Gospel of Judas

Gospel of Judas

15 April 2006/ updated Feb 2012

© Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.M., Th.D.[1]

My blog: https://curtiscrenshaw.wordpress.com/

INTRODUCTION:

(1) Media

(2) Liberal scholars on National Geographic

(3) Gnosticism and the West

(4) Gospel of Judas itself and the four Gospels

(5) Our response

MEDIA:

This past Sunday (April 9th, 2006), National Geographic made their liberal splash with the presentation of their latest Christian bashing documentary: the Gospel of Judas.  National Geographic seems to be making a career of going after Christianity any way they can.

If you have been awake the last 25 to 30 years, you should have noticed how, with every increasing intensity, the liberal media are going after anything Christian.  In fact, an atheist lady named S. E. Cupp, has written a book, Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity, warning Christians that we are under attack. We are in spiritual warfare at its most intense level.  We are increasingly polarizing in the USA between Christians and liberals, and this is good, for then we know where the battle lines are drawn, and issues become defined.  And in a war, we must have definition of who the enemy is and what they are thinking.  But for us, the warfare is not about hate, but about loving our enemies anyway.  The difference in this war is that we already know the outcome.

The media bias against Christianity has been documented many times by Fox News, as recently as this past Tuesday night, when Bill O’Reilly stated that once again, close to a sacred Christian holiday—Easter—they are going after Christianity.  Make no mistake that the timing of National Geographic in releasing their new anti-Christian campaign is carefully planned: the Sunday before Easter and again during Holy Week leading up to Easter.

Of course they do not bash Islam or Buddhism or any other religion, but then they are not seen as a threat to their system.  Because we Christians present Christ as the ONLY way to God, as King of kings and Lord of lords, which means He is Lord over them and their media, subject to His judgment, they rightly see us as a threat.  We are not a threat physically in any way, of course, and they take advantage of that.  But when we preach the Gospel and people are converted to Christ, those people now are also marching in a new army, the Church.  That is the threat!  They don’t want their slaves being freed.  All faiths are evangelistic for their cause, and National Geographic is no exception for their liberal faith.

(See the whole review in pdf.)


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Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture’s Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ

Darrell L. Bock & Daniel B. Wallace, Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture’s Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ (2007)

Bock and Wallace are both professors at Dallas Theological Seminary, progressive dispensationalists (the milder form), and very conservative. Bock has an expertise in New Testament backgrounds, and is often called on by the secular media as an expert in such things as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, and so forth. Wallace has written the advanced Greek grammar used in most seminaries, and is an expert in New Testament manuscripts and textual criticism, a hobby for me. This is the story of the Discover channel and its presentation of “alternative gospels,” how Bock was consulted and how they respond to Discover’s hatchet job on these materials discovered in 1947 (Nag Hammadi).

This is more tedious than Peter Hitchen’s book above, and delves into more scholarly issues, but still very readable for those with just a modicum of perseverance. Bock does a very fine scholarly job in demonstrating that the Gospel of Judas and the Gospel of Thomas were written at least 100 years after the New Testament was completed, if not longer, were known by the early fathers, and rejected by them. Reasons for their rejection were that they were too late to be apostolic, too Gnostic to be true, and denied the faith as it has been handed down for at least 150 years. For example, the Gospel of Thomas states that a woman must become a man before she could be a Christian, which is conveniently overlooked by too many liberals in their zeal to discredit Christianity.

Bart Ehrman, who is on a tirade to destroy Christianity, having converted to liberalism from his Moody Bible College days, tries to demonstrate how the New Testament Greek manuscripts were tamped with by those allegedly untrustworthy early fathers, and Wallace rises to the defense of the integrity of both the fathers and the manuscripts. Wallace demonstrates many times how Ehrman leads people to believe things by innuendo. Having read Ehrman’s book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, I concur wholeheartedly with Wallace concerning Ehrman’s subjectivity in many of his arguments regarding how changes took place in some of the early Greek New Testament manuscripts.

Attacking Christianity by attacking the Bible is not new, of course, but has been going on since Marcion in the 140s who tampered with the text, rewrote much of Luke and Paul’s epistles, and rejected the connection between Old Testament and New Testament. The fathers rose to the occasion, rejected his Greek texts that he rewrote, and rejected him. Then a few decades later, the fathers rejected the new gospels as an attack against orthodoxy, wrote against them, and maintained both the original four gospels and the gospel of the grace of God as contained in them. In this day of constant attack by the media, we need to be armed to answer our people who may be concerned by these wicked wolves. As Peter said, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

The Very Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw, Th.D.