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Gospel of Judas
April 11, 2006
3:23 pm
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Cici
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Has anyone here heard anything about the newly discovered gnostic christian gospel of judas?

April 11, 2006
3:27 pm
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eve
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Only what was in the press.

I found the idea interesting, that the blame and the guilt were a later addition to the story. But I don't know enough to discuss this seriously.

April 11, 2006
10:02 pm
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Zinnie
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I have only read a short blurb about it. However, my husband while visiting was telling me that this is something he is currently reading about. I told him I would like to read the books when he is done with them, and I'm hoping to get them while I'm home in May.

So... perhaps we can discuss at a later date?

Z.

April 11, 2006
11:01 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Yay, Zinnie's back!

I find this to be a fascinating addition to the knowledge we have of that really interesting piece of history. The cool thing about these documents is that they are way old, from the right time period, and are translated from even older documents.

Oh, that reminds me, there is also a "Gospel of Mary Magdelene."

In the end, I get the idea that there really was an amazing guy named Jesus and that most everyone who had much to do with him had a lot to say about him.

April 12, 2006
9:06 am
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Cici
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It makes me think that there is more revisionist history in the King James version of the bible, than anything else. Things that were tweaked and twisted a little bit to fit some dude's idea of what we should believe.

It kinda irks me.

Hi Zinnie, Eve, long time no see...by the way, my Dad has lung cancer, so could you guys say a prayer for him (We're hoping for a miracle)

April 12, 2006
1:30 pm
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eve
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Oh dear Cici,

indeed long time no hear - I hope that means that you are well and busy? I'm very sorry to hear about your dad and hope the best for him.

Hugs to you and best wishes for your dad.

April 13, 2006
12:25 am
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salemgirl
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It is unfortunate that all the books (gospels)written on Christ from the ones who knew him weren't published in the day. There are many conspiracy theories on this very subject, and it can make for a facinating hobby.

What I don't understand is why Judas gets almost all the blame for something that had to be done. The poor guy's destiny was out of his hands from the beginning. Judas was just a pawn in the bigger picture God and Christ had planned.

According to the New Testament,and christian beliefs,if Jesus had not been crucified, salvation would not have been possible. Did Judas really have free will in this situation? For that matter, what about Pharoh when Moses asked him to free his people? Does not Exodus tell us God hardened Pharoh's heart? Where is the free will in this? I think the christian population needs to rethink the sacrifices of some of these individuals, and what these individuals helped to accomplish in the grand design.

April 13, 2006
1:08 am
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Anonymous
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salemgirl,

{It is unfortunate that all the books (gospels)written on Christ from the ones who knew him weren't published in the day.}

Would you please clarify this? I'm having trouble understanding it.

{What I don't understand is why Judas gets almost all the blame for something that had to be done.}

If Judas had thought in his heart, "I would never betray Jesus, but God is telling me to do so, so I'll do it.", he would have been blameless. Instead, he thought in his heart to profit from Jesus' betrayal, and perhaps to hide his sins. He held the money bag for the apostles; perhaps he was embezzling from it and had to pay it back before Jesus took an accounting of the money.

Judas, IMO, wasn't condemned for the actual act of betrayal, but for his motives for the betrayal.

Judas had his free will -- if he hadn't have chosen to betray Christ for dark motives, God would have inspired him to do it for good motives, IMO.

{For that matter, what about Pharoh when Moses asked him to free his people? Does not Exodus tell us God hardened Pharoh's heart?}

The Bible indeed says that God hardened Pharoah's heart -- but this is a mistake or mistranslation in our oldest existing Bible manuscript, IMO, which is still thousands of years removed from the original. It's clear from other places in the Bible that God doesn't harden anybody's heart, that he allows us our freedom of choice.

He might have put Pharaoh on the throne knowing he would subsequently harden his heart, but wouldn't have caused it to happen.

