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The Gospel of Judas Iscariot
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Jerrica
Jem is my name, bitch!


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Old May 19, 2006, 12:28 PM #1 of 75
The Gospel of Judas Iscariot

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/gospeljudas.html

For over 2000 years, the name Judas has been synonymous with sin and betrayal. With the discovery of the so-called "Gospel of Judas," an entirely different picture has been painted of Jesus' most trusted confidant. What if, as the Gospel suggests, Judas did not betray Jesus? What if Jesus asked Judas to turn him over to the Romans? If you think about it from a political point of view, it does make sense. If the historical Jesus was, indeed, a freedom fighter, his martyrdom by Rome may have been a calculated political move to encourage the Jews to rise up against their oppressors. But nevermind all that for now. What about the impact this revelation has on Christians today? It questions one of the most widely accepted "facts" in the traditional Gospels and, for me at least, underscores the role of the early church (a role that continues to this day) in suppressing the truth, or the perceived truth, about Christ for political reasons. If we do accept the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not privy to all Jesus' actions, motivations, and plans, then how can we take their testimony at face value? Did they lie to incriminate Judas? Did they lie to cover up the truth, to hide the purposeful martyrdom behind a holy veneer, to perpetuate Judas as the bad guy and Jesus as the Christ, suffering at the hands of ungrateful humans? Or did they simply hate Judas for his betrayal (as they perceived it), or for being Jesus' favourite? Did they do it to protect themselves from prosecution by angry Christ Worshippers? For me, this is only scratching the surface of what this Gospel means to Christianity. Is the Gospel true? I don't know. The relationship between Jesus and Judas has been recorded in many Christian writings, including the four Gospels, as being unusually close. If, as the GoJ suggests, Judas really was the only Apostle to truly understand Jesus, and if other early Christian writings support this theory, should we believe it? Even if it is true (which will be impossible to prove) the Church will not accept it as such, ever. But will it have an impact on traditional Christianity, or just be a blip that has no lasting impact? Personally, the whole thing absolutely blows my mind, but I can't imagine what (if any) lasting effects will come of it.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
Fjordor
Holy Chocobo


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Old May 19, 2006, 12:31 PM Local time: May 19, 2006, 01:31 PM #2 of 75
I don't think, in mainstream Christianity, it will hold that much water.

The G of J's dating is very shaking, giving a time of authorship ranging from 100 AD to as far as 400 AD(so I've gathered).
Considering that it is most likely not written by Judas at all, I think one possible origin is that it was just a fictional narrative written later. Perhaps by someone postulating on what might have happened, or why things happened.

There's nowhere I can't reach.

Last edited by Fjordor; May 19, 2006 at 12:39 PM.
I poked it and it made a sad sound
Struttin'


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Old May 19, 2006, 12:33 PM #3 of 75
What does it matter?

They're both dead and long gone. So Judas may or may not have been a horrible traitor to Jesus. Either way - so what? How does it affect anything today?

Maybe someone can clue me in to why this is so important to Christians.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Jerrica
Jem is my name, bitch!


Member 1670

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Old May 19, 2006, 12:42 PM #4 of 75
Originally Posted by Sassafrass
What does it matter?

They're both dead and long gone. So Judas may or may not have been a horrible traitor to Jesus. Either way - so what? How does it affect anything today?

Maybe someone can clue me in to why this is so important to Christians.
If Christianity is wrong about Judas, then what else are they wrong about? It has been an accepted, undeniable, unquestionable FACT that Judas betrayed Jesus. So what if that fact was fiction? What else of the Christian faith has been misinterpreted or misrepresented by political forces? The Gospel of Judas was deliberately suppressed and destroyed by the early church. Why? Because Jesus having asked Judas to betray him threatens Jesus identity as an omniscient being. Ok, Jesus knew he was going to be crucified, say Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But does that remain such an amazing feat if you ASKED your friend to turn you in for the purpose of martyrdom? Is knowing that you're going to die because you planned your own death the same as knowing you were going to die because you have some great cosmic knowledge? No. Besides all that, Judas has been demonized and reviled for thousands of years. PArt of it may simply be about setting the record straight. I mean, a few years ago, the Vatican apologised for the Sack of Constantinople. The church is very much a historical entity and is responsible for shaping the world and human perception. They are accountable for the truths they fabricate.

