Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Judas: the book tour
So I was reading my international TV new email this morning and learned that the National Geographic Channel is going to be releasing some specials documenting the restoration, history and release of the Gospel of Judas.
Apparently this text was found in 1983 and taken out of Egypt without govt approval. This “hot” and ancient text was shopped about for a number of years because no one wanted to cover the price tag of its restoration not to mention the association of purchasing stolen goods.
One way or another NG decided they would sink a ton of money into their restoration in order to secure publishing rights and a slew of other media type locks on the content, though they obviously can’t claim ownership of the source material, also someone else already did that.
I found a write up about references made to the newly restored Gospel made in the 4th century and 6th centuries from Bishops of the time giving the document some historical authenticity.
Here are a couple of passages from the write up that discuss the stories in the Gospel from http://www.religionnewsblog.com/13067
“Hardly anything is known about the document's contents "other than a few personages" it names, said Robinson, identifying them as the mythological figure Allogenes (literally, "the stranger") known from some Nag Hammadi texts, and Satan, Jesus and Judas.”
“…the last six pages of the Judas document describe a heavenly scene in which Allogenes is being tested and tried by Satan, followed by an earthly scene in which Jesus is being watched closely by scribes. At one point Judas is told, "Although you are evil at this place, you are a disciple of Jesus." The last line of the text says, according to Hedrick: "And he [Judas] took money and delivered him [Jesus] over."
“For Robinson, the significance of the Gospel of Judas has to do not with first-century history but with second-century mythology. Still, he offered these half-serious reflections in his closing remarks last month: "Where would Christianity be, if there had been no Judas, and Jesus—instead of dying for our sins on the cross—had died of old age?" he asked. "So: Thank God for Judas? Even the most broadminded among us would call that heresy!"
The last of these remarks is a bit interesting. Yes Judas did a very bad thing but God being God don’t you think he knew that already.
It seems that we take the whole Judas thing as a surprise and are as betrayed as Christ was when in fact Judas was doing what had been prophesized about since the beginning. Jesus knew he was going to be crucified and wasn’t looking forward to it; he knew who was going to be responsible for it too. The Gospels have several accounts where the Pharisees were discussing and planning a way to get the Messiah but never followed through until Judas.