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Scholarship not intended to divide people,
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This review is from: Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (Hardcover)
Jesus taught a message of acceptance so it should come as no surprise that Pagels and King present here:
1) inclusive concerns that cuts across the "liberal" versus "conservative" divide that is used to to steer readers away in advance from reading works from a presumably "other camp".
2) a Christian teaching that is neither strictly orthodox nor Gnostic, that does not depend on any argument for an earlier dating of the text, and which addresses issues that Christians faced in the 2nd century including persecution and matyrdom.
3) A work by two knowledgable and gifted women at a time when discrimination by gender still persists, at times blatent, within not only society at large but within Christian denominations, churches and schools.
This book is divided into two parts:
1) A general presentation, "Reading Judas", on which Pagels and King colloborated.
2) King's translation of this gospel and her fine-grained comments on that translation.
Pagels and King help us to understand a time when there were genuine Christian concerns that the theme of sacrifice and appeals for matyrdom were being manipulated by many early church leaders.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 5, 2007 4:17:13 PM PDT
But there seems to be one problem with Gnosticism including as presented in "The Gospel of Judas". What if you are suffering but want to stay in this world, e.g to remain with loved ones (assuming one can have loved ones?). Gnostic Christianity has a wonderful explanatory power but, if Jesus is eager to die and get out of the world, what holds Gnostic Christians? Why stick through likely upcoming suffering? Thomas Altizer had identified a problem with Gnosticism in it having denied a place for the sacred in this world. What to do with one's divine spark, is there a good reason supplied by Gnosticism for hanging in through difficult times, for example for the sake of others?
Posted on Jan 22, 2008 1:52:54 PM PST
As others have pointed out, April D. DeConick, a professor of Biblical studies at Rice University, in her book "The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says." has challenged the translation done by the National Geographic Society team. DeConick's translation leads to a remarkably different understanding o f what this gospel was about. As a lay person, I do not know now which translation and interpretation is to be preferred. Hopefully this matter will be resolved among scholars.
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