Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Gospel of Judas; Part 2

The Gospel of Judas says that Jesus appeared, doing great miracles “for the salvation of humanity.”

Did anyone notice that all the hype surrounding the Gospel of Judas centered on Judas’ betrayal—or lack thereof—while none of the hype mentioned a lost gospel that supported the idea that Jesus did great miracles for the salvation of humanity?

The Gospels of Judas says that Jesus chose twelve disciples and would sometimes appear to them as a child.

While the biblical Gospels agree that Jesus is “God with us,” they also present Jesus as thoroughly human. By contrast, the Gnostic writings all agree that Jesus was some kind of divine being, but they tend to deny his humanity (note that this is contrary to the Da Vinci Code which says that these writings affirm only his humanity and not his divinity). In some of these writings Jesus is kind of a shape-shifter who can appear as a child or in various other forms. The theme of the child appears often in Gnostic writings—they apparently viewed children as closer to the ideal androgynous state.

According to the Gospel of Judas, one day Jesus found his disciples praying and he laughed, saying they were just trying to praise their god.

The key phrase here is “their god.” This is not an accident. Just a few lines later in the Gospel of Judas, Jesus tells the disciples that their god has provoked them to anger. In the Gospel of Judas, the God of the disciples, i.e. the Jewish God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is their God, not his. The historical choice is clear. Either the New Testament documents (written in the first century), are right that the God Jesus called “Father” is the Jewish God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or the Gnostic writings (written from the 2nd to 4th centuries), are right that the god Jesus referred to was not the Jewish God. Frankly, none of the critical Jesus’ scholars think the Gnostic Gospels are historically reliable. The critics just want to undermine the biblical Gospels and traditional Christianity.