Judas handed Savior"to help Jesus finish his appointed task from God."


Reading Judas - The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
"Few New Testament scholars today would agree with Irenaeus's reasoning, much less with what he says about who wrote these gospels. For while the New Testament gospels contain traditions—sayings of Jesus, parables, and anecdotes—that go back to early times, even the earliest of the gospels, the 'Gospel of Mark', was written about forty years after Jesus's death, and the rest about ten to thirty years later. It is highly unlikely that any of them were written by disciples who personally knew Jesus, but we do not know who actually wrote them. Furthermore, many of the gospels that Irenaeus dismisses as illegitimate, like the 'Gospel of Thomas' and the 'Gospel of Philip', also claim to be written by members of the same inner circle of disciples; but we have no independent evidence to verify who actually wrote any of them, either."- Elaine Pagels & Karen King

November 4, 2009
Dear Violet and all,

i cannot seem to get the facts as to why or how Judas betrayed Jesus. After checking around this seems to be the best answer:

"In the Gospels that we have, Judas was one of Jesus's twelve disciples but envied him (or was possibly disillusioned because Jesus seemed to be uninterested in earthly revolution.) In exchange for thirty pieces of silver (a very large sum) he agreed to identify his leader in public, so that the Roman officers would know who to arrest. He did this by kissing him ("Judas kiss"Was a common expression at one time.) Jesus was arrested and later crucified. He had foreseen that this would happen; he had also known that his most loyal follower, Peter, would deny friendship with him to save his own skin (this also happened.) Judas later hanged himself in remorse. In some countries, such as Greece, he is still burnt in effigy every Easter.

Quite recently a document known as the Gospel of Judas has been found, which claims that Judas was in fact a loyal supporter and the"betrayal"happened very differently. There is still a debate going on about this document."
(end)

The best answer is that Judas"Agreed to identify his leader in public, so that the Roman officers would know who to arrest."This does not make much sense to me. Can you give me what you know i.e., Judas betrayed Jesus by kissing him so that i) ..... ii) ..... iii)...

reagrds to all,

jagbir




Dear Jagbir and all,

Like most modern-day Christians, i was taught that Judas betrayed Jesus to the Roman officers for thirty pieces of silver, and then he hanged himself in remorse. You say that"After checking around this seems to be the best answer, as to how or why Judas betrayed Jesus":

>"In the Gospels that we have, Judas was one of Jesus's twelve
> disciples but envied him (or was possibly disillusioned because
> Jesus seemed to be uninterested in earthly revolution.) In exchange
> for thirty pieces of silver (a very large sum) he agreed to
> identify his leader in public, so that the Roman officers would
> know who to arrest. He did this by kissing him ("Judas kiss"Was a
> common expression at one time.) Jesus was arrested and later
> crucified. He had foreseen that this would happen; he had also
> known that his most loyal follower, Peter, would deny friendship
> with him to save his own skin (this also happened.) Judas later
> hanged himself in remorse. In some countries, such as Greece, he is
> still burnt in effigy every Easter.

You also say that:

> Quite recently a document known as the Gospel of Judas has been
> found, which claims that Judas was in fact a loyal supporter and
> the"betrayal"happened very differently. There is still a debate
> going on about this document." (end)

It is true that there is still a debate going on about this document. As i do not know the answer/s to your question, perhaps for now we have to defer to the scholarship of Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King, who say that initially the author of the 'Gospel of Judas' (who is not Judas), struck them"As an angry man with an offensive, even hateful, message, for he portrays Jesus repeatedly mocking his disciples and charging them with committing all kinds of sins and impurities in his name." ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Introduction, p.xii).

Pagels and King, however say, that when they moved past their first impressions, they found much in the 'Gospel of Judas' filled with Jesus's brilliant teaching:

"But once we moved past this initial impression, we found that not all is angry. Much of the 'Gospel of Judas' is filled with Jesus's brilliant teaching about the spiritual life. Why, then, the author's rage? What matters so deeply? And most important, what hope does the author offer to redeem his anger? The answers to these questions lead deep into the agonizing controversies and exultant visions of God that would ultimately come to shape Christianity and capture the hearts and souls of people for millennia to come." ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Introduction, p.xii).

Pagels and King say that like some other newly recovered works, the 'Gospel of Judas' understands human nature to be essentially spiritual:

"Like some of these other newly recovered works, the 'Gospel of Judas' understands human nature to be essentially spiritual, believing that the physical body decomposes at death while the spirit-filled soul lives forever with God in a heavenly world above. It, too, sees Jesus as the divine revealer sent by God to teach about his kingdom to an ignorant and unrighteous—or self-righteous—humanity." ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Introduction, p.XV).

