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Letter to the Editor: Ancient texts offer much for discussion

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

To the editor:

While I am sympathetic with John Rice's views on Darbyism, I must take issue with his perpetuating Dan Brown's misrepresentation of the Gospel of Philip. Brown's claim that "companion" means wife in Aramaic is erroneous but irrelevant since the gospel is a Coptic translation of a Greek text. Jesus kisses Mary, but the text does not say where. Philip considers kissing a spiritual means of conception rather than the physical means which it rejects as worldly and thus everyone kisses everyone (58-59). If the love between Jesus and Mary Magdalene was marital love, does not the disciples' question "Why do you love her more than all of us?" (64) become absurd? Peter is jealous of Mary in the Gospel of Mary because she has "gnosis," knowledge, from Jesus that he does not have. Let us not forget Peter's attack on Mary at the close of the Gospel of Thomas where Jesus says he will lead her to become a male so "she too may become a living spirit resembling you males (114)." Physical experience was rejected as evil by the Gnostic perspectives as clearly taught in the newly found Gospel of Judas. Dan Brown does not only violate the teachings of orthodox Christianity, he also does violence to the teachings of the Gnostic perspectives to which he appeals.

Anyone interested in discussing these issues is welcome to join the conversation at Christ Episcopal Church at 7 p.m. May 25.

KERRY H. WYNN, Cape Girardeau