Gospel of Judas

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edonnelly
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Gospel of Judas

Post by edonnelly » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:15 pm

I thought some of the visitors here might be interested in this text. Apparently it was just made public this week, though I had seen small clips of it previously. The National Geographic ste has some images of the actual codex, the Coptic text and an English translation:

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/lostgospel/
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Post by annis » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:21 pm

My favorite quote about the text release comes from this BBC article:
The translators' press release said the "launch is due in Easter 2006" - and New Testament scholarship very rarely gets to be "launched", it is just published in journals.
The NG website interface to the text is one of the better uses of Flash I've seen.
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Post by Deudeditus » Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:41 pm

I knew it! :mrgreen:

Awesome link, Mr. Donnelly, thank you!

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Post by Carola » Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:28 am

They are showing the documentary on National Geographic channel tonight (I think - the program guide is a bit muddled!) I will let you know what I think when I see it - it clashes with another show about the discovery of the tiny human remains in Indonesia so I will record the Judas Chronicles.

And my next question - why after weeks of lowbrow garbage on TV do we get 2 interesting programs being shown at the same time? Do the television station owners think that this turns us into loyal viewers? Or is it just that they get all the serious programs over in one hit and hope that the usual game/"reality" TV show audience won't notice too much?
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Post by Gabrielwelter » Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:11 pm

That's quite interesting. I downloaded the text and read it. It has huge gnostic influences and makes one wonder if that was the kind of thing the real jesus preached. And if judas is not a real traitor, so how can the church justify years of anti-semitism and the inquisitiorial persecution? And all those people who believe in a literal interpretation of the bible.....there was a guy in the national geographic forum saying that this document is a work of satan to mislead the christians.....crazy world.

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Post by edonnelly » Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:47 pm

Gabrielwelter wrote:And if judas is not a real traitor, so how can the church justify years of anti-semitism and the inquisitiorial persecution?
Are you suggesting that if Judas is a real traitor that it justifies anti-semitism?
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:13 pm

Indeed, my first reaction when I saw this in the newspaper was "So, they didn't have to persecute us for all these centuries." Of course, if they didn't have Judas Iscariot to blame, they would have found something else ... after all, why let Jews own so much property when Christians (or Germans, or Russians, etc) can rob them and own the property instead?

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Post by edonnelly » Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:36 pm

Now I'm getting off topic, but hey, it's my thread...

I have always been intrigued by the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" which basically portrays Judas as the good guy and Jesus as the (sort of) bad guy.

(I also think it's quite interesting that this show was able to become so popular with such a theme.)
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Post by Kopio » Sun Apr 09, 2006 7:54 pm

Hmmm....so much to address, so little time.....
Gabrielwelter wrote:That's quite interesting. I downloaded the text and read it. It has huge gnostic influences and makes one wonder if that was the kind of thing the real jesus preached.
I've also taken a look at the Gospel...the only problem with it is that it gives us a completely different view of the sort of things that Jesus spoke...things that virtually all (from the Jesus Seminar to the conservative evangelical) modern scholarship believes to be accurate sayings of Jesus.

Gabrielwelter wrote:And if judas is not a real traitor, so how can the church justify years of anti-semitism and the inquisitiorial persecution?
AND
GlottalGreekGeek wrote:Indeed, my first reaction when I saw this in the newspaper was "So, they didn't have to persecute us for all these centuries."
First off, I must say that both the inquisition and the persecution of the Jews are both wrong and unbiblical. That being said....Judas being a jew was NOT the reason for the either of these events, and to say so seems very puzzling to me. I have always found the persecution of the Jews by Christians as a strange thing indeed...after all....their Savior was a Rabbi!

As for this quote:
Gabrielwelter wrote:And all those people who believe in a literal interpretation of the bible.....there was a guy in the national geographic forum saying that this document is a work of satan to mislead the christians.....crazy world.
I'm not sure what you mean is crazy here....a literal interpretation of the bible?? The belief in Satan?? Or close minded overzealous Christians? If it is the latter, I would agree, other that that, this has a peculiar ring of "I can't believe those stupid Christians are at it again" :)
GlottalGreekGeek wrote: ...after all, why let Jews own so much property when Christians (or Germans, or Russians, etc) can rob them and own the property instead?
GGG....I do appreciate how you lumped other bad guys together with the Christians here....it was an attempt to be even handed. I must point out, that in recent times it's the "Christians" who for the most part have been the biggest supporters of Jews. FWIW, I am a Christian, who reads and writes Hebrew better than most of my Jewish friends. Not only do I greatly revere the TaNaK, but I also deeply love the People of God.

