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Worldly gain of Nat’l Geographic & Gospel writers compared

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–“National Geographic’s promotion of their costly manuscript acquisition and television program, ‘The gospel of Judas,’ is one of the most deceptive and brazen attempts to profit from the general public’s unawareness of early church history since, well, ‘The Da Vinci Code,’” seminary professor Fred M. Williams III said in a statement to Baptist Press.

Williams, associate professor of history and languages at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., observed that the promoters of the gospel of Judas and The Da Vinci Code imply that the Gospel writers had something to gain either financially or otherwise in their eyewitness accounts of Jesus Christ.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Williams responded. “The only expectation that the New Testament Gospel writers — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — and their followers had was exclusion from the polytheistic society of their day, fear of persecution from those misunderstanding the Christian message, or torture and death from the Roman authorities if they were identified.”

Referencing Irenaeus (130-200 A.D.), a disciple of Polycarp who sat at the feet of the Apostle John, Williams said, “Irenaeus was aware of, and described the contents of, the gospel of Judas just as it is being described by the National Geographic Society today. Irenaeus said that it was a product of a cult known as the Cainites who deliberately honored every wicked figure in the Bible so as to promote their own immoral lifestyle. The Cainites considered the God who created the world as evil and Satan as good.

“Obviously, they would especially glorify the traitor Judas,” Williams said. “We have known all this for more than 1,800 years.

“Why is the National Geographic Society promoting this as the most sensational and important archeological find in the last 60 years?” the professor asked. “Obviously, National Geographic has a lot more to gain financially from all this than Matthew, Mark, Luke and John ever did.”

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