Indiana Jones Gets Busted
Just like in the movie, it looks like Dr. Jones (aka Marv Meyer) got caught trying to make the switch.
Marv Meyer teaches at Chapman. He considers himself a modern day Indiana Jones of ideas, or at least he dresses like one.
Meyer was one of the translators of the Gospel of Judas. I took his class last fall (Images of Jesus) in which he spent much time spinning webs of fantasy, trying to get students to imagine the possibility that Jesus isn’t so much an historical person, but rather, he is whatever we want him to be. I wrote a Tribute to Marv Meyer while in the class.
It looks like he has been caught red-handed though. Apparently his translation is not so much accurate, as it is inaccurate. Not so much scholarly as it is unscholarly.
Someone decided to actually check his translation of the Gospel of Judas, and here is what she found:
Several of the translation choices made by the society’s scholars fall well outside the commonly accepted practices in the field. For example, in one instance the National Geographic transcription refers to Judas as a “daimon,” which the society’s experts have translated as “spirit.” Actually, the universally accepted word for “spirit” is “pneuma ” — in Gnostic literature “daimon” is always taken to mean “demon.”
Likewise, Judas is not set apart “for” the holy generation, as the National Geographic translation says, he is separated “from” it. He does not receive the mysteries of the kingdom because “it is possible for him to go there.” He receives them because Jesus tells him that he can’t go there, and Jesus doesn’t want Judas to betray him out of ignorance. Jesus wants him informed, so that the demonic Judas can suffer all that he deserves.
Perhaps the most egregious mistake I found was a single alteration made to the original Coptic. According to the National Geographic translation, Judas’s ascent to the holy generation would be cursed. But it’s clear from the transcription that the scholars altered the Coptic original, which eliminated a negative from the original sentence. In fact, the original states that Judas will “not ascend to the holy generation.” To its credit, National Geographic has acknowledged this mistake, albeit far too late to change the public misconception.