I am a dolphin, do you want me on your body?
I poked it and it made a sad sound
Struttin'


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Mar 2006


Old May 19, 2006, 12:53 PM #5 of 75
Originally Posted by Jerrica
If Christianity is wrong about Judas, then what else are they wrong about?
I don't know. The entire religion is up for question, don't you think?

Like any religion, it takes faith to believe in. And everything is open to broad interpretation.

Quote:
It has been an accepted, undeniable, unquestionable FACT that Judas betrayed Jesus.
And according to the Christians, it is a FACT that Jesus is a zombie. I don't really believe in their ideas of "fact."

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So what if that fact was fiction? What else of the Christian faith has been misinterpreted or misrepresented by political forces? The Gospel of Judas was deliberately suppressed and destroyed by the early church. Why? Because Jesus having asked Judas to betray him threatens Jesus identity as an omniscient being. Ok, Jesus knew he was going to be crucified, say Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But does that remain such an amazing feat if you ASKED your friend to turn you in for the purpose of martyrdom?
Man, now you're talking like a crazy person.

I don't personally believe in any of it. I was just curious why it matters so much that Christians had it all wrong.

Whats it going to change? Pretty much nothing, right?

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Is knowing that you're going to die because you planned your own death the same as knowing you were going to die because you have some great cosmic knowledge? No. Besides all that, Judas has been demonized and reviled for thousands of years. PArt of it may simply be about setting the record straight. I mean, a few years ago, the Vatican apologised for the Sack of Constantinople. The church is very much a historical entity and is responsible for shaping the world and human perception. They are accountable for the truths they fabricate.
Uh. I think you're giving The Vatican way too much credit. Especially in today's age. Unless you're a diehard Christian, I don't see why it adds up to anything of consequence.

I get this imposing feeling that you're a huge Dan Brown fan, though.

So, despite my being an atheist, I really don't see why any of this would matter to a regular, average Christian church-goer. In fact, I would think its pretty awesome Judas wasn't actually a traitor to Jesus. If he was Jesus' best buddy, isn't that super happy great for them?

And if you're thinking that maybe you're going to sway some of the Christians around here, you best guess again.

How ya doing, buddy?

Last edited by I poked it and it made a sad sound; May 19, 2006 at 12:55 PM.
Meth
I'm not entirely joking.


Member 565

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Old May 19, 2006, 12:55 PM Local time: May 19, 2006, 11:55 AM #6 of 75
Originally Posted by Jerrica
Or did they simply hate Judas for his betrayal (as they perceived it), or for being Jesus' favourite?
Traditionally John was considered to be "the disciple whom Jesus loved." There doesn't seem to be any animosity towards him from the other disciples for being the favorite.

Originally Posted by Jerrica
If, as the GoJ suggests, Judas really was the only Apostle to truly understand Jesus, and if other early Christian writings support this theory, should we believe it?
Again based on the canonized 4 gospels, it was recorded that Peter was the first one to really understand Christ's message and who he was.

I don't see any of these writings having too lasting of an impact on Christianity as a whole. In a way, the fictional da Vinci Code seems to have contributed more to the widespread question of faith than any of these gnostic gospels in particular. These writings should however be examined and taken with all seriousness. While many think that the questioning of Christianity in such a way is disrespectful or irreverent, it may lead to the reaffirmation of faith by many people.

Edit: Also, can you actually imagine planning to get tortured and crucified as a political move? That just doesn't seem too rational, but then again under this assumption one could argue that Jesus was insane.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?

Last edited by Meth; May 19, 2006 at 12:59 PM.
Magi
Big Trouble


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Old May 19, 2006, 01:04 PM Local time: May 19, 2006, 11:04 AM #7 of 75
Originally Posted by MetheGelfling
Edit: Also, can you actually imagine planning to get tortured and crucified as a political move? That just doesn't seem too rational, but then again under this assumption one could argue that Jesus was insane.
Well, there are a lot of things that are done for the purpose of making political statements that are not exactly rational, terrorism for example.

