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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Gospel of Judas

Many Catholic commentators are all a-twitter about the Easter special on the Gospel of Judas.

The Gospel of Judas, for those not in the know, is a Gnostic Gospel that was discovered about thirty years ago. The MSM has decided to dust it off and make it a centerpiece for the Easter season, since it contains distinctly weird theological statements.

Take the New York Times' discussion as an example of the nuttiness contained therein:

"The [Gospel of Judas] goes on to relate that Jesus refers to the other disciples, telling Judas "you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me." By that, scholars familiar with Gnostic thinking said, Jesus meant that by helping him get rid of his physical flesh, Judas will act to liberate the true spiritual self or divine being within Jesus."

Now, why is such a silly document getting so much press coverage? Because a bunch of Christians - especially a bunch of orthodox Catholics - made sure it would.

For the last two years, the people who took on the role of official debunkers to Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code, have been insisting that Brown's work is a Gnostic heresy.

It is nothing of the sort.

Gnostics said sex is evil and marriage is sinful.
The Da Vinci Code said sex is holy and marriage is sacred.

Gnostics said men are closer to divinity than women, women can only be saved if they become like men.
The Da Vinci Code says women are closer to divinity then men, men are saved by worshipping the sacred feminine.

Gnostics said salvation can only be attained if you acquire special knowledge which allows you to overcome the creator of the material universe, who is not god.
The Da Vinci Code said nothing at all about salvation or the creator of the material universe. The only point of contact here is that the Gnostic creation account had a god-like being named Sophia, whose errors were responsible for the material world being created. In contrast, the Da Vinci Code's protagonist, Sophie Nevue, turns out to be responsible for preserving the link to the divine. Her role is exactly the opposite of the role played by the Gnostic "Sophia."

Finally, and most important, the central aspect of Gnostic theology insisted Jesus did not have a real body and was not a real man. His crucifixion was fake if only because he had no body to crucify - his body was an illusion he clothed himself in to prevent us mortal men from taking fright and running from him. That's the central tenet of the Gospel of Judas.

The Da Vinci Code insists that Jesus was NOTHING BUT A MAN, who had a wife and kids.
In short, the central position of the Gospel of Judas directly contradicts Dan Brown's novel.

There is nothing at all Gnostic about the Da Vinci Code novel.

True, the book quotes a few of the Gnostic gospels, but that's hardly relevant. Not only does he take all the quotes out of context, his argument doesn't really rest on the Gnostic gospels at all. He uses them as a throw-away opening salvo against Christianity, quoting them for roughly six pages and then never returning to them again.

In short, if any Gnostics were alive today, they would be debunking Dan Brown's novel right along with the Christians, since he screws up Gnostic theology and history as thoroughly as he screws up Catholic-Christian theology and history.

But the constant drumbeat from Christian apologists who don't know history or Gnostic theology has incorrectly painted the Da Vinci Code as a Gnostic heresy, thereby raising interest in a train of thought that had been shown up for a farce over 1800 years ago.

Because the Christians kept incoherently insisting Brown's book was Gnostic when it was nothing of the sort, the Gnostic Gospel of Judas is now news.

And now Christian apologists are complaining about the MSM's attention to the newest unveiling of a Gnostic Gospel.

No wonder the world laughs at Christians.

If these people had only bothered to learn a bit about Gnosticism first, or - better yet - had bought copies of Fact and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code...

But I shall say no more, as shameless plugs of my book - currently on sale for just $5 at the Bridegroom Press website - is totally out of character.


El Hijo, The Student said...

You miss the entire purpose of spirituality and faith.

It's not about a book, words, or a long lost scripture. It's also not about circling the wagons and firing at anything that sounds contrary to your beliefs.

Spirituality is about a closeness to a higher meaning. About doing good and beleiving that your actions on the planet affect your spirit on the next.

Jordan Potter said...

"Believing that your actions on the planet affect your spirit on the next"?

The next planet? You mean Mars?