As the findings [of Gnostic gospels] have trickled down to churches and universities, they have produced a new generation of Christians who now regard the Bible not as the literal word of God, but as a product of historical and political forces that determined which texts should be included in the canon, and which edited out.
For that reason, the discoveries have proved deeply troubling for many believers. The Gospel of Judas portrays Judas Iscariot not as a betrayer of Jesus, but as his most favored disciple and willing collaborator.
The utter inability of the NYT to understand the import of this discovery is just amazing. Although elsewhere in the article, the authors seem to grasp that this "gospel" is a product of the second or third century AD/CE, they push the idea that somehow it provides information about the first century AD/CE and the historical Jesus.
And then the idea that some gospels were "edited out" of the canon — ! I run into this idea all the time among the uneducated, but to find the American newspaper of record buying into it is just annoying. Do they get all their information from Dan Brown?
I suppose it bears repeating: (1) none of the Gnostic gospels, which date from at least a century after the time of Christ, have any credible claim to provide evidence about the historical Jesus; (2) none of the early New Testament canons ever included any gnostic Gospels, therefore those Gospels could not have been "edited out"; (2) any theological perspective held by grown-ups on the formation of the canon should be able to accommodate both the governing hand of God and the presence of "historical and political forces."