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Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth about Christianity? [Hardcover]

By N. T. Wright (Author)
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Item Number 31645  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.42" Width: 5.84" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   0.68 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2006
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801012945  
EAN  9780801012945  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
Description: What does the Gospel of Judas really tell us?

Joining other recently found and publicized "gospels," the Gospel of Judas has found its way into the limelight. The ancient manuscript appears to be genuine--so what are we to make of the claims therein? Claims such as

Judas was doing what Jesus asked him to do when he betrayed Jesus
Jesus came to offer secret knowledge of how to escape this earthly world, rather than to usher in God's kingdom on earth
Jesus felt no pain on the cross
and more
This timely response to the Gospel of Judas is the authoritative, orthodox word on what the Gospel of Judas really tells us--and does not tell us-about Jesus, Judas, early Christianity, and Gnosticism. Tom Wright, as both a bishop and a historian, is uniquely qualified to speak on the subject. In Judas and the Gospel of Jesus, he clearly and fairly answers your questions about this "new gospel."

Community Description
Description: What does the Gospel of Judas really tell us?

Joining other recently found and publicized "gospels," the Gospel of Judas has found its way into the limelight. The ancient manuscript appears to be genuine--so what are we to make of the claims therein? Claims such as

Judas was doing what Jesus asked him to do when he betrayed Jesus
Jesus came to offer secret knowledge of how to escape this earthly world, rather than to usher in God's kingdom on earth
Jesus felt no pain on the cross
and more
This timely response to the Gospel of Judas is the authoritative, orthodox word on what the Gospel of Judas really tells us--and does not tell us-about Jesus, Judas, early Christianity, and Gnosticism. Tom Wright, as both a bishop and a historian, is uniquely qualified to speak on the subject. In Judas and the Gospel of Jesus, he clearly and fairly answers your questions about this "new gospel."

Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.


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More About N. T. Wright

N. T. Wright Born in 1948 in Northumberland, England, N.T. Wright is the Bishop of Durham. He was formerly Dean of Lichfield and lecturer in New Testament studies at Oxford University as well as fellow, tutor, and chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford. He has also served as professor of New Testament language and literature in various colleges and universities. With doctorates in divinity and in philosophy from the University of Oxford, N. T. Wright is a member of the Society for New Testament Studies, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Institute for Biblical Research, the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research, and the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars. He has published more than 40 works at both scholarly and popular levels related to New Testament studies, especially on the origins of Christianity and Biblical Christology.

N. T. Wright has an academic affiliation as follows - Worcester College, Oxford.

N. T. Wright has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Christian Origins and the Question of God (Paperback)
  2. N.T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides
  3. New Testament for Everyone
  4. Plus
  5. T&t Clark Cornerstones


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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( W ) > Wright, N.T.   [55  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible Study > General   [2774  similar products]
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6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology   [2037  similar products]
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History   [4688  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
answering the modern heretics  Feb 10, 2007
Thorough treatment of the present excitement over the 'new' discovery of an 'authentic' gospel. Love this guys work.
 
A sharp critique of popularized gnosticism.  Feb 1, 2007
N. T. Wright's scholarly works are often ponderous tomes characterized by forty-word sentences, endless paragraphs, and an exasperating delay in getting to the point. This slim volume does not share those faults. Quickly, clearly, and concisely, Wright takes aim at the recent popular fascination with Christian gnosticism and the small group of scholars who have been at the forefront of this well-publicized effort to re-imagine the origins of Christianity. In his own polite way, Wright is saying, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore."

The occasion for Wright's salvo is the recent publication of "The Gospel of Judas," a second-century gnostic tract that surfaced about thirty years ago but was held back from publication as its various owners tried to maximize its financial payoff. Now that the gospel has finally seen the light of day, it has been the subject of several popular works and celebrated as providing important new insights into Jesus, Judas, and early Christianity.

The highlight of the gospel is the claim that - contrary to the New Testament - Judas was the apostle who understood Jesus best, and was in fact ordered by Jesus to turn Jesus over to the authorities. The purpose of this was to hasten Jesus's death so that his spirit could be liberated from the confines of his mortal and corruptible body. This is in line with the core gnostic belief that the world was created by an inferior, malevolent god or demiurge, and that salvation consists in liberating the spirit from its connection to matter.

Authors such as Elaine Pagels, Bart Ehrman, and Marvin Meyer have popularized the idea that the gnostic writings provide a legitimate alternative to the New Testament portrayal of Jesus and Christian origins.

"Nonsense," says Wright. He points out that the scholarly consensus still overwhelmingly places the gnostic writings at a minimum of 50 to 100 years later than the writings collected in the New Testament, and that there is no reason whatsoever to think that the gnostics had a better understanding of Jesus than the authors of the New Testament.

Quoting some of the more incomprehensible and pretentious passages of "The Gospel of Judas," Wright questions whether all this talk of "aeons" and "archons," and the gnostic contempt for material reality, is really as in tune with contemporary sensibilities as the popularizers claim. Wright accuses them of presenting a sanitized version of gnosticism as well as a false characterization of early, mainstream Christianity. I think he is pretty much on the mark.

If I have a quibble with Wright, it is in his generalized claims about the contempory Christian Left and the Religious Right. He accuses both of escapism into a world of private religious experience and of a failure to contend against the "principalities and powers" of this world. Notwithstanding elements of escapist New Age-ism on the Left, and Rapture-ism on the Right, I think Wright is wrong about both the Christian Left and the Religious Right. I think both are very concerned with real-world issues, with practical concerns, and with politics. Both, in their different perspectives, are confronting what they regard as the "principalities and powers" of the world, even if they don't agree on what the principalities and powers are.