There is nothing that can be said to dismiss or excuse the inquisition or the persecution of Jews. That being said....I get really tired of it being dragged up and beaten like the d e a d horse it is. OK.....I"v rambled on long enough.

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:57 pm

I did not intend to say anything offensive towards current Christians, indeed I think Christians who have persecuted Jews went against the principles of their own religion (same goes for Muslims - in medieval times most Muslims were kinder to Jews than most Christians, but during the 20th century the dynamics have changed).

Ultimately, I don't think it's religion, but greed and fear of outsiders/tribalism which prompts religious persecution. Even the 30 years war, from my point of view, was as much if not more about political power than whether Protestantism or Catholicism is the true religion.

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Post by Bert » Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:35 pm

Gabrielwelter wrote: And if judas is not a real traitor, so how can the church justify years of anti-semitism and the inquisitiorial persecution?
:?: I am not aware of any Church trying to justify inquisitiorial persecution.
BTW The inquisition persecuted a lot more than Jews. I don't see the connection.

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Post by Paul » Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:52 am

Gabrielwelter wrote:It has huge gnostic influences and makes one wonder if that was the kind of thing the real jesus preached.
It shouldn't make you so wonder. The Church has been fighting this ancient heresy for 2,000 years. In a certain way, it is the one, original heresy: the idea that matter, the created world, is evil. It is an idea much older than Christianity.
Gabrielwelter wrote:And if judas is not a real traitor, so how can the church justify years of anti-semitism and the inquisitiorial persecution?
And as Bert pointed out, what makes you think that the Church tries to justify its past anti-Semitism? I recall the last Pope's profound apology to the Jewish people for the Church's institutionalized anti-Semitism. What "justification" were you thinking about?
Gabrielwelter wrote:And all those people who believe in a literal interpretation of the bible.....there was a guy in the national geographic
forum saying that this document is a work of satan to mislead the christians.....crazy world.
Along with Matt, I don't know quite what you are saying here. Even without the help of Satan human beings are capable of all kinds of error and evil. Whoever authored the work, it certainly is misleading. If you believe that the created world is the work of an evil demon, then Christ could never have become flesh and lived among us.

Cordially,

Paul

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Post by Chris Weimer » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:27 am

Paul - but that assumes that Christ came in the flesh. According to most Gnostic versions, Christ descended to this world in order to free us from the flesh.

And that's not too far from Orthodoxy either. Does not the Apostle Paul basically assume the flesh is bad and the spirit is good?

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Post by darthanakin » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:14 am

Its a shame that the part where Jesus responds to Judas' question about what happens to the other human generations beside the holy one is not complete.
And the paragraph just before the conclusion too, I would have loved to hear what was said.

Btw, are there any sites nline where you can learn Coptic for free?

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Post by Paul » Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:50 am

Chris Weimer wrote:And that's not too far from Orthodoxy either. Does not the Apostle Paul basically assume the flesh is bad and the spirit is good?
I suppose you mean "orthodoxy" with a small "o". The gnostic belief is far, far away from traditional Christian belief. It has long been a fundamental Christian dogma that we are resurrected in the flesh (general resurrection, resurrection of the body). This belief is wholly incompatible with Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Catharism, etc.

I don't doubt for a minute that there is in Christianity a temptation to denigrate the body. But this has been sorely misunderstood. The very fact that God enters his creation in the flesh should serve as a ratification of our very human estate.

There is surely a proper disposition toward the passions of the flesh, but it is not hatred. In fine, for all its often terrible problems, the world is good.

Cordially,

Paul

P.S. - for an innocent dose of Gnosticism you might recall Yoda's words to Luke during his training on Dagobah: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter!"

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Post by Deudeditus » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:40 am

Btw, are there any sites nline where you can learn Coptic for free?
I'm sure there are...

This is a very interesting thread. I wish I could take a real part in it, but alas! I find my knowledge lacking... :cry:

-Jon

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Post by annis » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:24 pm

Paul wrote: for an innocent dose of Gnosticism you might recall Yoda's words to Luke during his training on Dagobah: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter!"
For a somewhat less innocent dose, then entire Matrix trilogy.
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Post by antianira » Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:28 pm

Btw, are there any sites nline where you can learn Coptic for free
?



