Prof. April DeConick who holds a Chair in Biblical Studies at Rice University, has taken the gloves off on her Blog Forbidden Gospels, in discussing further aspects of the “Gospel of Judas” story that broke on the news scene with such aplomb last April, 2006. In her most recent post she has raised the question as to whether the National Geographic Society violated the Society of Biblical Literature 1991 resolution on releasing new documents? This resolution came as a result of the delays in releasing complete photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls. I was present at that SBL meeting and voted for the resolution, as one of those scholars who had worked on and published some of the unreleased materials. Earlier this week in a separate post Dr. DeConick asked why National Geographic has not released facsimile photos of the relevant manuscripts of the Judas Gospel as promised, while she questions the entire process of non-disclosure and secrecy surrounding the Judas Gospel story.
Things should be quite interesting at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Diego, November 17-20th. There is a Saturday afternoon session devoted to the Gospel of Judas at which DeConick will present a paper outlining her interpretation of the text and all the principal experts will surely be there, including formal responses from Elaine Pagels and Karen King. There is also a gargantuan Book Panel on Monday night in which no less than ten authors of books on the Gospel of Judas (including Ehrman, Meyer, Pagels, King, Wright, Robinson, and DeConick) will square off face to face in what promises to be quite a fascinating mix of views and approaches. Full details on the SBL annual meeting, membership, and registration are at the SBL Web site, and the program is on-line and can be searched.
Speaking of the SBL annual meeting, I will be giving a paper reviewing Prof. Jane Schaberg’s book, Resurrection of Mary Magdalene, that I have previously featured on this Blog under the title The Resurrection of Mary Madgalene.