Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Judas Code - "In the manuscript, Jesus tells Judas that he will teach him about secrets no person has ever seen. Jesus also is quoted as telling Judas: 'You will be cursed by the other generations, and you will come to rule over them.'

In another key passage, Jesus says to Judas: 'You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.'

Scholars interpreted the passage as saying that Jesus meant for Judas to help him get rid of his physical body, which would liberate his true spiritual, divine self.

Gnostic heresy

The announcement of the manuscript's discovery may have left laymen believing Judas had been exonerated and his gospel would take its place alongside those of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But theologians quickly responded that the ancient document should not be seen as a new revelation about the Passion of Christ.

Jones and other theologians said several portions of the Gospel of Judas reveal it to be written by the Gnostics, who took a reverse view of many of the events and characters in the Bible.

'The Sodomites become God's special people,' Jones said of one example. 'When the Gnostics interpret Genesis 1, they identify the serpent as the bringer of truth. So God the Creator is evil, and the serpent speaks truth. So the point is that the Gnostics turn everything upside down. Everyone who is bad in the Old Testament is good, everyone who is good is bad. Is it surprising that in the Gospel of Judas, Judas turns out to be good?'"

Dr. Jones is one of my old seminary professors.

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