April 13, 2006

The Gospel of Judas (part 2)

The Gospel of Judas, known since the 1970’s, suddenly breaks onto the scene with the thunderous cheers of the skeptics of the true faith. Whatever else might be said of this writing, according to one of my former colleagues and now Professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School writes, “…the text is late, the orthodox Christians said The Gospel of Judas was nonsense, and the theology (which is clearly Gnostic) is not 1st Century Jewish/Galilean.” “No one can dispute any of these three points.” Scott McKnight said.

Elaine Pagels of Princeton has a different viewpoint. After giving much weight and credibility to this document which varies greatly from many critical points in the traditional Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Pagels concludes, “What is clear is that the Gospel of Judas has joined the other spectacular discoveries that are exploding the myth of a monolithic Christianity and showing how diverse and fascinating the early Christian movement really was.”

Ironically, Pagels seems either ignorant of the history of the early Christian church and the Biblical record or she is being intellectually dishonest. The Christian faith was never a “monolithic” religion in the sense that it was without critics and that it enjoyed universal agreement on the basic tenets of the faith. That is what the church father’s were constantly battling for which is why Jude wrote, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 1:3 The challenges were incessant.

The Apostle Paul wrote to both the Corinthian church and the Galatian Church warning them against such bogus counterfeits.

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-7

Finally, if the Gospel of Judas is true and Jesus really did ask Judas to betray him, then Jesus is a lying miscreant at best. For even before Judas betrayed Jesus, Jesus warns that it would have been better for that man [Judas] to never have been born and later makes his eternal destiny certain.

The Gospel of Judas is suitable for lining your birdcage and nothing more.


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