19 April, 2006

Judas' "Good News" Fraud - Part II

The Gospel of Judas has recently been published (by National Geographic) and true enough, it's apparent why this text will ultimately be appreciated for its historical value and not the wisdom of its content. The Gospel of Judas is a bizarre piece of literary work and yet has found a foothold in contemporary thought because it's new and because it's created a stir. It's a feeding ground for pop media. The single verse, lauded by the media and theologians alike as the better, more fair way to view Judas, is this:

"For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me."

The footnote, graciously supplied to us by the not-so-inspired translators, is a shabby attempt at adding fuel to the flame: "Judas is instructed by Jesus to help him by sacrificing the fleshly body ("the man") that clothes or bears the true spiritual self of Jesus. The death of Jesus, with the assistance of Judas, is taken to be the liberation of the spiritual person within."

Another classic example of educated people taking liberties with religious texts in order to fit commonly held religious opinion. The facts are obvious: Nowhere in the line supposedly spoken by Christ is "spirit" mentioned. No where in the line spoken by Christ does he talk about "liberating the spiritual person inside". This is precisely how Christian doctrines like the Trinity became so entrenched, so early on (the "one substance, three persons" theory is a perfect example). It seems the Bible isn't too good at communicating its own ideas. Enter the the wise, scholarly elders, deciding and dictating what the Bible teaches based on a show of hands, conjuring up ambiguous defense after ambiguous defense by using words like "mystery" and "hidden knowledge" as a fall-back to protect their integrity and self-interests (a church that admits mistakes is a church going out of business). The Trinity is absent from Scripture. "One substance, three persons" is absent from Scripture. Infant sprinkling is absent from Scripture. Heaven and hell going are absent in Scripture. Purgatory is absent from Scripture. Yet the masses, urged on by church leaders, assume these to be Bible-taught and God-instructed. After hundreds and hundreds of years of constant repetition, false doctrine has been successfully grafted into mainstream Christianity.

Jer. 9:5 "Every one deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they commit iniquity and are too weary."

Tell a lie over and over again and it eventually becomes a truth.

Nonetheless, even mainstream Christianity is going to find it difficult to justify reading from the Gospel of Judas on a Sunday morning. I hope no amount of justification or references to "mystery" will ever give this so called "gospel" the airtime it's looking for:

"A great angel, the enlightened divine Self-Generated, emerged from the cloud. Because of him, four other angels came into being from another cloud, and they became attendants for the angelic Self-Generated. The Self-Generated said...and it came into being...He made seventy-two lumiaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit. The seventy-two luminaries themselves made three hundred sixty luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation...that their number should be five for each."

"The twelve aeons of the twelve luminaries constitute their father, with six heavens for each aeon, so that there are seventy-two heavens for the seventy-two luminaries, and for each of them five firmaments, for a total of three hundred sixty firmaments."


And one more for the road:

"His name was Nebro, which means 'rebel', others call him Yaldabaoth. Another angel, Saklas, also came from the cloud. So Nebro created six angels - as well as Saklas - to be assistants, and these produced twelve angels in the heavens, with each one receiving a portion in the heaven."

It reads like a piece of science fiction. But then again, every doctrine cooked up by man reads exactly the same way.

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