Sunday, August 19, 2007

Alternative Gospels

Recently I have read two books on what might be termed Alternative Gospels.

Have just finished
The lost gospel : the quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot by Herbert Krosney.
Click image for some detail and visit the Wiki Article

I thought the book was comments on the content and of the Judas codex but instead it was an adventure story about how it was found and finally got to be published. The book keeps declaring the codex to be a most important document especially as it turns our ideas of Jesus and Judas upside down or something like that.

Following the book along it details some Egyptians involved in its discovery. Except what is said about is vague and it says false names are used. So are these details correct?

Then the main Egyptian dealer puts the codex in a safe deposit box somewhere in a suburb along the Long Island turnpike. He leaves it there for 16 years. Basically the events described become like a farce and the people involved treat the codex quite strangely for something they describe as so earth shattering. The codex falls apart over the time its floating around amongst all these dealers etc. Finally in the last couple of chapters the codex gets put back together - however some of it is still "lost".

The early Christian writer Irenaeus comdemned the Gospel of Judas as a fraud and heresy. He was talking about a book in Greek. This codex is in Coptic - ah they say it is a translation. But even if it is the book Irenaeus meant then it is still a fraud and a heresy. The Bible is clear that Judas died soon after he betrayed Jesus - so how were the details in the book passed on? The Bible is also clear that Jesus knew what Judas was doing but does not indicate that Judas was given the task - it was rather that his own nature took him along that sad path.

This book is not earth shattering - we could do without it.

Further November 2007
Rice University professor debunks National Geographic translation of Gospel of Judas
April DeConick contends that the Gospel of Judas is not about a "good" Judas or even a "poor old" Judas. It is a gospel parody about a "demon" Judas written by a particular group of Gnostic Christians who lived in the second century.

and more on how Judas written in the "gospel" as "daimon" was translated initially as spirit rather than demon see Judas is a 'demon' in new read of gospel

Yes that's right we don't need it

Now previously I read The missing Gospels : unearthing the truth behind alternative Christianities by Darrell Bock.

An excellent detailed overview of the texts found at Nag Hammadi in 1945 . These texts are some of the material used in the Da Vinci Code and some other books as examples of early Christian thought that is different to now and that the Church destroyed these other ideas which were really viable Christian alternatives. Darrell shows that these ideas were not in main stream Christianity at all. They were not there at the beginning and were later concepts from people who were trying to change things.
The Alternative Christianity is not Christianity and
are not worth the re-discovery - so whether it is the Gospel of Judas or Thomas or Philip etc - ignore it - stay with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Please visit Ron's Faith page

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