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Stir over Gospel of Judas may not be entirely justified
Duluth News Tribune ^ | Apr. 26, 2006 | ALAN COCHRUM

Posted on 04/26/2006 11:53:48 AM PDT by Caleb1411

Given that the old Greek word behind the English term "gospel" means "good news," you have to wonder whether the much-touted and recently published Gospel of Judas really qualifies as either.

Assuming you didn't give up the media for Lent -- which, come think of it ... oh, never mind -- you could hardly have avoided this month's announcement about the latest addition to the religious history files.

To make a long story short: The Gospel of Judas is part of an ancient manuscript that apparently was unearthed in the late 1970s in Egypt. After a lengthy trip through the sometimes shadowy realm of the antiquities trade, it came to rest about five years ago at the Maecenas Foundation for Ancient Art in Basel, Switzerland.

Since then, the badly damaged pages have been in the process of restoration, translation and publication -- this last in the form of a little volume titled "The Gospel of Judas," courtesy of the National Geographic Society.

In this revised-and-not-so-standard version of the story, Judas is not the archetypal villain who betrays his master to enemies under the influence of greed and dark powers. Instead, Judas does Jesus a favor by handing him over.

"Step away from the others," Jesus tells Judas, "and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom."

Which brings us to the question: Is the Gospel of Judas "good" and "news?" Well, yes -- and arguably no.

In one sense, this document is huge news: It apparently is the same text, vanished until now, that the second-century Christian author Irenaeus mentioned in his criticism of a sect of gnostics, the New Agers of his day.

"And Judas the betrayer was thoroughly acquainted with these things, they say," Irenaeus wrote in a passage quoted in the National Geographic book; "and he alone was acquainted with the truth as no others were, and so accomplished the mystery of the betrayal. ... And they bring forth a fabricated work to this effect, which they entitle the Gospel of Judas."

In Herbert Krosney's "The Lost Gospel: The Quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot," Swiss translator Rodolphe Kasser says: "The importance of this text is that it is not only a new manuscript, but an entirely new kind of document. ... We previously had only what the church forefathers were saying about the gnostics, but rarely the texts the gnostics wrote themselves. Now we can understand the nuances of what the forefathers said by using the gnostic texts."

In terms of its presentation of its namesake as hero rather than goat, the Gospel of Judas is indeed something new and interesting. But in its presentation of an arcane gnostic cosmology -- "The twelve aeons of the twelve luminaries constitute their father, with six heavens for each aeon, so that there are seventy-two heavens for the seventy-two luminaries" -- it seems to be old hat for scholars. In an essay in "The Gospel of Judas," co-editor Marvin Meyer indicates the content is typical of what's known in the trade as "Sethian" gnosticism.

You could be forgiven, then, for thinking (like a weary cop listening to an all-too-familiar tale): "Yah, yah -- we've heard it before."

So if the Gospel of Judas is not entirely news, is it "good?" True, it provides a touchstone for what certain people believed 150 or 200 years after Christ's death, but does it record the "real" story -- one that was unjustly erased by heavy-handed religious figures -- of Judas, Jesus and the early faith?

Maybe not.

In the book "Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew," North Carolina scholar Bart D. Ehrman -- who provided commentary for both Krosney's book and "The Gospel of Judas" -- notes the diversity of theological talking heads in ancient times: "In the second and third centuries there were, of course, Christians who believed in one God. But there were others who insisted that there were two. Some said there were thirty. Others claimed there were 365."

But one can argue on a couple of grounds that the Biblical accounts have the edge here. Ehrman himself says in "The Lost Gospel:" "The first (canonical) Gospel to be written was that of Mark, from about 65 or 70 CE (35-40 years after the death of Jesus)." Matthew, he says, came "somewhat later (80-85 CE)."

And if the apostle Paul was writing his epistles in the years 49-62 (as per a time line in Krosney's book), that would tend to place the writing of Acts (which ends with Paul still alive) and the Gospel of Luke (traditionally ascribed to the same author) in the same historical ballpark.

In contrast, Meyer says that the Gospel of Judas probably was "composed around the middle of the second century, most likely on the basis of earlier ideas and sources." In other words, the historical gap between events and writing is about two or three times that of some of the Biblical material.

In addition to the matter of eras is that of ideas. "Jesus was a Jew living in Palestine," Ehrman notes in "The Gospel of Judas," "and like all Palestinian Jews, he accepted the authority of the Jewish Scriptures .... Jesus presented himself as an authoritative interpreter of these Scriptures and was known to his followers as a great rabbi (teacher)."

