"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Gospel of Judas

Friday, April 07, 2006

Gospel of Judas

National Geographic has released a translation of the Gospel of Judas (follow link above). You may want to watch the NGC special this Sunday (9 PM PST). Here's the blurb.

"Discovered by chance in the 1970s, a document that lay hidden for some 1,700 years, emerges today as The Gospel of Judas. Trace the story of what has happened to the document since it was found, explore the recent authentication process and analysis, and discover key insight gleaned from its laborious translation and interpretation. Dramatic recreations portray and clarify the complex story of intrigue and politics of the earliest days of Christianity, and reveal the contents of the Gospel itself."

I don't have cable, so if you watch the show, let me know what I missed. Personally, I hope the public discussion of these ancient documents increases lay appreciation for the gospels as literary, not literal. One can also hope that Christian anti-Semitism that found support in the story of Judas will diminish.


  1. Many Trails Home4/07/2006 12:01:00 PM

    Have you ever read the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, also found at Nag Hammadi? Unless it is rejected out of hand as "non-orthodox," I think most would find it very fascinating, conversational, believable. It, like this Judas gospel, forces reconsideration of our ossified beliefs. MTH

  2. I watched Prime Time on Thursday night which showed the Gospel of Judas. The basic theme involved that the Gospel found was carbon dated to the correct time. The translators of this Gospel said that the Gospel of Judas claims that Judas was following Jesus' request when he "turned' him in.
    The discussion on Prime Time was that traditionalist would find this offensive, as many wish to keep Judas as the most hated man in history. My personal opinion is that Jesus knew what his fate was. His fate was part of God's plan. If he told Judas to do this, then Jesus was following God's plan for Him.

    I have read a few books on the Gospel of Mary. Elaine Pagel's seem to be the most popular. After researching what these found Gospels are all about, I have come to the conclusion that these Gospels were not included because the Church of time did not wish to includes these gospels.

    I firmly believe that Mary Magdalene was a discipline of Jesus. She was the first to see Jesus when he after he resurrected. She was very close to Jesus. The church founders could not believe that a woman would have a position so close to Jesus. Peter is depicted to be very jealous of Mary's position with Jesus. He is the one who claims to be given the power to start the Christian Church.He did not like Mary's position, thus she is portrayed as a crazy lady or a prostitute in the Gospels chosen by the early Church fathers.
    They did not want "Mothers" to have a say. This was a society run by men.

    I do not believe that Mary and Jesus were "lovers" as many wish to say. One of the Hidden Gospels (either in Mary or Thomas') claim that Jesus kissed Mary on the check. This is the only thing found that could be interpeted that Jesus had more of an interest in Mary-but this does not prove to me that Mary and Jesus had a"thing" for each other. I believe the Jesus loved Mary and all of his disciples. It is even unclear in our Bible who exactly were Jesus' disciples.

    I appreciated others point of view on this topic. I do look at this site at least once every two weeks.

    Thanks for site.

    God's Peace

  3. Dear Free,
    I've changed my mind about Gary Wills' book, What Jesus Meant. Once I got beyond the 30-page introduction, I enjoyed it more and found myself agreeing with a lot of what he says. I'll post some of my favorites later.

    Dear Anonymous listed above:
    I read in one of my many books that the kissing scene from the text you mention does not include the word cheek (or mouth, as some people claim) because that part of the papyrus is missing and no one knows what word is supposed to be in there. Has anyone read something different about this?

  4. It is common practice in many cultures to greet other people, men and women alike, with a kiss on the cheek. Sometimes it's both cheeks, sometimes it's three kisses. I don't see that there's anything alarming in that except perhaps to those who say it ain't done like that where I come from!

    Just to inject a little humor here, I read a story many years ago of a very old painting in a church in Finland that seemed to depict heaven and hell. The portion depicting heaven seemed to have only one woman in it -- presumably Mary, while the other half depicting hell had only one man, presumably Judas. A liberated young lady indignantly asked the guide why there were not more women in heaven, to which he quickly replied (tongue in cheek of course) that it could be explained by Revelations which states that after the opening of the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for the period of an half an hour -- and in the guide's opinion, no woman could hold her tongue that long!

    Back to more serious stuff, I think these new findings -- whether the Judas writings or other ancient texts -- are certainly interesting and worthy of consideration. At the very least, they reflect the thinking and understanding of someone in those ancient days. At the very best, perhaps they reflect a new revelation of truth being allowed by God at a time he has deemed right. I firmly believe that if you ask God to provide for you and trust that he will do so, he will hear that and answer it, whether it is understanding this kind of stuff, or receiving other fundamental needs.

  5. In the Orthodox church we like to kiss a lot... ;) Kissing is the way you greet people, the saints represented by icons, the cross, the gospel book etc.

    For example, when meeting each other at church many people greet each other by shaking hands and simultaneously kissing first the right cheek, then the left, and again the right cheek. The same is done also after receiving the body and the blood of Christ at communion, accompanied by the words: "For the healing of body and soul", to which the other one responds: "For the glory of God", and the first one again "For life everlasting".

    So kissing in the early Christian culture (which is best preserved in the Orthodox church) doesn't necessarily mean a "relationship", it's just simply a way of greeting people. Not even kissing on the mouth. I've seen people who are definitely not "lovers" place the last kiss on lips instead of the right cheek.