Monday, April 10, 2006

No News Is No News

I walked into my local Borders last night and was stunned to find virtually an entire display on books regarding "The Gospel of Judas" right at the front of the store. I'm amazed at how much publicity this thing is generating, and evidently the publicity push has been in the planning process for a year or longer.

But while the media is breathless about the "new revelations" contained in the document, centuri0n points us to the fact that the Associated Press reported on this story over a month ago, and brought the proper perspective that's so lacking in all the other coverage.

In Richard N. Ostling's story from March 2, he writes:
An expert on ancient Egyptian texts is predicting that the "Gospel of Judas" a manuscript from early Christian times that's nearing release amid widespread interest from scholars will be a dud in terms of learning anything new about Judas.

James M. Robinson, America's leading expert on such ancient religious texts from Egypt, predicts in a new book that the text won't offer any insights into the disciple who betrayed Jesus. His reason: While it's old, it's not old enough.

"Does it go back to Judas? No," Robinson told The Associated Press on Thursday.

....He says the text is valuable to scholars of the second century but dismissed the notion that it'll reveal unknown biblical secrets. He speculated the timing of the release is aimed at capitalizing on interest in the film version of "The Da Vinci Code" a fictional tale that centers on a Christian conspiracy to cover up a marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

"There are a lot of second-, third- and fourth-century gospels attributed to various apostles," Robinson said. "We don't really assume they give us any first century information."
How many times have you heard that in the feverish TV news accounts?

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