So, Pagels and King ask:

"Did Judas really write this gospel? Can we learn anything new here about the historical Judas, Jesus, or his disciples? Because the 'Gospel of Judas' was written sometime around 150 C.E., about a century after Judas would have lived, it is impossible that he wrote it; the real author remains anonymous. Neither do we learn anything historically reliable about Judas or Jesus beyond what we already know from other early Christian literature." ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Introduction, p. xiii).

In answer, Pagels and Kings say that:

"The author of the 'Gospel of Judas' could not reconcile his belief in a deeply loving, good God with a particular idea other Christians held at the time: that God desired the bloody sacrificial death of Jesus and his followers. In this author's view, Christian leaders who called on their fellow Christians to "glorify"Themselves that way were murderers. They had totally misunderstood Jesus's teaching and were worshipping a false god. Judas alone among the disciples understood Jesus's teaching and that was why he handed him over to be killed..." ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Introduction, p.xvi).

This brings me to the point, Jagbir, that instead of Christianity being 'together' in its early stages, it was split into many groups or factions - with some Christians believing Judas to be a traitor, and other Christians believing Judas to be the one who understood Jesus's teachings the best. That early Christianity was not a uniform organized group, but had to be deliberately made so, by hereticizing certain writings, is revealed by this quote of Irenaeus, from his own book he wrote, called 'gainst Heresies', where he denounces the Christian group that believed Judas to understand Jesus's teachings the best. Here is what Irenaeus wrote - against the Christian group who asserted that Judas was the person who best understood Jesus's teachings:

"They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produced a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas." [2] ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Introduction, p.xii).

Pagels and King write that:

"Irenaeus was the first, so far as we know, to insist that the church has"only 'four' gospels, not more and not fewer."Why not? Irenaeus offers a cosmological explanation. Just as"There are four corners of the universe, and four universal winds," so, he says," it is fitting that she should have four pillars"that hold up God's truth. And why athese four'? The 'Gospels' of 'Matthew', and 'John', Irenaeus declared, were written by actual apostles, and 'Mark' and 'Luke' by disciples of these apostles. These gospels were reliable, he argued, because they alone could be traced back to eyewitness accounts written by Jesus's most trusted followers."('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Chapter One," Judas: Betrayer or Favored Disciple?", p.6).

Pagels and King say that few New Testament scholars would agree with Irenaeus's reasoning, today:

"Few New Testament scholars today would agree with Irenaeus's reasoning, much less with what he says about who wrote these gospels. For while the New Testament gospels contain traditions—sayings of Jesus, parables, and anecdotes—that go back to early times, even the earliest of the gospels, the 'Gospel of Mark', was written about forty years after Jesus's death, and the rest about ten to thirty years later. It is highly unlikely that any of them were written by disciples who personally knew Jesus, but we do not know who actually wrote them. Furthermore, many of the gospels that Irenaeus dismisses as illegitimate, like the 'Gospel of Thomas' and the 'Gospel of Philip', also claim to be written by members of the same inner circle of disciples; but we have no independent evidence to verify who actually wrote any of them, either." ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Chapter One," Judas: Betrayer or Favored Disciple?", p.6-7).

Pagels and King summarize the above, saying that:

"The claims to apostolic authorship—whether by Irenaeus or those he opposed—belong to second-century battles over whose views would dominate the nascent Christian religion. Certainly, those who wrote and circulated the gospels Irenaeus denounced did not think of themselves as heretics but as Christians. Now that we possess not only Irenaeus's refutation but copies of some of the works he wrote against—including the 'Gospel of Judas'—we can see how one-sided his presentation is. And for the first time, we can hear the other sides of the debate. If we were now to put Irenaeus in conversation with the author of the 'Gospel of Judas', the debate might sound something like this:

Irenaeus: You heretics reject the God and creator of the world who sent Jesus to die for our sins. And contrary to the clear evidence of Scripture, you deny the goodness of the Creator and his creation. You may practice a strict ethics, but only as evidence that you hate the flesh. By denying that Jesus had a physical body and that believers will rise from the dead even as Jesus did, you undermine salvation and make meaningless the church's eucharist of bread and wine (as Jesus's body and blood). You think that you are saved because of your spiritual nature and heavenly origins, so you don't need faith in Christ. Instead you claim to have special knowledge revealed to you alone. This elitist attitude is not only arrogant, it's completely in error and you will be condemned forever. [5]

