Monday, June 16, 2008

Mary Platt on Gospel of Judas

Over the weekend Jim West posted his response to Mary Platt's comments about the Gospel of Judas. Mary Platt is the communications director at Marvin Meyer's college and this appears to be Chapman's response to Tim Bartlett's article in the Chronicle for Higher Education. Jim is correct to raise the questions and issues that he does. I would have raised similar questions, but Jim beat me to it.

UPDATE: A correction - Mary Platt was not responding to Tom Bartlett's article, but to another blogger who made a post HERE<<<


Mary said...

Hi, Dr. DeConick -- Actually I was responding to this guy, Krzys Wasilewski, not to the Chronicle article: (which was also cross-posted on

He seemed to have a lot of errors in his article, including his attribution of the "James ossuary" announcement to National Geographic, so I decided to wade in. I may have unwittingly made mistakes myself, so if you or anyone else has comments on my comments, I'm happy to hear them. His seemed not to really be a scholarly take on the situation, and I have background in history but not as a Biblical scholar...but I'm very interested in all this and have written several times on the Gospel of Judas for our Chapman journal. So I just jumped in and added my 2 cents' worth. (Without Dr. Meyer's prior knowledge, I might add...) So, apologies if I muddied the academic blogwaters. I think it was really meant to be an exchange between two amateurs, so I'm a little dazzled to be picked up by your blog and a few others. Wow!

We really hope to welcome you here and have you speak here at Chapman someday soon -- I'm reading your book right now! -- Mary

April DeConick said...

Mary, we've added to the confusion by posting the wrong exchange! I will change this with an update on the main post.

April said...

So Jim West thinks the Gospel of Judas is a "silly gnostic text" does he? Would you agree with him about that April? No wonder he wrote:"Since when have all scholars agreed on anything, much less a silly gnostic text which adds absolutely NOTHING to our understanding of the historical Jesus, or the historical Judas, for that matter?" I doubt if he can say exactly what he means by either "the historical Jesus" or "the historical Judas".

It seems highly probable to me that the Gospel of Judas does indeed retain some history of a real first century prophet Judas. At the same time the Gospel gives the impression of an ethereal Jesus. It is almost as though, the gnostic writer was aware that Jesus was not, and never was, a real historical character. He half realised that the early church had fabricated their Jesus. Thus, the gnostic Jesus of the Gospel was a development of the fabricated ahistorical Jesus of the early church. The Gospel of Judas reflects the truth about each character, Judas was real, Jesus was fabricated.