Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The Da Vinci Code. The Gospel of Judas. What's a Christian to Believe?
You may have been taught that our Christian faith is based on the bible. Well, what if I told you that the books that were deemed to be the inspired word of God were not declared so until around the 4th Century. And the first printed bible didn't exist until the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in Germany. He printed the first bible around the year 1455. Read more about Guttenberg
The first mention of the official list of the books of the bible or canon ("kanonika biblia") was at the Council of Laodicea that took place some time prior to the Council of Ephesus, held in 325. The synod in Hippo in the year 393, and three synods in Carthage (393, 397, and 419) all listed the official books of the bible. This determination was made based on the oral tradition of the Church (what the Church leaders had learned from the Apostles) and the use of these scriptures in the Church services. St Augustine was a participant and leader in all of these synods.
As we are well aware today, just because someone writes something down, doesn't make it the truth. A written lie is just as much a lie as a spoken lie.
There were many ancient texts that didn't make it into the bible. Some of these are: Gospel of Thomas,Gospel of Truth, Gospel of the Twelve, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Basilides Gospel of the Egyptians, Gospel of the Hebrews, Gospel of Matthias, Preaching of Peter, Acts of Andrew, etc. The reason these gospels didn't make it into the bible is because they didn't square with the oral testimony given by the Apostles. So the discovery of a gospel of Judas or a myth about Mary Magdalene shouldn't alarm us.
Our faith is not based on myths, it is based on the eye-witness testimony of 12 credible men, the Apostles who were personally chosen by Jesus. Albeit, Judas was one of the original Apostles, but after he betrayed Jesus he killed himself. And the remaining 11 Apostles chose Matthias to take his place (Acts 1:26). One of the criteria for choosing a replacement for Judas was that this disciple walked and talked with Jesus, in other words, that the person was an eye witness to what Jesus taught and the miracles he performed.
For more information read: Canon of Scripture