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  1. #1
    captaintrub is offline
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    Exclamation The gospel of judas


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    Has anyone heard of the gospel of judas that was recently translated from coptic?

    Information from national geographic about it can be found at ngm.com/gospel


    Apperently, It suggests that Judas was the diciple that best understood J's teachings, and that Jeusus asked Judas to betray him. Take a look at the web page and if you have national geographic, read the article. There are apperently a few more gospels as well, such as the gospel of thomas, and the gospel of truth.

    I would be interested to hear people's thoughts on this.


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    Member muichimotsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    It's Gnostic text as the theory goes, i believe. I believe they have about as much info about Christ as anyone. hell, I have an idea that Jesus may not have existed, or that his existence was embellished with miracles, etc... Judas makes sense to me a lot in a way and yet has a bit too Gnostic a tone as well.

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    captaintrub is offline
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    Quote Originally Posted by muichimotsu
    It's Gnostic text as the theory goes, i believe. I believe they have about as much info about Christ as anyone. hell, I have an idea that Jesus may not have existed, or that his existence was embellished with miracles, etc... Judas makes sense to me a lot in a way and yet has a bit too Gnostic a tone as well.
    I think the gnostic texts are worth taking a look at if you are christian or a theologan. From what little I've seen, most of them are simply other suppressed accounts of jesus, with a little more elaboration on what jesus was trying to teach. Some of them seem a little strange from a Christian's view, like the secret gospel of John (or somthing like that) which says that the god of the old testament is an inferior god and not the one true god. Also the Judas gospel saying that the other apostles didn't understand his message. Lots more stuff to ponder.

    I appreciate your non-biased evaluation of ideas, muichimotsu.

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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    No prob. I thank my first religion professor for enlightening to me that there are many otehr gospels, they're just apparently not "canon" so they're automatically bad. Loved Gospel of Mary and Thomas, lol

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    Miscellaneous is offline
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    Quote Originally Posted by muichimotsu
    It's Gnostic text as the theory goes, i believe.
    Well...not really. "Gnostic" has become a term applied to any number of early Christian cults whose doctrines were for the most part rejected by early theologians, mostly because they ran against most everything the disciples said and wrote about Christ.

    According to early Christian writer Irenaeus, a group called the Cainites authored the heretical text centered around Judas (he also descirbes the theology therein, which is the same as the theology in the Coptic text we have now). The Cainites wrote the Gospel to present their belief that evil is a necessity and thus, that Judas was the greatest disciple because he did the "necessary evil" of betraying Christ. Their name comes, as you might surmise, from Cain, the first murderer.

    So in short, early Christians were aware of this "newly discovered" Gospel and rejected it for sound reasons. It's not that big a revelation.
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    Member muichimotsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    Oh chill out. It's a Gnostic idea, doesn't make it wrong. We don't know what happened with Jesus. At least not everything that happened up to the potential crucifixion event. Who knows if Jesus didn't potentially give some info to Judas about stuff that he didn't tell the others? No one, because we weren't there. I see it as a "legend" that gives us a message about things, mostly from the Gnostic Christian perspective.

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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    I wonder why the last thread like this was closed?

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    captaintrub is offline
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    Cool Re: The gospel of judas

    Quote Originally Posted by Miscellaneous
    Well...not really. "Gnostic" has become a term applied to any number of early Christian cults whose doctrines were for the most part rejected by early theologians, mostly because they ran against most everything the disciples said and wrote about Christ.

    According to early Christian writer Irenaeus, a group called the Cainites authored the heretical text centered around Judas (he also descirbes the theology therein, which is the same as the theology in the Coptic text we have now). The Cainites wrote the Gospel to present their belief that evil is a necessity and thus, that Judas was the greatest disciple because he did the "necessary evil" of betraying Christ. Their name comes, as you might surmise, from Cain, the first murderer.

    So in short, early Christians were aware of this "newly discovered" Gospel and rejected it for sound reasons. It's not that big a revelation.
    no, it's not huge, but it is pretty significant to me. I didn't know that there were other originally rejected gospels in the first place. I would still like to take a look at them, particularly the gospel of thomas. I read in the ng article that it was mainly the church that supressed them. And maybe they were rejected for a good reason, but they still may contain some items of merit for christians. From what little I've seen, most of it looks pretty good, and doesn't contradict the rest of the gospels (exept the secret gospel of john or something like that) I try to be open minded about such things.

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    Miscellaneous is offline
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    Quote Originally Posted by captaintrub
    no, it's not huge, but it is pretty significant to me. I didn't know that there were other originally rejected gospels in the first place.
    Which is a failure of the modern church, I might add. Pretending there aren't heresies in the church doesn't make them go away.

