Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Another Fairy Story For Easter

Since the finding of Jesus' tomb (complete with Jesus' bones) by James Cameron was pretty much debunked before it got off the ground, it left plenty of time for another round of "Let's have a pop at the core beliefs of Christianity!"

So I wasn't surprised to hear that "The Gospel According to Judas" has made its debut. And having it co-written by a so-called Catholic theologian wasn't that much of a surprise: I am getting to the point where, if a person styles themselves as a theologian, I automatically assume they're anti-Church (unless said theologian happens to be a saint, a Pope, an individual quoted favourably by either a saint or a Pope, or an individual loathed and vilified by The Tablet !)

I was disappointed to find that it was being co-authored by Jeffrey Archer. I know a lot of people sneer at his books, but I find that they make amusing and entertaining reads, if you need a bit of a break from reality. And they are a whole lot more entertaining than most of the pap on television.

If Archer had contented himself with writing a novel with the same subject matter, I probably wouldn't have batted an eyelash, and might even have gone so far as to buy it. After all, I have always felt that Judas Iscariot got a bit of a raw deal... Peter, the first to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and one of the disciples privileged to see the Transfiguration, denied knowing Jesus three times. He was forgiven and duly became the first Pope. Judas, on the other hand, is so overcome with the enormity of what he's done that he kills himself... by not hanging around long enough to see the Resurrection, he is forever vilified as the traitor. (Sorry about the pun... I couldn't resist!)

Unfortunately, however, "The Gospel According to Judas" is being promoted as a serious piece of scholarly research. The Church is once again "guilty" of hiding the truth for nigh on 2000 years. Archer's co-author, Francis Moloney, was on Radio 4 this morning, claiming that the idea Judas killed himself is only recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew, and was a passage lifted directly from the Old Testament, so is not to be trusted. Even more sad is the fact that Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been quoted as saying he found the book "plausible." And I was annoyed to find that a quote about Judas from the Holy Father is being used on Jeffrey Archer's website in such a way as to suggest approval of the thesis.

2000 years of unbroken Tradition says Iscariot betrayed Jesus, and then committed suicide. I guess that's good enough for me. To say anything else is to produce a work of fiction.


Ma Beck said...

I thought it went:
Lent, 2005: Da Vinci Code
Lent, 2006: Gospel of Judas
Lent, 2007: Tomb of Jesus

Or is this just a new book by a fellow that's a day late to the party?
Anyhoo, if these people could just get a basic understanding of Gnosticism - who they were, what they thought (God of the Old Testament was an evil spirit doing an impersonation, etc.) that would be great.
Give me a break.
Judas: Treacherous thug then, treacherous thug always.

Mac McLernon said...

No, Ma... this is another Gospel According to Judas...

It was on the "news" this morning.

Ma Beck said...

Oh, anoooother one!
Boy, that Judas was a busy, busy guy. Between writing several gospels and selling out the God of the Universe...
I'm so sick of revisionist history.
It's like everything about the 33 years of Jesus' life has been covered, so they're just going to start making stuff up to be obstinate.
Hooray, Dante, for putting Judas in the mouth of satan!

Stephen Wikner said...

May I make suggestion? Don't take this too seriously. Nobody has ever read Jeffrey Archer for 'the truth' or anything close to it. As you yourself say, Mac, he spins a good yarn and I'm pretty sure this one will be no exception. What clerics of various persuasions have been doing by getting involved defeats me but of one thing I can be fairly certain and that is that the reasons will not be unrelated to the thirty pieces of silver they deny Judas was ever paid.

Of couse, like Dan Brown, they will all swear blind it's the unadulterated gospel truth. Such is the nature of media hype. But more fool anyone who doesn't see it all for what it is - another of Jeffrey's money making wheezes. And let's face it he's already capturing the media column inches and the darn book isn't even out yet. A clever man, very clever but a rogue.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fits in with his history, he is not an Archer at all, he's an Iscariot.

Paulinus said...

That would be Jeffrey "Pants on Fire" Archer, well known as a lying liar who lies, right?

Or rather "Riiiiiight..." as Dr Evil would say.

What's the betting next Lent we have "The Gospel according to Barabbas"?

What's the betting we never get a revisionist text by Dan Brown purporting to be the lost bits of the Koran - "The Mohammed Code"?

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