The "Gospel" of Judas

Orthodoxy isn’t in too much of an uproar over this one either. ‘Been there, done that.’ Fr. John Behr, from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, says the difference between the so-called gnostic gospels and The Gospels is that the latter proclaim Christ “according to the scriptures,” ie, the Old Testament, as St. Paul and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed say. This quote is from his article “Scripture, the Gospel, and Orthodoxy”:

To help elucidate the relationship between Christ, the Gospel, and Scripture, Irenaeus employs a series of literary or rhetorical terms. One of Irenaeus’ favorite terms is recapitulation. According to Quintilian, a first century Roman rhetorican, “recapitulation” is a literary technique by which a whole case, argument or narrative is summarized as an epitome, so that its overall impression can be much greater or more forceful. It is in this sense that Paul uses the term in Rom 13:9:

The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not kill,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”.

That is, the New Testament is a recapitulation of the Old Testament; it is not itself a new revelation, but an epitome making clear what had previously been obscure. And it is precisely in this way, and in reference to this passage, that Irenaeus explains that the apostles have provided us with a resume or epitome which recapitulates the prolixity of the law, fulfilling what had been spoken of in Isaiah 10:22-3 (quoted in Rom 9:28), “God will complete and cut short His Word in righteousness, for God will make a concise Word in all the world”. For Irenaeus, the recapitulation effected by the Word of God in His incarnation, is effected by God through the apostles and their concise word: what the apostles proclaimed about Christ is, as we have seen, made up of the texture of the Scriptures {ie, the OT}, no longer proclaimed in the obscurity of types and prophecies, but clearly and concisely, in a resume. In the Gospel, the apostolic preaching recapitulating Scripture in an epitome, the incomprehensible and invisible Word has become visible and comprehensible. The “fables” can now be seen as types and prophecies, having been brought to light, retrospectively, by the cross. The prolix word of God is summarized in the Gospel, which recapitulates the whole in a concise Word.


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