Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Gospel of Judas (Iscariot)...

First off, sorry the last post sucked, but I was totally falling asleep as I wrote it. Not my best work, but trying to work on a deadline I kept failing to keep, hahah. Anyhow, here is as good a summary as I may give in short time on this gospel. There is so much to write, and I cannot really say what angle I wish to use, so it shall be my own thoughts and stream of consciousness on the subject. So, in honor of Easter Sunday, a treatise on Judas Iscariot...

As is known throughout all the Christian world, Judas Iscariot was one of the original twelve disciples. He was the money holder for those following Jesus' ministry, and also dipped into the coffers when no one noticed. It was Judas who questioned Jesus when the weeping woman washed his feet with myrh and oil, for he said, there are poor everywhere, yet you let her wash your feet with such expensive materials. Finally, Judas Iscariot is known for the second worst sin of all, that of aiding in deicide! He sold out Jesus' whereabouts for 30 pieces of silver to the San Hedrin, during the week of Passover in Jerusalem. Afterward two accounts tell of Judas' fate, one says he hung himself after realizing his error, and the other says God Himself punished Judas in his own field by making his entrails explode from his body cursing that field forever. Judas Iscariot is the ultimate villain in the canonical Gospels for turning in the Messiah to be crucified. This is worse than Pilate who was saving his own skin from being killed next by Caesar, and worse than the Jews because though they had Jesus killed, Judas knew that he was Messiah. He was a follower and confidante in line with only 11 others who were the main disciples and apostles. And with this very intimate knowledge he turned in the savior of Man.

That is the story told through the ages from the gospels to the Middle Ages when Judas is placed in Hell with Satan, Brutus, and Cassius, in Dante's Inferno, till present day The Last Temptation of Christ, and Jesus Christ Superstar. But now there is a new revelation in a text rediscovered in the late 1970's, and studied by true antiqurians no more than five years ago. This codex is called the "Gospel of Judas".

The name itself even varies from past precedence of the canonical gospels. In those, they are titled, the Gospels according to Mark, or Matthew, or Luke, or John. Not the Gospel "of". So in their versions, they are telling the Good News (gospel) of Jesus, where they may or may not have a definite role. The Gospel of Judas, in essence is saying the Good News of Judas Iscariot, where he has a very definite role, in the history of Jesus' ministry. Already, we see that Judas is viewed as someone special, for whatever reason.

Once one reads the story it is evident why there is this title change. Judas is seen not as the "great betrayer", but as the greatest disciple of Jesus. It is his role in turning in the Christ which saves not mankind, but Jesus from this mortal coil. The entire gospel is antithetical to what we know of from the Gospels. Judas is the good guy, Jesus does not die for our sins that we may be redeemed, rather he dies to get the Hell off Earth. He is not the son of God (Yahweh), but an Aeon from the Divine Realm, only sent here to give the "enlightened" knowledge of how to get off this earth and drop their humanity to return the soul to the higher realm like he did. And who is the only one of twelve who is enlightened? Judas.

He is the only one who knows when Jesus questions, "who am I?" correctly. The other disciples throughout the gospel just don't get it, becaues they do not have a spark of the divine within their bodies. Without that spark, it means when they die, they cease to exist. Their spirits are on borrowed time, for they were created by the God Yahweh, the Jewish God, versus by The Eternal Unnamed One. Also, Jesus has a sense of humor in this gospel, he laughs repeatedly at the disciples because they don't get what he says. He even mocks what would become the Holy Eucharist.

The Gospel of Judas simply has so many ideas that are different from ours. It speaks of Jesus coming from Barbelo, and of the Goddess Sophia, and her fall from grace. She being the one that brought forth life not of the Divine Realm, creating Yahweh who is an evil demiurge who in turn created, creation. Also the creation story tells of God making man, Adam, in the likeness of the perfect man, Adamas, who is a type of man but from the divine. In essence, take all our stories and give them a tilt that puts knowledge over faith, and you have a very basic idea of what this gospel says.

But also there is something that the theologians and commentators do not talk about because they are studying this text historically and academically. But religiously, think of this. What if this text was in the cannon and all the other gnostic texts? They came very close to winning the theological battle, then we'd all be trying to find knowledge and would never even think twice of faith. Doesn't that bother anyone else, that we came near to polytheism versus monotheism? I guess I am just odd in this, but around this time, Holy Week, I become very thoughtful of the what ifs. Just one change in fortune, and our whole religion could be changed. Makes you see how fragile even the most strong foundation can be.

Thursday nights service was quite interesting. Usually the sermon is on the Last Supper, the Betrayal of Judas, and the coming Crucifixion. Instead, Pastor Eloise spoke of how the upper room was full of humility, frailty, and love. How God must truly love mankind, because He humbled himself enough to wash the feet of the disciples, in human form, though He is God of all creation. This act was done because even till that night, they did not understand the simple message he professed. Love. Love one another as He loves us. So as she concluded the service, we were to think, not of death or crucifixion, nor of deicide and betrayal. But to simply go out and Love, for as we love another, we express our love for the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In that vein, I love all, my family, my friends, and well... you!

Happy Easter, may it be filled with love, joy, redemption, and new beginnings, whatever they may be...!!!


Blogger RamJam said...

Explain Pilate's Caesar problems.

7:42 PM  

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