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RABicle
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Old May 19, 2006, 01:06 PM Local time: May 20, 2006, 02:06 AM #8 of 75
I was given a lot of Christian propaganda thrown at me throughout my entire school carear and I actually took an interest in it and I was always under the impression that Jesus was fully aware of Judas' alledged betrayal and that in order for him to save humanity he had to sacrifice himself.

The idea that Judas is some kind of bad guy is ridiculous, he set in motion to the plan that SAVED OUT SINS PEOPLE!

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?

Last edited by RABicle; May 19, 2006 at 01:36 PM.
Meth
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Old May 19, 2006, 01:15 PM Local time: May 19, 2006, 12:15 PM #9 of 75
Originally Posted by SCHNEE-5
Well, there are a lot of things that are done for the purpose of making political statements that are not exactly rational, terrorism for example.
I definitely agree. I guess though that being willingly crucified takes a little more spine than just blowing yourself up, or crashing a plane. Self sacrifice with regards to terrorism rarely includes 24 hrs of torture.

And yah RABicle, you're correct. Jesus knew full well what he had to do, and he knew that Judas would be the one to set things in motion. In many ways, Judas is a metaphor for mankind, and I think it's been unfair for the church to demonize him in such a way. If it wasn't Judas, it would've been somebody. He was merely a pawn in a bigger plan. In the same way, it's strange how many people within the church treat Mary the mother of Jesus as a deity underservingly. It's not like she died for the sins of mankind. She was also a pawn used to serve a greater purpose. More than anything for her it was just a great personal honor to be so directly involved and have a positive role.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
RABicle
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Old May 19, 2006, 01:46 PM Local time: May 20, 2006, 02:46 AM #10 of 75
Judas should be the first to greet new arrivals in heaven just to laugh at them and demand they thank him for helping to save their sins.

There's nowhere I can't reach.
Jerrica
Jem is my name, bitch!


Member 1670

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Mar 2006


Old May 19, 2006, 02:50 PM #11 of 75
Originally Posted by MetheGelfling
Jesus knew full well what he had to do, and he knew that Judas would be the one to set things in motion. In many ways, Judas is a metaphor for mankind, and I think it's been unfair for the church to demonize him in such a way. If it wasn't Judas, it would've been somebody. He was merely a pawn in a bigger plan.
This is true, but you have to look a little deeper. According to Christianity, God doesn't make men into robots. You always, always, always have a choice. So Judas *chose* to betray Jesus, he wasn't forced into it by some cosmic guiding hand. Judas was flawed, Judas was the betrayer of the Christ. And though Jesus had to die to fulfill his role as Christ, his betrayer still sold out the son of God, by choice.

Sassafrass...

The question of Judas' betrayal matters to Christians on a level of fundamental belief and truth. Christianity has been a political tool since its inception. This is still true today. Like it or not, Christianity has influenced almost every aspect of Western life, and has played a pivotal role in the course of history. The Vatican is and was a political machine, but it is not the only Christian organization that has been involved in politics. Beginning even before Constantine, and progressing right to the present, Christian beliefs have influenced culture and basic human understanding, and thus have influenced the world. North America is what it is today in large part because of the worldview of Christian followers. Religion, more than anything else, defines who people are as a group. It defines their way of life, their actions, their reality. To your average Christian, to the butts-in-pews, this might not make a fundamental difference right now. But to Christian theologians and philosophers, this might be a significant revelation, or may lead to a new perspective on the Bible and its meaning. If Judas is no longer the typical sinful human, if he is a loyal friend, what does this mean to the eternal forgiveness of sins via the passion? Judas is a metaphor for all the fundamentally flawed human beings that Christ had to save by dying. If Judas wasn't so flawed, if he was actually the most loyal of all the Apostles, what does this say about us? Jesus died because of Judas's sin, and FOR our sins. If one of those is wrong, is the other wrong too?

