Do Reports Like This Threaten the Gospel’s Validity?

Today, while I was going through my email, I found a link to a newspaper article. Here is the title of the article:

Historian says piece of papyrus refers to Jesus’ wife.                                                                                                                 Discovery likely to reignite debate over Mary Magdalene                                                                                                                      and women’s role in Christianity’

I went to the article, and this kind of stuff is really not new to me. A couple of years ago, we all learned about the da Vinci Code. Then the Gospel of Judas reappeared. Someone claimed to find a box near Jerusalem that may have had Jesus’ bones in it. There are underlying concepts throughout our culture that would like us to believe that the Bible oppresses women, and the Mary Magdalene was really an apostle, but the church stuffed it way down because she was a woman. Then there are the Gnostic Gospels, and other extra ‘gospels’ that have some way out tales about Jesus. The list goes on and on.

But it is no surprise to us because Jesus told us to expect these things. After Jesus had died and was buried in the tomb, then risen again, people were paid a lot of money to tell others that His disciples stole His body. Normally, the guards would have been killed if someone broke in and stole a body, but they made an exception in this case.

If you were to read the article in the newspaper about how this Historian refers to the papyrus about Jesus having a wife, you might be wondering what that is all about. The piece of papyrus was written in the fourth century, and it is smaller than a business card. It reads on one line, “”Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'” and on a line underneath it, ““she will be able to be my disciple.” Now I have looked at the Gospel of Judas and as I analyzed it, I realized how different the Jesus in that Gospel was, than the Jesus in the Bible. There wasn’t very much on that one either, but the Jesus had a different personality than the Jesus in the Bible (one example was that when the disciples didn’t understand a concept He was teaching, He made fun of them in the Gospel of Judas). Of course, the whole concept of the Gospel of Judas was very different than the Gospel as found in the Bible.

But here is the point I want to make about all this; If you can understand the whole theme of the Bible, and what God intended to communicate to human beings through His Word, you will have a clear perspective on this whole issue. I am not a good reader, and I have to read through something many times before I ‘get it’. But I ‘get’ the meaning of the theme of the Bible. If you take the whole book and summarize its meaning, here is what it is: A holy, perfect, uncreated, powerful being created human beings and a place for them to live on. They were created to have unbroken relationship with this True Creator and are subject to Him. This Sovereign Being also created angelic beings in the spiritual realm. Some of these angelic beings (which are also created beings) rebelled and sinned against this holy Creator. Not only did they sin, but one of the highest angelic beings called Satan, or Lucifer, pulled the human race into rebellion and darkness, and away from this holy God. Everything that God created was perfect in the beginning, and now was ruined because of an evil, angelic trick. But the Creator is all-knowing and had already in mind what He was going to do to redeem this lost human race. Throughout the Old Testament, God gave messages to people about One He would send to be used to restore mankind to Himself. Many prophecies were given to the people, and when God sent His Son, Jesus, many of these prophecies were fulfilled. Others are going to be fulfilled in the future. God has been active in various ways on this earth, and plans to reconcile mankind to Himself.

Here is the bottom line; If the Bible is true, and a continuous story from beginning to end of God’s working in specific ways to redeem mankind, all the false gospels don’t make any sense. If they were true, then all the things God did in the Bible were in vain. So, which is more powerful and realistic? A god that doesn’t really have any consistency or direction with his creation, or, a true and living God who has always kept His Word, and will return one day to judge the earth? If you look at the description of the god of the Gnostic gospels, you would see a god, who in many ways, is like the Roman or Greek gods in Greek/Roman mythology. If they are really God, that is sad. They are not omnipresent. They are not omniscient. They are not omnipotent. They do not have the ability to create life. They are not sovereign.

Throughout History, Satan has always come up with counterfeit ‘gods’. One of them was called, ‘Baal’. There was a contest between the True God, and Baal. The prophets of Baal would dance around and try to get Baal to respond, but nothing happened. But the true and living God, did respond. 1 Kings 18:26 “And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.” But, here is what happened to the sacrifice that was made to the True and living God, “Hear me (Elijah speaking), O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”

This ‘Baal’ god was around throughout the Old Testament, for many years. Perhaps this ‘god’ is like the one presented in the Gospel of Judas. There are many types of false gods and idols throughout the world and throughout all generations. But again, the point is that, if these ‘gods’ are the ones that are all powerful, then the whole story of the Bible is in vain, and Jesus died for no reason. If the true and living God is really holy, and will judge mankind individually for each of their sins, and He really provided for our sins, then do these stories about Jesus having a wife, or, Mary Magdalene being an apostle really make any sense? Either we have sinned against a holy, all-powerful God and will be judged for our sins, and can be redeemed by the death of His Son, or, the best we have for deity is these puny weak ‘gods’ that won’t really matter what we do. If they are the highest power, then I guess this is all we have. But if they are not the highest beings, then we need to pay attention and listen to what the true and living God has said to us in His word. He is for us and has paid a high price for us to be reconciled to Him. But He will never force us to turn to Him. We have to choose to respond to Him personally. For more information, go to http://test4gp.wordpress.com, or, http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com .

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49075679/ns/technology_and_science-the_new_york_times/#.UFqKFI7xF8t

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