Gospel of Judas

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by truthseeker, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. truthseeker

    truthseeker Well-Known Member

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    Hello all!

    So how about this 'Gospel of Judas'?

    According to the Los Angeles Times, the manuscript, which scientists date to the year 300, is an account of conversations between Jesus and Judas in the last week of their lives - conversations in which Jesus is said to have shared religious secrets not known by the other disciples.
    The manuscript lay hidden in the Egyptian desert for nearly 1700 years. It was discovered by looters in the 1970's and taken out of the country. An antiquities dealer locked it away in a safe deposit box in New York where it rapidly deteriorated. It was sold in 2000, and restoration efforts began soon after.
    Futhermore, the manuscript is a copy of the original Greek text translated into the Coptic language by a professional Gnostic scribe. It says that Judas did not betray Jesus, as portrayed in the Gospels, but that Judas 'handed Jesus over' as Jesus requested he do.

    Judas was pretty important in the Gospels, eh? I mean other than being the ultimate betrayer. Strangely enough, that is all I remember about Judas. This manuscript describes Judas as Jesus' most personal disciple. Is it possible for Christians to view Judas in a positive light? National Geographic should be airing the story of the manuscript on Sunday.
     
  2. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I knew this was coming...I just didn't expect you to present it. :eek: ;)
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    This should be no surprise to you or anyone, and Jesus is quoted as saying (cryptically), "what so ever you do, do quickly". That was recorded in the other Gospels, though none could explain what that meant except that Jesus already knew what Judas would do...and was giving Judas the go-ahead.

    Whether that was by Godly insight, or human pre-staging...remains to be seen.

    But the question left un-answered is why then would Judas commit suicide, if he were doing exactly as his God was instructing him to do? Unless, he never committed suicide, or he was never told by Jesus to do what he did...

    hmmmm
     
  4. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel demned elusive

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    Don't you think that even if Jesus had wanted Judas to betray him, Judas would still be feeling pretty guilty about it? Especially if he was Jesus' closest disciple all along. The closest I can come up with to a modern human comparison is this: suppose your wife were deathly ill and on life support (but still conscious). Suppose she were in terrible pain with no chance of relief or cure, and begged you to unplug her and let her die. You know it's what she wants, you know it's probably also the best thing for her, you know if you did you'd be doing her a favor and giving her peace, but wouldn't you feel horribly guilty at the thought of actually doing it? And if you did, after she was gone you'd probably be wracked with self-doubt as to whether that really was the best decision, or whether you understood her correctly, or whether she really did mean it. In such a situation, I sure would want to kill myself.

    I've always, even when I was still a devout Christian, interpreted it that Judas was a good guy and doing what Jesus sent him to do, even against his own will. In the last supper, where the disciples ask him who will betray him, and he says something like, "It is the one who reaches into the pot together with me," and then his hand brushes against Judas' as they both reach for some food at the same time, and Judas says, "Surely not me, Lord?" That's often interpreted as being said in a slimy, oily, phony, self-satisfied voice.

    But look, the Bible itself doesn't give any indication as to Judas' tone of voice, body language, facial expression when he says that. It could just as easily have been said in earnest - when their hands touch, Judas freezes, horrified, as he remembers what Jesus said about who will betray him. No, not him - how could he ever be expected to betray his beloved master? He looks up slowly, with a stricken, drawn expression, meets Jesus' eyes, begging Him to give some indication that He didn't really mean it. "Surely not me, Lord?" he whispers. For a long moment Jesus says nothing, only looking at Judas with the utmost compassion. "What you must do, do quickly," he says, turning away, knowing the pain this is causing his faithful disciple. At first Judas can't move - then he rushes out before the other disciples see the tears beginning to stream down his cheeks.

    Coulda happened - the Bible kind of leaves it open to interpretation.
     
  5. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I don't know Scarlet. I'm going to have to read that particular Gospel to see what it is all about. I do know that I personally never looked at Judas as a bad person, just a troubled one who had ideas of his own, on how things should be, and as a result of his pushing the issue, his friend and Lord died.

    Good intentions pave the way...
     
  6. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    I know I've posted this link before, but I am such a JCS fan. :) It really is the story of Judas.

    Heaven on Their Mind

    cheers,
    lunamoth
     
  7. Chezz

    Chezz Established Member

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  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Certainly it could make an interesting addition to NT Apocrypha.

    Not sure it's going to contribute much, though, to our understanding of the Gospels, as much as the state of early Christianity before canonisation.

    I'm sure we'll see some groups jump on it as a "definitive history" though, the moment it detracts from the NT.
     
  9. Chezz

    Chezz Established Member

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    hi,

    can someone eplain to me thier interpretation of what this means.

    Jesus said, “[Come], that I may teach you about [secrets] no person [has] ever seen. For there exists a great and boundless realm, whose extent no generation of angels has seen, [in which] there is [a] great invisible [Spirit], which no eye of an angel has ever seen, no thought of the heart has ever comprehended, and it was never called by any name.

    can this mean that Jesus took judas to the realm of the Gods of God?
    and jesus was somehow able to connect to this?
     
  10. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel demned elusive

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    Maybe I need to get out more, but I'm really excited about watching it tonight!

    I've noticed that the Dutch NG and Discovery Channel air things much later than the American counterparts - I think it's cool that this is being shown on the same day on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Like I said, maybe I need to get out more. :rolleyes:
     
  11. didymus

    didymus Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am definitely going to watch that program tonight. If one comes from the school of thought that Jesus knew he would be sent to his death to fulfill OT prophecies then it would make sense that he needed someone to give him up. Jesus seemed to pay special attention to the prophecies of Zechariah; triumphal entry, descendant of David would be pierced and killed and followers scattered and passage of the Messiah being compared to the good shepard that would be sold 30 shekels. One can speculate that these prophecies were not fulfilled coincidentally but deliberately by Jesus. in fact the mentioned on several occasions that such and such was being done to fulfill prophecy.
     
