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Story about old, old story an old story
Aberdeen American News ^ | April 15, 2006 | Art Marmorstein

Posted on 04/16/2006 8:35:09 PM PDT by formercalifornian

Many years ago, a Christian friend excitedly shared with me a document collection he had found. The front cover proclaimed the collection to be "Historical Court Records Concerning JESUS the CHRIST, Found in the Libraries at Rome and Constantinople."

And, sure enough, there they were: Caiphas' reports to the Sanhedrin on the execution and resurrection of Jesus, Pilate's report to Tiberius on Jesus' arrest, trial and crucifixion, Herod Antipas' letter to the Roman Senate justifying the execution of John the Baptist, and a series of letters from Rabbi Hillel describing his reaction to the preaching and teaching of Peter and the other apostles.

To these records, the compiler had added a preface describing the difficult process whereby, at great expense and trouble, he had managed to find these tremendously important manuscripts, manuscripts that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the accuracy of the New Testament descriptions of Jesus and his apostles.

Now the original 19th century compiler of these documents was probably no charlatan. As scholars of that era poured over the libraries of the world, they really were turning up some remarkable stuff - including many works once thought forever lost. A report from Pilate? Letters from Hillel? Well, stranger things had been discovered. Further, the manuscripts the compiler looked at really were many centuries old.

But, old or not, none of these writings were genuine. They were, without exception, what ancient historians call pseudepigrapha: works that claim authorship by someone other than the true author.

Now quite a few pseudepigraphal works have survived from the ancient world. We've got Pseudo-Xenophon, Pseudo-Plato and Pseudo-Aristotle. But most of the surviving pseudepigraphal works tried to pass themselves off as written by one Biblical figure or another.

Many of these pseudepigraphal works try to do nothing more than fill in the gaps in the Biblical stories. One book gives us an account of Jesus' boyhood, while another elaborates on the ministry of Paul and yet another tells us about the martyrdom of the prophet Isaiah.

But pseudepigraphal works were often more than just attempts at historical fiction: Many were attempts to manufacture proof for doctrines that aren't clearly stated in the canonical scriptures.

Is it legitimate to use such works as if they were reliable historical sources? Most of the time, the scholarly community would laugh at the thought. If my excited Christian friend had tried to use the Acts of Pilate to prove to one of his professors the validity of the Gospel story, his whole argument would have been met with no more than a patronizing smile and perhaps the advice to be a bit less credulous. And then there is the warning in the Apocalypse of Peter that those who slay unborn children will be tortured forever. Cite that as evidence of apostolic doctrine and you'll get the same patronizing smile and an immediate dismissal of your argument. And if you champion a second century forgery like the Gospel of Judas as a legitimate historical source, claim that Judas was really a good guy, and insist that Judas alone of the disciples really understood what Jesus was all about, academics will smile patronizingly and ... no, wait!

The academic world will hail you as a star. You'll get a prestigious professorship. The media will gush over your work. Your books will make the best-seller lists. National Geographic will do a special on your findings - and play it on Palm Sunday.

The healthy skepticism essential to solid academics and solid reporting? Gone in a heartbeat if there's any chance to slander the Gospel. At Christmas and Easter especially one can count on every major media outlet to feature one story or another hyping the latest "scholarly" alternative to the traditional understanding of Jesus. And a story that turns things around so much that Judas is now a hero - well, that's got to be worth at least 30 pieces of silver to somebody.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: christianity; gospelofjudas; judas; mediabias; pilate; pseudepigrapha
Just dig up one of the many fake gospels, it seems, and you, too, can become a celebrity.
1 posted on 04/16/2006 8:35:15 PM PDT by formercalifornian
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To: formercalifornian

You know, I never thought of it in those terms, but the author here is absolutely right.


2 posted on 04/16/2006 8:43:36 PM PDT by CheyennePress
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To: formercalifornian

The devil's days are numbered.


3 posted on 04/16/2006 8:45:52 PM PDT by timer
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To: formercalifornian
Judas was one of the twelve apostles. For the most part, he actually was a good guy. Of course, he didn't write a gospel because he killed himself.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Judas was trying to make peace and sold out the Christ to do it. My mother is a reverend, she and I, and I and other ministers, have had this discussion many times. Jesus knew he was going to be crucified, and He knew that he had to be crucified.

