Friday, November 17, 2006

BBC Series on Gnostic Gospels

BBC to Screen Series on Gnostic Gospels
Posted on November 17, 2006

By The Universe (Catholic Weekly Newspaper): An Anglican priest who is to front a new BBC series examining the Gnostic Gospels and early Christian texts that were omitted from the New Testament has said that while some people may get “defensive” about the issues contained in the ancient texts, study of them reveals many relevant issues.

While filming The Lost Gospels, which will be screened in early December, Rev Pete Owen-Jones, travelled through Egypt and the former Roman Empire and met with archaeologists, New Testament scholars and papyrologists to discover why early Christians put stock in the gospels of Peter, Mary Magdalene, Philip and Thomas.

“The programme will look at all the gospels and letters that were left out of the New Testament following the meltdown of the Council of Nicaea, and all those that the Church decided were not applicable or in need of refinement,” said Rev Owen-Jones.

“It was meant to be an authentic journey of discovery and in many ways that’s what it was.

“It made me realise the extent to which the Church we have now is shaped by the Gospels, but if we go beyond that there is a much broader picture to see.

“The issues the early Church was struggling with then; the role of women in the Church, the authority of Bishops – are still very much live issues.”

He added that although some of the issues contained in some of the texts were highly contentious, he didn’t think that there would be too much criticism from the either Catholic or Anglican authorities.

He added: “It is easy to fall into the conspiracy theory trap, but we must remember that these were men and women earnestly trying to reach the truth, and we must respect that.”

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