Read Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth about Christianity? by N.T. Wright Free Online
Book Title: Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth about Christianity?|
The author of the book: N.T. Wright
ISBN 13: 9780801012945
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 493 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
Edition: Baker Books
Date of issue: October 1st 2006
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In many ways this book is vintage Wright. He has the same witticisms, arguments, and style that readers have come to expect. Wright acknowledges that the so-called "Gospel of Judas" is an authentic copy from circa 250 A. D. He briefly touches on the scholarly circus in who actually got to publish it (and more humorously, who didn't and what they thought about it!).
Wright gives the reader a brief overview of the various gnosticism(s) in late antiquity. He shows whatever one's view on the Gospel of Judas may be, in no way may it be reconciled to Christianity. His argument follows:
1. The Christian gospels spoke of the in-breaking of YHWH's kingdom to the world, giving the world life and justice and forgiveness--what we call "salvation." The Christian mythos of salvation reaffirms the goodness of creation. The Gnostic gospel, on the other hand, trashes creation.
2. The Christian gospel maintains deep continuity with the Old Testament, proclaiming the fulfilment of Israel's promises in the person of Jesus the Messiah. It is deeply Jewish (or Old Testament Jewish, anyway). The Gnostic gospels, on the other hand, are anti-semitic, ridiculing the God of the Old Testament and those who worship him.
3. Historically, the Christian gospels led its adherents to martyrdom. Wright carefully and skillfully dismantles the biggest argument of the Gnostics: that the Christians conspired with political power and suppressed "other Christianities." Wright shows the opposite is the case. The early Christians went to their deaths because the gospels forbade the collusion with Caesar and because God's kingdom had a claim on this world (a claim that Caesar would soon acknowledge in the person of Constantine). Because this world mattered, and because God claimed Lordship over it, the Christians couldn't compromise. The Gnostics, on the other hand, could. If this world were only trash, and what really mattered was the "spark of the divine" within me, what do I care what happens to it? If anything, it was the Gnostics who colluded with Empire.
All in all, a superb book. I will leave with one of Wright's witticisms: The Gnostic view of salvation makes sense only if one turns the world upside down. That is why neo-Gnostics make the villains into the victims. Their good news is backwards. It is like a messenger going to a prison camp and proclaiming that the war is over and all of the prisoners are to be killed!
The gnostic gospels do not give you good news, but good advice (and not so good at that).
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Read information about the authorN. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford universities. Wright is the award-winning author of Surprised by Hope, Simply Christian, The Last Word, The Challenge of Jesus, The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as the much heralded series Christian Origins and the Question of God.
He also publishes under Tom Wright.