And I'm not giving the Vatican too much credit. They were an extremely wealthy, extremely important political contingent for centuries. This is not really debatable. It is true. No historian would argue with this. Please don't think I'm trying to be evangelical; I'm not. I'm an atheist as well, but I don't really care what people believe, either way. On a personal level, I find the whole thing extremely interesting, and I think it makes political sense for the church to have suppressed the GoJ at the time it disappeared. IMO, the most fascinating part of religion is how it effects the people who believe it, and the world they control. Oh, and while Dan Brown tells amusing stories (but is a terrible, terrible writer), I am able to draw the line between fact and fiction; something many Christians are having a hard time doing.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Magi
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Old May 19, 2006, 03:13 PM Local time: May 19, 2006, 01:13 PM #12 of 75
Originally Posted by Jerrica
This is true, but you have to look a little deeper. According to Christianity, God doesn't make men into robots. You always, always, always have a choice. So Judas *chose* to betray Jesus, he wasn't forced into it by some cosmic guiding hand. Judas was flawed, Judas was the betrayer of the Christ. And though Jesus had to die to fulfill his role as Christ, his betrayer still sold out the son of God, by choice.
Depending what interpretation you accept, that might or might not be the case. Not all denomination thinks that way. My aunt is a Pentecostal; I like how her favorite line is "god has a plan for each and every one of us", and then proceed to coerce me to church. Although I guess the concept of "sin" only exist because of the appearance of personal choice, but just how much meaning do those choice really hold in the context of an all knowing all omnipotent being with every outcome in the Universe predetermined?

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Struttin'


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Old May 19, 2006, 03:27 PM #13 of 75
Originally Posted by Jerrica
Sassafrass...

The question of Judas' betrayal matters to Christians on a level of fundamental belief and truth. Christianity has been a political tool since its inception.
Yea, you haven't been reading Dan Brown at all!

Quote:
This is still true today. Like it or not, Christianity has influenced almost every aspect of Western life, and has played a pivotal role in the course of history.
So have a lot of things, sir. That makes it neither right or wrong, good or bad. It just kind of exists. The power was given from the people to the church through faith and faith alone.

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The Vatican is and was a political machine, but it is not the only Christian organization that has been involved in politics. Beginning even before Constantine, and progressing right to the present, Christian beliefs have influenced culture and basic human understanding, and thus have influenced the world.
Are you going to state anything that people don't know anytime soon.

Quote:
North America is what it is today in large part because of the worldview of Christian followers. Religion, more than anything else, defines who people are as a group. It defines their way of life, their actions, their reality. To your average Christian, to the butts-in-pews, this might not make a fundamental difference right now. But to Christian theologians and philosophers, this might be a significant revelation, or may lead to a new perspective on the Bible and its meaning.
I think you're making some really SWEEPING generalizations there.

I am sure the Average Joe Christian won't give a shit if Judas was Jesus' bestest friend forever. THATS the point I am making.

We all know that the church hides shit, contorts shit, and that very little in religion should be taken literally. People skew things when they're in power. Okay, yea, no big revelation there. Tell us something we don't know.

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If Judas is no longer the typical sinful human, if he is a loyal friend, what does this mean to the eternal forgiveness of sins via the passion? Judas is a metaphor for all the fundamentally flawed human beings that Christ had to save by dying.
Matter of interpretation, really. If thats what you want to think about Judas, you're free to. I happen to not agree with it, but whatever.

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If Judas wasn't so flawed, if he was actually the most loyal of all the Apostles, what does this say about us? Jesus died because of Judas's sin, and FOR our sins. If one of those is wrong, is the other wrong too?
I like how you're taking the Bible as some kind of fact. You realize it's been twisted a million times in order to control the populus in question, right?

Any real Christian would probably not define their personal value as a human being based off of what Judas may or may not have done to Jesus. Thats absolutely ridiculous.

Quote:
And I'm not giving the Vatican too much credit. They were an extremely wealthy, extremely important political contingent for centuries. This is not really debatable. It is true. No historian would argue with this.
Yea, and no one is arguing with you either. Cut to the chase already.

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Please don't think I'm trying to be evangelical; I'm not. I'm an atheist as well, but I don't really care what people believe, either way. On a personal level, I find the whole thing extremely interesting, and I think it makes political sense for the church to have suppressed the GoJ at the time it disappeared.
It makes sense for them to surpress whatever may put their own intentions in jeopardy, yes. Or, to dismiss their OWN faults.

