Sunday, February 26, 2006

Another Take on Gospel Truth About Judas

Another Take on Gospel Truth About Judas:
[Washington Post -- free registration required]
The first translation of an ancient, self-proclaimed "Gospel of Judas" will be published in late April, bringing to light what some scholars believe are the writings of an early Christian sect suppressed for supporting Jesus's infamous betrayer.

If authentic, the manuscript could add to the understanding of Gnosticism, an unorthodox Christian theology denounced by the early church. The Roman Catholic Church is aware of the manuscript, which a Vatican historian called "religious fantasy."
This article outlines the "Gospel of Judas" contention that since Judas was acting as a part of God's overall plan, he was not to be condemned for what he did. While Scripture indicates that Judas felt remorse after the fact, it is a bit of a stretch to consider his betrayal of Jesus as anything but craven. It might be useful to speculate as to whether or not he was beyond redemption, but that would be arguing from silence.

There is a reason why the Gnostic writings were not considered canonical by the early Church. They portray a movement that relies on "secret knowledge", sees the physical world as something to be despised (including human bodies), and appears to rely on human seeking to achieve spiritual knowledge.

One of the gnostic scriptures, the Gospel of Thomas, while showing many similarities to the canonical Gospels, has some unusual things to say about women. In addition, it suggests that the only way to achieve the Kingdom is to abstain from the world -- a view that is not shared by either the Old Testament or the New Testament. For further reading, read the translation provided by Patterson and Robinson.

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1 comment:

Sophia Sadek said...

There's another reason why the Church rejected the gnostic texts and even burned them. They contain pointers to some of the flaws in the canon itself.

The Church was divided between Trinitarians who worshipped Jesus, and everyone else, who worshipped divinity. Like other texts that are considered "extra-canonical," the gnostic texts disprove the position of the Trinitarians, and uphold the position of the followers of Christ.