Thursday, April 06, 2006
As the recent discovery and translation of the Gospel of Judas shows, church politics have always been with us---apparently there was a major row when it came to decided which of the words attributed to God would make it into the Bible.
Check out this New York Times article on the Gospel of Judas (which, as you may or may not know, is not part of the Bible):
"The Gospel of Judas is only one of many texts discovered in the last 65 years, including the gospels of Thomas, Mary Magdalene and Philip, believed to be written by Gnostics.
"The Gnostics' beliefs were often viewed by bishops and early church leaders as unorthodox, and they were frequently denounced as heretics. The discoveries of Gnostic texts have shaken up Biblical scholarship by revealing the diversity of beliefs and practices among early followers of Jesus.
"As the findings have trickled down to churches and universities, they have produced a new generation of Christians who now regard the Bible not as the literal word of God, but as a product of historical and political forces that determined which texts should be included in the canon, and which edited out.
"For that reason, the discoveries have proved deeply troubling for many believers. The Gospel of Judas portrays Judas Iscariot not as a betrayer of Jesus, but as his most favored disciple and willing collaborator."
Apparently, the Gospel of Judas shows that even Jesus was doing some behind-the-scenes manuveuring during Holy Week.
What else might have ended up on the cutting room floor when the Bible was put together? I'll check straight with the Source and get back to you.