Wednesday, April 8, 2009

National Geographic and lost gospels

National Geographic aired a program called the “Secret Lives of Jesus.” To their credit, they included a couple voices of sanity—Ben Witherington and Craig Evans—but the overall spin of the program was incredibly misleading.

The impression left on the viewer was that everything written about Jesus in the first three centuries should be considered equally in reconstructing our view of Jesus. This would be similar to forming one’s view of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by treating modern Creationist critiques, satires, and cartoons as if they had equal historical value as the writings of the earliest followers of Darwin himself (all analogies break down including this one but I’m assuming that most intelligent readers will get the point).

For quotes from some of these early “lost” gospels and documents see my previous posts “On Writings Suppressed by Bishops” and “Women and Christian Bishops.” Also see my discussion of The Gospel of Judas.