Marvin Meyer, who has died aged 64, was an expert on Gnosticism whose translation of the Gnostic Gospel of Judas challenged the traditional portrayal of Judas Iscariot as the Apostle who betrayed Jesus.
I am delighted to see The Telegraph honouring Marvin Meyer's life and work by publishing an obituary, but unfortunately, there are some rather sweeping generalisations and questionable elements in the piece, including the following:
The Gnostic Gospels are a collection of about 52 texts supposedly based upon the teachings of prophets and spiritual leaders, including Jesus, written from the 2nd to the 4th century AD.The number "52" is the number of tractates found among the Nag Hammadi codices, not all of which are "Gnostic" and not all of which are "Gospels". Moreover there are "Gnostic Gospels" not found among the Nag Hammadi codices. The obituary goes on to mention Nag Hammadi but appears unclear about how these things line up. The following is also not entirely accurate:
These writings offer profoundly differing accounts of the life and death of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Philip, for example, ridicules the virgin birth and Christ’s bodily resurrection; The Apocalypse of Paul also claims that Christ’s rise from the dead was spiritual, not physical; The Gospel of Mary suggests a sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.The idea that the Gospel of Mary suggests a sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is false.
Most of the piece is devoted to the controversy over the Gospel of Judas, with a couple of paragraphs of obituary proper at the end. It is a shame that The Telegraph did not think to fact-check its obituary before publication. The kind of confusion found in the piece does not honour the work of a fine scholar.
Update (Saturday 25th): It's worse. The piece is in fact plagiarized.