Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thinking about the Gospel of Judas

This morning I continue to write my book on the Gospel of Judas for a general audience. I have provisionally entitled it Judas the Apostate: What the Gospel of Judas REALLY Says.

When I first read the text in Coptic, it really took me aback. Its language is heated and polemical. Jesus is a Jesus who mocks everyone in the story. I didn't really like the text that much and didn't think it had much to add to our knowledge of Gnosticism and Christianity in the second century.

But as I have come to work on it so intensely, the text has come to change my mind. It is an extremely sophisticated text (and argument - yes there is an argument in it) and it is an extremely important early Gnostic text (and not for any of the reasons that scholars have published so far). I hope to finish my analysis this month.


Rebecca said...

And then you got to come hang out and discuss southern religion over lunch! Hurrah! Interesting blog.

John Shuck said...

I saw Karen King and Elaine Pagels book on GJudas in the airport bookstore. I haven't picked it up yet. I was wondering what will you add that is different from what they have written, or Bart Ehrman for that matter?

Thanks for the great blog!

April DeConick said...

I haven't seen King-Pagels book yet. So don't know precisely what they have to say, although from talking to Elaine, the perspective they have taken is that it is a discussion on martyrdom. I am not addressing that matter in my analysis at all.

As far as Ehrman. Well, I think I can say that we will have nothing in common to say about this gospel.

Jordan Stratford+ said...

I recently did a course on Judas with Dr. Bruce Chilton, and was very drawn to the use of astrological imagery (cf. "error of the stars"). This is useful in defining Gnosticism's rejection of astrology as archonic fatalism. There's a whole book right there.