Quote:
IMO, the most fascinating part of religion is how it effects the people who believe it, and the world they control.
Uh huh.
Quote:
Oh, and while Dan Brown tells amusing stories (but is a terrible, terrible writer), I am able to draw the line between fact and fiction; something many Christians are having a hard time doing.
You can not convince someone with faith in something that there IS fact and not. They think God is fact.

Much like yourself, they see fact in something that just isn't there.

I was speaking idiomatically.
Jerrica
Jem is my name, bitch!


Member 1670

Level 4.31

Mar 2006


Old May 19, 2006, 05:26 PM #14 of 75
Honestly, I'm a little confused about what Dan Brown has to do with any of this. Is it all the Da Vinci fever? Any freshman Christianity course will give you an overview of the political machinations of Christianity from the very beginning. At one moment you're dismissing the idea that Christianity is a political tool, and the next minute you're waving it away like its an old truth. I never said that Christianity was good or evil, simply that it exists and has influence over both believers and non-believers.

Anyways, this isn't really about the church, or about Joe Christian. On a theological level, I'm curious as to whether this will make a difference to Christians. Please don't assume that I mean Catholics, or Protestants, or Baptists, etc. On a purely theological, philosophical level, will a Christian (any Christian) look at this and get something from it. Will they ask these questions, and if so, what will come from it? Christianity has as many different sets of beliefs as it has followers. I'm not saying this will change anything within the Vatican, but it may change God for an individual thinker. If this happens, what may result? Schism-esque instances happen frequently; I wonder if we could ever have a Christian sect dedicated to Judas, or living by his moral code as they perceive it. A group like the Franciscans or Dominicans, though clearly not living within the boundaries of institutional Christianity.

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I like how you're taking the Bible as some kind of fact. You realize it's been twisted a million times in order to control the populus in question, right?

Any real Christian would probably not define their personal value as a human being based off of what Judas may or may not have done to Jesus. Thats absolutely ridiculous.
I don't take the Bible as fact. No one looking at it from an academic perspective could reasonably do so. But if you are going to address issues in the Bible from the point of view OF A CHRISTIAN, you have to regard it as the truth. I can't make historical evaluations of the Bible and impose them on a Christian worldview. As for "real Christians," I don't really know what you mean. Most Christians are fairly ignorant about the fine details of their religion, from my experience. If you asked a Catholic, for instance, why wine and bread are called the body and blood of Christ during the Eucharist, most would probably tell you it was a metaphor. Again, I don't mean that your average Southern Baptist will come away from this new codex with an altered view of his faith. I'm just wondering if anyone, of any sect, will take the GoJ seriously, and what the consequences may be.

Quote:
You can not convince someone with faith in something that there IS fact and not. They think God is fact.

Much like yourself, they see fact in something that just isn't there.
What am I imagining to be factual?

How ya doing, buddy?
Crash "Long-Winded Wrong Answer" Landon
Zeio Nut


Member 14

Level 54.72

Feb 2006


Old May 19, 2006, 06:56 PM #15 of 75
Originally Posted by Jerrica
But if you are going to address issues in the Bible from the point of view OF A CHRISTIAN, you have to regard it as the truth.
Oh, come on. No, you don't. You don't have to regard the Bible as anything, Christian or not.

To summarize the eternal argument - the Bible is a set of stories which may or may not be true. We have no definitive proof, so it's up to the reader to believe what he/she feels is right. This is where the "regarding the Bible as truth" mandate pretty much ceases.

The real meat of the Bible isn't derived from whether or not it's a factual account, but rather the lessons in morality and higher being that are contained within each Book. These lessons are subjective and will always be placed under differing interpretation, depending upon where you are and with whom you speak.

For the Christians, it's a matter of their doctrine that they accept the Bible as fact. Yet it's not specifically required, per se. It's only that the Bible is taught as fact within the Christian organization and the majority of its practitioners are willing to accept this belief that leads us to assume that factuality is intrinsic to the Christian practice.

