Today's Top Five
1. The Gospel of Judas beyond the ecstatic headlines
There are signs of a backlash against the initial suggestions that the Gospel of Judas could shake the foundations of Christianity. After an initial wave of poor reporting and misrepresentation, articles now are in corrective mode, noting that this newly released manuscript is far too young, unreliable, and anachronistic to tell us anything about Jesus or Judas, and it seems to offer little new information even about second- and third-century Gnosticism. There seems to be growing doubt that this is even the Gospel of Judas discussed by Irenaeus.
Some of the best and worst analysis pieces are appearing in familiar media outlets, but those truly interested in the scholarly discussions will want to head elsewhere. The usual Biblioblogs are full of interesting comments (though most are surprised that this is making so many headlines). Mark Goodacre is busy as always, but Stephen C. Carlson's Hypotyposeis, which has posted on the Gospel of Judas for more than a year, is Weblog's blog of choice for this topic. Carlson has a great post, for example, on The Gospel of Judas vs. The Da Vinci Code. Ben Witherington has been very busy, too (1 | 2 | 3 | 4) but one wishes that he'd provide outside links once in a while. If you really want to read what Bible scholars from Bart Ehrman to Darrell Bock are saying to each other, go beyond the blogs and check out the e-mail lists. Weblog's favorite is XTalk: Historical Jesus and Christian Origins (494 members), but Ancient Near East (582 members) and textualcriticism (317) are worth checking out, too.
If you want to be really cool, though, tell your friends about a little-known document that's even more amazing than the Gospel ...