Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gospel of Judas Part 2

Alas, I found the National Geographic Special on the Gospel of Judas on Sunday night disappointing. The text was discussed only in the final 15 minutes and then presented in such a way that it conformed to the approach of the whole program, namely, to situate the gospel in a time and place of the week before Passover. The laughter of Jesus (which is a leitmotiv of the Gospel of Judas) took place at the same table setting as the last supper; so too the appearance of Jesus as a child--but in the gospel they are descriptions not events. The program promotes a "historical approach" in spite of counterindications in the text. I'm going to talk more about this elsewhere.

The hype surrounding the Gospel of Judas in the week before Easter is remarkable. Few people attend to reading and interpreting other non-canonical gospels also situating themselves in the week before Easter. The second-century Gospel of the Savior, first published in 1999 by Charles Hedrick and Paul Mirecki, languished in a Berlin library for 25 years before Paul Mirecki noticed it in 1991. Perhaps dependent on oral traditions in the gospels of John and Matthew, the Gospel of the Savior knows an oral tradition of Revelation and material that ended up in The Gospel of Thomas. The Gospel of the Savior takes place between the Last Supper and the handing over of Jesus in the garden. The Savior converses with the disciples. The scene shifts to prayers in Gethsemane which take place on a mountain within the divine throne room. There a dialogue between God and the Savior occurs witnessed by all disciples who are in no danger of falling asleep. Jesus' predicts his resurrection in language from the gospel of John.

Let's read and evaluate all gospels pertaining to Holy Week not just one that National Geographic wants to promote.

2 comments:

Rev Dr Mom said...

Where are you talking more about this?

I homilized a bit about this gospel and its place among the other non-canonical gospels today at our mid week service. People seemed interested.

Peregrinato said...

If you will excuse a response from a stranger--thank you for this post. I am not at all opposed to looking at the non-canonical literature, to see if a fresh eye can capture something significant; but by the same token, I don't care for the way Nat'l Geographic took a tabloid approach to the Judas deal.

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