"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gospel of Judas Found?

The N.Y. Times today reports that the long-sought Gnostic text known as "The Gospel of Judas" has been found in Egypt. It is apparently contained in an early fourth century A.D. Coptic manuscript. I would like to read the text myself (in translation--sadly I do not read Coptic) and hear the judgments of scholars whose qualifications I know and respect before I will form an opinion about this text myself, but I am pretty sure the comments of Elaine Pagels et al in the Times article are overblown. This is a yet another in a long list of late antique Gnostic texts, not some great revelation. It is too much to say that "these discoveries are exploding the myth of a monolithic religion." That "myth" was long ago "exploded" by the existence of the heretical sects opposed in the canonical letters of the Apostles Paul and John and the work of St. Irenaeus. No thoughtful person today believes that everyone who claimed to be a Christian in antiquity accepted the orthodox, Catholic faith of the apostolic college. Dozen of Gnostic writings of comparable date to this purported find have been known since the 1940's. I am glad that scholars have another such Gnostic text to study (if in fact is proves to be genuine), but let's keep things in perspective, shall we? Read the story here.


Blogger Derek the ├ćnglican said...

Don't know Coptic? Slacker... ;-) I bought a Coptic grammar a few years back but haven't gotten around to it yet. Actually, There was quite a lot of discussion about the Gospel of Judas at the NT Gateway blog and Hypotyposeis when it first surfaced. Just do a search for Judas at these two and you'll find all that can be reputably said about it.

1:07 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

Thank you for the heads up, sir. Now that I am out in the ecclesial/secondary eductional world I don't keep abreast of things in early Christian lit as I ought. There's always another church class to teach or middle school lecture to prepare. Sigh.

1:32 PM  

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