What exactly is Coptic? the site said something about a modified greek alphabet to write ancient egyptian. So it is sort of a combination of the two? Does this mean if you read greek you would or would not be able to read Coptic? Did it develope because of greeks living in Alexandria? Are there any other works written in it?

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Post by annis » Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:34 pm

antianira wrote:What exactly is Coptic? the site said something about a modified greek alphabet to write ancient egyptian.
Coptic is the last stage of the Ancient Egyptian language, written in the Greek alphabet with a few extra letters for sounds Greek didn't have.
So it is sort of a combination of the two?
Coptic borrowed a lot of Greek vocabulary (including surprising things like conjunctions), but they're entirely different languages.
Does this mean if you read greek you would or would not be able to read Coptic? Did it develope because of greeks living in Alexandria? Are there any other works written in it?
There are loads of works in Coptic, mostly Christian or of related heretical groups. It is still the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

See: http://www.geocities.com/remenkimi/
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by PeterD » Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:43 pm

And all this time I thought Jesus was Greek. His last name is Greek, no?

p.s. Kopio, I hope you are fully recovered from the auto mishap you had a little while back. Take care.
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Post by IreneY » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:13 pm

Personally I don't see what the whole fuss is about (not from a scientific or pure curiosity point of view). I mean it is common knowledge that, at first, there were many more than the four gospels that are "officially" sanctioned. The basic beliefs of most of the major heresies are also known.
Therefore, I don't see why (from a 'religious' point of view) there's so much discussion about this gospel. You either agree with the official dogma and accept that the four official gospels are the ones that recount the true story or you don't.

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Post by Kopio » Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:05 am

PeterD wrote:And all this time I thought Jesus was Greek. His last name is Greek, no?

p.s. Kopio, I hope you are fully recovered from the auto mishap you had a little while back. Take care.
Thank you for the good wishes PeterD....and also....thank you for one of the best laughs I've had in quite a while....I just LOVE your new sig....you can't change it!!

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Post by Deudeditus » Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:49 am

Personally I don't see what the whole fuss is about
neither do I, but my mother was quite 'dissapointed' with me when I said I didn't think it mattered if Judas betrayed the Annointed One or not. It was necessary, no?

anyway, I can't wait to see the dramatizations on TV. :D

-Jon

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Post by annis » Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:32 pm

IreneY wrote:Personally I don't see what the whole fuss is about (not from a scientific or pure curiosity point of view).
It's the pop-culture Zeitgeist. Dan Brown's wretched books have prepared people — people already dosed up on years of X-Files episodes — to indulge in theological conspiracy theories.

In 2000, no one wanted the codex. Now the subject is hot.
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Post by Kopio » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:13 am

Wow...I just found a very interesting translation of Judas. It's worth taking a look at. http://www.gospelofstjudas.com/router_page.html

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Post by Kasper » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:25 am

Kopio wrote:Wow...I just found a very interesting translation of Judas. It's worth taking a look at. ttp://www.gospelofstjudas.com/router_page.html
Blasphemy!! Stone him!!
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“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”

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Post by Chris Weimer » Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:18 am

It's a totally different Gospel of Judas.

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Post by Kopio » Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:58 pm

Kasper wrote:Blasphemy!! Stone him!!
Sorry.....couldn't help myself. It was so hoplessly irreverant and funny, I just had to post the link!

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Post by Deudeditus » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:16 pm

Oh. haha. :lol: I thought this guy was serious... :oops:

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Post by Michaelyus » Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:14 pm

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Post by Carola » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:40 am

Well, I saw the program (finally - 2 days after recording it) and, like the curate's egg, good in parts. Nat Geo spends a lot of money on these documentaries but they sometimes dwell too long on meaningless reconstructions and a little short on content. However, I do realise not everyone finds deciphering ancient texts so fascinating! The story seemed to skip around a bit, maybe it should have been made as several distinct episodes, the finding of the document, the history and so on.

They also made some embarrassing chronological errors - Judas hanging himself from a eucalyptus tree in front of an agave - neither plant would have been anywhere near Jerusalem at that time; the first comes from Australia and the second from USA (I suspect this may have been shot in California). I know most people can't tell a petunia from a palm tree, but Nat Geo does not really have this excuse, especially after painstakingly recreating ancient papyrus and training people to write with bits of cane as pens.
I have not commented on the theological importance of these findings - I don't feel qualified and feel the whole thing needs more research.
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