If so, given a theology that repudiates the God of the Torah as an inferior deity who created a hellhole of a world -- the view of gnosticism -- and a theology that affirms and builds on the Jewish Scriptures, which is more likely to record what the historical Jesus actually taught?

"But there are also many other things which Jesus did," said the author of the Gospel of John (Revised Standard Version); "were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."

Something tells me that the Gospel of Judas wasn't exactly what the biblical writer had in mind.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Current Events; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; History; Mainline Protestant; Orthodox Christian; Other Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: atheistidiots; christianhatingbigot; christiansarebad; crusades; elainepagels; epigraphyandlanguage; gnosticgospels; gnosticism; gnosticsaregood; gnosticssmarmy; godsgravesglyphs; gospelofjudas; inquisition; judas; judasiscariot; letshavejerusalem
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1 posted on 04/26/2006 11:53:52 AM PDT by Caleb1411
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To: Caleb1411

Wow - a relatively lucid viewpoint published in the mainstream press. Again, wow.


2 posted on 04/26/2006 11:57:13 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Caleb1411
Don't cofuse this Judas with the half-brother of Jesus, also named Judas. :)

Judas: "I was framed!"

3 posted on 04/26/2006 12:14:09 PM PDT by Bosco (Remember how you felt on September 11?)
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To: Bosco

s/b "confuse" - sorry for any confusion


4 posted on 04/26/2006 12:14:45 PM PDT by Bosco (Remember how you felt on September 11?)
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To: Caleb1411
They also discovered the burial shroud of Judas.

Everyone who touches it becomes a Democrat.

5 posted on 04/26/2006 12:16:48 PM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys - Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat - But they know what's best.)
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To: Caleb1411; wideawake; Bosco; N. Theknow
The problem some religious figures are having with all this is partially stated on pages 86 and 87.

"I should stress that not everyone has the means to escape. That is because not everyone has the spark of the divine within them. Only some of us do. The other people are the creations of the inferior god of this world. They, like other creatures here (dogs, turtles, mosquitoes, and so on), will die and that will be the end of their story. But some of us are trapped divinities. And we need to learn how to return to our heavenly home."

So if you are religious leader, like the Pope, how do you explain to prospective converts that they might not have a chance at life beyond this existance because they might not have the "divine spark" within them? How does a religious leader reconcile with his flock that Jesus considered the god that created the earth as an inferior god, and mocked him, and that he - Jesus - derives from the one true God? In this book Jesus is saying that some people have the spirit of life, but not the divine spark. Some people die and that's the end of them, others die and escape to the eternal realm.

Wow - there's going to be a whole lotta shaking goin on if this debate gets started!

6 posted on 04/26/2006 12:29:43 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Caleb1411

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1616236/posts

But playing up these old heretical documents can make you wealthy these days.


7 posted on 04/26/2006 12:47:31 PM PDT by formercalifornian (One nation, under whatever popular fad comes to mind at the moment, indivisible...)
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To: Enterprise
Wow - there's going to be a whole lotta shaking goin on if this debate gets started!

Not really. These doctrines were well-known to have been held by heretics from the earliest centuries of the Church.

The article above explains why The Gospel of Judas is spurious as an account of Jesus of Nazareth's teaching and activities.

While the Gospels of Mark and Matthew were incontrovertibly written within living memory of Jesus of Nazareth's ministry, this document was not - it was written more than three generations later.

It also fits a common pattern of Gnostic writers hijacking other people's religious traditions to fit their notions: Gnostics also wrote spurious narratives about Adam, Noah, Moses and David as well as ones about Zoroaster and other figures. The Gospel of Judas is a typical cookie cutter Gnostic exploitation of someone else's already-existing tradition. Literally hundreds of texts similar to this one have survived from that time period, all you need to do is change the names and places - it's pure Gnostic boilerplate.

In each reworking by the Gnostics, the teachings are rote: the betrayer or enemy of the prophet/divinity involved is secretly the prophet/divinity's best friend/brother/confidant. The prophet/divinity always claims that the physical world is evil, that the nature of the deity is incredibly numerically complex, and that the mathematic formulas and incantations needed to access the deity are secrets known only to a small group of initiates. The enemy/betrayer is always a secret initiate. All outsiders are beasts, only initiates are real or spiritual or holy. Usually, this knowledge can be purchased.

