The big news in today’s NYTimes is an editorial by a scholar explaining that the translators of the “Gospel of Judas” were wrong, and that last year’s story about early Christians who thought Judas was actually a hero was simply wrong.

It was a great story. Unfortunately, after re-translating the society’s transcription of the Coptic text, I have found that the actual meaning is vastly different. While National Geographic’s translation supported the provocative interpretation of Judas as a hero, a more careful reading makes clear that Judas is not only no hero, he is a demon.

Since the NYTimes editorial section is now free, go to the link and read the whole thing. Much of the translation was merely poor scholarship, that the editorial writer says was due to the magazine insisting that the translation be a big secret so that the National Geographic could have a big story to publish. (i.e. so they’d make a lot of money off the story).

Because of the secrecy, scholarly debate was limited, leading to basic errors in translation.

What is interesting from a sociological standpoint is why the MSM and certain scholars jumped on the “new” story to debunk traditional belief.

I have wondered why so many scholars and writers have been inspired by the National Geographic version of the Gospel of Judas. I think it may stem from an understandable desire to reform the relationship between Jews and Christians.

Ah yes. It was done in the name of a “good cause”.

Yet as a scientist, the shoddy translation–coming on the heels of the fictional DaVinci code that many assumed was “fact”, and followed by the kerfluffle about the “Jesus tomb” that also turned out to be a hoax, suggests a larger story.

The press and TV specials leap on these stories that claim to be a scholarly debunking of Christianity–and the fact that every holiday season seems to bring stories in the MSM that use “experts” such as the Jesus seminar  (whose scholarship leans more to liberal debunking than honest historical science) to debunk the belief of traditional Christians is in itself another big story.
And although Christians might wonder if this is due to anti Christian bigotry, I suspect it is done for another reason: For publicity, to make money.

In case you didn’t notice, Atheism is “in” this year. And not the honest atheism of Einstein or Confucius or Socrates, or the honest atheism born of the sufferings of the world, but a virulent anti religious atheism that resembles the worst of religious bigotry.

The fact that shoddy scholarship is touted in our MSMbeing done perhaps for monetary motivation is a major story, but the possibility that many of these stories might also have political motivation is a major story that few outside the conspiracy
And I applaud the NYTimes for bringing it to the public’s attention


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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