Sunday, April 30, 2006

Controversial Gospel of Judas? Don't let it shake your dogma!




After 1,700 years, the Gospel of Judas is lost no more. And the twisting tale of the document itself is nearly as surprising as the story it tells. The surviving copy of the gospel was written in the third or fourth century A.D., but the text was known prior to A.D. 180. In this gospel, the Apostle Judas Iscariot is not a traitor but a hero, the chosen disciple. Jesus Christ asks Judas to betray him to the authorities. Experts who have examined these aspects of the Gospel of Judas agree that the codex's theological concepts and linguistic structure are similar to manuscripts found in Nag ‘Hammâdi, Egypt, which contain Gnostic writings of a similar time period.

Here's my own thoughts on the matter: Yes, it may be valid...but this will be another mystery that will forever be truthfully unknown. No matter how much evidence will be unveiled about this matter, what will be proved? True Christians will not be shaken! There are many routes to God: If I've met God...the REAL TRUE GOD...not any bit of evidence will shake my faith. It's like somebody saying to me: "There is no Niagra Falls"...when they themselves have never been there! Not only that, but didn't Judas hang himself? Hello!!! Suicide, people!!! He was depressed, perhaps psychotic...the possibility of mental disorders could go on.

Maybe the gospel of Judas is just a heightened exageration of false truth (I've had patients who are psychotic swear that there is a bomb in their room, because they saw a dark shadow put it there!). End thought: We will never know. But there is one thing that we CAN know: The Real-Deal-Papa-In-The-Sky-God :) With the help of the holy spirit...all things really ARE possible!

8 Comments:

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Truth Seeker said...

Amen

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger The Intolerant One said...

Very interesting post. I will admit I pretty much ignored the "discovery". You stated:

"Yes, it may be valid.."

It is valid in that it may very well have been written by Judas but so what? The bigger question is what does it have to do with the authority of the Bible?

You and I "write" all the time. But can we lay claim that what have written was given under direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit?

I could care less if Judas wrote a hundred gospel's. They are all his and not of God which make's them only valid as writing's not valid as "missing" scripture's.

As we all know he was a sell out for 30 piece's of silver. He was a deciever and a betrayer. If any one chooses to believe these Judas writings as some form of valid scripture then I am sure they also believed that Billy Clinton "did not inhale or have sexual relations with THAT woman!"

On a side note, you have me curious by this statement:

" There are many routes to God"

You have come across to me as a Christian and, as you know I am one myself, but I would refute this statement in that it is taught in the Bible that there is only one way to God. Thru Christ.

Maybe you believe different, I am just curious.

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Alanita said...

I know that Jesus Christ is the only way TO God...but there are many different routes to Jesus (3 in 1 scripture). I refered to Jesus as God, I'd also be technically correct to say the Holy Spirit.

I challenge you to read more about the Gospels of Judas and then form an opinion. It's just a little food for thought. :)

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Doctor Marco said...

To put things into perspective, faith can make people believe whatever they want to believe. Many people have chosen to have faith in the gospels that are currently in the Bible, other people have faith in other gospels. However, none of the gospels, accepted by religious orthodoxy or not, is a historical document. They cannot be used to prove the existence of an individual named Jesus or if another individual is a betrayer or not.

With respect to the routes towards divinity, they are those situations which people create their goal and create their route. To put limits to human imagination as TIO is trying to do, is to belittle the wonderful capacity of the human mind to create ways of admiring/worshiping what humans believe is divine.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger Richard said...

The extant manuscript exists from the 2nd or 3rd century - this is not to say there were not older versions of it.

Sorting out which manuscripts to include in the bible was a very contentious thing back in 325 at the Council of Nicaea. A good read on this is Eusebius' History of the Church - written about that time.

The problem of course is that we do not have any New Testament manuscripts that go back to the time they are supposed to have been authored.

As well, issues of authenticity, purity of the texts is also questioned. For example, the current Hebrew bible was composed by the Pharisees and does not include Saduccean texts (Maccabbees, The Book of Sirach, etc, because the Saduccees were considered Hellenized Jew and hence not ritually pure). As well, texts, which at the time were only extant in Greek were dismissed by the Jews (even if Hebrew versions have now been found - Book of Sirach is a good example).

Further more, authorships of the txts is also questionable, since it was common at the time for people to write in the name of another person. For example, the quality of the Greek in Revelations is far inferior to the quality of the Greek in John's gospel - despite both claiming the same authorship.

My personal view, not shared by many, is that the the bible is the collected Jewish experience of God.

