Saturday, February 25, 2006

COPTIC GOSPEL OF JUDAS WATCH: The Tertullian Project website has a huge page on The Coptic Gospel of Judas (Iscariot). It collects lots of articles and has some photos and a copy of at least part of the Hedrick transcription and translation. There's a great deal of information there, not all of which is necessarily accurate. Keep in mind, for example, that it's now being claimed that some of Hedrick's pages are from a different text in the same codex.

(Via the Spero Forum weblog.)
THE DA VINCI CODE is "dissected" once again, this time by Mark Shea in an interview in Catholic Online. It's shooting at fish in a barrel, but unfortunately it's still necessary, especially with the movie coming out. And this is worth repeating:
His book is so laughably bad, its claims so easily and demonstrably false, the whole thing so silly, that debunking takes on a rather gleeful quality -- which is, I think, only fitting. The best cure for "The Da Vinci Code" is, in the end, hearty gales of well-informed laughter.
Unlocking secrets of the past

Jerusalem Talmud
Schottenstein Edition Talmud Yerushalmi - Tractate Berachos vol. 1
Mesorah Publications

For centuries, folios of the Jerusalem Talmud languished in the backs of libraries acquiring dust and being opened only by leading rabbinic sages and Talmudic scholars. Mesorah Publications, whose English and Hebrew translations and elucidations of the Babylonian Talmud have been credited with enabling Talmud study among the masses, is now embarking on a similar effort for a more complex text - the Jerusalem Talmud.


Indeed, for Talmudists and students all over the world, one cannot overestimate the impact the Artscroll series has had upon Talmudic scholarship. The completion of the English elucidation of the Babylonian Talmud in 2005 resulted in more than 70,000 people around the world relying on Artscroll for their Talmud Study.

ADL withdraws call for halting construction of J'lem museum
By Haaretz Service

The Anti-Defamation League has withdrawn its call for halting construction on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, saying the Wiesenthal Center was taking "adequate steps to deal respectfully" with Muslim graves discovered at the building site.


Friday, February 24, 2006

STEPHEN C. CARLSON is hot on the trail of another manuscript forgery. Go get 'em, Stephen!
THREE BOOKS ON KABBALAH are reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement:
Kabbala then and now
Jeremy Adler
Daniel C. Matt
Pritzker edition
Volume One
500pp. 0 80474747 4.
Volume Two
496pp. 0 804 74868 3
Stanford University Press. $49.95 each; distributed in the UK by Eurospan. £29.95 each.
Arthur Green
191pp. Stanford University Press. Paperback, $15.95.
0 8047 4908 6
Moshe Idel
371pp. Yale University Press. £25 (US $45).
0 300 10832 X

More than just a review, this is an essay on Kabbalah, its background, the history of modern scholarship on it, and the current state of the question. Merkavah mysticism and Hekhalot literature also get a mention:
This evocative, light-filled imagery and the vision of a heavenly throne in which it culminates gave rise to the most ancient form of Jewish mysticism, so-called merkabah or “throne” mysticism. The doctrine was apparently established by the period of the Second Temple, and the key documents concerning this journey of the soul stem from the period before the expansion of Islam: as in related traditions, upon performing sundry ascetic rites the mystic approaches the Divinity, in this case after a journey through His “seven Heavens” into the “seven palaces”, until he finally witnesses the manifestation of His glory on the “throne”. Unlike the literal truths in the Pentateuch, a text like Ezekiel that enshrines this mystery demands to be approached symbolically, a mode which could hardly differ more sharply from that required by the law. Thus, whereas the Talmudists interpret the Bible rationally, expounding the laws in a continuous dialectic by adducing other parts of the Bible as evidence, the mystics read the sacred Book the other way round: they begin with the visionary mode in Ezekiel and treat the earlier Books as symbolic. This enables them to search behind the literal truth.
This is basically right, although it's hard be sure exactly when the key documents took the form(s) that we have now. Some of the material clearly goes back at least to the fourth century, and many of the key ideas to the Second Temple period. But the texts continued to be heavily edited well into the Middle Ages and some of the material -- it's hard to say how much -- must be medieval. We're only in the early stages of understanding the history of the texts and their transmission. (I'm thinking about such matters a lot right now, since I'm writing the "Merkavah Mysticism" article for the New International Dictionary of the Bible. I also gave them the "Enoch, Third Book of" article earlier this month.)