It's not. Teaching the Bible as fact only serves to better facilitate the lessons within to an accepting crowd. If it were presented as myth, it would be subject to debate, and that doesn't serve the church's interests of aiding people toward betterness, by and large. But even within the Christian faith, followers are free and able to recognize the Bible as little more than a storybook. The zealotry of others who disagree, that's what leads to derision and extrication from the faith. It's nothing to do with the Bible itself.

Fundamentally, even within Christianity, there is no palpable difference between someone who takes the Bible as fact, living as Jesus might, and someone who merely recognizes the object lessons within and is a good person for it.

The Gospel of Judas is as mutable as any Book in the Bible and it will appeal to those who have an open mind about spirituality in general. Some may condemn it. Fair enough. It's an idea and ideas are always threatening to those who would lose power by them. But even if there's any shred of credibility to this discovery, it's foolishness to put the horse before the cart and claim that it serves to solidify centuries of suspected lies and cover-ups.

I'm no fan of organized religion. But, likewise, I'm no fan of people who take interesting, new discoveries and use them as ammunition in their personal vendettas against Christianity.
What will the Gospel of Judas ultimately prove? Most likely, nothing. Just like the Bible itself really proves nothing. All we can do at this phase is speculate and doing so will accomplish very little.

It's an interesting idea. It would be best to leave it at that.

FELIPE NO
Jerrica
Jem is my name, bitch!


Member 1670

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Old May 19, 2006, 07:22 PM #16 of 75
Perhaps I should have phrased that differently. "If you are going to address issues in the Bible from the point of view OF A CHRISTIAN, you have to regard these issues as relevant and important." I never meant to suggest that Christians cannot interpret the Bible differently, simply that these interpretations have to be regarded as genuine if you want to see the world through Christian eyes. Basically, you have to see the Bible as having some value, either factual or philosophical.

Quote:
But even if there's any shred of credibility to this discovery, it's foolishness to put the horse before the cart and claim that it serves to solidify centuries of suspected lies and cover-ups.
I'm not sure when I made these foolish claims. The Gospel of Judas was suppressed, sure, but it was more or less forgotten about after that happened. I never suggested that the Vatican, Canterbury, or anyone else has been sitting in a dark room, rubbing their hands together, trying to hide the Judas Gospel from the unknowing public. The church hides things, as does every other organization on the planet. Honestly, I don't care. Like I said before, I'm more interested in what impact this may or may not have on the theological public (however slim a population this may be). I also don't have a vendetta against Christianity, if this is what you are implying. I'm curious to know what would have made you think I did. o_o

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It's an interesting idea. It would be best to leave it at that.
Yes. And nothing ever comes of interesting ideas. I mean, like, the idea that salvation is by faith alone. Nothing happened there, it was just a neat little thought in a tower. Oh, wait...

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?
Crash "Long-Winded Wrong Answer" Landon
Zeio Nut


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Old May 19, 2006, 08:08 PM #17 of 75
Quote:
'm not sure when I made these foolish claims.
It wasn't you, specifically. You did seem to allude to a few potential allegations, but the real culprits are others whose "outrage" has been given fervor by the Judas Gospel. I've heard them elsewhere, in different forums and such. So far, this thread's been tame.

Quote:
Yes. And nothing ever comes of interesting ideas.
Certainly things come from ideas, but if the idea involves tangible elements, it's much simpler to translate those ideas into fact or fiction, or at least refine them to a stronger indication toward one or the other.

Discussing religion is tantamount to discussing the presence of black holes. We think black holes exist. We have photo-magnetic images that certainly suggest the theory is true. But can we know for sure? How do we get close enough to a black hole in order to define it without falling victim to its (supposed) forces? What if it's something else entirely? What would that do to our present understanding of physics and the universe? The mind reels!

(I draw this parallel to illustrate both sides of the coin; neither faith nor science is entirely absolute.)

Ideas can gain acceptance, and through that, power. It's by this that "salvation by faith alone" took root. But the problem remains: the entire basis for the idea and corresponding faiths is - for now - empyrically unprovable.

So what I meant, and should've clarified, is that right now, the Gospel of Judas is an idea. Like black holes. If and when we obtain better evidence to support its factuality, it's at that point that we should reexamine the implications that evidence brings. The same holds true for any part of the Bible, or any other religious text, for that matter. For lack of evidence, currently, speculation is all we have and it proves nothing.