Moreover, Wright never specifies what he thinks an authentic Christian engagement with the "principalities and powers" would entail. For example, he seems to oppose the American war against Saddam Hussein, so is he therefore a pacifist? Or does he just oppose this specific war? And what is the authentic Christian response to brutal dictators, in Wright's view? And what is the authentic Christian view on gay marriage, or homosexuality, or pornography, or abortion, or Islamo-fascism, or any other issue which divides Left and Right? Wright does not tell us. He assures us that Left and Right are wrong, but never tells us what the Middle should do. Nor does he quite come to terms with the fact that the representatives of Christian orthodoxy - both secular and religious - committed many historical acts which Wright would in no way countenance. If escapism is a vice, real-world engagement also carries its dangers. How does one change the world without getting one's hands dirty?

Those quibbles aside, I can recommend this book to anyone who is still on the fence regarding the significance of Christian gnosticism. People who read Wright first might save themselves the trouble of reading - and being taken in by - a lot of nonsense emanating from scholars who should know better.
 
WRIGHT GIVES LIBERAL SCHOLARSHIP A BLACK EYE  Jan 24, 2007
N T Wright, one of the world's greatest biblical scholars, tosses aside his usual calm and comes out swinging in "Judas and the Gospel of Jesus". He is clearly sick and tired of certain group of American scholars, the ones who claim there were all sorts of early Christianities, and, frankly, the one we ended up with was certainly not the best choice.

So, for once, Wright is naming names and taking no prisoners.

Wright's book is based upon "The Gospel of Judas" which was released with such great fanfare last Easter. No doubt you, too, had a laugh when that great biblical magazine, the "National Geographic", published a huge article on "The Gospel of Judas". And remember all those newspapers declaring darkly that "Judas" would shake the belief of those who still clung to Christianity?


Oh please. It was just another late Gnostic text, and, as usual, poorly written and with rambling idiotic passages about aeons. Yet the usual suspects--I mean scholars--made false claims about the importance and meaning of "The Gospel of Judas".

Wright doesn't exactly call Marvin Meyer, Elaine Pagels, and Bart Ehrman liars, but he comes thisclose. Most books about biblical scholarship are pretty tame. Not this one. Expect to enjoy yourself as you watch Wright tear Meyer, Pagels and Ehrman to pieces.


Some instances bound to make you smile: Meyer and Pagels "try to use the motif of laughter to make this 'Jesus' appear friendly" (p 54-55), in direct contradiction to the fact that the text means something very different. It's about time someone mentioned how liberal scholars play fast and loose with the facts.


Then there's the instance when Wright calls Elaine Pagels' statement about Jesus "breathtaking" and notes dryly, "It could only be sustained by a systematic and sustained rereading, and in fact a radical misreading, of the canonical gospels" (p 81). Now that's how a
true gentleman calls someone a lying twit. Then there's Bart Ehrman's bizarre claims about early Judaism and Christianity while ignoring the obvious:that early Christianity and Judaism had much, much "more in common with one another than with Gnosticism"(p 115).

The argument about there being many early types of Christianity is nonsense. People weren't wandering around in 200 AD unable to distinguish between a Christian and a follower of one of the schools of Gnosticism. As many of the early church fathers acidly noted, no Roman made a mistake and tossed a Gnostic to the lions. No, the Christians were the ones being eaten and the Gnostics were those preening about their insight or moaning on about how the universe and flesh were evil. Astrology has as much intellectual merit as Gnosticism, which was merely an attempt to paganize Christianity.

Wouldn't you just love to know how Ehrman, Pagals, and Meyer react? You've GOT to get this book.

Anyone interested in early Christianity and Gnosticism should get Simone Petrement's "A Separate God", the most quoted, most respected book on the subject.
 
Rock Solid Work  Dec 28, 2006
N T Wright cuts through the modern assumptions that the canonical texts were some how in error and that Christianity really started in some other way. This book deal with the conspiracy theorists who want to claim the Church has covered up the real truth about Jesus and have made him Divine in order to have power and control. Wright clearly shows how that the real compromisers of the truth were the writers of the so-called gospel of Thomas and the other Gnostic texts that privatized religion and tried to move it out of the political realm in order to avoid persecution from the state. Those who held to the message that Jesus is Lord and Caesar and would not bow to the "lordship" of Caesar were the ones that were persecuted and killed. The real cowards and compromisers were the Gnostics. Those who held to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and not least Paul were thrown to the lions, had their property confiscated, were fried alive on the hot seat and suffered abuse and death at the hands of Rome, while Gnostics, who had de-politicized the gospel, sat home writing alternative Gnostic views that would not call into question the powers of Rome. This is a great book with a message that needs to be heard over against the message that normally gets presented on CNN, Fox News, or History channel specials.
 
There are differences between gospels and Gospel of Judas  Dec 21, 2006
N.T. Wright is a well-renowned biblical scholar who has done his homework. And this work shows, quite definitively, that there can be no comparison between the early four gospel accounts of Christ and the much later Gnostic versions. The book isn't that fancy, and I think many laypeople will get great benefit from this if they pay careful attention. Even though it's short, there were a few times that Wright's style lost me and I wasn't sure what he was really saying. But otherwise, I appreciate his work and think this will help close the door to those who insist the Gnostics are a better source than the gospels Christians have been reading for a couple thousand years.
 

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