Sunday, April 09, 2006

Theology based upon a belief in "the intrinsic malignity of matter" :: The Volokh Conspiracy - -

Coming here in search of an exegesis of The Gospel of Judas?

Look no further than David Kopel's commentary over at Volokh Conspiracy.

Some tidbits:

This Friday's coverage of the so-called "Gospel of Judas" in much of the U.S. media was appallingly stupid.
. . .
The influential Christian bishop Ireneus, in his treatise Against Heresies, written in 180 a.d., denounced the Gospel of Judas as the product of a gnostic sect called the Cainites. (Book 1, ch. 31, para. 1.)
. . .
The great nineteenth-century Catholic theologian John Henry Cardinal Newman explained that gnostics such as the Marcionites believed in "the intrinsic malignity of matter."
. . .
Gnosticism’s hatred of the created world sets it in direct opposition to Jewish and Christian doctrine from the first chapter of Genesis all the way through the New Testament.

The Gospel of Judas adds no historical information to the biography of Jesus, but it does provide additional information about the gnostic heresy which thrived in the mid-second century, and which has attracted many adherents today as well.
Read the whole thing.

I am inspired to sing a hymn appropriate to this Gospel text:

Make the world go away
Get it off my shoulder
Say the things we used to say
And make the world, make it go away

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