"The 'Gospel of Judas's' author: Irenaeus, you and Christians like you have grossly mistaken the world Creator—whom Scripture itself clearly shows to be jealous, violent, and vengeful—for the true God and father of the Savior Jesus. It is you who deny the divine goodness of the true God and Creator of all, who is purely goodness, light, and truth, by falsely attributing to God all manner of evil and all the ills of the world: suffering, death, unjust rule, violence, lust for the blood of sacrifice, and their like. By insisting that the physical body is your true nature, you have forgotten that the flesh is manifestly perishable, while God is imperishable. While the body can indeed worship God in righteousness, it is not immortal even though it has been stamped with the divine image of the heavenly Adam and Eve. You are like those who condemn everyone who disagrees with you to eternal punishment, arrogantly believing that you alone possess the truth. It is you who will perish forever."
('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Chapter One," Judas: Betrayer or Favored Disciple?", p.7-8).

Pagels and King say that:

"Irenaeus is trying to win this argument by claiming his version of Christianity comes directly from Jesus's most trusted disciples—but the 'Gospel of Judas' is making the same claim, in an extreme form: that only Judas truly understood Jesus's teaching, because Jesus revealed to him alone the true"mysteries of the kingdom."('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Chapter One," Judas: Betrayer or Favored Disciple?, p.8).

Pagels and King describe how the church fathers organised loosely-knit Christians to follow them, in the form of an orthodoxic hierarchy. (All this, rather than just following Jesus's teachings, Jagbir):

"Arguments like these were going on at a time when the church had no defined creed, no canon of authoritative texts, and no hierarchical leadership that could settle disagreements. Indeed, it was Irenaeus and his fellow bishops who decided that the marks of the"true Church"Were to be creed, clergy, and canon. Irenaeus was among the first to insist that all true Christians must confess the same things, [6] joining together to say a common creed that states what all believe. He also divided the churches between bishops and priests, and"The laity" (the Greek term means"The people"), arguing that the latter must"obey the priests that are in the church," [7] and receive baptism and eucharist only at the hands of bishops and priests he called"orthodox."He warned that dissenters, even if they were priests, placed themselves in mortal danger, since "outside the church there is no salvation."Finally, Irenaeus planted the seeds of what would become the Christian New Testament by arguing that"orthodox" believers must read during worship only books that he and the other bishops approved; others, which he called"secret, illegitimate"books, [8] were to be rejected like poison—for heresy, he admonished, can draw people away from the truth. Historians have noted, too, that the teachings Irenaeus labeled as "orthodox"tend to be those that helped him and other bishops consolidate scattered groups of Jesus's followers into what he and certain other bishops envisioned as a single, united organization they called"The catholic ('universal') church."The diverse range of Christian teachings that they denounced as"heresy"could be antithetical to the consolidation of the church under the bishops' authority. Such writings as the 'Gospel of Thomas' and the 'Gospel of Mary', for example, encourage believers to seek God within themselves, with no mention of churches, much less of clergy. Some writings discovered among such discarded"heretical"texts like the 'pocalypse of Peter', directly challenge"those who name themselves bishops...as if they have received their authority from God.... Those people are dry canals!"[9] Not surprisingly, leaders concerned about establishing and strengthening developing institutional structures dismissed such charges as the rants of "heretics"—exactly as Irenaeus condemned the 'Gospel of Judas' as a piece of fiction intended merely to confuse people." ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Chapter One," Judas: Betrayer or Favored Disciple", p.9-10)

In conclusion, Jagbir, in Chapter Two: "Judas and the Twelve", Pagels and King, after going through the biblical New Testament accounts, state that:

"ONCE WE SEE that all the New Testament gospels treat Judas's betrayal as God's will, it seems less strange to think that Judas might have been seen as following Jesus's instructions in handing him over, as the 'Gospel of Judas' says. More surprising is the way the 'Gospel of Judas' turns upside down what we know about the other disciples—or what we thought we knew. This gospel does more than champion the disciple that all the rest regard as the villain; it also sharply condemns"The twelve."For when they come to Jesus, disturbed by a dream they had of priests at the altar who are sacrificing their own wives and children and committing all kinds of sins and injustices—and doing so in Jesus's name—his reply shocks and angers them: "'You' are the ones you saw receiving offerings at the altar....And the domestic animals you saw being brought for sacrifice are the multitude you are leading astray upon that al[t]ar" ('Judas' 5:1;4). Here the very disciples revered by many Christians as leaders and founders of the movement appear as if it is they—not Judas—who are betraying Jesus. ('Reading Judas', Excerpt, Chapter Two: "Judas and the Twelve", p.33)

So, Jagbir, it seems to be left to the individual to decide whether Judas is a betrayer of Jesus or a favored disciple of Jesus. The 'Gospel of Judas' depicts Judas as a favored disciple of Jesus. For my part, i find the 'Gospel of Judas' truthful spiritually, though it is a bit harsh in places, but then the truth can be harsh, sometimes, as we know. Especially when the truth in the 'Gospel of Judas' seems to be about what people have done with Jesus Christ's message—how they have interpreted it, most often wrongly, because they did not understand Jesus's teachings. But, Judas was taken aside by Jesus, to give Judas more teaching, because of what Judas already did understand, it would seem, from the 'Gospel of Judas' account.

