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Text might be hidden 'Gospel of Judas'


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http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/04/06/gospel.judas.ap/index.html

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For 2,000 years Judas has been reviled for betraying Jesus. Now a newly translated ancient document seeks to tell his side of the story.

The "Gospel of Judas" tells a far different tale from the four gospels in the New Testament. It portrays Judas as a favored disciple who was given special knowledge by Jesus -- and who turned him in at Jesus' request.

"You will be cursed by the other generations -- and you will come to rule over them," Jesus tells Judas in the document made public Thursday.

The text, one of several ancient documents found in the Egyptian desert in 1970, was preserved and translated by a team of scholars. It was made public in an English translation by the National Geographic Society.

Religious and lay readers alike will debate the meaning and truth of the manuscript.

But it does show the diversity of beliefs in early Christianity, said Marvin Meyer, professor of Bible studies at Chapman University in Orange, California.

The text, in the Coptic language, was dated to about the year 300 A.D. and is a copy of an earlier Greek version.

A "Gospel of Judas" was first mentioned around 180 A.D. by Bishop Irenaeus of Lyon, in what is now France. The bishop denounced the manuscript as heresy because it differed from mainstream Christianity. The actual text had been thought lost until this discovery.

Elaine Pagels, a professor of religion at Princeton University, said, "The people who loved, circulated and wrote down these gospels did not think they were heretics."

Added Rev. Donald Senior, president of the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago: "Let a vigorous debate on the significance of this fascinating ancient text begin."

Senior expressed doubt that the new gospel will rival the New Testament, but he allowed that opinions are likely to vary.

Craig Evans, a professor at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada, said New Testament explanations for Judas' betrayal range from money to the influence of Satan.

"Perhaps more now can be said," he commented. The document "implies that Judas only did what Jesus wanted him to do."

Christianity in the ancient world was much more diverse than it is now, with a number of gospels circulating in addition to the four that were finally collected into the New Testament, noted Bart Ehrman, chairman of religious studies at the University of North Carolina.

Eventually, one point of view prevailed and the others were declared heresy, he said, including the Gnostics who believed that salvation depended on secret knowledge that Jesus imparted, particularly to Judas.

The newly translated document's text begins: "The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot."

In a key passage Jesus tells Judas, "You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me."

This indicates that Judas would help liberate the spiritual self by helping Jesus get rid of his physical flesh, the scholars said.

"Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom," Jesus says to Judas, singling him out for special status. "Look, you have been told everything. Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star."

The text ends with Judas turning Jesus over to the high priests and does not include any mention of the crucifixion or resurrection.

National Geographic said the author believed that Judas Iscariot alone understood the true significance of Jesus' teachings. The author of the text is not named in the writings.

Discovered in 1970, the papyrus was kept in a safety deposit box for several years and began to deteriorate before conservators restored it. More than 1,000 pieces had to be reassembled.

The material will be donated to the Coptic museum in Cairo, Egypt, so it can be available to all scholars said Ted Waitt of the Waitt Institute for Historical Discovery, which helped finance the restoration.

In addition to radio carbon dating, the manuscript was also authenticated through ink analysis, multispectral imaging, content and linguistic style and handwriting style, National Geographic reported.

vert.gospel.ap.jpg

Somewhere, Mel Gibson is very angry.

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Discovery channel had a special on this too. It's related to the translation errors that also exist in the Bible. Not to mention, it was customery back then for one of the followers to hand over his priest to the Head priest of the area for silver.

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I wouldn't read too much into it just yet. Judas would have had a compelling interest in telling his own story favorably and even fabricating parts, given his supposed betrayal. It's a troubling thought that one of the world's major religions could have taken a very early wrong turn though.

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I wouldn't read too much into it just yet. Judas would have had a compelling interest in telling his own story favorably and even fabricating parts, given his supposed betrayal.

True, but if you're going to include that consideration, you have to include the other apostles' biases in relating their tales to the people who eventually wrote down the canonical Gospels.

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True, but if you're going to include that consideration, you have to include the other apostles' biases in relating their tales to the people who eventually wrote down the canonical Gospels.

And I do. Sorting out what actually happened between 0 and 32 A.D. is difficult.

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I wouldn't read too much into it just yet. Judas would have had a compelling interest in telling his own story favorably and even fabricating parts, given his supposed betrayal. It's a troubling thought that one of the world's major religions could have taken a very early wrong turn though.

elaborate please......