Jam it back in, in the dark.
Jerrica
Jem is my name, bitch!


Member 1670

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Mar 2006


Old May 19, 2006, 08:29 PM #18 of 75
I didn't allude to anything that hasn't been documented and known to historians for some time. The Judas Gospel was suppressed, but this wasn't uncommon in the upheaval of the early church. It's not something I would suggest Christians be ashamed over. Those were dangerous times, and it was important for Chrisitianity to retain a foothold. I don't think suppressing the Gospel was a bad thing, but it was politically motivated. The church did what it had to do to survive. No big deal.

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So what I meant, and should've clarified, is that right now, the Gospel of Judas is an idea. Like black holes. If and when we obtain better evidence to support its factuality, it's at that point that we should reexamine the implications that evidence brings. The same holds true for any part of the Bible, or any other religious text, for that matter. For lack of evidence, currently, speculation is all we have and it proves nothing.
Yes, the Gospel of Judas is an idea, but so are all the other Gospels. What you are failing to understand is that factuality doesn't have much to do with religious interpretation. All the unknowns that apply to the Gospel of Judas also apply to other Christian writings, including the entirety of the NT. This doesn't stop people from analyzing them and drawing religious meaning from them, nor should it. It's fine for you to say, from a view point that is outside Christianity (I assume), that no one should take these writings, or any religious writings seriously until we know for sure. But many religious people already *do* know with absolute certainty that they are right, that God exists, that their religious interpretation is correct. You have to add faith to the equation when you discuss these things. Science and scientific rationality do not always have a place here. I'm not sure how this all went astray, really. My initial interest was a faith-based one, not a scientific one. What does this discovery mean for the theological, faithful Christian? I didn't mean to imply that the Judas Gospel was historically or factually accurate, but rather that it exists and may influence matters of faith.

There's nowhere I can't reach.
FallDragon
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Mar 2006


Old May 19, 2006, 09:10 PM Local time: May 20, 2006, 04:10 AM #19 of 75
The Gospel of Judas will have little to no impact on Church doctrine. Most of Christianity denies all of the gnostic gospels as truth, and the Gospel of Judas is just another text the Christian church will add into the gnostic category.

As for it's authenticity, it probably wasn't written by Judas. But then, the names Matthew-Mark-Luke-John are only the supposed authors of those texts. Church men hundreds of years later decided to name these texts what they're called now. Plenty of non-gospel NT text is also attributed to be written by a certain person but the dates don't match up. So, the point is that authenticity doesn't matter when it comes to scripture. Judas may not be legitimate, but neither is most of the NT scripture. Of course, authenticity has never been needed to produce truth.

Actually, the most interesting message in the Gospel of Judas is how it uplifts the Jewish people of the area. It can be documented that the older the text in the New Testament, the more anti-Jewish the author is. Earlier texts start off saying that the roman authority was mostly in control of Jesus' crucifixion. Later dated texts say it was the roman authority AND the Jewish masses who condemned him. Finally the latest texts place most the blame on the Jews. This was due mostly to the Christian message being spread throughout the Roman empire, and what better way to get on the Roman's good side than by romanticizing Pilot's role ("I wash my hands of his blood") and condemning the Jew's role.

So what's interesting about the Gospel of Judas is that it now creates 2 interpretations of Judas. The traditional condemn-Judas-and-Jewish people already exists, but now we find that there were other churches, probably existing right after the death of Christ, who believed Judas was actually the beloved disciple and was following orders. Remember, history - Christian history - was complied by the winners (aka those who Canonized the Bible). A gnostic scripture is invaluable, in that it shows the other beliefs of other churchs in the early days of Christianity.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.

Last edited by FallDragon; May 19, 2006 at 09:14 PM.
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Old May 19, 2006, 10:51 PM #20 of 75
The so called gospel of Judas is just one of many Gnostic writings done during the first century. Paul writes about his problems with the Gnostics in his letters. The main point of Gnosticism is that there is some secret or hidden knowledge that people need to acquire in order to be saved. The Judas letter is full of references to such secret knowledge.