Because of Jesus's trust in Judas, i find it hard to believe that Judas really betrayed Jesus. i think there was some other explanation that is not so clear. i think Jesus wanted Judas to play a certain role, but it is a role that as human beings, we find hard to understand. But, sometimes divine incarnations do inscrutable things. In other words, they do things, sometimes, that are hard for us to understand.

i don't know if that helps, but that is all i can, unfortunately, come up with.

regards to all,

violet

[All Quotes From]:
Reading Judas - The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity,
Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King
Penguin Group - London, England
ISBN 978-0-713-99984-6

Notes:
[2] Irenaeus, 'gainst Heresies' 1.31.1. All references to 'gainst Heresies' are from the critical edition of Adelin Rousseau and Louis Doutreleau, 'Irenee de Lyon, Contre les heresies', 5 vols. (Paris: Les Editions de Cerf, 1979); English translation (sometimes modified) from A. Cleveland Coxe, 'the Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, vol. 1' of 'the Ante-Nicene Fathers' (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1885 [reprint 1979]). Available online at www.earlychristianwritings.com.
The 'Gospel of Judas' is also mentioned by Epiphanius in his 'Panarion' 38.1.5, but his report is probably based upon Irenaeus. See the discussion of the 'Gospel of Judas' in Wilhelm Schneemelcher, editor, 'New Testament Apocrypha. Vol. 1: Gospels and Related Writings,' Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991, pp. 386-387. Gregor Wurst makes the convincing argument that the newly discovered 'Gospel of Judas' is a Coptic translation of the Greek original mentioned by Irenaeus (see"Irenaeus of Lyon and the Gospel of Judas"In athe Gospel of Judas,' Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst, editors, Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2006, pp. 121-135).
[5] For further discussion of such views of Christian polemicists, see Karen L. King, 'What is Gnosticism'? (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2003), pp.22-38.
[6] 'gainst Heresies' 1.10.
[7] 'gainst Heresies' 4.26.2-5. For discussion, see Elaine Pagels, 'the Gnostic Gospels' (New York: Random House, 1979), pp. 103-151. For a more recent discussion of Irenaeus's view of"canon of truth"And baptism, see Elaine Pagels," Irenaeus, the 'Canon of Truth', and the Gospel of John: 'Making a Difference' through Hermeneutics and Ritual," in 'Vigiliae Christianae' Vol. 56, Number 4, 2002, pp. 339-371.
[8] 'gainst Heresies' 1.20.1; praef. 1-3.
[9] 'pocalypse of Peter' 70.22-31.




"During the 1970's, a leather-bound Coptic papyrus was discovered near Beni Masah, Egypt. This has been translated and appears to be a text from the late 2nd century A.D. describing the story of Jesus's death from the viewpoint of Judas. The conclusion of the text refers (in Coptic) to the text as"The Gospel of Judas" (Euangelion Ioudas).

According to a 2006 translation of the manuscript of the text, it is apparently a Gnostic account of an arrangement between Jesus and Judas, who in this telling are Gnostic enlightened beings, with Jesus asking Judas to turn him in to the Romans to help Jesus finish his appointed task from God."Wikipedia

Note: i believe this to be the true reason: "to help Jesus finish his appointed task from God."i will be posting excerpts from"The Gospel of Judas"Where it becomes clear that Jesus had no problem/fear facing a physical crucifixion. This book also debunks the myth that Jesus died for the sins of humanity, which also never made much sense to me.

But now the whole story of an institutionalized Jesus is taking a clarity of comprehension and comfort of conscience never experienced before. Jesus is the revealer of the God within, the true God Almighty that is Brahman! Over the next few weeks/months i will give evidence of the Jesus and His unfinished teachings that the Comforter without and the Holy Spirit within have brought us to remembrance. To achieve that i have ordered the following books:

i) The Gospel of Judas (Edited by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst);
ii) The Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta (Swami Prabhavananda);
iii) Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism (Ravi Ravindra);
iv) An Introduction to the Theology of Religions: Biblical, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Veli-Matti Karkkainen);
v) The Unknown Christ of Hinduism: Towards an Ecumenical Christophany (Raimon Panikkar)

It is going to be a great Christmas,

jagbir


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