Monday, April 17, 2006

"The Gospel of Judas" - Part II

On April 7, I initially posted something about "The Gospel of Judas" which had just been released as a translation, included in a book, and promoted for a television documentary all by the National Geographic Society. It will also be featured on the cover of their magazine. I have since read the gospel and would like to relay some further thoughts.

The translation I read was a PDF at the New York Times website. The first thing I would like to note is not what is in the text but what's not in the text. The PDF is only 7 pages long, so it would be a quick read for anyone. But there are all total about 67 lines missing from the text. This is a fair amount of material. There are also other sections in which the text is very confusing due to missing words.

The main section that you won't hear reported is when Jesus is relating to Judas the secret mysteries of the creation account. According to this gospel, there are two "angels", Nebro and Saklas. Each of these angels created 6 other angels each. We then read the following about the angel Saklas:
“Then Saklas said to his angels, ‘Let us create a human being after the likeness and after the image.’ They fashioned Adam and his wife Eve, who is called, in the cloud, Zoe. For by this name all the generations seek the man, and each of them calls the woman by these names."

From my prior post, a commentor asked what Christianity would look like if these gospels had been known before the 20th Century. Besides the fact that most of these were known by the early Church, I doubt that it would have been much different. Just looking at the skewed Creation account above, one can see how quickly this document would have been deemed heretical because of the sheer insanity of the hidden knowledge (gnosis) that it supports! At my website, I have some of my own textual notes on the Acts of Peter, Paul, and Gospel of Thomas.

The main issue with the conversations between Jesus and Judas stems around this quote: “But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me." But what has not been related is the context of that conversation. Just 4 lines above that line Jesus is talking to Judas about offering sacrifices to Saklas (the angel mentioned earlier). So, in the context, Jesus is saying that Judas would sacrifice His body to Saklas.

As I have done in the past with some of the other apocryphal books at my website, I plan to go through this text a little more in-depth and provide some more excerpts and analysis.

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