April 07, 2006

Judas, Scholarship and the Didache

There are a lot of great posts today.

Gospel of Judas

Two more nice posts by Rick Mansfield [one] [two] on the [oh so hyped] Gospel of Judas. One particular AP piece quotes Craig Evans, here is the total of his input that the article included.

Craig Evans, a professor at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada, said New Testament explanations for Judas' betrayal range from money to the influence of Satan.

"Perhaps more now can be said,'' he commented. The document "implies that Judas only did what Jesus wanted him to do.''

Yup, that’s it --- somehow I think he might have had more to say about the matter?

For my part, the “Gospel” starts off with “The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot.” Thisis a huge Gnostic red flag, akin to modern cults or UFO conspiracies --- who all claim “secret knowledge” and documents as well. Why is it that those items are seen as ridiculous, but if an ancient conspiracy group’s documents show up it’s a “revelation”?

Good Biblical Scholarship

Speaking of hyped reporting and spotty scholarship Alan Bandy over at Café Apocalypsis has a new post on “What Constitutes Good Biblical Scholarship?”

Here’s a tidbit of it:

One point that has emerged with crystal clarity is that good scholarship is good scholarship regardless of the individual's faith stance. Mark Goodacre remarked that scholarship should be evaluated on the strengths of it's arguments and not on adherence to a confessional stance (Evan's, likewise, made a similar case). The point is that depth of research, the precision of thought, and the arrangement of the evidence constitutes the marks by which to measure scholarly contributions.
Make sure to check out his whole series of posts on Faith Based Scholarship on his blog.

Didache

Thanks to Chris Tilling for pointing me to Rick Brannan’s new series on the Didache (hear my podcast on Baptism and the Didache) which is looking pretty good so far. He adds this note to his first post:

This is not a critical study -- not by any means. Also, I don't consider the Didache to be on par with Scripture, but I do think the Didache offers insight regarding how Scripture was interpreted, taught and applied in these very early days of the church. This is where my interest lies.

He says he’s not sure when Part 2 will be up, I’m hoping it will be soon.


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