Friday, April 14, 2006

The Jesus and Judas Papers: A Look at Recent Claims about Jesus - Christianity Today Magazine

The Jesus and Judas Papers: A Look at Recent Claims about Jesus - Christianity Today Magazine:
Questions about history may be sincere, but make no mistake: There is an agenda at work.
by Darrell Bock | posted 04/13/2006 09:30 a.m.

"Keeping up with all the new Jesus books these days takes a scorecard. Just about the time one thing is behind us, a new one pops up on the radar. There is no doubt that The Da Vinci Code movie has spawned an array of works trying to take Dan Brown to the next level. Not all these efforts possess the same significance, but they all are trying to hype a revised understanding of Christian history. We may well be entering an era of more discussion about early Christian history than has existed in decades.

It is important to appreciate that many people asking questions or embracing the recent materials have no background in church history, so they have no way of assessing what is being said. Their questions are quite sincere in light of the repeated message they are hearing that the new materials should change our view of church history. However, the group that is producing this material is quite certain that these new finds do change our history significantly, even though the new finds do not really reach back to the first century. Such hype needs to be shown for what it really is, more efforts to discredit Jesus, the apostles, and the Bible and to exchange these central elements of Christian faith for a less unique, domesticated form of Christianity...."

A "domesticated form of Christianity"? It calls to mind the Chronicles of Narnia where Aslan is characterized as "not a tame lion".

This article discusses many issues that need to be addressed, including the relative lateness of the manuscripts and the theology that is proposed.

Read this Christianity Today article along with the Gospel of Judas -- It should be obvious reading of the translation (even with its gaps due to manuscript damage), that it is far outside what is accepted by the Church. Certainly the implication that eleven of the disciples worshipped another god, and that Jesus descended from Seth, Cain and Abel's younger brother, and that Jesus represents the true god (Barbelo), should raise questions.

Much of the confusion surrounding this proliferation of new gospels, revisionist histories, and novels that are confused with non-fiction can be dealt with by informed Christians who can articulate their faith clearly to those who are seeking answers.

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