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 ...
Every year around Easter time, the MSM-Dinosaur Media hauls out some new reason why we can't trust the Bible or believe Christ was really who and what he said he was. Usually, it's trotted out in the guise of some wonderful new scholarship or historical research, and it's presented in a "stealthy" sort of way, to lure in genuinely curious Christians. The agenda is always the same - to gently demoralize and sow doubts. It's "almost" like they are working for the Enemy...
I'm no Bible expert but I think the Letters of Paul are from the 1st Century.
Has anyone noticed how the MSM always picks Christmas and Easter to release stories questioning the Gospels? I guess this is the only time they give the subject a passing thought, so it seems appropriate to them. They never stop to think that bringing this stuff up on the most important days of the religious calendar is an insult to believers.
I'm not saying they weren't written in the first century. I'm saying that the earliest copies of these texts don't themselves date to the first century.
And I don't think we have any of the originals.
I would love to be convinced otherwise.
Exactly. The fact that the the mosaic was truly 2,000 years old does not make it "true" but does make it archaeologically interesting. Imagine if 2,000 years from now archaeologists discovered the film collection of Oliver Stone and Michael Moore. I am sure it would be of interest, but not a representation of fact.
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There is nothing on the link you provided that exaggerates his claim at all.
all the NT documents except two absolutely date from the 1st century.
It's apparently genuinely from around 400 AD, regardless of its contents. Thus it's not "Fake but accurate", but rather genuine but innaccurate.
Rather like a thousand years from now finding a recording of the infamous "I did not have sex with that woman" speech by Clinton: It's an actual recording; Bill Clinton really said that; but the contents are of a falsehood being uttered.
The author also indicates that this includes a different spin on the story in John 13:21-30. Same basic facts, but different interpretation.
No. More like find a copy of the CBS national guard memos 1000 years from now.
Judas never wrote that stuff. As someone else pointed out here, he hung himself before he had time to write a "gospel".
First, the website you link to constitutes one man's opinion - and his opinion is definitely toward the anti-orthodox extreme. His use of evidence almost overwhelmingly cites Jesus Seminar associates and supporters - many of whom have never done professional work and who in total comprise less than one-tenth of one percent of NT scholars.
Second, even he admits that 22 of the 27 NT documents fall within a 1st century range of composition.
I'll also point out that the more work that is done, the earlier the dates seem to get - 30 years ago a significant minority of NT scholars dated Revelation to after 110 - now almost no one dates it later than 96.
Most of the arguments against the pastorals' 1st century provenance are based on the assumption that the Church had no hierarchy by the end of the 1st century - but research continues to confirm that the Church was well-organized from early on. Which makes good historic sense, since local synagogues indubitably had highly articulated structures of responsibility.
The only canonical NT works that are unequivocally first century are some of the epistles, Matthew, Mark, and the Apocalypse of John. In contrast 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Peter are unequivocally second century.
Whether or not you agree with the voluminous work referenced on the Early Christian Writings site, its existence clearly contradicts what you wrote.
//'Gospel of Judas' Called An Authentic Fabrication//
I think we might have a DanRathersm in there somewhere.
"So what's the date of the earliest surviving manuscript of the canonical Gospels?"
Most believe he oldest "new testament" writings are those by Peter (his letters), which are obvious near-contemporaneous writings, given Peter's well-documented (by Christian and non-Christian sources) execution by Rome not too long after Jesus.
Peter's letters clearly state, or require as knowledge to make sense, many or most of the accounts found in the gospel --- most notably the death and resurrection of Jesus.
In sum, my somewhat non-answer to your question is the gospels-written-long-after dispute is a bit of a red herring.
As I understand it, the Gnostic spiritual movement predates Christ. Jesus just gave them a more current vehicle to spread their word. They didn't acknowledge the human flesh quality of Jesus. The Orthodoxy at that time felt that belief short circuited their teachings especially about the Eucharist.
The point is that if the date of the 'Judas' manuscript is being raised, as it was, one should also point out that except for a few fragments, the canonical manuscripts date no earlier than the fourth century. And while Judas is younger than most of the canonical NT, it may well be within the range of the later books.
I do agree news coverage has been superficial and somewhat tendentious, and that this m/s is nothing new to anyone familiar with the gnostic gospels and other works.