Anyhow, this TLS piece is a very good brief introduction to Kabbalah. Read it all.

(Via the Agade list.)
A CONFERENCE ON COPTIC STUDIES near Sohag, Egypt, is covered by Jill Kamil in Al Ahram:
Desert fathers in the limelight
The Third Symposium on Coptic Studies that took place at the White Monastery of St Shenoude west of Sohag early this month cast light on the life and times of an extraordinary Upper Egyptian monk, says Jill Kamil

Thursday, February 23, 2006

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBITION IN CHARLOTTE is getting lots of good (and well done) press, especially from the Charlotte Observer. Here's another article on how much of an impression the exhibit made on the reporter:
You'll be moved by its magnificence


What got me was the inkwell.

I was in "The Dead Sea Scrolls" exhibit at Discovery Place but not yet at the Scroll Gallery, drinking in the artifacts, photographs and text panels interpreting these ancient biblical fragments, how they were discovered and what they mean.

And here was this pottery piece from Jerusalem, an inkwell. Like the scrolls, it is about 2,000 years old and similar to inkwells from Qumran, the Dead Sea community where the scrolls were found about 60 years ago.

A spark jumped between me and this small artifact. I could see evidence of the human hand -- the one that made its nicely curved handle and the one that used it to ink a reed pen and perhaps copy Holy Scripture.

3:18 pm | Dead Sea Scrolls inspire 2 concerts (Charlotte Observer)

"Sing unto him a new song," Psalm 33 says. Carolina Voices will obey the biblical command by premiering two choral pieces by Charlotte composers in a tribute to the Dead Sea Scrolls. The concerts March 3 and 5 will focus on the Psalms -- one of the biblical books most represented in the scrolls, subject of a just-opened show at Discovery Place. ...
SPEAKING OF THE DA VINCI CODE, Catholic Online reports on "" being "[l]aunched as the One-Stop Shop for Resources and Commentators Responding to Controversial Book and Movie Attacking the Catholic Faith." Fine, but the article has this odd comment:
“A simple Google search would have revealed to Academy Award-Winning director Ron Howard the myriad of factual errors in The Da Vinci Code. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls are identified in the novel as Jewish documents, not Christian, and Brown cites the Vatican eleven centuries before it even existed,” said Matthew Pinto, president of Ascension Press, which is spearheading this outreach.

The general statement is true, but Mr. Pinto got his example backwards: the Dead Sea Scrolls are identified in the novel as Christian documents, whereas they are actually Jewish.
THE ISRAELI SUPREME COURT HAS RULED on the Museum of Tolerance and the Muslim Cemetery. The building has been halted but the archaeological work will continue. Evidently the Court has also appointed a mediator to work out a long-term resolution. Arutz Sheva has published a response from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Excerpt:
The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of Israel to appoint former Chief Justice Meir Shamgar as the mediator for a 30-day period to help facilitate a resolution regarding the remains found on the construction site of the Center For Human Dignity - Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem.
INDIANA JONES 4 is now at the top of both Lucas's and Spielberg's to-do list. Here's a website for the film, but it doesn't have a great deal of information yet.
AN AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED by a number of Mediterranean countries on standards for the protection of ancient mosaics:
(AGI) - Ragusa, Feb. 22 - Mediterranean countries have written a "paper" on the protection of ancient mosaics, which characterise a common cultural heritage. The document will be drawn up in Modica (Ragusa), where the international conference has begun this morning under the aegis of Unesco and will finish tomorrow. Delegations are present from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Malta, France, Cyprus, and the Palestinian Authority and aims to reinforce cooperation in the field. ...
ALTERNATE HISTORY, The Da Vinci Code, the Muhammad cartoons, and caustic satire: David Aaronovich combines them all in an essay for the Times of London.
'Whoever insults the one true Church deserves to be killed.' (News report)

David Aaronovitch

“EUROPE MUST LEARN to live in and with the world, not to dominate it, nor to assume it is superior or more virtuous. Any continent that has inflicted such brutality on the world over a period of 200 years has not too much to be proud of, and much to be modest and humble about.” Martin Jacques, The Guardian, on the cartoons row.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe . . .

