Friday, April 07, 2006

Gospel of Judas

This article discusses the discovery of a "new" Gospel, the "Gospel of Judas". A second century Gnostic text, the Gospel supports the traditional Gnostic view that humans are spirits trapped in material bodies and need liberated through Christ. This idea is, of course, heresy, and has been denounced by "official" Church councils and documents for the better part of 2000 years. It still exists today, however, disguised in cherished hymns such as the Baptist classic "I'll Fly Away" and "Will the Angels Come" by the great Fanny Crosby.

I have long been interested in the so-called "Quest for the Historical Jesus". I find the suggestions of the "Jesus Seminar" to be fascinating, and have been similarly fascinated by the work of Albert Schweitzer, the theologian who inspired the modern quest.

Having said that, I am far more convinced by the works of Dale Allison, Luke Timothy Johnson, E.P. Sanders, and the great N.T. Wright (see here and here).

The bottom line is that no matter how fascinating I find this research and these theories, I am called (and ordained) " preach the faith of the Church and no other...", to proclaim the Risen Christ as he is portrayed in the New Testament, and not any interesting theories. Every Easter, we are inundated with "Jesus specials" on television, which teach that the Jesus we think we know may not be the historic Jesus. Hogwash. We can trust the Bible, the wisdom of the Church, and the witness of the Spirit.

Besides, the Jesus who appears in the Bible is far from a simple comforting figure. He challenges us in every one of our comfort zones to the very fabric of our beings. The Biblical Jesus is more than enough for me to try and handle this Easter!

1 comment:

Brett Probert said...

I'm praying for you today...Sunday. May God bless you!!!