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Divine inspiration

But in all these controversies, the rather liberal reaction of the Church, and the Christian masses, has been quite a relief.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 01:35 IST

We have to either admire the Church, or sympathise with it. In the last week, there have been three enlightening incidents that hint at the fact that the Gospel truth may, in fact, be a string of fabrications, or at best, not entirely authentic. The Gospel of Judas-- apparently the work of the gnostics, considered heretics in their times-- insists that he had served his master loyally even in his death. Scientists studying prehistoric lakes say Jesus Christ was no Superstar; he was walking on ice rather than water. And with Dan Brown cleared of plagiarism charges, there will be many more readers willing to believe that Mary Magdalene was, in fact, Jesus’s wife and was not given her rightful place in the Bible.

But in all these controversies, the rather liberal reaction of the Church, and the Christian masses, has been quite a relief. Considering that the new findings are seen as some to question the very legitimacy of the New Testament-- that, too, at a time when religion increasingly carries political overtones-- the Church could very well have cried heresy. Its unemotional attitude to what is, in a sense, an expression of opinion, is worth emulating by fire-eaters of other faiths who are ever ready to swing the sword or lathi at every perceived slight.

But then, doubting Thomases are not new to the Church. There have already been endless debates on the choice of certain texts that have been included in the New Testament over others, and there will be many more as the conflict between science and faith increases. But not to go on a crusade during these times needs a dash of divine intervention.