Skip to comments.'Gospel of Judas' Called An Authentic Fabrication
Posted on 04/07/2006 6:38:55 AM PDT by presidio9
The National Geographic Society released the manuscript of what is called "The Gospel of Judas" yesterday. By National Geographic's own account, a team first assembled by the Maecenas Foundation has been working on the text since 2001. As a result of press releases tied to publication of the text, widespread coverage has repeated the claim that this is an authentic and unique representation of the historical relationship between Jesus and Judas, and that Jesus encouraged Judas to betray him.
Despite the careful work by scholars that has gone into a document of obvious interest, I have to express disappointment when I see National Geographic stoop so low into hyperbole as to distort the significance of this discovery.
In its release, National Geographic repeatedly states that it has "authenticated" the document. Several press outlets have simply repeated those claims. But "authentic" turns out to be a slippery term as used by the National Geographic Society. No scholar associated with the find argues this is a first century document, or that it derives from Judas. The release says the document was "copied down in Coptic probably around A.D. 300," although later that is changed to "let's say around the year 400." This amounts to saying that "The Gospel of Judas" is an authentic fabrication produced by a group of Gnostics in Egypt. Gnostics believed that their direct knowledge of heaven permitted them to understand what no one else knew, or could know by historical knowledge. For ancient Gnostics to believe in their own powers of divination is charming; for their flights of imagination to be passed off as historical knowledge in our time is dishonest or self-deceived.
During the second century, a theologian of the Catholic Church named Irenaeus referred to a writing named "The Gospel of Judas." Was that
(Excerpt) Read more at nysun.com ...
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