The Betrayal of Judas – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education
Well. What would scholarship on gnostic christianity be without a heavy dose of intrigue, sketchy antiquities dealers, and boiling academic contention? lulz.
The article raises an interesting larger issue though, which is what happens when you commodify scholarship. When a researcher has corporate sponsors who want to profit from the results of research, it decreases the likelihood that what the researcher delivers is detached, thorough, rigorous and objective.
The value of research as a science is cheapened by putting a monetary price on its head.
The problem here, I suppose, is partly greed, but also the refusal of those legitimate academic publishing companies to deal with any unproven artifact, like this Gospel of Judas.
This is why it was National Geographic who published the Gospel of Judas, and not the same guy who did the standard edition of the Nag Hammadi manuscript; thus, there would be less sensationalism and none of the sloppy translating which marred the Gospel of Judas manuscript.
The shady Indiana-Jones-style-antiquities market isn’t going to go away, no matter how much the academics whine about it, nor how much governments try to eliminate it. (And haven’t we seen something of this sort in the pharmaceutical industry or the climate change issue, as well?) Something like the Gospel of Judas manuscript is too precious to allow its exclusion from serious academic editing and translating because it does not really have a legitimate pedigree.
Let’s all remember that bastards are members of the family also.