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Author Topic: The newfound Judas Gospel  (Read 4090 times)
Dincrest
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« on: April 29, 2006, 10:06:50 AM »

http://www9.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/gospel/index.html

This is big.  EDIT:  Maybe not as big as I initially, thought, but it did make me go "whoa!"

After reading that article, I did have a few a-ha moments where things I sometimes questioned seemed to make sense.  

Discuss.
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Cauton
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2006, 11:14:27 AM »

Meh. This will, in the long run, have just as much impact as The Gospel of Mary Magdelene. In other words, none. Seems like these ancient texts are found once in a while, and for a small amount of time there's a big hoopla over them, and then everything just goes back to normal again.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2006, 02:51:43 PM »

True, a lot of people may end up being nonplussed by this either citing this is a false gospel or ignoring it because "gnostic texts have no bearing on the reality of Christianity" (which IMO is B.S. because to deny gnosticism is like denying one's birth or childhood) but I think this is a different case than the gospel of Mary, because of the role Judas played.  

Judas sold Jesus out.  He's a traitor.  Yet this newfound text paints a part of the story that Judas did Jesus' bidding by selling him out and having him killed.  Judas was thus forever cursed and is one of the most universally hated figures worldwide, yet this text posits that he wasn't the evil, rotten traitor everyone thinks he is, but rather the most ardent and devoted disciple.  

If this gospel turns out to be true, it could possibly signify the rewriting of history.
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Cauton
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2006, 03:11:03 PM »

See, here you come upon a new problem - how can it ever be proven if this new "gospel" is true? Sure, they might be able to prove that the text dates back to a few centuries after Jesus' death, but that's pretty much all they can ever prove. There is no solid evidence that can ever be found that will prove or disapprove the account of the Judas Gospel. It could possibly reach the same status as the Assumption of Mary which, as I understands is, doesn't have any basis in any of the writings of the Bible, but is still regarded as an important part of (Catholic) faith.

Also, the betrayal by Judas is such a strong and iconic image that it will be increadibly hard to change it. Religion, as we all know, is not very adaptive.

Also, I don't quite agree that this case is all that different from The Gospel of Mary. The Gospel of Mary, if to be believed, places women as the leaders of the Church, which would make all those female preacher opponents look quite silly.
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2006, 05:12:50 PM »

I'm going to do some reasoning in a Christian mindset here . . . so, Judas was more or less responsible for Jesus' death, right? Jesus died for our sins, and this allows us into heaven, correct? So if Judas didn't betray Jesus, we all wouldn't be saved (from a Christian point of view). Therefore I'd say Judas was a necessary evil. I don't really get why everyone detested the guy so much, it's not like he committed this trechary and then kept wreaking evil throughout the world, he felt so guilty he hanged himself. I feel bad for him more than anything else . . .
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2006, 05:47:01 PM »

Heh... I actually saw this earlier in the week on NGTV and it didn't strike me as anything big, for one reason: It's been a thing of common knowledge to people interested in interfaith philosophy for years and years. I can see it being shocking or surprising in a strictly Christian context, but it's been brought up before. It's just "factual" now, or somesuch.
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2006, 05:47:32 PM »

Like Marsh says I never really saw why he was so hated. Sure, he sold Jesus out, but as Marsh says it was a necessary evil. Jesus knew it was going to happen, and I could swear he immediately forgave Judas because he knew it had to happen.
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2006, 08:43:22 AM »

Yeah, nobody is going to make that big a big deal out of this. I don't think anybody really cares about things anymore. I'd bet my left nut that you'd get some stir if Dan Brown wrote a novel about it, and you know he will.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2006, 05:55:00 PM »

But still, no one finds this intriguing?  Fascinating?  Really really interesting?  Are you all really that jaded?  

And maybe it's just me, but when I read that article in National Geographic, I couldn't put it down.  I was so fascinated by the whole thing.
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2006, 07:16:44 PM »

I can recognise it's a big deal. Only thing I can't figure out is why you think Gnosticism has major relevance in regard to Christian texts.  From what I can understand, the people that wrote this document also worshipped Cain for "inventing murder" and therefore was brought closer to God. Just doesn't seem like it should have much relevance, since they are one of the many splinter groups. You think you might be able to enlighten me, because you sound rather knowledgeable on the subject.
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2006, 08:38:18 PM »

Quote
But still, no one finds this intriguing? Fascinating? Really really interesting? Are you all really that jaded?

And maybe it's just me, but when I read that article in National Geographic, I couldn't put it down. I was so fascinated by the whole thing.


Personally, I think it's quite fascinating. I always love reading about this sort of stuff. But the thing is, it's nothing new. All the non-canonical texts are interesting, and this is just adds to the list. It's interesting, and makes a wonderful read, but it doesn't really have some kind of faith-shaking basis. I think that's where some folks are coming from.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2006, 08:56:03 PM »

Thing is, though Gnosticism currently is a splinter group.  I believe Gnosticism itself predates the Catholicism we all know today, and the article did say a decent amount about Gnosticism.  

