Monday 10 April 2006

"The Gospel of Judas"

"The Gospel of Judas", like The Da Vinci Code, is an irrelevance. Like anyone else, Jesus exists in relation to, even without being restricted to, the stories told about Him, and the community defining and defined by those stories; in His case, these are respectively the Four Canonical Gospels, and the Church that discerned their canonicity (and that of the whole Bible) at much greater historical and geographical proximity to the events in question. No Jesus exists without the stories or the community, just as no Elizabeth I, or Tony Blair, or David Lindsay exists without the stories or the community. Such it is to be human.

However, contrary to The Da Vinci Code's aficianados, a fully human life does not necesasrily entail either romantic attachment of sexual activity; those who seek to improve on the Bible (Joseph Smith, for example) regularly make this mistake. Jesus was never old as we now understand the term (although his society contained plenty of people who were). Was He less human for that? If not, then why for this?

Of course, we have been here before: fifty or fifty-five years ago, some people claimed that the then newly-discovered Dead Sea Scrolls would devastate Christianity. No one says that now.

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