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There are numerous Gospels that didn't make the cut so to speak. We must keep in mind that all writing's weren't put into the bible. The only ones put into the original King James version were the one's found to be relevent. I was brought up in a devout christian home, my father was a Baptist minister. Even with this upbringing I think there was bias and an agenda being pushed when the writings of the bible were compiled. Does that mean the bible is wrong? I don't think so. The basic belief that Jesus died so our sins could be forgiven is the most important one no matter what books were omitted. Should the books omitted be made available, most definitely. My mother has spent 100's of hours reading Gospels not in the bible and even though some of them would be considered heracy by structured religious beliefs they all still paint the same picture of God being the all mighty and Jesus died so we can gain salvation through him.

We're a much more intelligent society than what the world had when the Bible was compiled. Maybe the scholars at the time felt all the books would simply confuse a world that didn't have the intellect to comprehend, who know's? There's a Gospel according to Mary that seems like she too was held in high regard and held a special standing with Jesus. (not that special, Jesus had no need for pleasures of the flesh) Bottom line is, even though different Gospels may paint different versions of a story the plot is still the same. :2cents:

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whats funny is there are 66 books of the bible, and they all fit together yet... people will read "new" finds that contradict the bible, and then try to disprove the bible or christianity with the "new" discovery...

I could come out with the book of Mary's 3rd cousin twice removed, and it be an instant hit. :doh:

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whats funny is there are 66 books of the bible, and they all fit together yet... people will read "new" finds that contradict the bible, and then try to disprove the bible or christianity with the "new" discovery...

I could come out with the book of Mary's 3rd cousin twice removed, and it be an instant hit. :doh:

There's no need for any "new" books of the Bible to do that. The original does that quite well on it's own thank you very much.

The fact is that at the time there were sects and other religious groups all over the place writing things about Jesus' teachings. At some point the church leadership decided rightly, that they had to agree on a standard accepted version of what the church's holy book would be. As I understand it, at that point all versions not included in the official canon were declared heresy and burned and anyone that continued to read/believe these books was also branded a heretic and dealt with accordingly.

There's a great book by R. Rubenstein that discusses the church's similar decision making process on the divinity of Jesus. Really great reading. I highly recommend it.

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There's a Gospel according to Mary that seems like she too was held in high regard and held a special standing with Jesus. (not that special, Jesus had no need for pleasures of the flesh)

I guess being his wife isn't special enough? :D Jesus lived life as a mortal.....don't think for a minute that he wasn't given the opportunity to experience all that life has to offer before giving his life for us.

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I guess being his wife isn't special enough? :D Jesus lived life as a mortal.....don't think for a minute that he wasn't given the opportunity to experience all that life has to offer before giving his life for us.

As a Christian, I read this and say, "Well **** Mofumonk, that's almost offensive."

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As a Christian, I read this and say, "Well **** Mofumonk, that's almost offensive."

Tell you what Mr. N, we might not agree on music but we damn sure agree on christianity. Mofumonk, that's sacrilege brother. Let's not get it twisted. Just because Jesus lived here in the flesh doesn't mean that he had fleshly needs. How can you even think that the holiest man to ever walk the earth, the son of God, would have any need or desire to indulge in such things? The Jesus you have in your head and the one I have in mine are totally different.

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Tell you what Mr. N, we might not agree on music but we damn sure agree on christianity. Mofumonk, that's sacrilege brother. Let's not get it twisted. Just because Jesus lived here in the flesh doesn't mean that he had fleshly needs. How can you even think that the holiest man to ever walk the earth, the son of God, would have any need or desire to indulge in such things? The Jesus you have in your head and the one I have in mine are totally different.

I'm going to hit you back and disagree with this. Jesus had just as many fleshly "needs" as any other man. The difference is that we believe that he never indulged these to the point of sin.

I get fed up when I see depictions of the life of Christ, and he goes to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, and he swats off all the temptations like flies. I really believe in order for these temptations to have really been temptations at all Christ had to be at the point where he could really go either way. And the temptation to do wrong appealed to him greatly, but ultimately, he always chose to do right.

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Tell you what Mr. N, we might not agree on music but we damn sure agree on christianity. Mofumonk, that's sacrilege brother. Let's not get it twisted. Just because Jesus lived here in the flesh doesn't mean that he had fleshly needs. How can you even think that the holiest man to ever walk the earth, the son of God, would have any need or desire to indulge in such things? The Jesus you have in your head and the one I have in mine are totally different.

Born and raised Catholic here but that doesn't change my beliefs that Jesus lived life as a man......in it's entirety. If not? Why would we be worth the ultimate sacrifice?

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How can you even think that the holiest man to ever walk the earth, the son of God, would have any need or desire to indulge in such things? The Jesus you have in your head and the one I have in mine are totally different.

Don't take this the wrong way, but there's no real reason the image of Jesus in your head is any more accurate than his.

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