These tropes are repeated again and again in every Gnostic cult.

The Gnostic heresy (held by Simon Magus) was recognized and condemned by the first Pope for what it was in the Acts of the Apostles - a grasping and opportunistic attempt to exploit the Gospel.

The current Pope has no fear in the face of a fake story that was first debunked almost 2,000 years ago.

8 posted on 04/26/2006 1:12:12 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Enterprise
Oh, one of the interesting things about the Gospel of Judas is that the author of the text was clearly writing it to attack the orthodox Christians of his day. So, in the text he makes numerous references to the conduct, teaching and rites of Christians of the time.

So while The Gospel of Judas is useless when it comes to discovering details of Jesus of Nazareth's biography and ministry, it is a biased but still informative window into the world of 2nd century Christianity.

9 posted on 04/26/2006 1:16:37 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake
"Not really. These doctrines were well-known to have been held by heretics from the earliest centuries of the Church."

Well-known to church scholars perhaps, but not historically to the church goers in general. These documents and ideas obviously were and are being suppressed from most people. Of course, I don't view it heretical at all that Jesus was from the one true God.

"The current Pope has no fear in the face of a fake story that was first debunked almost 2,000 years ago."

I guess that is why these things have been suppressed all these centuries. The religious leaders had no fear of them.

10 posted on 04/26/2006 1:39:39 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: wideawake
"Oh, one of the interesting things about the Gospel of Judas is that the author of the text was clearly writing it to attack the orthodox Christians of his day."

Jesus kinda attacked the orthodoxy of his day too didn't he?

11 posted on 04/26/2006 1:44:22 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise
Well-known to church scholars perhaps, but not historically to the church goers in general.

Why would it be or should it be? There were no books in my Catholic school history classes about George Washington being a space alien either.

These documents and ideas obviously were and are being suppressed from most people.

It's only obvious to your ahistorical mind.

There are thousands of volumes beloved by orthodox Church fathers that have not survived either.

Of course, I don't view it heretical at all that Jesus was from the one true God.

You don't have any authority to opine on the orthodoxy of anything.

I guess that is why these things have been suppressed all these centuries.

They weren't suppressed. If they were, we wouldn't be reading them now.

The rarity of Gnostic texts today has to do with the secrecy and the elitism of Gnostics and nothing to do with the Christians who laughed at their foolishness.

The religious leaders had no fear of them.

The Gnostics were the Scientologists of their day - do you think that the Pope, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the President of the Southern Baptist Conference or the Archbishop of Canterbury are worried that L. Ron Hubbard is gaining on Jesus?

12 posted on 04/26/2006 1:50:12 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Enterprise
Jesus kinda attacked the orthodoxy of his day too didn't he?

Jesus actually defended the traditional Judaism of his day against the excesses of two groups: the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

Some Jewish commentators on Jesus - like Geza Vermes - have characterized Jesus as defending a rural, traditional Jewish belief typical of the Galilean common people against the overly refined hairsplitting of the hypereducated Pharisees and the Levitical elitism of the Sadducees.

jesus certainly affirmed all the touchstones of Jewish orthodoxy - a reverence for Torah law, a compliance with Torah feastkeeping and traditional Jewish liturgy centered on the Temple in Jerusalem, a belief in the Messiah and the teachings of the traditional prophets like isaiah and Jeremiah, etc.

13 posted on 04/26/2006 1:57:00 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake
"It's only obvious to your ahistorical mind."

What proof do you have that hundreds of millions of religious people have ever been exposed to these alternate views?

"There are thousands of volumes beloved by orthodox Church fathers that have not survived either."

Must not have been too important then.

"You don't have any authority to opine on the orthodoxy of anything."

I can opine on anything I wish. I don't recognize the authority of anyone to tell on what I can or cannot opine.

"They weren't suppressed. If they were, we wouldn't be reading them now."

No, we are reading them now because of the internet and the reach it has. If we relied upon religious authorities, we would never know of these documents.

"do you think that the Pope, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the President of the Southern Baptist Conference or the Archbishop of Canterbury are worried that L. Ron Hubbard is gaining on Jesus?"

I don't worry, nor do I care. But this isn't an important an issue for me as it is for the people you mention. And I do think they are worried somewhat, otherwise they, and you, wouldn't devote so much time to it.

"Why would it be or should it be?"

