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lucid thoughts

Gospel of Judas May 1, 2006 Monday

Gospel of Judas

The explosive popularity of the Da Vinci Code has spurred lots of alternative thinking into the bible as we know it. New materials are brought to life, presenting new evidence that challenge conventional thinking about present day Christianity.

The Edited Bible
It's interesting to know that the bible as we know it, is heavily edited. The orthodox church at that time decided to keep only 4 gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) out of the 30 or so that were circulating then. They played god by making that decision for us. Much of these writings have been lost but a few survived and have been carefully authenticated, restored and interpreted. One of such is the gospel of Judas, as presented by the National Geographic.

Judas
Judas perhaps is the most maligned person in history. His very name conjures dark imagery of betrayal. With the revelation of his surviving gospel, we are able, for the very first time, to take another look at the man and assess for ourselves, his decisive role in the crucificion of Christ. Is he really a hero and not the villain that he has been painted to be? Perhaps his gospel will rewrite history as we know it.

Gospel
Judas' gospel said a few new things and reiterated things we already know, but from a new angle. For starters, it is said that he alone understood the divinity of Christ, while the rest of the apostles subscribed to a false piety. He and Christ shared a special bond and that there is complicity on the part of Christ about Juda's role. Another claim is that he played the role to realize the higher purpose of Christ...to free Him from the bondage of the body and save man by dying on the cross. In effect, he played hero by sacrificing his name, honor and reputation to fulfill Christ's destiny. Because of this, others now see Judas as a man victimized by history...a devoted disciple used as a sacrificial lamb to realize a prohecy...or is he?

No Logic
Given the new evidence, I was open and willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I appreciate this new revelation about the man, but there are 3 compelling issues that simply don't add up, if I am to believe that Judas has been misunderstood by history. First, if Christ and Judas had an understanding of things to come, why would Christ use the word 'betray' at the last supper? Second, if Judas knew he was fulfilling Christ's destiny by pointing Him out to the Romans, why then did he take 30 pieces of silver for it? Third, if Judas knew he played a crucial role in fulfilling the prophecy, then he should be rejoicing. But no, he commited suicide.

Buddies Don't Spell Loyalty
What about the fact that Judas alone understood Christ? So what? Pol Pot also understood and envisioned a greater Cambodia. The 3 million skulls in the killing fields is testimony of such vision. Sammy 'the bull' Gravano also understood John Gotti, but it didn't stop him from ratting on Gotti that led him to serious jail time.

Nobody Criticizes Himself
Even if Judas told other people of his heroic role (which led to his gospel), it's only expected. People never criticize themselves for anything. Nixon maintained that history will vindicate him (despite hard and proven evidence he bugged Watergate)...John Dillinger told more than a few people he was misunderstood (despite being the most wanted man by the FBI for all his killings). People usually see themselves on a higher pedestal...human nature hasn't changed much in the last 2 millenia.

Ending Thoughts
What of Judas now? I was willing to see him in a completely different light...but no cigar. If at all, his gospel only underscores the historical event that he betrayed Christ, got money for it and was consumed by guilt at the end, he killed himself.

--- TheLoneRider

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