Readers’ Mailbag November 13, 2015

It is time for the weekly Readers’ Mailbag.  I am keeping a list of questions readers have asked, and I add to it all the time.  If you have a question you are eager to hear me answer in a couple of paragraphs or so, simply ask!  One convenient way to do so is simply to make a comment/question on this post.  Here are three questions for today.

 

QUESTIONThe Wikipedia entry on the gospel of the Nasorenes mentions your work ...

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A Fantastic Saying of Jesus in Papias

I have mentioned one of the intriguing traditions found in the now-lost Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord by the early second century proto-orthodox church father Papias (his account of the death of Judas).  Here is another one.

In this one Papias is relating what he has heard that Jesus taught.  As you’ll see, it is not a teaching that is found in the New Testament Gospels, or in fact in any other Gospel source we have.

What is ...

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Other Accounts of the Death of Judas

As I indicated in the previous post, there are two versions of the death of Judas Iscariot in the New Testament.   These versions have some striking similarities, but at the end of the day, I think they cannot really be reconciled with one another.   After the New Testament period, there were legends about Judas’s death that continued to be invented and circulated.  I discuss one of them in my college-level textbook on the New Testament, in a side-bar that I ...

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York Symposium on Early Christian Apocrypha

 

I thought some of you might be interested to know about a symposium focusing on early Christian apocrypha that will be taking place in the fall.  The schedule for the event has just been sent.  If any of you is near there, you should think about going!  It looks terrific.   It is being organized principally by Tony Burke, along with Brent Landau; they are two very active scholars in the field of apocrypha studies.

 

Here’s what the lineup looks like.

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BBC Clip on “The Lost Gospels”

On Tuesday the 21st, September 2010, BBC FOUR aired “The Lost Gospels.”   I was one of the talking heads.  The presenter was an interesting fellow, an Anglican priest Pete Owen Jones. The show included several on-location discourses.  They flew me to Egypt for the taping.   Some of it was done near the village of Nag Hammadi, at the spot where the so-called “Nag Hammadi Library” was discovered in 1945.  The fourteen books found in a jar in this ...

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Q and The Gospel of Thomas

Before I move on to discuss other lost books from early Christianity that I would love to have discovered (I know, this thread could go on forever, since I would like *every* early Christian writing to be discovered) I need to answer a couple of queries that I have received about the Q source.

First, several people have asked me whether it is possible that the Q source is actually what we now call the Gospel of Thomas, one of the ...

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My Non-Disclosure Agreement and the Gospel of Judas

I broke off the thread on the Gospel of Judas and the non-disclosure agreement that I had to sign at … at the point where I had to sign the non-disclosure agreement!   Here I resume.

So the deal was this:  in order to be allowed to see the manuscript, to examine it, to have access to a translation of it, to study the translation, and to write an essay based on it for the National Geographic’s intended book on the Gospel ...

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My UNC Seminar Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be doing an all-day seminar at UNC for the Program in the Humanities and Human Values.   This is a terrific organization on campus.  Among other things, it puts on weekend seminars — usually Friday afternoon/evening; Saturday morning — that involve four faculty lectures on a set topic.   Scheduling was such that we decided to put all four lectures on a Saturday this time.   I’ve done these things for 25 years, and love them.  *Most* ...

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The Gospel of Judas: Discovery, Restoration, and (Non-)Disclosure

I’ve decided not to give a detailed summary of this thread each time I resume it.  To make sense of what I’m saying, you’ll need to go to the beginning a few days ago.  Short story, though:  it’s about how I came to learn about the discovery of the Gospel of Judas through a phone call from a representative of National Geographic who wanted me to be on the team that established its authenticity, back in the fall of 2004.

Before ...

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How I First Learned that the Gospel of Judas Had Been Discovered

I started this thread by mentioning a non-disclosure agreement I once had to sign, involving the Gospel of Judas.   To explain the situation, I have been discussing how I first came to know about the existence of the text.   After receiving an out-of-the-blue query about the Gospel of Judas I looked it up to refresh my memory: it was allegedly a book used by a group of Gnostics named the Cainites, a book that told the story of Jesus from ...

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