Because then, and now, religious leaders fear that their "flocks" will read these books and documents, and ask them some hard questions. And to my knowledge, hardly anyone has ever feared that people might have differing views and opinions about George Washington.

14 posted on 04/26/2006 2:10:34 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: wideawake
"Some Jewish commentators on Jesus - like Geza Vermes - have characterized Jesus as defending a rural, traditional Jewish belief typical of the Galilean common people against the overly refined hairsplitting of the hypereducated Pharisees and the Levitical elitism of the Sadducees."

Ok, he defended one pointed of view against another point of view. And some of the religious leaders of his time didn't like it did they? It reminds me of the religious leaders of today. Different view? No way, no how, don't read it, don't teach it, don't speak it, it's heretical!

15 posted on 04/26/2006 2:22:42 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise
What proof do you have that hundreds of millions of religious people have ever been exposed to these alternate views?

I never said that was the case, I specifically asked why they should have.

Why should there be informational affirmative action for kooks? If a gang of nutballs decide tomorrow that ace MLB pitcher Rollie Fingers is a deity who created an alternate universe 11 billion years ago, does the Southern Baptist Conference or the Catholic Church have any obligation to place a brochure about their theories in every pew?

Get real.

Must not have been too important then.

When every book is handwritten and perishable and their are a limited number of copyists, even very important texts are sometimes unintentionally sacrificed.

Informational note: the printing press wasn't invented until the 1450s.

I can opine on anything I wish. I don't recognize the authority of anyone to tell on what I can or cannot opine.

And I can opine on whether or not a particular flyfishing lure is effective. Of course, I know next to nothing about flyfishing.

No, we are reading them now because of the internet and the reach it has.

Plenty of Gnostic books have been in print for centuries.

If we relied upon religious authorities, we would never know of these documents.

If you rely on people whose job is being a Christian pastor to be your personal servants who provide you with every last scrap of irrelevant data that happens to pass through your mind, then you're in a quandary. Why hasn't the post office or the AMA been more aggressive in disseminating Gnostic propaganda as well?

And I do think they are worried somewhat, otherwise they, and you, wouldn't devote so much time to it.

The MSM devotes a lot of time to misrepresenting the facts about these texts. Christians spend a tiny fraction of their time pointing out the lies.

Because then, and now, religious leaders fear that their "flocks" will read these books and documents, and ask them some hard questions.

What hard questions could they possibly ask? Question: "Father, are there really twelve aeons composed of twelve luminaries?" Answer: "What the heck are you talking about?"

And to my knowledge, hardly anyone has ever feared that people might have differing views and opinions about George Washington.

I don't know anyone who is afraid of someone having a different opinion of Jesus? They may feel pity for someone who is so spiritually at sea, but not fear.

16 posted on 04/26/2006 2:35:09 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Enterprise
Ok, he defended one pointed of view against another point of view.

No, it is isn't a matter of one set of man's views against anothers. Jesus taught the Truth of God - that was written in Torah and the Prophets. That Truth being that there is only Holy, Righteous and Merciful God who by His grace will cover the people's sins and atone for them when they turn from their selfish ways and love Him and guard His truth in their hearts. Jesus spoke The Truth that the Scriptures spoke of Him as the Messiah, God in the flesh. That it isn't about man's ideas or works, but it is simple faith in the eternal God that is the key to peace with God. And that He came to provide the means by which we can enter into that grace.

And some of the religious leaders of his time didn't like it did they?

No, they didn't like it for the same reason that Cain killed Abel up to the present day when people don't want to hear and admit the truth, and will still kill those who speak it - They want to rest on their own ideas and their own ways to please God instead of simply realizing that He is God and we are not and there is nothing in us that can please Him. They want to be on an equal basis with God. Jesus called them on that - that their works were nothing but nonsense and that instead of directing their flocks to the True Shepherd, they were leading them down a path of burden and sorrow and...

Nobody like to be convicted of their sins. It isn't pleasant. Unless, of course, we come to repentance and our sins are forgiven because of faith in Christ Jesus. Then there is joy that can't be expressed. But until we come to that repentance point, or if we do not at all, we know full well, though we suppress that knowledge, that we are fighting with God and we will not win. That suppression and the result of it come in many forms. One form was to crucify Christ Jesus, God in the flesh.

It reminds me of the religious leaders of today. Different view? No way, no how, don't read it, don't teach it, don't speak it, it's heretical!

