Thursday, April 13, 2006

Same old critics

Attacks on the veracity of the Biblical passion narratives have been going on for a very long time; the most recent press on the "Gospel of Judas" is really just another in a long series of attempts to discredit the truth. Like the Gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalene among others, this document was discredited by the early church because it lacked the apostolic credentials required for authenticity. But never mind, because it's another opportunity for naysayers to question the truth. This one has duped the "experts" because it contains just enough of a grain of truth, namely the "alleged" friendship between Judas and Jesus. Is this so shocking? Of course they were friends! Judas was one of the chosen twelve, for crying out loud, which is what makes his betrayal so bitter. Incidentally, Psalm 55 provides some nice commentary on that bitterness.

As for its challenge to the truthfulness of the Gospel accounts, however, it hardly merits the wide publicity it's been given. It would never stand up to scrutiny even if these things happened yesterday, and even if actually written by Judas, say, before he committed suicide. As though some betrayer is really going to agree with accounts of his betrayal!

And to reply to US News and World Report "experts," no, the events of Maundy Thursday did not really happen on Wednesday, as if they know more than the Biblical eyewitnesses who speak of the Supper on the night when He was betrayed.

I don't even bother reading the latest stuff thoroughly. It's too boring. It's the same old stuff rehashed to make it seem fresh. What's far more engaging for the mind--and edifying, of course--is to consider the words of Christ to Pilate: I am come to bear witness to the truth. Pilate, Albert Schweitzer, the Gospel of Judas, and all the critics in between will always be blindly asking, What is Truth? when Truth is right in front of them. Deer in the headlights, all of them.

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