Skip to comments.The Judas Code
Posted on 04/10/2006 8:19:12 PM PDT by GMMAC
The Judas Code
Father Raymond J. de Souza
Monday, April 10, 2006
In the year 4006, an enterprising team from Global Geographic announces that experts in late second-millennium languages and data retrieval have pieced together an authentic copy of the long-rumoured-to-exist Da Vinci Code. Religious experts say that the discovery challenges traditional Christian doctrine, as the widely circulated document shows that early-21st-century Christians believed that Jesus was not divine, had married Mary Magdalene, founded a royal dynasty, etc ... It is believed that early fourth-millennium Vatican officials suppressed the sacred text.
That is more or less the story of the much-ballyhooed Gospel of Judas. It is, no doubt, a remarkable historical find -- an apparently authentic fourth-century copy of a second-century document. But it tells us no more about Christian doctrine than does Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.
About 180 A.D., St. Irenaeus of Lyons referred to the document in his arguments with the heretics of his day. So likely there was a group in the mid-second-century that was peddling false gospels. It wouldn't be the last time.
Yesterday, at every Catholic Mass in the world, St. Mark's account of the passion of Jesus was read. About Judas, Jesus says, "For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born" (Mark 14:21). That addresses rather forthrightly the claim that Judas was not a traitor but a clandestine saint.
For those of a more conspiratorial mindset -- then and now -- even the most direct statements can be turned inside out against their plain meaning. So leave aside the claims that the Gospel of Judas is supposed to advance. What remains interesting is why there should be such interest in it.
The first reason is that Christianity is a historical religion. It depends on actual events in history. Like our elder brothers the Jews, our faith is not about abstract principles or mythical stories. It is about the gritty stuff of history. From the promise made to Abraham to the empty tomb, the Christian faith depends on what happened to the God who became man and walked among us. That is why the historical record matters; it is why Christians are interested in archaeology and ancient documents.
The second reason for Christian interest is that Christianity is a scriptural faith -- the sacred texts matter.
Christians are not, strictly speaking, "people of the book," for our faith is in a person, Jesus Christ, who left no writings whatsoever. Yet the sacred Scriptures are indispensable and venerated precisely as the word of God.
The Christian faith is not an antiquities obsession, however, pursuing this or that fragment to shed light on the faith. Christians read their scriptures in an ecclesial context; i.e., it is the Church that gives rise to the Scriptures, determines their canonical status, and meditates upon them. It could not be otherwise: The Church comes before the Scriptures, for the Church is necessary to recognize the existence of the Scriptures in the first place. It is the faith of the Church that distinguishes between the canonical gospels and the ersatz. Without that ecclesial context, the author of the Gospel of Judas, or Dan Brown, for that matter, could present himself as a instrument of divine revelation.
A third reason -- and I suspect the most powerful -- to explain Christian interest in the Gospel of Judas is that it addresses a great question: What happened to Judas? The Catholic Church, for her part, does not definitively declare anyone to be in Hell, as she does with the saints in Heaven. Yet the clear weight of the tradition is that Judas is in fact condemned. Such is the horror of condemnation that the believer instinctively recoils from that conclusion.
That conclusion is not obligatory for Christian believers, but the apparent condemnation of Judas underscores another important Christian reality, namely the personal nature of salvation. Judas is not some cog in a providential machine, required to do X so that Jesus could do Y. No one is arbitrarily sacrificed in the plan of salvation, and Judas remains free until the end. The Bible is full of repentant sinners, from King David to Saint Peter. The sin of Judas lies not in his betrayal, which could be repented of, but in his refusal to repent unto the Lord. He insisted on remaining alone with his sin, and his sin destroyed him.
Even at a distance of 20 centuries, the devout Christian wishes that it had been otherwise -- not for Jesus' sake, but for Judas.
© National Post 2006
Wait until they "find" the scroll of Clinton.. ;-)
The important thing to know about old texts is that they are old and survived because they were not regularly used.
Why not used? The council of Nicea/council of trent evaluated a wide variety of pious texts, and accepted some, and rejected others. the Judas text was rejected, and all copies of it were suppressed. 2000 later, one was found to have survived, just as a copy of the gospel of Peter, and the Gospel of Thomas have survived.
None add anything, because they have already been denounced as flawed, and erroneous by people much closer to the truth than us.
