How can we be so sure that these new “gospels” aren’t true?

Read Jesus Out of Focus, if you want a concise, focused reply to the surge of new theories driving The Da Vinci Code and The Gospel of Judas.

Here’s an excerpt…

Of course, to evaluate these claims we must determine the value of these apocryphal Gospels. Do they represent legitimate voices suppressed in antiquity? In the last five years, this debate has intensified. Some scholars argue that the canonical boundary that separates our Scriptures from the apocrypha should come down. Others argue that Gospels such as Thomas should have equal weight with Matthew. Still others believe that notions such as “orthodoxy” and “canon” are simply arbitrary conventions of the winners.

But they fail to mention that while most of the recently discovered Gospels will claim to come from an apostle (such as Mary or Peter), virtually every scholar knows these claims are fictitious. Moreover, these Gospels are not easily dated. When someone claims that, say, the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Judas is “late first century,” we are merely hearing conjecture.

Furthermore, the early church was well aware of these writings and understood that they offered a view of Christian faith utterly different than the genuine apostolic Gospels. Christians of the time did not see these Gospels as rivals. They simply saw them as wrong in every respect: They presented an understanding of creation, humanity, Jesus, and salvation that significantly departed from what Christians had believed from the very beginning.

Also well worth reading: N.T. Wright Debunks The Da Vinci Code, right here, at Seattle Pacific University.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Gene Branaman

    Bonnaroo has been releasing CDs of performances in the last few years & I was crossing my fingers that Radiohead would allow their show to be released. This is the next best thing.

    They haven’t announced which sets they’re releasing for the 2006 shows but I’m hoping for Nickel Creek & Andrew Bird. For those who didn’t know this, check the site out here: