'Gospel of Judas' -- an Authentic Fabrication

Yesterday we were ready to declare Judas Iscariot as this week's Jew of the Week based on sensational news reports such as USATODAY.com - Long-lost gospel of Judas recasts 'traitor'.

It looked like the once infamous Judas of Gospel repute was really a hero, not a betrayer.

Alas. Page one of today's New York Sun reports 'Gospel of Judas' Called An Authentic Fabrication.

Bruce Chilton of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College presents there a balanced and highly readable explanation of why the NG hype and sensationalism distorts the evidence of this ancient document. He points out how the folks at NG did not consult experts on ancient writing, and how they appear to be deliberately misleading the public.

The National Geographic web site nonetheless is first rate. See The Lost Gospel of Judas--Photos, Time Line, Maps--National Geographic.

It tells us, "The Gospel of Judas gives a different view of the relationship between Jesus and Judas, offering new insights into the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Unlike the accounts in the canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in which Judas is portrayed as a reviled traitor, this newly discovered Gospel portrays Judas as acting at Jesus' request when he hands Jesus over to the authorities."

You can see just how much can be done with web technology to present texts here, View the Gospel of Judas Interactive Document--National Geographic.

I can attest that this presentation is quite expensive. Hence the NG likely expects to make a tidy sum on their investment. Bottom line: the profit motive infiltrated into scholarship here and apparently polluted the environment.

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