Culture: Jesus and Judas in the News

This morning, I was watching ABC's GMA where Martin Bashir was previewing some stories on the Life of Jesus for 20/20 and Nightline stories on Prof. Tabor's book, " Jesus Dynasty" where he questions the virgin birth and proposes who Jesus' father was. Tabor also suggests that John the Baptist was a parallel Messiah figure along with Jesus.

Interestingly, as Charlie Gibson and Martin Bashir wound up the interview, Bashir remarked (I'm paraphrasing), we made an effort in our story to look at the historical evidence on both sides and I think viewers might be surprised to find out how strong the traditional Christian explanation holds up to scrutiny.

National Geo is showing Gospel of Judas.

Mark Daniels responds as does Recliner Commentaries. HT: Hugh Hewitt.

UPDATE: I missed the ABC Primetime feature on the Gospel of Judas. From reading the summary article, it sounds like they tried to hear out both sides of the story.

UPDATE: Here is a post from Stand To Reason. Excerpt comparing the numerous records of the traditional Gospels and accepted Christian Scriptures to the various alternative gospels of questionable authenticity:
There are 5,366 separate Greek manuscripts represented by early fragments, uncial codices (manuscripts in capital Greek letters bound together in book form), and minuscules (small Greek letters in cursive style).
These "gospels" were written from the second century by groups generally called "gnostics" who had a penchant for secret information. Notice that the Gospel of Judas reveals a secret between Jesus and Judas that couldn't be corroborated by witnesses. The Gospels, on the other hand, were written within the first century and record Jesus' public teaching that was heard by many witnesses.
STR also links to this item at Christianity Today. Excerpt:
Until the release of the Gospel of Judas and other Gnostic texts discovered decades ago near Nag Hammadi in Egypt, we learned about Gnosticism mostly through the polemics of Christian apologists. Now thanks to the Gospel of Judas, we can further verify two major Gnostic teachings. According to many Gnostic teachers, Jesus either did not actually appear in the flesh, or he at least wanted to shed his skin as soon as possible. Jesus longed to return to the spirit world. Judas helped make that happen. ("You will sacrifice the man that clothes me," the "spiritual" Jesus tells Judas in this document.) Also, Gnostics believed only a select few would truly apprehend the knowledge of heaven. The Gospel of Judas teaches that only Judas, Jesus' favorite disciple, fully understood.

Christian belief contrasts sharply with Gnosticism. Fully God and fully man, Jesus endured birth in a manger and death on a Cross. He shared in our humanity, "so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death" (Heb. 2:14). This message is not restricted to a few who will ascertain gnosis (knowledge). The gospel "is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile"
The Da Vinci Code movie is coming out soon.

For a reality check, try, The Da Vinci Dialogue.

UPDATE: Here is another item from the NYTimes about the Gospel of Judas.


Ken said…
Fellow blogger here. Great writing. Just an fyi, your sidebar is falling off the main page, and I think its because your graphics on the side bar are too wide. You might consider shrinking them a bit.

Keep up the good work.