And the thing is, what I found interesting about the article was the canon itself.  That what was canon was merely what the Christian groups, who were quite poor at the time, could actually publish, so they ended up picking and choosing texts to publish.  So what ended up being canon may not be the whole story.  

I find that notion fascinating, you know that there are holes in what we think we know and they're slowly being filled up.
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2006, 10:04:29 PM »

It isn't nearly as interesting as The Acts of Paul and Thecla.  Ah, good quality stuff, where Thecla is practically raised to the status of superhero and Paul is little more than a sniveling coward.

Maybe a fuller account of this gospel would be in a better light, but what's been revealed so far isn't really what I'd consider a major development in Christian debate (no more than any of the other apocryphal works, anyway).  Especially with odd stuff such as this floating around:

   ĽAn evil, creator god named Nebro, who is responsible for the problems of our world, rules the lower world of humans

What.  

I do think it raises an interesting point that Jesus might have given Judas some sort of command to betray him, but I think that makes sense given the fact Jesus sort of wanted to die.  As I've been reading into the social gospel for a history paper, I'm currently examining Walter Rauschenbusch's Christianity and the Social Crisis, which speculates that Jesus was under a great sadness in his later ministry.  Not only because he knew he was dying soon, but also because of a "consciousness that his purpose for his nation (namely creating the kingdom of God in his own time) had failed."  Since Jesus was apparently pretty disappointed in even his other disciples at the time of his death (with Peter's denials being a particularly obvious case), I can see where between Jesus' disappointment in his plans and even his own comrades that an alternate vision might be provided to counter the typical story.

The only people I see who might really be disturbed by this gospel are the fundamentalist Christians who take literally every word of the Bible as truth.  But then again they're going to be rattled by pretty much anything which poses a possible threat to their rigid understanding.
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GhaleonOne
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2006, 10:30:22 PM »

Quote
I do think it raises an interesting point that Jesus might have given Judas some sort of command to betray him, but I think that makes sense given the fact Jesus sort of wanted to die.


I'm not sure he <i>wanted</i> to die, but rather, knew it would happen, and gave himself willingly.

Quote
As I've been reading into the social gospel for a history paper, I'm currently examining Walter Rauschenbusch's Christianity and the Social Crisis, which speculates that Jesus was under a great sadness in his later ministry. Not only because he knew he was dying soon, but also because of a "consciousness that his purpose for his nation (namely creating the kingdom of God in his own time) had failed."


Eh, can't say I agree with this one, at least from my faith background. From a strictly Christian point of view (which is also my view and belief), the Kingdom of God isn't a physical kingdom. This almost sounds more like the same thing the disciples couldn't quite grasp, nor the people of Jesus' time. The death of Jesus wasn't to create a political kingdom, by overthrowing the Romans and bringing back the Kingdom of David as it was in ancient times. That was what people certainly thought the Messiah was going do, but rather, Jesus' death was an overthrowing of Satan, by overcoming death with the resurrection. Obviously, no historical document is going to prove (or disprove) the resurrection, as it's a supernatural event. But then, like I said, this is from a strictly Christian point of view. Christianity hinges not on Jesus setting up a physical "kingdom of God", but rather overturning the spiritual shackles of death, by overcoming death. Some of the "sadness" might be misinterpreted by the reader of the Gospel, as it comes of as apprehension of what is about to take place. He may have been fully man and fully divine as a Christian would believe, but the man was going to be crucified. It's not a sin to be apprehensive of death. But I don't think it was sadness, as he knew he would be fulfilling the Jewish Law in his death and resurrection, thus ending the need for sacrificing for your sins, as the ancient Jews practiced.
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2006, 01:01:47 AM »

I think any man would question being forsaken in the name of a greater good. I also think if someone were to predict or know who was to do it, that the person would probably not keep it secret. Again, I speak not of the divinity within Jesus but the man that served as the vessel. I think (really letting myself get exposed here) that there was an inherent seperation of the divine Self from the lesser self in Jesus just as there is in everyone.

Many people believe there is no difference with Jesus because he is considered "The Christ", which would imply a single, Godly consciousness; I question that to this day, which is why I'm usually wary or not allowed to step foot in a church, depending on which one it is. :P

As a person who has read the Bible cover to cover and used to be a devout follower of the practices of "Born-Again" Christianity, this is probably the furthest I've gone in explaining how I feel in regards to the actual BELIEF SYSTEM behind the Church now. (I'm sure some of you see me as a non-believing, unable-to-comprehend-it-all atheist who's always been that way...I say that because I know sometimes I come across as one!)

As for the Judas gospel...both the side of "it explains so much" as well as the side of "this is probably false" have merit. We really can't tell much from one really old, damaged document.

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