April 13, 2006
4:38 am
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to seekerw,
this is in response to your request for clarification on my train of thought. I hope this helps, I realize that my perspectives on some things can be confusing. I've addressed each one individually

1. I thought it was common knowledge that many gospels have been discovered that were written by many of Christ's followers. Before the gospel of judas was even discovered, it was mentioned as a reject and odered to be destroyed when compiling and selecting books for the bible. Constantine was responsible for collecting alot of the manuscripts for putting the bible together, but he did not actually select which ones would be published in it. Rejects were ordered to be destroyed, so other versions would not be around to contradict those writings that were selected.

2. Judas was not greedy, nor did he have a dark heart. His concern was to give and feed the poor. Christ even chastized Judas when he complained about the expensive oil that was used to anoint Christ. Judas loved Christ but was confused and concerned about some of his actions. Actually, none of the disciples realized or fully understood the impact of Christ `and his crucification for several years afterward. In Judas' gospel, Jesus actually approached Judas with what had to be done. In the other gospels that mention the betrayal, the disciples had no understanding of what had to happen. In their eyes Judas had to be selfish devious crook so they could justify what he did.IMO Judas did understand fully what was going on, but could not live with the grief of it all, much like pulling the plug on a brain dead loved one. You know you have to do it, but can you live with yourself afterwards.

3. If I'm not mistaken, exodus clearly states that God told Moses he would harden Pharohs heart so that his people(the Jews, not the Romans)would know His power (God's, not Moses'). This sounds like devine intervention to me.

I'm guessing it sounds like I'm questioning GOD, or the Bible. I'm actually looking for clarity. The reactions of the general population confuses me most of the time. I don't understand the need for finding a villian for every disaster, and that cause and effect sometimes needs compassion and understanding, not a scapegoat.

I hope I've cleared some things up.

April 13, 2006
9:10 am
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Anonymous
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salemgirl,

Thank you for clarifying your thoughts about other gospels and Judas. I've heard of these other gospels and don't know much about them. I've read some of the gospel of Thomas.

Perhaps they weren't included in the New Testament because their authorship could not be established. For example, the Jews give greater deference to 1 and 2 Kings over 1 and 2 Chronicles, which are parallel accounts of events, because tradition says that a prophet wrote Kings (Jeremiah) while there's no tradition for Chronicles' author.

Mary's gospel might have been excluded because she wasn't an apostle, although I believe she very well might have been Jesus' wife.

I don't know that Judas understood what he was doing by betraying Christ. He may have thought that God would do a miracle and rescue Jesus from the Sanhedrin, and thus viewed the 30 pieces as easy money.

Still, it's clear that Jesus himself and the other disciples didn't find Judas to have a spotless character. John called him a "thief" (John 12:6). Peter referred to Judas' 30 pieces of silver as the "reward of iniquity" (Acts 1:18). Jesus called him the "son of perdition" (John 17:12). If Jesus had asked Judas to betray him, he wouldn't have spoken of him in this light, IMO.

Jesus also quoted Psalms 41:9-10, in John 13:18, concerning Judas:

9Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

And according to John 12:5-6, Judas didn't object to the ointment being used on Jesus because he truly cared about the poor:

5[Judas speaking:] Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

6This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

I suppose we could say that Judas was stigmatized by Peter and John, but still, if he had indeed betrayed Christ at Christ's request, I'm sure the other apostles would have come to know this and spoken more positively about him by the time the gospels and Acts were written, which were many years after the betrayal.

You are correct about Exodus and Pharoah. It does say that God would harden his heart. Still, I think this is a mistake that got into the Bible long before our oldest existing manuscripts were written. I could talk more about this if you'd like.

Take care,
Seeker

April 13, 2006
12:31 pm
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Cici
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To me this represents the revisitionist approach to the history of the christian church. IMO, the information regarding the life of Jesus and the formation of the early christian church has been horribly skewed. To further ideas that came about long after the death of christ.

