of Christians, 2) by proclaiming official tolerance of the religion, 3) by adopting it as the official and only religion of the Roman Empire and finally, 4) by sponsoring a series of conferences to bring together church leaders and regularize Christian doctrine and practice. Whether or not the long partnership between church and state has been for good or for bad is the subject of a centuries-long discourse and many books.


47 posted on 04/04/2005 11:10:46 AM PDT by Captain Rhino ("If you will just abandon logic, these things will make a lot more sense to you!")
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To: twigs
I have read some excerpts. What I read is not in any way consistent with the real gospels. I did not find them compelling.

Me too. All one has to do is scan the text and see that the "lost gospels" are no where near the level of scripture.

48 posted on 04/04/2005 11:11:12 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: Mark in the Old South
To be included in the Bible a book needed to meet several specific qualifications.
The most important consideration for whether a NT book was inspired was that it had apostolic authority. The Apostles, as eyewitnesses of everything dealing with Christ, had a unique position and personal authority because they were chosen by Christ. It is this unique personal authority of the Apostles that assures the truth or canonicity of the NT books.
49 posted on 04/04/2005 11:12:25 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: olde north church
The Bible is nothing more than the Hebrew interpretation of Norse mythos, Freya being Mary, Thor the Son of Odin and his nemesis, Loki as Satan, the god of deception.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You are one funny dude.

50 posted on 04/04/2005 11:12:36 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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