There are all sorts of religious leaders of today. Some are like the Pharisees - relying and leading people to rely on their own ways to please God. Others are like the gnostics, others are like the Sadducees, others are like... And some are true Godly leaders who will warn their flocks and others of the eternal danger of listening to things like the gnostic gospels that deny who Jesus is. And for those who belong to Him, we are all commanded to warn others of such deadly spiritual poison.

17 posted on 04/26/2006 2:58:59 PM PDT by lupie
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To: wideawake
"I never said that was the case, I specifically asked why they should have."

Doesn't bother me. A point of view was deliberately suppressed by church authorities. At one point, people who asked heretical questions or who didn't follow the teachings of the "authorities" in the church were murdered by the church. But, that's YOUR church, so YOU defend it.

"If a gang of nutballs decide tomorrow that ace MLB pitcher Rollie Fingers is a deity who created an alternate universe 11 billion years ago, does the Southern Baptist Conference or the Catholic Church have any obligation to place a brochure about their theories in every pew?"

No, but if that gang of nutballs started getting millions of converts, PAYING CONVERTS, the Catholic Church would be raising holy hell about it wouldn't they?

"even very important texts are sometimes unintentionally sacrificed."

True and it is sad. Someone tried to save the Judas Gospel and they succeeded, although the document was partially destroyed. You don't suppose that other documents didn't survive because someone thought they were heretical and they destroyed them because they didn't want others reading them do you? Of course not, because they had anything to fear did they?

"Informational note: the printing press wasn't invented until the 1450s."

Gee.

"And I can opine on whether or not a particular flyfishing lure is effective. Of course, I know next to nothing about flyfishing."

Well there you go. We agree that we can opine about something if we wish. Now that wasn't so hard was it?

"Plenty of Gnostic books have been in print for centuries."

And I repeat, that knowledge or views of those books couldn't have the same reach until the invention of the internet.

"If you rely on people whose job is being a Christian pastor to be your personal servants who provide you with every last scrap of irrelevant data that happens to pass through your mind, then you're in a quandary."

In that respect I have no worry. I quit going to church a long time ago. I still see no reason to go back.

"Why hasn't the post office or the AMA been more aggressive in disseminating Gnostic propaganda as well?"

I don't know, but I bet if you had anything to say about it, you would oppose it if they tried wouldn't you? Your question then would be: "What business does the Post Office or the AMA have in disseminating Gnostic propaganda?" C'mon admit it, you would be furious!

"Christians spend a tiny fraction of their time pointing out the lies."

Of course, it's because they have nothing to fear. I suspect though, that a LOT more than a tiny fraction is being paid to "pointing out the lies" now isn't it?

"What hard questions could they possibly ask?"

Well, one hard question would be to ask if it is true that some people have spirits but not the divine spark. After all, Jesus "survived" death, but no one else has since then. How come? Were, are, the gnostics right?

"I don't know anyone who is afraid of someone having a different opinion of Jesus? They may feel pity for someone who is so spiritually at sea, but not fear."

Some of the religious leaders of old were not only afraid, they were downright punitive. "Confess your heresy" was heard by a lot people before they died from their tortures. But hey - those were the "authorities" so it was all good.

18 posted on 04/26/2006 3:43:43 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: lupie
"No, it is isn't a matter of one set of man's views against anothers."

LOL - yes it most certainly was! And Jesus was killed for it!

I think the motive of those who killed Jesus was different from the motive for Cain killing Abel.

"gnostic gospels that deny who Jesus is."

So who did the gnostics believe Jesus to be? Did they believe he existed at all? Did they or did they not believe he was the son of the one true God?

19 posted on 04/26/2006 3:51:17 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise; wideawake

"The current Pope has no fear in the face of a fake story that was first debunked almost 2,000 years ago."

I guess that is why these things have been suppressed all these centuries. The religious leaders had no fear of them.


Respectfully I don't believe that's the point...The fear is not what the documents would do to the chruch, but rather that the documents would fill the hearts of the members pulling them away from the true message of the Gospel, the saving death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Here's an analogy...Think of a book you'd rather not have your children read, let's say its a book discussing the great feelings a person can have when you are drunk and how fun it is...Would one choose to keep that book away from their children so they are not tempted to drink to find this feeling? Most parents would and do...The church is doing the same thing with this book...it's unhealthy reading it's heretical, it's false gospel...there is no good reason for the faithful to read it...all that statement and I'm not even Catholic! (Conservative Lutheran, but we avoid the gnostic gospels like the plague as well).

Blessing in Christ!



20 posted on 04/26/2006 6:12:31 PM PDT by phatus maximus (John 6:29...Learn it, love it, live it...)
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To: phatus maximus

I might not want my child to read a certain book for his own good, but I also would not kill my child if he did. And to me, a religion which has killed people over doctrine is not to be trusted. It has something to hide, and it probably has suppressed and hidden a LOT of things.


21 posted on 04/26/2006 6:34:11 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise

Respectfully, No one denies there have been those who wrongly used religion as a reason to destroy, but that doesn't mean those who are not wrongly using religion should be labeled as murders and people who are hiding something...We hide nothing, in fact we'd like to tell more people about the hope of Salvation in Christ, but there are many out there who HATE Christians more than anything in the world...Our message is of faith in Christ for our eternal salvation, no hiding there...anyway...

The issue here is the question of whether or not the Gospel of Judas (GoJ) is false gospel, not the atrocities (sp?) of the past...in an apples to apples comparison on the GoJ vs the four accepted Gospels in the Bible today the distinction is very clear...the Gospel of Judas doesn't recognize the crucifixion the other four do...the GoJ doesn't have the resurrection, the other four do...seems to be pretty straight forward, the GoJ isn't true gospel therefore the faithful of Christ are advised to avoid the GoJ...

Bottomline, anyone can choose to believe or not believe...I choose to believe, but I am not a murderer or am I? Mooo ha ha ha haaaaaa


22 posted on 04/26/2006 6:57:43 PM PDT by phatus maximus (John 6:29...Learn it, love it, live it...)
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To: Enterprise
ME: "No, it is isn't a matter of one set of man's views against anothers."
YOU: LOL - yes it most certainly was! And Jesus was killed for it!

No, it is matter of man's views versus God's Truth. And that is the same reason that led to Cain killing Abel and Jesus being betrayed and crucified.

So who did the gnostics believe Jesus to be? Did they believe he existed at all? Did they or did they not believe he was the son of the one true God?

Different gnostics believe different things about Jesus, but all deny that He was God in the flesh. They say He was just a man, not God. Flesh is evil to most gnostics, so therefore, God cannot become flesh, which of course He did.

23 posted on 04/26/2006 7:14:01 PM PDT by lupie
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To: phatus maximus
"seems to be pretty straight forward, the GoJ isn't true gospel therefore the faithful of Christ are advised to avoid the GoJ..."

Not you, not anyone on this can Earth prove that.

"I choose to believe, but I am not a murderer or am I?"

Only YOU know that.

24 posted on 04/26/2006 7:16:17 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: lupie
"No, it is matter of man's views versus God's Truth."

I'm sure that too was the justification of the religious people at the time for the death of Jesus. He was a man, and they were relying on THEIR religious doctrine. Therefore, by your reasoning, they were in the right because they were following "God's truth."

Jesus was killed because religious people feared and hated him for what he was saying. Cain killed Abel because of jealousy.

"They say He was just a man, not God. Flesh is evil to most gnostics, so therefore, God cannot become flesh, which of course He did."

Now I do find that odd. God created all, including flesh. God can be anything God wants to be, including flesh.

25 posted on 04/26/2006 7:28:13 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise

Of course I can't prove it and I don't need to prove it...that's why it's called faith...no dispute, never has been...you either believe God or you don't...I guess I fail to see your frustration, no one is denying that you are 'technically' correct in that there is no imperical human based proof...I choose to believe that God inspired the books in the New Testament because the writers who followed Christ indicated they are and by faith I accept that...of course how certain books were considered inspired is another historical story, but again, by faith in the Holy Spirits guidance they were put together...

There is no dispute that the Gospel of Judas clearly contradicts the four Gospels in the bible therefore those who believe the four Gospels should believe that the GoJ is false gospel and thus avoid...that's all i'm sayin...whether one believes in God or not the contradictory message is a fact (even the "theologians" on the National Geographic admitted that).

Keep in mind a large amount of science can't be proved not by you nor anyone on this Earth to use your terms, yet many accept it. Prove to me that my fingers aren't actually touching the keys as I type...they aren't you know as there is a layer of atoms that seperate my fingers from the keys...I know it's true, but I can't prove it...I just accept it...Very similar to my faith...I can't see Christ, I can't smell, touch or hear him, but I believe in Him with all my convictions...

Regards and I pray that the Holy Spirit will flood your heart with the truth of Christ Jesus...blessings and good night.


26 posted on 04/26/2006 8:29:24 PM PDT by phatus maximus (John 6:29...Learn it, love it, live it...)
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To: Enterprise
I'm sure that too was the justification of the religious people at the time for the death of Jesus. He was a man, and they were relying on THEIR religious doctrine. Therefore, by your reasoning, they were in the right because they were following "God's truth."

Yes, they were relying on their doctine - doctrine that Jesus called them on - that they had added to God's Truth and had perverted His truth. But no, they were not following God's Truth - and they knew it because Jesus called them on it - several times. And they knew in their hearts that He was right. They knew because they were extremely familiar with the scriptures and they knew because Jesus, who is God, made that clear to them. Just as everyone who rejects Truth knows in their hearts what they are doing - whether they admit it to themselves or not.

Jesus was killed because religious people feared and hated him for what he was saying. Cain killed Abel because of jealousy. Again, Jesus was killed because Jesus exposed them - exposed them that they were not acting or worshipping God in the way that He demands. They wanted to please God on their own accord, not God's way. And that is exactly why Cain killed Abel - because he was jealous that God accepted Abel's worship and not his. Why? Because Abel trusted God and Cain trusted in his own way.

Now I do find that odd. God created all, including flesh. God can be anything God wants to be, including flesh.

Then obviously you don't hold to gnostic teachings. Gnostics beliefs vary, but they do hold that in common and they do hold that the way to peace, the way to "heaven" is to somehow tap into that inner knowledge, that inner goodness that is within all in order to take away the effects of the evil flesh. But usually only some have the hidden knowledge on how to do that. The view is very prevalent in a lot of the new age and eastern religions.

27 posted on 04/27/2006 5:14:11 AM PDT by lupie
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To: Enterprise; wideawake
Well-known to church scholars perhaps, but not historically to the church goers in general.

Which proves what exactly? A recent survey show that most Americans couldn't name the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Does that change anything about the First Amendment or what it says? No, it doesn't.

All this will do is teach those church goers something about ancient rejected heresies that they might now have known before.

28 posted on 04/27/2006 6:38:02 AM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: FormerLib; lupie; phatus maximus
"Which proves what exactly?"

Good question. And since the people and incidents described happened before there was a U.S., before there was a Europe, and before there was even a Christian church, no one here can "prove" anything more than they believe what one group of people wrote or interpreted, and disbelieve the writings and interpretations of others. Phatus Maximus wrote - it's "faith."

29 posted on 04/27/2006 7:00:42 AM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise

We can prove that the material containg in these gnostic gospels contradict what was actually taught by the disciples of Jesus and that they had previously been rejected by those followers long ago.


30 posted on 04/27/2006 7:04:42 AM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: FormerLib

No you can't. Regarding the events in the Bible, anything written about what someone has said or done, can be refuted by others who write that it wasn't said or done.


31 posted on 04/27/2006 7:10:38 AM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise; wideawake; Salvation

Not true at all, it is readily apparent to anyone with a solid knowledge of the Bible and Church History that the gnostic gospels are outside of the body of Christian teachings and reflect a philosophy that actually predates Christianity.


32 posted on 04/27/2006 7:24:12 AM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: lupie
"Again, Jesus was killed because Jesus exposed them - exposed them that they were not acting or worshipping God in the way that He demands. They wanted to please God on their own accord, not God's way."

And you know this how? What were they doing or teaching? What were they supposed to be doing or teaching? Give me all the details. All - the details.

Jesus also followed certain practices and beliefs did he not? What are those practices and beliefs, and do you follow them too? ALL of them? If you're not, then you can't really be a follower of Jesus can you?

33 posted on 04/27/2006 7:34:01 AM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: FormerLib

Well it would certainly make sense that gnostic teachings were outside the body of Christian teachings, since they existed BEFORE Christianity and its spinoffs arrived. More correctly then, it can be said that Christian teachings are outside the body of gnostic teachings. Logic compels it. They have as much right to say that their views are correct because of their history as any one else.


34 posted on 04/27/2006 7:48:33 AM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise

But they have no right to say that their views are Christian (or vice-versa), which is what the "Gospel of Judas" is all about.


35 posted on 04/27/2006 8:25:34 AM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: Enterprise
Me:"Again, Jesus was killed because Jesus exposed them - exposed them that they were not acting or worshipping God in the way that He demands. They wanted to please God on their own accord, not God's way."