From a Reuters report, Rome, some time around now

The Vatican has protested in “the strongest possible terms” against the publication in paperback of Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code. Cardinal Loopi, of the Office of the Defence of the Faith, condemned the book for defaming Catholicism and, in its suggestion that Jesus Christ was married, of heresy. “We demand that the book be destroyed and that the author be punished,” said Loopi, “otherwise we cannot be held responsible for how Catholics throughout the world may react.”

And so on. I thought the funniest bit was the final paragraph:
And finally, the good news . . .

From hiding, somewhere in Pakistan, Dan Brown apologises to the Judaeo-Christian world for the publication of The Da Vinci Code, promises to donate the proceeds from all his books to any charity nominated for the purpose by Opus Dei and undertakes to become a monk in a silent order at a monastery atop a high mountain in the Apennines.

At least there's one journalist in Britain who has some guts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

MILESTONES IN BIBLICAL STUDIES: Stephen C. Carlson shows the importance of February 21st for the field.
MORE ON THE COPTIC GOSPEL OF JUDAS: Beliefnet has published the same article that appeared last week in the Winston-Salem Journal, but a longer version with more information about the current state of the manuscript's authentication. The extra part at the end reads:
James Robinson, a retired professor of Coptic studies at Claremont Graduate University and general editor of the English edition of the Nag Hammadi Library, vouched for the document's authenticity based on his experience in trying to purchase the codex as early as 1983.

"I don't know of any scholar who thinks this is fake," said Robinson, who is not involved in the National Geographic project.

Although Robinson has never seen the manuscript firsthand, he arranged a meeting in 1983 between Stephen Emmel, a Coptic scholar at the University of Muenster in Germany, and John Pedrios, a Greek dealer who was negotiating the sale of the manuscript.

In a report filed after the meeting, Emmel said he was able to authenticate the codex as a genuine fourth- or fifth-century manuscript. But he said the 30-minute meeting ran too short for him to detect whether it contained the gospel.

Reached by phone in Cairo, Emmel confirmed his report but declined to say whether the manuscript he saw decades ago is the forthcoming gospel.

"I can say that the thought never crossed my mind that it was anything but a genuine Coptic papyrus codex from the fourth or fifth century," he said.

So it seems that the manuscript was in circulation as early as 1983 and that at least one specialist got to examine the actual codex and concluded it was genuine. But I'd like to see a thorough authentication that goes beyond a 30-minute examination and which confirms all its contents.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

DANIEL DRIVER has moved. His old blog, Figured Out, is no longer active, but it has been replaced with his new one, DRD Blog. Be sure to change your bookmark or RSS feed.
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBITION in Charlotte has drawn a much larger crowd than was expected:
Learn more about Dead Sea Scrolls

(Charlotte Observer)

Tickets will be sold at the door tonight for a lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls -- the sacred objects explored in the exhibit that drew 9,200 people to Discovery Place in its first three days.


That's double the 4,600 they were hoping for in those three days. I'm not surprised -- the Scrolls seem to generate endless public interest.

The article also notes that Shalom Paul of the Hebrew University will be lecturing in Charlotte on the Scrolls later today.
ANCHORS AWASH: Israel Today has an article on the ancient wooden anchors found recently in the Dead Sea:
Ancient Aweigh
The discovery of two well-preserved anchors on the receding shoreline of the Dead Sea is just the beginning of several archaeological possibilities, a main one being to find if a boat was once attached to either of them. “It is wishful thinking, but I hope to find what it was connected to,” Gideon Hadas, archaeologist and discoverer of the anchors, told israel today.

'The Jezebel Letters'

Monday, February 20, 2006 (The Register-Mail, IL)

MONMOUTH - Eleanor Ferris Beach, a lecturer in Monmouth College's department of philosophy and religious studies, has written a book on Jezebel, the much-maligned Israelite queen.

Beach's "The Jezebel Letters" combines her biblical scholarship with a fictionalized first-person account of the biblical character. In the process, she transforms the stereotype of the conniving Jezebel into a more historically-based portrayal of a powerful, literate woman.


