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Judas Bursts for Righteousness
In Response To: Re: Jesus Made Me Do It ()

That (other) Pope made some very superficial and negative remarks about Judas on the occasion of Easter observances:

www.guardian.co.uk/pope/story/0,,1754385,00.html

Surely the head Pope in charge has a better understanding of why someone had to play the role of betrayer and also accept money for it in order to fulfill prophesy/tradition.

I finally had the opportunity to actually read the Gospel of Judas for myself, and I must say, I'm quite smitten with it.

{The Gospel of Judas, by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gegor Wurst, and with additional commentary by Burt Ehrman)

It is "multum in parvo", much in little. A main element is the reference to the disciples of Jesus as priests [verses 32-40] and rulers [verse 37] of the kingdom, and with each having their own star (a symbol of divinity and fate).

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It is prophesied that Judas would return in the last days to rule, and that this would be opposed. Well, it seems the prophesy has just come to pass! In opposition to the Jesus of the canonized Gospels, Jesus of Judas' Gospel declares that no one living at that time would see the coming of a new righteous era.

The Gospel of Judas speaks of other (astronomical) rulers, such as the sun and moon. There are also said to be "72 luminaries" and a striation of "72 aeons". This concept reminds me variously of the 72 companions of Re and the ladder of Re (ascending and descending to heaven). Other numbers are featured in the Gospel of Judas, specifically 12, 24, and 360.

The disciples are depicted as proud of themselves for their obedience, that is, not acting according to their own will. But Jesus bursts their bubble by declaring that what they do is for the praise of THEIR god (Yaldaboath/YHWH, the wicked god of the world in Gnostic thinking). Jesus tells them they have been deceived by "the error of the stars" [verse 46] and by their own individual stars [45].

Judas alone understands Jesus and recognizes that he is from the "realm of Barbelo" [verse 35], that is, in Gnostic terms, the realm of spirit and good, not material and evil. Jesus still expects Judas to deliver him up for reward, however Judas does not do this just for "some money" [verse 58], but to receive an a greater status than the eleven disciples and the one who would replace him.

There is an interesting reference in the Gospel of Judas to the god Nebro, "rebel" [verse 51], which according to the translators is a synonym of Yaldaboath/YHWH. Nebro recalls the Patriarchal name Eber. Also recall that Moses died on Mount Nebo. Further note that Akhenaten, as an incarnation of Eber/Moses was called "the Rebel".

There is also mention of five underworld angels, namely Seth (equated by Gnostics with Christ), Harmathoth (compare Horus and Hermes/Thoth), Gabila (compare Geb), Yobel (compare Marduk-Re/Bel), and Adaronais (compare Adonis/Osiris).

There is also mention of the Gnostic prototypical/cosmic god-man Adamas [verse 35], the "kingdom of Adam" [53], "mysteries of the kingdom" [verse 35], "completing of the kingdom" [verse 54], the Self-Generates and Great Invisible Spirit [verse 47], Eve/Zoe [verse 52] and Sophia [verse 44].

In short, this little "Gospel" is chock-full of Gnostic and Zorastrian/Mithraic lingo and twists on the orthodox Passion of Christ. I find it well worth the hype it is receiving and interest in Gnostic texts it is generating.

Also available in bookstores:

"The Secrets of Judas" by James Robinson

"The Lost Gospel" by Herbert Krosney