  12. Postmaster

    Postmaster Well-Known Member

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    Just watched the documentary! It is a Gnostic gospel, means it was wrote at a later date to the 4 selected we have and it also means it had other influences, especially meaning that there virtue came from knowledge, so they would say something that would make more sense (God is mysterious). Know wonder it was considered heretical and it contradicted the earlier popular gospels.
     
  13. Ratanya

    Ratanya Member

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    Bishop Ireniaus (sic?) mentions the 'Gospel of Judas' and I am sure he associated it to the Gnostics. Assuming he had actual knowledge of it's existance would date the Gospel of Judas to be at least be earlier than 200AD when he died.
     
  14. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel demned elusive

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    No, they even said in the program that we have no way of knowing when it was composed, it's just that the copy they've found dates from around the 3rd century AD. It, like any of the 30-some gospels the program made reference to, may very well have existed as an oral tradition dating from not long after the crucifixion.
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    In the book the Judas Papers...which my sister pre-empted my buying it by purchasing it for me....it represents that the book was written around 120...the rest being written between 60-110...

    In one of the Gospels, at the last supper Judas was given the bread (the body, the material flesh, earthly understanding) yet not the wine (the blood, everlasting life, spiritual understanding). Does this indicate a knowing by Jesus that Judas could not understand the spiritual metaphysical significance of the events...and he sent him off to do his duty, ie the betrayal...

    Would still explain his suicide...tis a tough job for anyone to do, could be Jesus thought he could handle it.

    Another theory out there is the warrior messiah king Jesus...yes he fullfilled the prophecies intentionally, yes he told them to go get the ass...and his followers were the army to come take back the holy land...with the disciples as generals...
    -I come to fulfill the law
    -if you don't have a sword sell your possessions and buy one
    -tipping over the tables required an army to not have the money changers and people at the bazaar flipping out on Jesus..(can you imagine someone running in on the folks running a numbers racquet, or loan sharking...w/o major backup?)
    -Peter slicing off an ear...how would he get away with that w/o backup, where was his prosecution? Why would Pilate bring over 600 of the elite soldiers to arrest a peaceful messiah?

    So as the theory goes Judas and other disciples were a little upset when they found out Jesus decided to be the sacrificial lamb, martyr messiah and not bring them back to what they were preparing for...

    I have barely looked at the Judas Papers....all the above is conjecture which was previous to this thought being added...will read and add more...

    but I think about Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Thomas Keating...in any three years of teaching these guys wrote hundreds of pages...gave hundreds of speeches and had thousands of pages written about them...and we base all of Jesus work on very few pages, out of 66 books...seems obvious there is more written somewhere of value to increase our limited understanding of this man...and tis a true shame we have nothing that was actually written by him or even during his lifetime...or within 3 decades of his life on earth!
     
  16. truthseeker

    truthseeker Well-Known Member

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    I downloaded the English translation of the Gospel of Judas and read it over the weekend. Interesting, in it being such a turnaround from the canonical Gospels. I watched most of the program aired on National Geographic last night and I found that to be quite interesting as well.

    I believe that Jesus had too much insight into the hearts of men to select one to dwell among his most inside group (his 12) that would ultimately betray him. It isn't far fetched for me to understand that Jesus would assign Judas the task of 'handing him over' to be martyred. Isn't the passion the very act that Christians value most? Would Christianity be what it is were it not for the Roman execution? Jesus seemed to have an intimate relationship with each of his disciples, on their individual level of understanding - that is what makes the gospels, even those outside of the canons, different.

    Now I must say that what I read blew my mind. But I'm not to quick to throw it out because it is illogical to think that it would be in Jesus' character to pick a man to be in his inner circle, all the while looking at him sideways because he knew that he was evil and would ultimately betray him.

    And the codex that is being fussed over right now is a copy. The first heard of a Gospel of Judas was supposed to be in 180 AD. This copy was written in 320 AD, give or take 50 years according to the carbon dating.
     
  17. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Interesting stuff. The thing that strikes me about this topic is that it seems to focus on political maneuverings of Jesus, which falls entirely out of the sphere of what I am willing to believe about Jesus. I can't believe that Jesus would have an army or literally encourage his disciples to carry swords. By the same token, a Jesus who spent any amount of his time strategically fulfilling prophecies rather than teaching profound spiritual truths is incredibly disappointing. The idea that he would select someone to be among his disciples whose main purpose would be to betray him--again to fulfill some prophesy, if I am to understand correctly(?)--seems way out-of-sync with Jesus as a spiritual teacher. Why would someone who was concerned with encouraging people to love one another engage in such manipulative, shifty behavior? The myth of Jesus that I carry in my heart is not one of a politician or military commander; indeed, those were the people who would feel threatened by his candid, simple, speak-truth-to-power approach.
     
  18. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi, and Peace to All Here--

    What seems most important to me is whether a manuscript, canonical or not, changes the purpose of the message as a whole. I often think upon what Quahom said one time--it isn't the writers of the Bible that bother him so much, but the editors! In regard to the Judas manuscript, I think that if we are so inclined to read it, then we must read very carefully and prayerfully and decide for ourselves.:)

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  19. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Inlove! Great to see a post from you. :)

    lunamoth
     
  20. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Thanks, luna--it is good to be posting:).
     

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