Less than meets the Eye

There has been a fair amount of recent media fuss about the discovery of a manuscript version of The Gospel of Judas. In this document Judas, rather than being the arch-traitor, is actually a hero and favored by Jesus. It has been suggested that this is a serious threat to the traditional view of Judas, as seen in the Canonical Gospels.

However, reading the details of the story, I am unable to understand the fuss. There is nothing here for Christians to fear, or for their opponents to take hope in. The manuscript dates from the fourth or fifth centuries. Quite possibly it is a copy of the Gospel of Judas that Irenaeus mentioned c. 180 AD. There is apparently no earlier reference to it.

By contrast the four Canonical Gospels, according to serious, non-fundamentalist scholarship, are much older, from c. 70-110 AD. Hence they are much closer in time to the reported events. All other things being equal, they should be considered as much more reliable accounts. I have seen no reason why the Gospel of Judas should be given more weight than the others.

Note that I say “more reliable”. How accurate any of these accounts are is another question entirely, which I have no intention of addressing here.

2 thoughts on “Less than meets the Eye

  1. Pingback: “Upon further review” | From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space, and beyond

  2. Pingback: Gospel Fanfic | From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space, and beyond

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