2007-12-11

Recent developments in the Gospel of Judas debate

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by Neil Godfrey

Little doubt that the tenor of the April DeConick translation is winning open misere. The National Geographic and its translators have been paid their silver for betraying the real Judas. Suspect some would rather hang DeConick than themselves now they’ve been found out, though.

The National Geographic and one of its translators of the Gospel of Judas have replied to April DeConick’s criticism of their translation and publication that portrays Judas as the one disciple with the true spiritual understanding of Jesus. Actually that’s not strictly correct. At least one of the replies seemed to studiously avoid DeConick’s specific criticisms.

There are two discussions on the internet addressing this debate between DeConick and the National Geographic translation.

1. The April DeConick Reinterprets the Gospel of Judas thread on the Biblical Criticism and History section of the Internet Infidels discussion board. This thread goes back to late October but is well worth scanning for background alerts on the underlying issues of treatment of the original evidence, past form of some of the players, in particular custodians of source documents, etc. — e.g. point blank refusal to make public the full size images of original manuscripts.

2. Of course there is also April DeConick’s latest blog post with discussion of the most recent New York Times response by the National Geographic and one of the translators. (See also earlier responses to DeConick’s translation and post to the New York Times on the same blog.)

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Neil Godfrey

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0 thoughts on “Recent developments in the Gospel of Judas debate”

  1. Judas a goody or a baddy is really a storm in a tea-cup. But she does not comment on the truly significant issue, which is that Judas is mentioned at all, and in fact features centrally in the document. With regard to this issue, she and others have buried their heads in the sand. In effect, de Conick contradicts herself, because she is keen on the idea of historical memories been passed down.

  2. Geoff, you have made this basic point with almost every post.

    I often read discussions that are based on paradigms that I do not accept at all. But it would not be appropriate if I responded to every post I saw on a discussion or blog that referred to Jesus within a certain paradigm with my own position of an alternative paradigm. I would simply be ignoring their point and talking past them — making myself irrelevant.

    It is, rather, appropriate that I accept that there are different paradigms, and that not everyone will agree with mine. There is a place to discuss opposing paradigms as a discrete topic, but that’s only when both parties agree to engage in that discussion.

    One simply becomes “noise” if one ignores the context and point of view of every person who assumes another paradigm. This is especially so when others, including myself, have taken time aside to address the reasons we do not accept your views, and you ignore these and simply continually repeat your point. Had you engaged in a reasoned discussion with our criticisms — or even simply agreed to disagree — then you would be finding more opportunities over time to find true dialogue with your views.

    But there does sometimes come a point when we have to accept not all will agree with our views, and it’s not always because others have their heads in the sand or are closed minded.

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