I believe that God continually reveals Himself rather than appearing for a brief time and the going into hiding.

Our objective should be to seek truth rather than simple preckaged answers.

The Gospel of Judas is very likely a gnostic gospel. The gnostics stressed a secret mysticism - whereas I believe God is always the light and there is nothing secret.

However, there are those (many it seems) who accept the authority of old written things and deny the Holy Spirit the right to guide them towards truth.

Just because it is written does not mean it is truth. Many lies and falshoods have been written - and, unfortunately, too many people believe in it.

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger Steve said...

ok well you have to remember that the *source* for the suicide of Judas is the other gospels, not some objective historian of the period like Josephus (I use the term objective loosely).

Moreover, the real value of the Gospel of Judas is the basic question it presents us with: if Judas had not betrayed God, could Jesus have died for our sins?

Unless Jesus was martyred then there would be no Christianity. It's not a huge leap to suggest that maybe Jesus wasn't totally opposed to his "betrayel." The "accepted" Gospels are clear that Jesus knew about the betrayel in advance anyway.

Lastly, i've listened to some Christian critiques of the gospel of Judas, and they mainly center on the fact that the language is different from the big 4 gospels. But you know, the council of Nicea in 324 which created the Bible as we know it, likely selected four texts that were simliar to each other anyway, so that doesn't prove their superior authenticity.

It does appear that there are rival gospels. What to do with the gospels we have now?

I suggest you read "Misquoting Jesus" if you have the time.

 
At 1:28 AM, Blogger The Intolerant One said...

Alanita:

I thank you for the clarification and I am in agreement with your response. I was not absolutely sure what you meant in your original statement which is why I asked.

"I challenge you to read more about the Gospels of Judas and then form an opinion."

I probably will but only for curiosity's sake. I will admit my opinion is already formed. From my perspective, God being the supreme being, master, and creator of the universe, would obviously make him no slouch.

If one believe's the Bible to be the Divine and spirit inspired Word of God then one is also inclined that God knew what He was doing when He instructed His prophets and apostles to piece it together. I do not accept the Supreme Intelligence of God would carelessly allow His "Manual for life" to be placed in the hands of falliable humans in "hopes" we do not screw it up. I believe Him to be wise enough to preserve His word the way He intended it.

And as I understand His sovereign Word, anything outside of the Bible is subject to scrutiny. One of the final warnings we are given in Revelations 22:18-19 says:

"18 And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone removes any of the words of this prophetic book, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book."

For those of us who do believe in God we are told to be vigilant. Watching out for decieving doctrines and teachings that can cause our faith to wander.

Marco:

" none of the gospels, accepted by religious orthodoxy or not, is a historical document. They cannot be used to prove the existence of an individual named Jesus or if another individual is a betrayer or not."

Explain how this is not a historical document. It is certainly not recognised as a fairy tale. Historical greek documentation already acknowledges the excistence of a Jesus Christ. The world knows He existed. We may disagree on the divinity issue's but He did exist. The gospels themselves are like a sworn affadavit by the four apostles who testified about the life of Jesus they witnessed.

If someone wrote about the things they witnessed in your own life and the book about it surfaces 500 years later, does it automatically nullify your life on earth and make it unable to prove your excistence even though what they wrote about you is accurate and true and there is cenus record of your excistence?

Your next statement:

" To put limits to human imagination as TIO is trying to do,"

I am not sure how to recieve this comment. I do not want to misunderstand here (and I am not wallowing in insult either)but are you insinuating that I am trying to limit "other's" God given, boundless imaginations? I was not aware I had that kind of power over the masses.

I have expressed my opinions based on my perceptions and beliefs. I fail to see how I have attempted to put limit's on my fellow man's imagination.

God has not even put limits on your imagination(or anyone else). He has allowed you to freely choose to deny His excistence.

 
At 5:53 PM, Blogger Doctor Marco said...

I wrote a post about the existence or non existence of an individual named Jesus. As far as I know, the only text that was written in Greek is the Testimonium Flavianum from Josephus, and it is highly controversial. It mentions Jesus in 1 paragraph and calls him "a wise man". The other historians wrote in Latin. They were Gaius Suetonius, Plyny the Younger and Tacitus. They all mantion Jesus in a sentence or few sentences. The gospels cannot be used as historical source because its intention is biased. I can write now that I saw a man performing miracles and if my writing is found 2000 tyears from now, it cannot be considered historical.

God has not put any limits to my imagination because it does not exist. I did not create it in my Universe

 

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