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Re: [textualcriticism] The Gospel of Judas

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  • Michael Marlowe
    ... I think this is off-topic not only for TC but also for any profitable discussion of first-century Christianity. Saying that such texts as the Gospel of
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 12, 2006
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      Bart Ehrman wrote:

      > I don't think this is a question for
      > this list. But I will say that I
      > don't hold to an essentialist understanding
      > of the term Christian, and think the
      > question itself is, well, thoroughly
      > Eusebian.

      I think this is off-topic not only for TC but also for any profitable
      discussion of first-century Christianity.

      Saying that such texts as the "Gospel of Judas" tell us something about the
      mix of beliefs in the earliest years of the church is like saying that the
      documents of Mormonism--written by sectarians in the middle of the
      nineteenth century--reveal some important things about the nature of
      Protestantism in colonial America. It is quite misleading to suppose that
      the teachings of Joseph Smith can be of much importance in any historical
      investigation of American religion in the early eighteenth century. One
      could easily find common threads, that's true. And I wouldn't be surprised
      to hear of some doctoral dissertation on "Reactions to proto-Mormonism in
      the later works of Jonathan Edwards," and so forth. But this would be sheer
      woolgathering. In my opinion, the use of third-century Gnostic sources in
      attempts to portray the diversity of first-century Christianity is not far
      different. It creates a false impression of contemporaneous diversity, by
      collapsing centuries of widely-divergent literature into one moment and one
      historical entity. Not at all helpful.

      Michael Marlowe
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