Bring the dramatic music up and under, show ancient Christian art and symbols, and cue the narrator (with deep voice) to say, "100% of light-work personnel and resources (pictured at left) have recently been devoted to the controversial fifth gospel project. Compelling evidence has been painstakingly assembled in the light-work information vault pertaining to the existence of an authentic 'fifth gospel.' Below are key excerpts from the full report filed by DJ, 'The Light Beaver.'
NOTE: Before we cut to the Beave, let me issue a disclaimer! I am sick of all the "much ado about nothing" baloney served up on TV "documentaries" and books heralding "startling new discoveries" concerning Jesus and the Gospels. National Geographic is touting The Gospel of Judas as the "lost gospel. Then there is all the fawning over the Gospel of Thomas, which some have dubbed the fifth gospel. Enough already! The audacious claims are just about creating buzz and getting viewers. (Maybe you are reading this post because of "fifth gospel" in the title! So I guess it works!!)
The tripe actually seems convincing, leaving people uneasy about their faith. But it's dependent on style over substance. So, let me adopt the same approach, and note what happens. We have a REALLY LIMITED BUDGET here at light-work, so you will have to "screen" our production in your imagination. The narration for the first segment is in the four paragraphs below where the "Light-Beaver" logos are bookends. So go ahead and cue up your favorite "solve the mystery" music, cut to the "Light-Beaver" logo, and let's head to the catacombs where "Beave" is taking a break from his candlelit manuscript to look directly at the viewer and say...
In a seemingly enigmatic statement made scant hours before His death, Jesus declared to His inner circle, "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now" (John 16:12). This was the first "bread crumb" that light-work staff spotted and thus began our amazing journey. Did Jesus communicate these "many more things." When? How? And what was it about the disciples that rendered them unsuitable as recipients of this information? The stubborn persistence of these questions would not release us. We took the bait, picked up the trail, and soon found ourselves on the beach of western Asia Minor. (Note from the Producers: Now picture a nice Mediterranean beach resort.)
A second bread crumb was snatched from the carpet at a meeting place in a second-rate ancient seaport called Miletus. Here the first century history-buff named Luke recorded a speech by the Apostle Paul. And in the transcript of this speech, Paul quotes Jesus as saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." To the untrained eye, this might not pique any interest. But light beavers are trained professionals and our interest was REALLY piqued! This was one of those "eureka" moments. There would have been plenty of high-fives all around if our staff were not one less than ten (in binary)! Now we knew the bread crumbs were not just, well, bread crumbs. They were actually taking us somewhere.
Paul's quotation is not found ANYWHERE in the four gospels. This means that there is MORE that Jesus said than what is recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Now we knew without doubt that the fifth gospel exists. Now that our sinews were charged with such invigorating certainty, a trail of occasional bread crumbs became a tumbling cascade of data dominoes leading to places like Athens and Rome. (From the Producers: Picture cool scenes from Athens and Rome. Then picture the stacks of an ancient and dusty library.)
In the ancient preface to a book compiled for an unknown Roman, we hit pay dirt. The book in question is the concluding volume of a two-part historical account. It was written for one "Theophilus," presumably a high ranking government official and patron with an interest in the origins of Christianity. In the preface we read, "The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach" (Acts 1:1). The author of this account, as it turns out, is none other than our doctor who digs history, Luke! And the implications of his statement are PROFOUND! The Gospel of Luke is his "first account." It recounts what Jesus BEGAN to do and teach. Hence, his second volume, the book of Acts, is about what Jesus CONTINUED to do and teach. Yes, of course. This makes perfect sense! But what does it mean? How could Jesus continue to teach when He was not physically present on planet earth? What possible alteration of the space/time continuum could make this possible. Is everything we ever believed about anything all a hoax?? More questions with a perfectly reasonable answer that we will TOTALLY IGNORE . . . after the break!
Then the screen goes black as we cut to commercial, having hooked you with unanswered and seemingly disturbing questions.
(Sigh! Sooooo much ado about nothing!) There is an elegantly simple and perfectly obvious solution to this BIG PROBLEM. I will tell you about it next week. Death to the light-beaver!