Sunday, April 09, 2006

Judas Gospels

On the plus side of things. The National Geographic presentation on the Judas Gospels sounds intriguing.

What people seem to be discovering is that the modern view of the ancient world is a bit skewed. I basically learned that Christianity was a back water cult that emerged among uneducated, illiteral masses.

Rodney Stark's work, The Rise of Christianity, held an interesting thesis that religions tend to start among recently marginalized segments of society. In the case of the ancient world, this was the Hellenic Jews in Alexandria and other former Greek outposts.

The Greeks were the intellectuals of the ancient world. Prior to Christ, Ancient Greece had fallen to Rome. Hellenic culture still survived in many outposts. The population would have still been relatively well educated but politically marginalized. If this is the case, the Christianity would have inherited both the Greek view of philosophy, the Judaic tradition of rule of law along with Christ's message of compassion and respect for life.

The appearance of the Judas Gospel and the increased availability of other texts from this time seem to be indicating that this was a time of open positive discourse.

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