The media now has a new meme. Thanks to the Gospel of Judas and The Da Vinci Code, every ancient religious writing discovered, rediscovered, reimagined, etc. is now cause for an attack against Christianity.
An archaeologist in Greece believes new imaging and scanning techniques can add about 10-20 percent of new text to mid-4th century B.C. philosophical treatise on ancient religions called the Derveni papyrus.
The text is said to focus on the Orphesus cult which “raised the notion of a single creator god.”
I’m sure you are wondering how a story on a book that was written at least 300 years before Jesus was even born could possible yield an attack on Christianity. Actually using the new ancient text media meme, it’s not too difficult at all.
First, make some connection to the Gospel of Judas and expand on the document. For this story, the imaging and scanning techniques proposed for Derveni papyrus are the same ones used for the Gospel of Judas. Capitalizing on the moment, the AP reminds us that the writing “portrays Judas not as a sinister betrayer but as Jesus’ confidant.”
Second, work to show Christianity as a fluid religion – changing constantly even from the beginning while being shaped and formed from earlier religions.
The AP quotes the archaeologist, Polyxeni Veleni, about how this writing and the Orphesus cult relates to Christianity. “In a way it was a precursor of Christianity. Orphism believed that man’s salvation depended on his knowledge of the truth.”
For starters, the position of “precursor of Christianity” has already been filled – it’s called Judaism. Secondly, the cult sounds more like gnosticism (here we are at the Gospel of Judas again) than Christianity.
Gnostics were the Christian heretics that taught salvation was obtained by knowledge of a secret truth. Their entire belief system was based on and named for the pursuit of knowledge.
This find has absolutely nothing to do with Christanity, yet somehow the AP manages to attempt to discredit it. I’m waiting on the AP’s story on how some newly discovered ancient documents shed a disturbing light on the prophet Mohammed and the Koran.