Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Gospel of Judas, or Let's Try Very Hard Not To Be Silly, Shall We?

Current events once again gives me my idea for my next posting on Faux Logic. There is breathless news about a newly-discovered ancient text, purported to be the Gospel of Judas.

There is nothing new here. The idea of seeing the story of Jesus from Judas's POV has been around for a long time, as evidenced by this early document. You will note that it is not very early, BTW. But the idea seems to be particularly intriguing to our own age. The musical Jesus Christ, Superstar is a gospel of Judas. It is the story of Jesus told from Judas's POV. Nothing wrong with that artistically, if you know that going in. It's an interesting thought, and can potentially tell us a great deal about self-justification and rationalization.

There are other ideas that keep showing up every century, and people think they're new.
Hey, what if they found the body of Jesus, hidden in the Vatican?

Or, Jesus also had some secret teachings, handed down through his disciples.

Or, Jesus preached a gospel of love and forgiveness which his followers, especially Paul, twisted into something harsh and judgemental. (Read Matthew 5-7 for that).

Yeah, fine, all ideas are worth looking into. But you'd think that when people get this brilliant challenging idea that no one in the church has answered before, they would actually check into it, to see if anyone in the church has answered it before.

This particular heresy is the theological version of "Hey kids, I know how we can raise some money for Widow Brown's farm. Let's put on a show!"

1 comment:

jw said...

The Gospel of Judas fits well with the rest of the Gnostic literature.

There's nothing per se wrong with Gnosticsm. As long as one remembers its strengths and weaknesses.

Gnosticsm is gynocentric. It is a religious view based on secret knowledge and on the core decency of the female. As our society is also gynocentric it makes sense that we would flock to a gynocentric view of religion.

Herein we see one of the problems. We've already got a problem with too much focus on females and not enough on males: Adding a gynocentric religious view of the world will only make that worse.

Then there is the problem of Gnosticsm accepting almost anyone's claim to secret knowledge. That is a big problem as there are a great many people who cannot be trusted with new-and-secret knowledge. These people tend to use their thoughts & dreams as a way of influencing the world, rather than enlightening the world; power and control rather than aid and comfort.

As we already have a problem with many women telling half truths or truths so twisted out of reality that they bare little likeness to truth at all, adding a religious view which fosters twisting and half truths makes our bad situation worse.

The Gospel of Judas and its related material are interesting. But only as far as they shed light on the Gnostic path.