April 13, 2006
7:13 pm
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Anonymous
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Cici,

I'm a bit confused by what you mean by this: "IMO, the information regarding the life of Jesus and the formation of the early christian church has been horribly skewed".

Would you please clarify? Thanks.

Seeker

April 13, 2006
10:54 pm
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salemgirl
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Cici

I understand what you are saying.

April 14, 2006
11:42 am
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Cici
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Cici,

I'm a bit confused by what you mean by this: "IMO, the information regarding the life of Jesus and the formation of the early christian church has been horribly skewed".

Would you please clarify? Thanks.

Seeker

The King James version of the bible is a collection of certain gospels that were approved to be included in that version of the bible. It by no means covers every single gospel ever written. There is also a gospel of Mary Magdalene. Hardly anyone beyond those who frequent circles where the study of religious texts is an academic pursuit knows of its existence.

Also, the King James version is something like the 27th translation, of a translation, of a translation. The original gospels were written in aramaic, if I'm not mistake, then translated into greek, latin, and english, before being edited and altered by the existing religious leaders of the time.

Therefore, to claim that the bible that is currently in use in christian circles is "the word of God" -- that can only be true in the interpretative sense. THe words of GOd as he supposedly directed 100s of people who may or may not have held the christian values they purported to believe in to heart.

In all honesty, I only minored in religions in college, so I'm not the most educated in this area. But I've seen evidence of this in every single organized religion in existence, and it's been the subject of much debate in academic circles.

As Nietzche said (I think?) "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- those who attained power as the elders of the faith, were not exempt from the corruption of having a massive amount of power and large sums of money at their behest.

April 14, 2006
12:10 pm
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Cici,

I agree with you about the corrupting power of the church throughout the ages.

Many of the 47 to 54 scholars tagged to translate the KJV were very skilled in Hebrew and Greek, so they were able to use the Masoretic text (Hebrew Old Testament manuscipts)and the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew scripture manuscripts).

As you loosely stated, they also used primarily the Bishop's bible and the Geneva bible, which were also translated from the manuscripts I listed in the above paragraph.

You are absolutely correct that there have been translation upon translation over the centuries, but the KJV has been taken to task many times and holds up under scrutiny when compared to the original manuscripts.

The Gnostics and the early Christians broke off from each other for their differences in opinions so it figures that the manuscripts are also going to reflect their differing beliefs.

I'm just glad I live in this age! 🙂

April 14, 2006
12:20 pm
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eve
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It doesn't even need to be ill will, or corruption. Fact is, that there will always be some concepts that we'll have a hard time with, I just can't really fit my mind around quite a lot of things like 'quantum physics' or 'advanced philosophical hegelism' or 'cooking with chinese herbs'. Because I just lack a lot of basic understanding.

So if 'God is great' it would be logical to assume that there will be a lot of things that will remain outside my grasp. Sadly, the tendency of human behaviour is to replace 'things outside my grasp' with 'blind spot' without even noticing that we do.

April 14, 2006
4:10 pm
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Cici
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I can't help but wonder, at the subjugation of women in the christian church, though. It seems like women played an integral role early on in the formation of the church and then just got pushed to the side. OR down. Whatever.

April 15, 2006
3:20 am
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Cici and cannibaltribe,

You certainly have some good points about the King James Version and Bible translations in general. The Masoretic text is, as I recall, over 1000 years old, but it itself is removed from the original autographs of the Bible by at least about 800 years.

The Dead Sea scrolls show that the book of Isaiah is substantially the same now as it was in about 100 BC. Still, that is about 600 years after Isaiah wrote it, so who knows what changes may have crept in or parts removed?

The New Testament makes it clear how the Christian church is supposed to be set up: with apostles at the head, chosen by and taught by Jesus Christ himself or by other apostles, and teaching what Christ reveals to them. Any other church system is not sanctioned by the New Testament, and is prone to errors and misinterpretations of scripture.

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