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april 25, 2006 (0023us)
the gospel of Judas
"The Gospel of Judas is all the rage in chat rooms. Please tell us about it!" users of the blog email me.
Well, let's go! The Gospel of Judas written in Coptic (a language descended from pharaonic Egyptian) is no novelty. The papyrus you read about in the papers was found three decades ago, but a Gospel of Judas had been known to exist since the second century! A lot of gospels used to circulate then, whether poor and uninteresting like the Gospel of Judas or very interesting like those ascribed to James, Bartholemew, Nicodemus, Thomas, though they were not chosen as canonic sources. What's so special about the Gospel of Judas is its utmost esotericism, let alone its views on Judas and Jesus altogether opposing or incompatible with the other sources: Judas portayed as a hero, Jesus as an emotionally disturbed entity: taunting and angry, supernatural and impatient by turns. "Christianity turned on its head," says religious historian Ehrman. Other commentators, on the other hand, see it as "one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century" and "likely to create a crisis of Christian faith."
My own opinion is not very commentative, because to me the Gospel of Judas's no big deal!
Judas's kissThe Gospel of Judas is not a gospel at all. It is a recondite poem on a Jesus totallly unrelated to the Bible's Jesus. It begins shortly before Jesus' fatal last trip to Jerusalem. At a dinner table the disciples say grace. Jesus laughs at them. As all of them but Judas are annoyed, Jesus says that he has only laughed at their silly idea of pleasing God. Judas then tells Jesus, "You are from the immortal realm of Barbelo," the name that gnostics used to give an alleged "celestial mother." Jesus replies, "Judas step away from the others so that I can tell you the mysteries of the Kingdom."
Things are now growing downright conter-evangelic. Jesus explains that Barbelo, whose realm beyond the stars he belongs to, has a progeny, notably the Self-Generated One, the real good God, who is not the Bible's God, not the Old Testament's Eternal who is no friend of man, but rather the cause if his pains. Jesus' mission is to urge men, those lucky enough to understand that they ought to abandon the Bible's Eternal, to join the blessed realm. Now we realize that he laughed at the disciples because they kept on praying to Moses' God, who has never made men happy. Jesus sort of consecrates Judas by telling him, "Lift up your eyes, look at the stars. The star that leads the way is your star," and then Judas agrees to turn over Jesus to the high priest, which is not a tragical act, but a divine mission, and what's more probably useless, as Jesus seems to be a pure spirit and the crucifixion likely to be painless. The author of that gospel might suffer from delirium. Just imagine Jesus depicting to Judas the quite bureaucratic organization of the immortal realm. But the most counterevangelic side of the document is found in this that you don't have to love your neighbor, but just seek your star.
I dont think that the Gospel of Judas, a cock-and-bull-story, is "likely to create a crisis of Christian faith." It may, however, be likely to strengthen atheistic arguments, notably by adding one more evidence of the fragile groundlessness of religions, whose scriptural fundament is unstable and questionable, since paradoxical variants of their sources are found now and then. This atheistic argument is not absolutely unfounded, we have to admit. Which makes The Revelation of Ares even more important, because I can guarantee its genuineness and purity.

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01May06 24usC1
Thank you for explaining this! I had been wondering if the 'Gospel of Judas' was significant.
The peace of the Lord!

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