How Gnostic Jesus Became the Christ of Scholars

Images of Jesus as a Gnostic or crypto-Buddhist sage are popular because they reflect the ideological needs of certain audiences


08/18/2008 04:19:05 AM

There is no logical argument in this polemical article. It's point is to fault modern scholars with far more source materials for coming to similar conclusions to those made previously with less material. It is essentially an ad hominem attack. What it is implying is that if you come to conclusions similar to people described derogatorily, then you are wrong. It is not even as straight-forward as guilt by association, it is assumed guilt by unconnected similarity. That these ancient ideas are not new is not news. The discovery of primary source materials has provided sufficient evidence to re-examine previous assumptions and speculations. In general, different generations of scholars in different periods coming to similar conclusions would point to the strength of these conclusions not the reverse. The article also focuses solely what some may want to be true. While we need to be critical of all claims, being convenient or over-enthusiastic doesn't make something false.


11/11/2006 11:47:44 AM

Mr.Jenkins downplays the true availability of early Christian texts and alternate gospels.Only colleges and universities have such info.He needs to get out of his ivory tower more often.


08/19/2004 05:27:14 PM

joshuaclementgood: Well said. Jesus's journey and life is very similar to many of the people who have obtained enlightenment in the east: Buddha, Ghandi, Ta Mo, Empty Cloud, Gurmayi Chidvilasananda, etc..


08/17/2004 05:27:42 AM

I had no idea there was so much literature on Gnosticism and the "heretical" interpretations of alternative texts. The author seems to be saying, "This stuff is not new, and a lot of it is bogus." And that people who are discovering it now are interpreting it to suit their own revisionist agendas. Is he expressing disdain for these contemporary re-interpretations because they are counter-orthodox? Or just bad scholarship? The history of these ideas is interesting, but kind of beside the point. As one who knows something about Eastern mysticism, I find the principle of gnosis attractive, and I tend to believe the "Issa in the Buddhist monastery" story of Jesus "missing years." Yes, partly because it fits my anti-orthodox agenda, but more because it makes sense. Jesus/Yeshua/Issa as a mystic who became enlightened and became a great spiritual master is just so much more realistic than the myth of a virgin-born Son of God. The point is not scholarship, or even theology, but transcendence.