Monday, February 20, 2006

ANOTHER ARTICLE on the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition in Charlotte, this one in Fayetteville Online. Despite the unpromising first line, it's a good piece with accurate content:
Unrolling The Dead Sea Scrolls

By Michael Futch
Staff writer

If you think the Rolling Stones are old, just consider the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Those writings pre-date Jesus of Nazareth.

They are the oldest known manuscripts of any books of the Bible. Most of the manuscripts are made of leather or papyrus, with some written as early as 200 B.C. That’s 1,000 years older than the earliest, existing Biblical texts we had before the discovery of the scrolls between 1947 and 1956 in caves on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea.


Also, according to WSOCtv news, two choral compositions inspired by the Dead Sea Scrolls are to be performed at Discovery Place next month.
THE COPTIC GOSPEL OF JUDAS is featured in a Time Magazine article that tries way too hard to sound hip. But the factual content looks correct.
A Kiss for Judas
A long-lost 2nd century "Gospel" may portray Jesus' betrayer as closer to a hero than a heel


Posted Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006
It could be a passion story as co-written by Mick (Sympathy for the Devil) Jagger and The Matrix's mess-with-your-metaphysics Wachowski brothers: Judas Iscariot, vilified in the Gospels as Jesus' great betrayer, was not merely an Apostle--he was perhaps Christ's closest confidant. Technically speaking, he did drop a dime on Jesus. But there were extenuating circumstances, some having to do with the belief that the God of the Old Testament was not the ultimate God, that this world is not what it seems and ... well, for a full explanation, you'll just have to see the movie.

Er, rather, see the 31-page papyrus tractate.
And here's an interesting tidbit:
[Mario] Roberty [director of the Maecenas Foundation, which apparently owns the manuscript] is cagier regarding its content, to which Geographic owns rights. Photos of six pages supposedly from the tractate were sent several years ago to Charles Hedrick, a scholar with Missouri State University who has attempted to translate and analyze them. But Roberty claims Hedrick's efforts are flawed in that the first four pages actually hail from a different tract bound in the same leather cover.
Hedrick had four pages from another text and thought they were from the Gospel of Judas? That's news to me.
THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE has called for a pause in the excavations for the Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance:
ADL: Pause work on Museum of Tolerance, site of Muslim graves
By Haaretz Service

The Anti-Defamation League Sunday urged a temporary cessation in the construction of Museum of Tolerance, pending resolution of a dispute over Muslim graves recently discovered at the building site in central Jerusalem.

"We encourage a temporary cessation of construction until the issue is resolved in a respectful way acceptable to all parties. To do less would weaken the foundation upon which a museum of tolerance stands."


Sunday, February 19, 2006

PROFESSOR EMERITUS ROBERT WILSON (a.k.a. "R McL Wilson" a.k.a. "Robin") was in fine form for yesterday's celebration of his 90th birthday. There were speakers in the afternoon, a drinks reception, and a buffet dinner followed by more reminiscences and a toast. You can click on all the photos below to see larger versions of the images. [This was originally posted on Sunday at 7:47 am, but I'm keeping it at the top of the page for a while.]

The afternoon opened with a brief introduction by Professor Richard Bauckham (see third photo down). He noted, among other things, that Professor Wilson's first article was published in 1952, his first book in 1958, and his most recent book at the end of 2005.

His comments were followed by Professor Einar Thomassen (above) of the University of Bergen, Norway, one of Professor Wilson's doctoral students in the 1980s. He spoke on Professor Wilson's half-century of contributions to the study of Gnosticism. (I understand that some of these presentations may be published someday, so, although I did take extensive notes, I'll keep my summaries brief.) Robin Wilson's contribution included building bridges between the German and British approaches, both by translating (and updating) many important German works and by integrating the German study of Gnosis as a widespread pre-Christian worldview and the British study of Gnosticism as a second-century Christian heresy, and by pointing out that the two are not the same thing. He did early work on the independence of elements of the Gospel of Thomas from the canonical Gospels and he raised concerns about the use of the term "Gnosticism" in 1955, decades before these problems became widely recognized.

