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The Gospels


Bea
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I just finished watching a National Geographic Documentary on the Gospel of Judas. The gospel of Judas was found in 1979 in Egypt, sold twice. The second time being sold to someone who then took it to Yale where she discovered what she was truly in possession of. Fast forward to 2006, it had been pieced together and scholars from all over (the States, England, Germany, to name a few) came to authenticate this ancient writing. 13 pages front and back on Paparus paper. They all agreed that this was authenicate.

 

Okay - essentially, when the Bible was being put together, the Gospel of Judas was rejected from being included along with about 30 other gospels, per this documentary. Judas was a discipline of Jesus, as we know, and has been labeled a Heretic. Judas tells a different story of his betrayal of Jesus. Essentially, it alleges that Jesus told him to do it. Jesus death goes rather quickly in this writing and there is no mention of a resurrection because the point was - the body dies, but the spirit lives on.

 

Some religious leaders and scholars do not believe Judas holds any merit and they disbelieve what it contains, while others believe it gives a different take on what we believe today in terms of Christianity.

 

I bring up this topic to see what others think. Is it possible that there is another version to the story we are familiar?

 

When I read about Jesus, I read about a man who was/is loving and kind. In present terms, this was a man who went to places no one else would dream of going and helped them, He gave people hope, fed them, clothed them. Teachings were held outside in (on) the home (Mother Earth) that God gave us, not inside a building of brick and mortar. Jesus taught us how to live, how to treat one another and other living things. I do not believe that Jesus is a myth, but I have struggled with the almost magical story telling that comes of his storys taken literally. I see some of the Bible as allegorical in nature - such as walking on water. I believe Jesus was a man who taught us how to teach others. He loved God so much, "he took it to the streets" (early evangilism maybe?) to teach us to be a person we all needed to be. Is it possible, that Jesus really did tell Judas to betray him, to teach yet another lesson? And if so - would it have been as simple as "the body dies, but the spirit lives on"?

 

Here are 2 sites to look at:

http://www.nationalg...spel/index.html

http://ngm.nationalg...cockburn-text/6

 

And I'm just reading this one myself but here you go -

http://www.nationalg...spelofJudas.pdf

 

I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!

Edited by Bea
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Last week I listened to The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot by Bart Ehrman.I have also been listening to the Evolution of God by Robert Wright. Together they sparked the thought that where we have arrived concerning what is in the Biblical canon was determined by evolution. We can name names of who collected and who rejected what but what is in the canon is there because in general and on the whole it works. It benefits believers. It benefits the church, etc. All that was left out and we have uncovered is there to pick up and study to whatever benefit we find. To me it is obvious why The Gospel of Judas is not part of the Biblical canon.

 

The early church had many "denominations" just as we do now and they probably early on disagreed about what writings were worthy. There was a gnostic movement I see because Judas is one of the Gnostic Gospels. I think it is easier to get people to join when you are talking about love than when you are talking about a Truth that can be seen only with the third mind or something like that. One idea promotes growth and the other doesn't. The gnostic gospels were lost because of evolution.

 

Dutch

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My understanding of the biblical scholarship behind the Gospel of Judas and the other non-canonical gospels is that they were written centuries after the time Jesus and his apostles lived by Gnostic Christians who believed the universe was created by an evil false god and rejected the OT as authoritative. In ancient times, it was common for followers of a school of thought that centered around a teacher to write their teachings in the name of that teacher even if the teacher themselves didn't write it. A classic example is the cult of Pythagoras whose followers frequently attributed their doctrines to their leader even if Pythagoras didn't write it. In the case of early Christianity, it was popular for early Christian groups to authenticate their writings by attributing their writings to a famous follower of Jesus.

 

This is the case of the gospel of Judas where Judas himself didn't write the gospel of Judas but it was written by Gnostic followers who attributed the text to Judas to justify their beliefs to other Christians. This is also the case with the canonical Pastoral epistles in the NT which actually written by Paul but were written by his followers and attributed to him posthumously. The current consensus among biblical scholars is that all of the Gnostic gospels of this sort of writing and that while they provide important insight into the diversity of early Christian beliefs, outside of maybe the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, none of them provide any authentic accounts of the life of the historical Jesus.

Edited by Neon Genesis
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For a literary interpretation of Judas in line with his portrait in the Gospel of Judas, see the novel A Time for Judas by Morley Callaghan (Canadian novelist). Not scholarly, but like all fiction (including gospels?) there are some truths to be learned and added to the stockpile.

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This is also the case with the canonical Pastoral epistles in the NT which actually written by Paul but were written by his followers and attributed to him posthumously. The current consensus among biblical scholars is that all of the Gnostic gospels of this sort of writing and that while they provide important insight into the diversity of early Christian beliefs, outside of maybe the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, none of them provide any authentic accounts of the life of the historical Jesus.

 

Neon,

Since you are speaking not for yourself but rather for "the current consensus among biblical scholars" , please provide your source.

Joseph

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Joseph,

 

FWIW, Ehrman (in Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth) says, "We have nothing to suggest that the beliefs embraced by later Gnostic Christians were present in first-century rural Palestine. And so the Gnostic sayings of Jesus found in such Gnostic Gospels as the Gospel of Philip or the Gospel of Mary almost certain do not go back to Jesus himself but were place on his lips by this later (Gnostic) followers."

 

George

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This is also the case with the canonical Pastoral epistles in the NT which actually written by Paul but were written by his followers and attributed to him posthumously.

 

Neon,

 

Assuming you meant to write "which actually (were not) written by Paul," and assuming you are referring specifically to 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, I think this is correct. If you are referring to all of the letters attributed to Paul in the NT, I don't think you are right.

 

George

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