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Old May 19, 2006, 11:10 PM Local time: May 19, 2006, 10:10 PM #21 of 75
Originally Posted by Fjordor
I don't think, in mainstream Christianity, it will hold that much water.

The G of J's dating is very shaking, giving a time of authorship ranging from 100 AD to as far as 400 AD(so I've gathered).
Considering that it is most likely not written by Judas at all, I think one possible origin is that it was just a fictional narrative written later. Perhaps by someone postulating on what might have happened, or why things happened.
You mean like how the gospels were written well after the writers would have been alive?

Hypocrisy ++.

Go read Misquoting Jesus.

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Old May 20, 2006, 02:10 AM #22 of 75
FallDragon, I'm wondering if you read ANY other posts in this thread before hitting "Reply." I gots my doubts.

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Old May 20, 2006, 05:20 AM #23 of 75
Originally Posted by Denicalis
You mean like how the gospels were written well after the writers would have been alive?

Hypocrisy ++.

Go read Misquoting Jesus.
QFT

Heck, most of the Bible was probably written well after their lifetimes. There is a huge credibility problem when it comes to the Bible for this and many other reasons.

As for the Gnostic stuff, if God does exist and all that, I actually think the Gnostic stuff is closer to being accurate than the mainstream Bible itself. Too many contradictions in the Bible, really.

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Old May 20, 2006, 05:55 AM Local time: May 20, 2006, 08:55 PM #24 of 75
Originally Posted by PNBK
Too many contradictions in the Bible, really.
yeah hay look i'm not rly versed (PUNTENDO) in the damn thing's historicity, but are they really contradictions if the books and their redactions are by dozens of different ppl over several centreez

i mean it's not a fucking novel you're readin

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Last edited by Cal; May 20, 2006 at 05:58 AM.
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Old May 20, 2006, 11:46 AM Local time: May 20, 2006, 08:46 AM #25 of 75
Originally Posted by Wesker
The so called gospel of Judas is just one of many Gnostic writings done during the first century. Paul writes about his problems with the Gnostics in his letters.
1st Point...Dead wrong.
2nd Point...Right, but the problems he wrote about were NOT about the Gnostic Gospels.

I am very suprised that so many people here have not researched the true history of the bible and Gnostic writings.
All Christian and 99% of NON Christian scholars and historians are NOW in FULL agreeance that the earliest Gnostic Gospel was written NO earlier then 150 AD...which would be approx 120 years after Jesus rose to heaven.

All Christian and 99% of NON Christian scholars and historians also AGREE that the 4 Gospels that are in the Christian bible were all written beforee 95 AD..and the only one written that late was the Gospel of John, yet it WAS written by him because he lived to a very old age and also wrote revelation.
John also followed Jesus from the first teachings to the time Jesus assended into heaven..therefore getting his info first hand.

Matthew wrote his gospel around 60 AD and followed Jesus through it all and heard him speak, as well as do miracles.
Mark wrote his gospel possibly a few years earlier and got his writings from hundreds of Jesus's followers that were all in agreeance to what was written in that gospel.
The gospel of Luke was written by Luke and he got his information similiar to Mark. Luke was a brilliant scribe and scholar (very educated). He wrote his Gospel in around 55-60 AD..and then he also went on to write the book of ACTS a year or so later.
In the entire book of ACTS, there is NO mention of the destruction of Jeruselm (70AD) or the decimation of Christians under Nero (65-70AD).

Now..since Nero(65-70AD) AND the fall of Jeruselm (70AD) is a HISTORICAL FACT...one would have to think that if Luke wrote his Gospel and the book of ACTS AFTER those happend...hey..he might just of mentioned them in his books which are in the bible...

HOWEVER....those 2 historical occurances are NOT mentioned in the bible...that being said, the gospel of Luke and the book of ACTS MUST of been written BEFORE 65 AD, which makes THOSE bible books written at least 85 YEARS earlier then ANY GNOSTIC gospel.
And if you do your research...you will see that all Christian Scholars as well as around 97% of NON Christian Scholars and historians AGREE with what I said.

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by SuperBobby; May 20, 2006 at 11:48 AM.
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