Alpine Summit

Friday, April 07, 2006

The New New Testament

Historians have found a new gospel that tells of Jesus' life--the gospel of Judas. What many are saying is that it will shake up the foundations of Christianity (for the millionth time). One thing is that it is further evidence that Christianity was not monolithic religion at its beginning. Of course, this is nothing new.

So why do I reject this particular work as illegitimate scripture? Two reasons; first, it contradicts the gospels of the New Testament, and second, it was written far long after Jesus died and shouldn't be considered a "witness" statement.

Why reject this work instead of the NT gospels? Because while we have only found this one manuscript of the gospel of Judas, we have thousands of manuscripts all agreeing. Should I accept both NT gospels and this to be true, then why would Judas hang himself after doing God's work?

As with the historical aspect of this document, it was written in 300 A.D. making it 200 years after Christ's death. This tells me that the document is not from a witness. If they find a manuscript from an earlier time I'll revisit this part of it, but it's bunk to me now.

Though theologically and historically this manuscript doesn't hold up as missing scripture, it can tell us more about the early church of Christianity and what it looked like. It's also a good way to learn more about our beliefs by seeing how people in the past believed. It seems to me that Christianity has come full-circle since that time. We went from an eclectic group of believers with their own methods of belief in Christ, to a single denomination (orthodox, later Catholicism) owning all aspects of the faith (sometimes with force), and now today we have the eclectic groups of believers again though mostly still under the "orthodox" banner.