It has been a good weekif you're a Gnostic. Most recently, Gnosticism popularizer Dan Brown won his case. Though if the case had gone the other way, other Gnosticism proponents would have won, too. Meanwhile, newspapers are proclaiming the newly released Gospel of Judas as a "fifth gospel" that truly "gives new insights into the relationship of Jesus and the disciple who betrayed him." Like the "insight" that Jesus and Judas both agreed with third-century Gnosticism a lot more than either agreed with first-century Judaism or orthodox Christianity. One of the best takes on the news is an op-ed in The New York Sun by Bruce Chiltona member of the highly unorthodox Jesus Seminar.
Then there's word that most Americans hold a lot of Gnostic beliefs, too: 54 percent do not believe that "after you die, your physical body will be resurrected someday." Only 59 percent of "born again" Christians believe itthough the doctrine has always been an important part of orthodox Christianity and is in both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed.
Maybe Judas was in on the Sea of Galilee hoax that Jesus is now considered to have pulled on the disciples. An article in the Journal of Paleolimnology suggests that Jesus was able to walk on the water because parts of it had iced over. (It's a creative nice idea unless you've actually read the biblical passage.) Other science news this week is mixed: One study says prayer doesn't help you recover from illness (it may even make things worse), while another study says churchgoing helps you live longer. Then there are two news items on the evolution front, both of which are being promoted as serious blows to the anti-Darwinist crowd. The anti-Darwinists aren't convinced.
On further consideration, ...1