The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction

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I am taking a course in the seminary and this books helps me greatly in my lessons and helps me better to understand it. This was a very good book and it arrived on time and its quality was just as it was described - no significant wear or damage. Format: Paperback. This book's main topic is the recently discovered and published Gospel of Judas, perhaps better called the Gospel about Judas.

This book sets out to put in context the meaning of the discovery of the Gospel of Judas, and the opening chapter is dedicated to explaining the media hype surrounding such a find.

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However, the Lost Gospel of Judas quickly becomes more of an attack on the study of Gnosticism, both ancient and modern, thinly veiled as an academic text. The authors go so far as to make their biases quite clear: "Of course, our bias is obviously for the orthodox" Porter This is at the end of the book, the very last page, in fact. However, I was not surprised to find these words so blatantly stated by this point. This book makes a case against Judas as a legitimate gospel and expresses that it should not be included in the canon at all, and chapter eight "The Gospel of Judas and Its Relationship to the New Testament Canon" is centered around the concept of this document's place in the current New Testament canon.

Here, as elsewhere, the authors' bias is plainly stated, as they describe what the Gospel of Judas could be. This entire chapter of the book is dedicated to reasoning why the Gospel of Judas should not be included in the New Testament canon, but the authors at no point acknowledge that the Gospel of Judas was written in the Sethian Gnostic tradition, and was therefore not meant to be part of the Orthodox tradition that they are defending. In effect, they build an argument for the canonization only to tear it down and prove that such a document should not belong to the Orthodoxy's canon.

If anyone is making a claim that the Gospel of Judas belongs in the New Testament canon, the authors do not state who, nor why.

The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction (New)

One of the other major glaring issues from an academic standpoint, as this book takes itself to be, is that the authors take the New Testament canon as it currently is as undisputed historical fact. For example, their defense of the authenticity of the authorship of the New Testament is contingent on "the Apostle Paul, by someone who experienced Jesus in a miraculous first-hand way" Porter Whether or not Paul's experience was miraculous, this is not a very academically sound assumption.

By this logic, who is to say which miraculous sightings of Jesus are and are not authoritative? By the authors' own logic, then, should we also believe that Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, had authority over the New Testament? After all, he too was visited by the Spirit of Jesus.

Now, this is not to say that I am attempting to delegitimize Paul's experience on the Damascus road, merely that using that experience as a means to legitimize the Apostle Paul's authority over any of the other early Christians is hardly academically sound. Further examples of a lack of academic integrity include statements that are not backed up, but rather assumed to be correct.

Such as "[f]or these reasons - dating, authorship, and reliability - the twenty-seven books of the New Testament eventually became the canon - the standard of apostolic teaching.

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In other words, if you wanted to know what Jesus did or taught, if you wanted to know where to get the correct understanding of Christian belief, you went to the New Testament canon. However, their method of dating and authorship cite no examples or sources, and the reliability directs the reader to books such as Craig L. Blomberg's The historical Reliability of the Gospels, a page book that the authors of The Lost Gospel of Judas do not even bother properly citing, merely giving the book as an example in their foot notes, but making no effort to provide anything from the book to corroborate their case.

We are essentially asked to just take the authors' word for it. Throughout the book, the authors undermine their own point, at least to me, by constant use of terms like "heretic" Porter 50 ; "rejection and defeat of Gnosticism" Porter 54 ; "never the less, the Gnostics created the Gospel of Thomas" Porter 82 which is presumptuous and the authors do not explain their reasoning for believing how or why, only that again, we have to take their word that they are right; "[t]he fact that Mary [Magdalene] was present but not the center of attention must have been too inviting for the Gnostics to pass up" Porter 84 , which in context states that the Gnostics had a need to pick minor characters in the New Testament and exalt them past their station; "Gnostics sought to usurp authority" Porter is a bold claim, as usurpation is never viewed in a positive light.

Just these few examples alone or extreme bias and an almost complete lack of academic integrity makes this book difficult to take seriously. Even as the authors' ultimate point is one that I agree with, that is, that the Gospel of Judas should not be considered as part of the New Testament canon, it is a point that I already understood and came to on my own by simply having read the Gospel of Judas and the preface and explanatory notes by Marvin Meyer.

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It is not part of the New Testament canon; it is part of the Sethian tradition, not the Orthodoxy. And honestly, even if it were to be included, much of the Gospel would be nonsensical without several other Sethian pieces, because the Gospel of Judas is so heavily steeped in Sethian cosmology. Format: Kindle Edition. Trustworthy research. Inherently unbiased approach, seen from all angles. Easy to read. Facts on gnosticism may be illuminating for the discerning reader who needs greater clarity on the origins of gnosticism and their belief systems, which postdate early Christianity.


One person found this helpful. See all 4 customer reviews. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. Back to top. Get to Know Us. But historians are not convinced that this biblical story is historically accurate. For one thing, besides his role as the villain in Christian tradition, written proof of his existence is nowhere else to be found.

As such, any facts about the historical Judas would have been dwarfed by more than 2, years of Christian writings that mythologized him as the epitome of evil.

Lost Gospel of Judas Discussed at RSE Part 1

They do not specify much else about the man himself, i. According to Matthew, and 27, Judas agreed to turn Jesus over to the Roman government for 30 pieces of silver.

He was to point out Jesus to the Roman authorities by kissing him. All four Gospels describe Judas as some form of evil. By some accounts, Judas was overcome with the spirit of the Devil, in others, he was already known to be a duplicitous man by nature. How he did so varies, by one account he hangs himself, and by another, his intestines pop out of his body. But Iscariot was nonetheless a trusted apostle for some reason.

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It could have been that Judas did not betray Jesus at all and that the Bible misinterpreted the meaning behind him identifying Jesus to authorities. The Zealots were in a revolt against the Romans, who had conquered Israel, and may have seen in Jesus an opportunity to overthrow their oppressors.

As an apolitical, religious leader, Jesus apparently had no desire to lead the charge of a radical Jewish group. The Zealots had hoped to oppose the Romans united under a messiah, which they thought Jesus could be. In order to determine whether or not he was a true messiah, the Zealots needed to put Jesus to trial.

Obviously, the Romans did not approve of this potential opponent, whether as a crusader for Christianity or the plight of the Zealots, and so had him killed. In his writings, Origen refutes the claims of contemporary theologian Celsus, who had asserted that Judas did not really betray Jesus.

Origen writes:. To act in this spirit of hostility with the same writings, both as to what we are to believe and what we are not to believe, is absurd. Often, as Gubar observed, the church fathers associated Judas with the Jewish people as a sort of figurehead in anti-Semitic rhetoric. For instance, St. The likes of Martin Luther propagated these anti-Semitic associations which survive into the modern day. As journalist Jonathan Freedland wrote in The Guardian :. The power of the Judas story lives on: his name a byword for traitor, the word Jew and Judas almost indistinguishable in several languages, including German.

The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction
The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction
The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction
The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction
The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction
The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction

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