Judas chose to ignore the word and I think the point of Judas' life is to show that you may think you are doing the right thing, but if you deny Jesus, you are doing the wrong thing.

4 posted on 04/16/2006 8:52:55 PM PDT by sig226
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To: sig226

See John 12:6


5 posted on 04/16/2006 8:56:29 PM PDT by formercalifornian (One nation, under whatever popular fad comes to mind at the moment, indivisible...)
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To: formercalifornian
After reading every MSM article about Christianity, the reader should be encouraged to read St. Paul's second letter to Timothy as a disclaimer. It's a very brief book, about four pages long, but packed with dynamite in situations like this. I'd love to see an MSM expose about new, startling revelations about Paul's letter to Timothy. Maybe next Easter.

2 timothy

[...] What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. [...]

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. [...]

Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have wandered away from the truth. [...]

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. [...]

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

6 posted on 04/16/2006 9:05:21 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: formercalifornian

Well done!


7 posted on 04/16/2006 9:08:31 PM PDT by Fruit of the Spirit
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To: formercalifornian
I've heard of the Archko Volumes before, if true they would be great. SO what is the consensus here, are the volumes credible?
batch
8 posted on 04/16/2006 9:11:29 PM PDT by batch
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To: formercalifornian

> Just dig up one of the many fake gospels, it seems, and you, too, can become a celebrity.

Hell, dig up *any* ancient document and become a celeb. Dig up a few of the documents from the Library of Alexandria and you'd *definitely* be on your way.


9 posted on 04/16/2006 9:13:01 PM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: orionblamblam

I saw a heart carved in a tree once that had
Adam loves Eve. Maybe I should have cut it down and saved it?


10 posted on 04/16/2006 9:19:41 PM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (If we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. But then again, it repeats regardless.)
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To: sig226

The whole myth of Judas being basically a good guy is a 19th Century story, made up by skeptics to excuse their skepticism. Jesus Christ Superstar, and various other secular, liberal, skeptical tellings of the gospel always seem to imagine this disappointed idealist, just trying to force Jesus' hand.

Unfortunately there are no eyewitness accounts to a Judas like that. The gospel writers, particularly John, name him as a thief and bad apple all along.


11 posted on 04/16/2006 9:28:30 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: timer
The devil's days are numbered.

And he ain't happy about it.

12 posted on 04/16/2006 9:34:20 PM PDT by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: formercalifornian
John 12:7 -

But Jesus said, "Leave her alone! Let her keep what she has for the day of my burial. (8) You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me."

So, aside from the obvious point that Jesus appreciated a bit of bling - bling (cool), we learn from this incident that Jesus knew what was going on, and spoke plainly to Judas. He did not call him a thief before the others, but he knew.

Judas did not learn. That, I think, is the point of his life. Parrot the teachings all you want, if you don't accept the Christ, your words and your acts won't help you.

13 posted on 04/16/2006 9:35:42 PM PDT by sig226
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To: formercalifornian

Good article. Those of us who watch the (ABC) "History Channel", the (CBS and NYT) "Discovery Channel", and the (ABC) "Arts and Entertainment" Channel have been bombarded with the revisionist history of Jesus and Christianity this Easter season. This revisionism is largely due to the efforts of that motley crew of Leftist "liberation theologians" and spiritualists of the "Jesus Seminar" (e.g. John Dominic Crossan) who promote the "Jesus was a good Bolshevik, but neither a Messiah nor the Son of God" point of view. Sadly, the official Christian (Catholic and Protestant) response to this all-out assault on the canonical Gospels, and two thousand years of Christian teaching has been to provide Priests and Ministers to nod and smile while revisionists spin their scripturally unsupported theories.


14 posted on 04/16/2006 9:36:43 PM PDT by pawdoggie
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To: sig226

Judas was actually a good guy? Hmmm, scripture points to the possibility that he was stealing from the Apostles "treasury" prior to his betrayal of Christ...


15 posted on 04/16/2006 9:46:47 PM PDT by TheBattman (Islam (and liberalism)- the cult of Satan and a Cancer on Society)
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To: orionblamblam

dig up any ancient document?

