WASHINGTON — 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.
Oh my goodness. Jesus asked Judas to betray him? This turns my Sunday School knowledge right on its ear. Unsurprisingly, religious leaders are quickly leaping into the fray to discredit the document. From the Catholic News Service:
The Gospel of Judas was unimportant to most Christians when it was written hundreds of years ago and it is unimportant today, said a Jesuit professor who has convoked a series of ecumenical studies of the historical Jesus. […]
While including events supposedly related to the life of Jesus, the Gospel of Judas and the others really are texts “attempting to bolster the importance” of the personalities they are named after, not of Jesus, the priest said.
“They are not summaries of the good news,” he said.
What’s that supposed to mean? If it’s not good news, it doesn’t count? Who gets to define “good” news? (Seems to me it’s really good news for Judas, actually.)
Just to prove how far out of step I seem to be with some of the more reverent and serious among us, Polimom’s first thought was, “They’ll have to re-make Jesus Christ, Superstar! Where will they find anybody as good-looking as Ted Neely?”
Obviously I don’t take religion as seriously as some folks do. On the other hand, it’s beyond fascinating, and I plan to plant myself smack in front of my brand-new big-screen TV to watch tomorrow night’s National Geographic presentation. What fun!