Thursday, April 13, 2006

N.T. Wright Deciphers the Gibberish of the Da Vinci Code
This is pertinent to the Gospel of Judas as well.
he Christian writers of the early second century know and revere the four canonical Gospels, but show no knowledge of traditions like the Gnostic writings. When the canon of the New Testament was finally decided upon, it was not a matter of selecting four books arbitrarily from a list of several dozen. It was a matter of noting that these four Gospels had been known from very early onto have been the core testimony to Jesus.
In fact, the contemporary myth gets things exactly the wrong way round. It isn't the case that the canonical New Testament is politically and socially quiescent, colluding with empire, while the Jesus whom we meet in the Nag Hammadi texts and similar documents is politically and socially subversive, so dangerous that he had to be suppressed. It's the other way round, and this may be among the most telling points we have to recognize for today. You may salve your own conscience by embracing Gnosticism, by telling yourself how very wicked the world is and how you are going to escape it once and for all by following the path of spiritual self-discovery and enlightenment. But if Caesar takes any notice at all, all he will do is sneer at you and go on his way to yet more triumphs of sheer power. And if that happened in the second century, we can be sure it's precisely what's happening today. Heidegger and Bultmann couldn't prevent Hitler; Derrida and Foucault and their numerous disciples can't do anything to stop the new empires of today. Certainly those who are advocating a new kind of do-it-yourself spirituality, and claiming that Jesus is somehow in or behind it all, cut no ice on the political front.

Let me translate what I think Wright is saying. Gnosticism was like the other mystery religions in the Roman Empire. Politically, Rome wouldn't think it was a political threat.

Al Mohler has another article on why the claims of the Da Vinci Code can be easily dismissed.

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