Jack Bauer will then be enlisted to ensure that it's never released into the general population, given the obvious health hazards that would accompany it.
agreed we don't have the truth today
I may be wrong but here goes do not the Gnostics believe in the humanity of Christ and not the divinity or is it the other way around they believe He was Devine but not human where the bible clearly says he was wholly human and wholly devine.
Would these people continue on their quest to discredit Christianity if it could cost them their head?I doubt it.That's what keeps Islam insulated from questions and criticism.I'm sure that they could come up with hundreds of contradictions from the Koran but they never do.I'll start respecting their opinion as soon as they find the courage to critique Islam in the same manner as they do Christianity.
I like that part abut the Bible being Historic.
Stories about visions and dreams are not historic.
Science has proven that the Earth is older than 6,000 years.
3 days and 3 nights inside a whale,I have a used Yugo for sale in mint condition.
Jews before there was a Jewish religion by Moses?
Hebrew was a language in Egypt not a religion.
Israelites before there was a Israel?
Only one ( ! ) crucified skeleton has ever been found in the Holy Land in 1968.
The Hindu's are reputed to be the oldest organized religion.
How can a book that has been translted a 1000 times and edited e fctual
Isn't a version just a opinion?
A Judas Priest song? LOL
I do not think the "wholly human and wholly divine" doctrine is in the Bible. It is part of the Nicean Creed, so that dates back to the 4th Century (say 312AD or so).
The Gnostics were influenced by the Manacheans, who held that Matter was evil, and Spirit was good. G-d being Spirit could never have created the evil material world.
To get around this, they had a number of intermediate powers, like a layer cake gone mad! Each was good enough so the better would not be too offended at creating it, and bad enough that it would not be against its nature to create a slightly lower caste demi-g-d below it. Of course none of this is in the Bible, so they claimed a secret doctrine that was passed down outside the Scripture.
The other notion of the Gnostics was that the Gospel of Mark was a cover story, which with word play and allegory presented a secret: That the mushroom "aminita muscaria" or fly agaric, could be prepared, consumed, and would give one hallucinations which would be interpreted as direct contact with divinity. This last notion was promulgaged by John Allegro in his book "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross". JA was one of the translators for the Revised Standard Version, but was also a bit of a crank.
The secret recipe: break up the "body" of the mushroom into pieces, and soak it in the "blood" aka wine for 3 days. Then consume a piece of the mushroom, with the wine. Result: Guaranteed to see sounds and hear colors for several days.
You see the parallel to the last supper; "This is my body, broken for thee". This is my blood, shed for thee.
The appearance of the mushroom when ready to collect is of a large phallus stabbing into a large genital organ.
I promise, you couldn't make this stuff up.
Actually science can't prove that the earth is old or not.
The world could have been created 5 minutes ago, with fake fossils in the ground, and us with all our fake memories.
If one backs off a bit, and notes that the Bible is a record written by people of that time, then there can be useful moral lessons derived from it. If one refuses to back off, in my opinion, one just looks ridiculous.
I wonder about crucified bodies. Records of Rome have slaves being crucified by the thousands during the Slave revolt (note movie Spartacus). Christians were also crucified.
Studies of cadavers showed that crucifixion with the nails in the hand would pull out from the weight of the body. That implies that the author of Mark who noted the wounds in the hands not only had not seen Jesus crucified, he had never seen ANYONE crucified.
Sure enough, early versions of Mark were later found without the "Nails in the hand" text.
The body found in 1968 had the nails in the wrist, but stigmata (to include the famous Padre Pio) are usually found in the hand.
It is a puzzlement!!!
After putting the mushroom into the wine does it become a rightous shroom dude?
Just kidding I use to eat shrooms and buttons in my day and they never lasted several days and I never saw the devine, and I'm not talking a head buzz either. I grew up in the late 60-70's have done over 1,000 trips and when we use to trip we saw walls melt. The only thing that lasted close to 3 days was STP did it only once, cause that was the only chance I had to do it.
Been clean and saved 20 years Aug. 10 of this year. It was a pure deliverance salvation, no withdrawls no desire to do it ever again.
Congratulations on your return to reality.
The only other recipe I have for aminita muscaria is to break it up into a bowl of milk, (cover it with wire, so the cats can't get it) and it will kill every fly in your stable.
That is the origin of the common term "fly agaric".
I believe this way:God said it;I believe it;That settles it!Judas betrayed the LORD and his fate is described in ACTS.
1. Was Judas doing the will of God?
2. Judas committed suicide before Christ descended into the non burning side of hell and preached to the spirits there did Judas repent and was he one of them that Christ took captivity captive?