Dr. Bill Telford (Universities of Newcastle and Durham) spoke about the early history of the Society for New Testament Study (Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas) and the important contributions to it by the University of St. Andrews and St. Mary's College and by Robin Wilson in particular. The Society was conceived in the 1930s but its founding was delayed by World War II and the first meeting was not until 1947. (More details here.) Its first president was Professor George Duncan of St. Mary's College [CORRECTION: Principal Duncan was the second president; the first was J. De Zwaan]. Professor Matthew Black and Professor Wilson were also heavily involved for many years. Both served as president of the society and as editors of the journal New Testament Studies and the NTS Supplement monograph series. Professor Paddy Best published the second volume in the series -- his monograph The Temptation and the Passion.

Richard Bauckham then spoke again briefly about Professor Wilson's scholarly contribution, including his editorship of the translation from German of two editions of the two large volumes of New Testament Apocrypha (which were carefully compared to the original-language texts as well and thus were an original contribution as well as a translation) and his most recent commentary on Colossians and Philemon.

Professor Wilson spoke next, first graciously thanking the speakers and those attending, some of whom came from a considerable distance, then reminiscing about his career, which has spanned the space between fountain pens (ballpoints hadn't been invented) and online publications. He appears nevertheless to have fully mastered e-mail and to have used it vigorously to keep the editors of his recent book in line.

He also spoke about his two supervisors when he was a student; William Manson of Edinburgh and W. L. Knox of Cambridge. Manson suggested Diaspora Judaism, syncretism, and the origins of Gnosticism as one possible topic of doctoral research and both Knox and Wilson liked the idea, so he went with it, timing his graduation in 1945 to coincide most fortuitously with the discovery of the Coptic Gnostic library from Nag Hammadi.

He also told of a College Dinner in which the president of the College Society (in the traditional staff roast) proposed running a model railway called the Wilson Special -- Gnostic passengers only.

He concluded that he looks back with great satisfaction at what many of his students (some of whom were present) have gone on to achieve.

The reception followed.

Here Professor Wilson speaks with Ron Piper, Professor of Christian Origins and Vice Principal of Teaching.

I had a conversation with Professor Wilson during the reception in which we both cheerfully dissed The Da Vinci Code. He also commented wryly that the best way to get scholarly recognition was to publish something that's almost right but is just wrong enough to make people want to argue with you. (A persistent theme during the speeches was Robin Wilson's meticulous scholarship and his humility, so he didn't learn this from experience.)

Professor David Parker (above left) of the University of Birmingham spoke after dinner of his time here as a student 30 years ago. My favorite bit was when he told of the shelf on Professor Wilson's bookcase reserved for works he considered ridiculous. Alas, no examples were given.

Finally, Ron Piper recounted some memories of his early days as a lecturer at St. Mary's College. He arrived in 1980 and Robin Wilson retired in 1983, so they overlapped by three years. He focused on Robin's absolute dedication to New Testament studies, his loyalty to St. Mary's, his willingness to spend time with people, and his gentleness. He concluded with a toast to Robin.

Then the cake was produced.

And cut.

Happy Birthday Robin, and many happy returns!

UPDATE (3 December 2007): I've corrected a detail above. Also, Bill Telford's paper is available here.
DAILY HEBREW BLOG: For some reason I seem not to have mentioned the Daily Hebrew Blog yet. This is a blog by H. H. Hardy which has been running since late October of 2005. Its purpose is as follows:
The goal of is to encourage daily reading of sacred Hebrew texts.


After devoting long hours to learning the basics of Hebrew grammar most students, pastors and teachers fail to continue reading the Hebrew Bible. Eventually, their knowledge atrophies for lack of use. The purpose of is to remedy this ubiquitous problem by providing the reader a manageable daily Hebrew reading (4-8 verses) along with lexical and syntactical assistance. is committed to helping students at all levels read biblical Hebrew. The blog is arranged so that a reader can spend a few minutes a day or week reading Hebrew texts. Beginners should start with the first verse or two of each translation, Intermediate learners should attempt the entire passage using the vocabulary listed by line (words which occur less than 50 times in the MT are listed in parentheses with their BDB reference page) and Advanced scholars will be able to translate using minimal vocabulary helps.

