Thursday, February 16, 2006

Gospel of Judas to Be Published

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I always thought Judas was unfairly blamed for doing what Jesus knew he would do and which was required for Jesus to ascend to Christ status. It was Judas' karma to help Jesus fulfill his role as Messiah. Now there is a purported Gospel of Judas dating from the 4th or 5th century that held Judas as an accomplice to Jesus' mission, holder of the secret no one else could carry out.

Apparently there was a Gnostic sect that wanted to promote Judas' status as Jesus' confidant.

According to scholars who have seen photographs of the brittle manuscript, it argues that Judas Iscariot was carrying out God's will when he handed Christ over to his executioners. The manuscript could bring momentum to a broader academic movement that argues Judas has gotten a bum rap among both historians and theologians, as well as in popular culture.


Some of the manuscript's passages echo descriptions in the New Testament of Christ's arrest, recalling how Roman authorities aimed to "seize (Christ) in the act of prayer" and how Judas "took some money and he delivered (Christ) over to them," Hedrick said, quoting from his translation.

Although Judas cooperates in the arrest of Christ, Hedrick said, the codex does not depict him as a villain.

"Judas is not a bad guy in this text," Hedrick said in an interview. "He is the good guy and he is serving God."

The manuscript is due to be published after Easter.

Links to the Judas story:

Matt 26:14-16 - The plot
Matt 26:47-56 - The betrayal
Matt 27:3-10 - The suicide

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