Apocryphal Judas Text Echoes Modern Novel
Or should I say presages? I don’t pretend to be a biblical scholar (I only pretend to be a pundit), and I’m not trying to start any controversies (I would imagine the Decision ’08 readership ranges from devout faith to strict atheism), but I do find this intriguing, concerning the recently revealed discovery of the ‘Gospel of Judas’:
An early Christian manuscript, including the only known text of what is known as the Gospel of Judas, has surfaced after 1,700 years. The text gives new insights into the relationship of Jesus and the disciple who betrayed him, scholars reported today. In this version, Jesus asked Judas, as a close friend, to sell him out to the authorities, telling Judas he will “exceed” the other disciples by doing so.
Though some theologians have hypothesized this, scholars who have studied the new-found text said, this is the first time an ancient document defends the idea.
I’m not familiar with the theologians whose work is anonymously cited here, but I am familiar with both the book and the movie The Last Temptation of Christ. It’s a major plot point of the Nikos Kazantzakis fictionalized account of the life of Jesus that Judas was a loyal, if skeptical, revolutionary who came to believe Christ was indeed the Messiah and had to be reluctantly persuaded to betray him in order to fulfill God’s plan.
Interesting, if nothing else…