You:And you know this how? What were they doing or teaching? What were they supposed to be doing or teaching? Give me all the details. All - the details.

Nobody knows all the details. And I also think that if you did know all the details, it still would not be enough for you. But that is between you and the Lord God. But there are plenty of details in the bible, which tells the same story from beginning to end, for those who care to understand.

Jesus also followed certain practices and beliefs did he not? What are those practices and beliefs, and do you follow them too? ALL of them? If you're not, then you can't really be a follower of Jesus can you?

No, that really isn't the right way to look at it per His Truth. All the commands that God (Jesus is God) gave to His people, He did follow them, but they were meant to point to Him and not as a means by themselves to please God. They were meant also as a way to expose our sin. They were also never set up so that anyone man could ever follow all of them. That is by God's design. Why? To show us that to follow Him means simply to put our trust in Him and not on ourselves. That He would/has/will provide for our atonement.

Following Him means to put your will and desires aside, to crucify them and then He works His way in you, changing you into His likeness, so that by His power, He works through you. THAT is what a true follower of Jesus is - where He is the Lord of your life, where we are strive to even take every thought captive to His obedience. Do true followers fail to do that always? Absolutely. But by His grace, when we don't, and we turn to Him in repentance, He washes us with forgiveness. You miss the point. But again, that is between you and the Lord God Jesus Christ. He has the answers if you truly seek them. I pray that you do.

36 posted on 04/27/2006 8:50:04 AM PDT by lupie
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To: FormerLib; lupie

I forgot to ask, does anyone have the count of people were murdered by gnostics because they committed "heresy," and how much money has been spent by gnostics to hire people to kill others in crusades to take back the holy land?


37 posted on 04/27/2006 8:55:42 AM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise; lupie

LOL! What does that have to do with anything about whether or not the gnostics can speak for Christianity?

Right, nothing whatsoever.

So you're going with the "all Christans are Bad because of the Crusades and the Inquisition" line.

Good to know that early on because it makes it much easier to ignore further statements.


38 posted on 04/27/2006 8:59:47 AM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: lupie
"Nobody knows all the details."

Thank you, and I rest my case.

39 posted on 04/27/2006 9:01:18 AM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: FormerLib

I give credit to those who persuade from means other than a sword. On that basis, I give credit to gnostics, and take it away from other "religions."


40 posted on 04/27/2006 9:02:58 AM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Enterprise
I give credit to those who persuade from means other than a sword.

And all of the Christian Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church through most of its history, accept your credit gladly. Thanks so much!

41 posted on 04/27/2006 9:04:55 AM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: FormerLib

They're welcome - including the ones that murdered people or hired others to do it for them.


42 posted on 04/27/2006 9:06:20 AM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Bosco

Yep - your comment generated massive cofusion in me! ;-P


43 posted on 04/27/2006 9:12:41 AM PDT by MortMan (Trains stop at train stations. On my desk is a workstation...)
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To: Enterprise

There are no "hard questions" these books will cause to be asked of Christians. Well, except for "how the hell could these Kooks have attracted anyone to believe in this gibberish?"


44 posted on 04/27/2006 11:57:28 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: Enterprise

No they did not.


45 posted on 04/27/2006 12:02:06 PM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: Enterprise

It is apparent that you have little knowledge of Gnosticism. They believed the world was created by an EVIL God not the God of Mercy and Love. They HATED the world even going so far as to condemn marriage and procreation.

They also PREDATED Christianity and were NOT suppressed by the Church nor were there writings hidden.


46 posted on 04/27/2006 12:06:43 PM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: Enterprise

Actually there was NO Gnostic canon so just about anyone can claim to be Gnostic and could write a new Gnostic Gospel, the Gospel of Homer.


47 posted on 04/27/2006 12:11:21 PM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: justshutupandtakeit

For your enjoyment - the Gospel of Homer.

48 posted on 04/27/2006 12:29:43 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: justshutupandtakeit

Of course, even if you look at either the Crusades or the Inquisition at its worst, the number of people murdered by atheists in the 20th Century makes them look like pikers in comparision.


49 posted on 04/28/2006 6:19:58 AM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: FormerLib

Hell the Turkish Moslems killed over a million Armenian Christians early this century. That was the first of the genocides. Moslems killed hundreds of thousands a year still.


50 posted on 04/28/2006 7:46:31 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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