    I would still like to take a look at them, particularly the gospel of thomas. I read in the ng article that it was mainly the church that supressed them.
    No, it was centuries worth of dirt that "suppressed" them. Most of the lost "gospels" fell out of use on their own; very few of them were ever "censored" by the Catholic Church or any other religious body, but rather they were studied and labelled as non-canonical. The Gnostics, for instance, had representatives at the early church councils, but died out on their own, as did many other fringe groups.

    From what little I've seen, most of it looks pretty good, and doesn't contradict the rest of the gospels (exept the secret gospel of john or something like that) I try to be open minded about such things.
    You'll find as you actually read them that many of them do heavily contradict the four canonical Gospels (which were, by the way, considered authoritative because of both source and age, not just content). The Gospel of Thomas, for instance, adds to several of Christ's sayings to give them a more "mysterious" meaning in line with pre-existing Gnostic beliefs. Just be wary of such things as you study. There are very good reasons those works didn't make it into the canon.
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    Quote Originally Posted by muichimotsu
    Oh chill out. It's a Gnostic idea, doesn't make it wrong.
    As far as Christianity is concerned, where Gnostic beliefs contradicted the recorded words of Christ in the authoritative Gospels, yes, they were wrong. For instance, the Gnostics believed that the Old Testament God was false and not related to Christ, when Christ said otherwise Himself. It's quite reasonable to reject such inventions, and the church fathers did (you can find several of them in that link to Irenaeus' work on early heresies).

    But once again, the Gospel of Judas was not Gnostic. The evidence suggests that the Gnostics were a rather influential heretical group, whereas the Cainites were small and far further out on the fringe. The pieces of the Gospel of Judas that we have do not even express Gnostic ideas except by a long stretch.
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    captaintrub is offline
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    Quote Originally Posted by Miscellaneous
    Which is a failure of the modern church, I might add. Pretending there aren't heresies in the church doesn't make them go away.



    No, it was centuries worth of dirt that "suppressed" them. Most of the lost "gospels" fell out of use on their own; very few of them were ever "censored" by the Catholic Church or any other religious body, but rather they were studied and labelled as non-canonical. The Gnostics, for instance, had representatives at the early church councils, but died out on their own, as did many other fringe groups.



    You'll find as you actually read them that many of them do heavily contradict the four canonical Gospels (which were, by the way, considered authoritative because of both source and age, not just content). The Gospel of Thomas, for instance, adds to several of Christ's sayings to give them a more "mysterious" meaning in line with pre-existing Gnostic beliefs. Just be wary of such things as you study. There are very good reasons those works didn't make it into the canon.
    Thanks for the input, and I will be wary when looking at them.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    Your assessment, Thom, depends upon who you wish to call Gnostic. You should well know that Gnostic orthodoxy is nearly impossible to pin down and the term is more of a label for a certain theme of so-called heresy than any specific sect or doctrinal set. The term itself is derived from the Greek for knowledge and is applied in a manner that is very much Platonic. Essentially there were no people that could be said to be "the Gnostics" in the same way we would understand a label such as "the Catholics".

    Furthermore, the Cainites were Gnostic (in the general sense) and Antinomian (essentially, rejecters of the doctrine of divine law). Therefore any gospel produced by them is both a Gnostic and Antinomian text. (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03143a.htm)
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    Just because one person interprets teh canonical gospels as saying something doesn't make their interpretation teh right one. A lot of evidence points to jesus merely representing God and not necessarily claiming to be God. Frankly, i beleive many of those lines were added in anyway. The Gnostics at least had the idea that in order to discover the nature of Christ and God, you had to meditate on teh spiritual character more than the physical.

    And the Gospel of Thomas presents somethign that is quite important to understanding Jesus' character. His childhood.

    How do you think a child with Jesus' supposed destiny would have acted like and felt? Clearly Thomas gives us an opinion on it. A spoiled brat in most cases, but even Jesus had his flaws.

    And I have to wonder why the church put mark in the Canon, when it clearly has no resurrection story and also makes Jesus out to be much more emotional than the other Gospels do.

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    Miscellaneous is offline
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    The Gospel of Thomas, to my recollection, doesn't contain a word about Jesus' childhood. It is instead a "sayings gospel," containing only Christ's sayings from during his ministry. You're thinking of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which is believed to have very different authorship and dates quite a bit later.

    Quote Originally Posted by muichimotsu
    And I have to wonder why the church put mark in the Canon, when it clearly has no resurrection story and also makes Jesus out to be much more emotional than the other Gospels do.
    Mark was a partial source for both Matthew and Luke, i.e. for direct quotes and the like. Furthermore, the canon was intended to present a multi-faceted view of Jesus; if you got a different impression from Mark than from the other Gospels, then you got the idea right.
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    Default Re: The gospel of judas

    And yet Mark is apparently any different?

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