Typically, students spend the majority of their time memorizing vocabulary, reading grammars and studying paradigms. Though these pursuits are well intended and needed initially, one will not learn Hebrew until committing to a regular reading regiment. But, you say, 4-8 verses a day is not very much reading. Actually, averaging 8 verses a day one can read the entire Torah (~6000 verses) in only two years and the entire Hebrew Bible in ten years.
1200 VISITORS viewed the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at Discovery Place in Charlotte on Friday, the opening day. They expect 3400 more over the weekend and hope for 200,000 total.
Scrolls awe, amaze visitors
Power of ancient texts unites diverse group on exhibit's opening day

Religion Editor (Charlotte Observer)

Proof of the power of the Dead Sea Scrolls to bring people together came Friday on opening day of the much-anticipated exhibit at Discovery Place.

Among the first to admire the sacred artifacts were 41 senior citizens from Plantation Estates in Matthews, a family from Charlotte and a Nigerian doctor who lives in Huntersville -- a diverse group united for this one morning at least by their faith, fascination and feelings.

THE ISRAELI SUPREME COURT shall be ruling soon on the building of the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance over a Muslim cemetery. The Jerusalem Post has a long article. The political situation looks quite messy and less than straightforward.
Ruling expected on Tolerance Museum construction

The High Court of Justice is slated to hand down its decision in the coming days on whether the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) may continue building its planned Center for Human Dignity, Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem complex following public protests and two petitions by Israeli Arabs.

Wednesday, the court heard the petitions by the Al Aqsa Company for the Development of Waqf (Muslim religious trust) sites and by the Nazareth-based Karameh Human Rights Organization, representing three prominent Jerusalem families who say their ancestors are among those buried in the ancient cemetery.

The $150 million complex off Jerusalem's Rehov Hillel, designed by prominent American architect Frank Gehry, would include a museum, conference and education centers, a library and a theater, all dedicated to promoting tolerance in Israel and abroad, the SWC says. If work continues as planned the museum is expected to open by 2008.

The SWC said it had been told by the government and the Jerusalem Municipality five years ago that the threedunam plot was not defined as a cemetery, but as "public open space" and gave it the necessary permits to build on the site. It said the government based its decision on a 1964 Sharia Religious Court [the highest Muslim court in Israel] ruling that allegedly nullified the sanctity of the graveyard and permitted use of the land.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of SWC, quoted the ruling as declaring "The cemetery's sanctity has ceased to exist in it and it is permitted to do whatever is permitted in any other land which was never a cemetery." The 1964 document was included in the SWC response to the petition.

The petitioners, however, have rejected the government's position. "We adhere to our legitimate right to protect the Ma'amam Allah graveyard and all other Muslim cemeteries," said Irkima al-Sabri, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza Strip.

According to Karameh's lawyer Durgham Saif, "You cannot build a museum of tolerance on the bones of other people. It is immoral and illegal."


Read it all.
COPTIC GOSPEL OF JUDAS WATCH: The Winston-Salem Journal has a well-researched article on this, which, for example, actually interviews the Vatican official it quotes.
'Gospel' is stirring up a debate about Judas

By Stacy Meichtry

The first translation of an ancient, self-proclaimed "Gospel of Judas" will be published in late April, bringing to light what some scholars believe are the writings of an early Christian sect suppressed for supporting Jesus Christ's infamous betrayer.

If authentic, the manuscript could add to the understanding of Gnosticism, an unorthodox Christian theology denounced by the early church. The Roman Catholic Church is aware of the manuscript, which a Vatican historian calls "religious fantasy."


Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, the president of the Vatican's Committee for Historical Science, called it "a product of religious fantasy."

In an interview, he said that the manuscript would not have any impact on church teaching.

"We welcome the (manuscript) like we welcome the critical study of any text of ancient literature," Brandmuller said.

He said that despite some reports to the contrary, the drive to improve Judas' reputation does not have the support of the Vatican.

"There is no campaign, no movement for the rehabilitation of the traitor of Jesus," Brandmuller said.


The article also describes some of the contents of the Gospel of Judas, which is scheduled to be published at Easter.

Incidentally, as far as I know, the Times of London article remains uncorrected and unclarified. But I stopped checking after a couple of weeks.

I've reconstructed this post, which is one of the ones lost yesterday.