Hardly...thgat's the point of the article...only the anti-Christian ones get any attention.


16 posted on 04/16/2006 9:51:37 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: AndyTheBear

As the original murderer, thief, liar, deceiver; he'll find out that rebellion breeds rebellion; all his demons want to replace HIM as top dog. This is why Jesus said : "a house divided cannot stand". This satan=hate/jesus=love relationship has a basis in atomic physics. The Pauli Exclusion Principle says that in any given atom each electron(a fermion)has to have a different n, l, m or s number(principle, line, magnetic, spin). This "stacking/pecking order" principle defines how chemical elements are built up from hydrogen, helium, etc. This is the Quantum Mechanical basis for HATE, UNIQUENESS; which explains most of the facts of the world. The Bose Inclusion Principle says that with n number of bosons(photons of light/EM spectrum)in a given state there is an n+1 enhancement factor for the next boson to join that state. You see this in the lasar, birds of a feather flocking together, marriage...LOVE. Fermions are spin 1/2 particles, bosons are spin 1 particles, thus 1/2+1/2=1 or 1F+1F=1B. Fermions interfere with amplitude direct minus amplitude exchanged while bosons interfere with amplitude direct PLUS amplitude exchanged, in wave statistics. Thus fermions LIKE to go into individual states and WAR with each other(satan)whereas bosons LIKE to get into the same state of love(jesus). So, although bose interactions start out weaker, as the bose-love force grows it becomes all powerful(a house united)vs the seemingly powerful but dissipated fermi-force(a house divided). Which (QM) house do you choose to join?


17 posted on 04/16/2006 9:59:54 PM PDT by timer
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To: TheBattman

Is that why he was an apostle - they didn't have a thief?


18 posted on 04/16/2006 10:01:32 PM PDT by sig226
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To: pawdoggie
...have been bombarded with the revisionist history of Jesus and Christianity this Easter season.

Amen, ain't that the truth! Any time I see a show titled "{something something something} the {Jesus|Bible}Church}" on any not-specifically-Christian network, I completely ignore it. The MSM gives us a condescending pat on the head and tells us how Jesus and Christianity are fables. Good fables, mind you, but fables. Nice stories to share with your kids. Now we got flat out rewriting of the Bible going on, what with the poisonous revisionism aka the Jesus Seminar. Any of these folks read the warnings in Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. ?

19 posted on 04/16/2006 10:02:24 PM PDT by kittycatonline.com
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To: pawdoggie

The Holy Bible of the Living God is an anvil that has withstood and worn out a lot of hammers...


20 posted on 04/16/2006 10:15:02 PM PDT by 185JHP ( "The thing thou purposest shall come to pass: And over all thy ways the light shall shine.")
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To: Vince Ferrer

Some time ago I read "The mask of sanity" by Dr. Hervey Cleckley, which is considered the definitive work on sociopathy and the makeup of the sociopath.

When I read the description of what constitutes a sociopath the scriptures you cited about the character of people in the last days came to mind: it matches almost exactly the clinical definition of sociopathy and sociopaths.


21 posted on 04/17/2006 12:47:44 AM PDT by Ban Draoi Marbh Draoi ( Gen. 12:3: a warning to all anti-semites.)
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To: AnalogReigns

> only the anti-Christian ones get any attention.

Hardly.


22 posted on 04/17/2006 5:53:17 AM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: pawdoggie
"Jesus was a good Bolshevik, but neither a Messiah nor the Son of God"

That pretty much sums up their view, all right.

23 posted on 04/17/2006 9:13:23 AM PDT by formercalifornian (One nation, under whatever popular fad comes to mind at the moment, indivisible...)
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To: timer
This is why Jesus said : "a house divided cannot stand".

I believe he said it to counter a charge that he was on the same side as the demons. I don't think he was necessarily saying that the demons' house was divided.

24 posted on 04/17/2006 9:59:40 PM PDT by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: AndyTheBear

You have yet to learn atomic physics, fermions(pauli exclusion)and bosons(love-inclusion)and how a "house divided" is rooted in Quantum Mechanical effects(hate-exclusion). The devil knows it only too well, and that his days are numbered.


25 posted on 04/17/2006 10:37:03 PM PDT by timer
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