Youv’e heard of The DaVinci Code, right? It is a fiction (MEANING NOT TRUE!) novel of centuries of killings and coverups in the Catholic Church woven around a mystery story. It is now a movie coming out soon and the Catholic Church is calling on it’s adhearents to boycott this film, and why not? The Catholilc Church has NEVER used intimidation and violence to cover up the truth (*cough* Gallileo*cough*) and wouldn’t do anything wrong like hide pedophile priests by sending them to Newfoundland. Do I have to point out the sarcasm? Thought not…
So with DaVinci mania going wild, there are a slew of specials and books, both new and old investigating the mysteries the book has dragged up. They range from the kind-of-obvious-if-you-really-think-about-it (Jesus had at leas one brother) to the shocking (Mary Magdalene was not a hooker, but a rich patron of Jesus who was his confidant/lover/wife/baby’s mother) to the uttery ridiculous (The Merovignian Kings of France were descendants of Jesus). These are nothing new. In the 80’s the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (who tried to sue Dan Brown) brought these theories forth. They got it from various sources themselves. People have been questioning Biblical "Facts" for years. Was something lost or removes centuries ago?
There were more books or Gospels written than is in the New Testment Bible. Some say about 100. Two of them that have recently resurfaced have been The Gospel of St Thomas and the Gospal of Judas. The books included in the first Bible were chosen by the Roman founders of the Catholic Church at the Council of Nicea. Why certain books were chosen and others were not is not clear. Some say it was the language it was written in. It may have been the Church founders wanted a consistant theme or tone to Christ’s teachings. Or it could be that some of the books were way out there. The Gospal of Thomas had a rather misogynistic tone in some parts, as other books of the bible have. But maybe the line "For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven" gave the wrong image. Heaven is a all-male sausage fest? Doesn’t sound like heaven to me…
One of the qualifiers of the authentic Bible was what language the original was written in. To be considered, the work must be in Aramiac. Other works in Latin, Greek or Egyptian are considered apocryphical or not offical cannon. A few of them may have been Gnostic, a competing religion that stoled many of Christianity’s themes and game them a mystic flair. Some say a few passages in the Bible may have Gnostic orgins. It is possible that some of these lost bible had an Aramaic original that was lost when many of these books were ordered destroyed.
Another factor to consider is that all of these books were hand written and translated over the centuries. Many of the books, especially in the old testament probably started as oral tales passed on over the years. Things could have been added or dropped. As well, they were translated into different languages. These translations were not the best quality and many times were altered to account for personal tastes. So if the gospels went from Aramaic to Greek to Latin and then to Middle English fifteen centuries later, there was bound to be some editing. Especially since it was all done by hand. No matter how divine the source, human error would have made some mark on it. Add different Christains sect picking out certain passages that they don’t like (The Roman Catholic Bible have more books than the other Chirstian sects as they dropped some. The Mormons added a book!) and one has to admit that somethings may have been changes, both intentional and accidental.
What does it all mean? Nothing. Faith can be a good thing if it does not affect common sense. For all the condemnation and finger wagging, the main message (IMHO) of Jesus was, roughly, "Be nice to each other, okay?" Let God worry about entry into his kingdom (be it a Gospel of Thomas all-boys club or not), just make the world a better place. Please. That is the best was of keeping the teachings of Jesus.