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An amazing new transcription, which has been authenticated by experts of Coptic writings, has been published:  The Gospel of Judas.  Let me start at the end, the story we know of Judas giving Jesus up, and then back to the beginning of the transcription, which reveals an altogether different story than the one we've been fed:

[...And] their high priests murmured because [he] had gone into the guest room for his prayer.  But some scribes were there watching carefully in order to arrest him during the prayer, for they were afraid of the people, since he was regarded by all as a prophet.  They approached Judas and said to him, "What are you doing here?  You are Jesus' disciple."  Judas answered them as they wished.  And he received some money and handed him over to them." [p58 G. of Judas codex]

But before this, Jesus put Judas up to that apparently:

The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week, three days before he celebrated Passover." [p33 G. of Judas codex]

Cont.

Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom.  It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal." [p35 G. of Judas codex]

In the vision I saw myself as the 12 disciples were stoning me and persecuting [me severely]. [p44 G. of Judas codex]

...you will be cursed by the other generations - and you will come to rule over them. [p46 G. of Judas codex]

...you will exceed all of them.  For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me. [p56 G. of Judas codex]

And finally:

Look, you have been told everything.  Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it.  The star that leads the way is your star.  Judas lifted his eyes and saw the luminous cloud, and he entered it..." [p57 G. of Judas codex]

If anyone has ever clicked on my subtitle link to my diary on the alternate story of Jesus, an alternate story that is gaining more and more validity as documents from around 300-400AD surface, you know that I am exuberant at this transcription.  

My diary discusses the concept of Jesus' and St. Stephen's involvement in a revolution against fake organized religion of their time, against their megachurches (temples) and their fake Pardoners (megachurch preachers, guilt-inducing cathedral preachers, mosque hate-monger preachers).  They actually taught more of a Buddhist ideology than Falwellian hatemongering.

This new Gospel has Judas betraying Jesus at Jesus' command or request.  Why is this important?  Because it exposes pretty definitively all of the Mel Gibson-type fictional accounts of Jesus' story as nothing but that:  fiction.

Jesus was a rebel leader who took on the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of his time who worked alongside the Roman Authorities to suppress, frighten, and create guilt for a superstitious population, which is EXACTLY what "christianity" is used for today...

Jesus has been rolling over in his grave ever since this hypocrisy began, right around 325AD when the centralized church banned and murdered the gnostics and the other sects WHO INITIATED CHRISTIANITY, not this abomination that surfaced for brainwashing and population-control purposes.

This is a big deal.  Also, keep an eye out for the 4th century online Bible translation coming out soon...

Props to Raw Story for the scoop...

Originally posted to a gnostic on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 10:59 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As Jesus said: 'Destroy this temple'... (9+ / 0-)

    ...and rebuild via the "body."

    And as St. Stephen similarly said, citing Isaiah, who said the SAME THING:

    48  "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet (Isaiah) says:

          49" 'Heaven is my throne,
          and the earth is my footstool.
          What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord.
          Or where will my resting place be?
          50  Has not my hand made all these things?'(Acts, vi, 48-50).

    My quotation of (Isaiah) above for reference: Stephen alludes to Isaiah 66:1.

  •  NPR had story too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quotefiend, kraant, a gnostic

    Only heard a snippit at lunch, but they say there's more at the website.

    Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

    by philgoblue on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:05:41 AM PDT

  •  Written in about 200, it has (10+ / 0-)

    all the genuineness and punch of my own first hand account of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

    Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

    by DCDemocrat on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:08:04 AM PDT

    •  Why the snark? (7+ / 0-)

      This is as genuine as the dead sea scoll accounts of the New Testament, the oldest and most authentic on earth, from the same time period.

      At least click the link to see what the  transcribers say before snarking...

      •  Pardon my snark back (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        molly bloom, morinao, Quotefiend, Brubs, kraant

        but it is probably because DCDemocrat does not want you to come to DC and knock over their table of overpriced sacrificial offerings.

        Live Free or Die-words to live by

        by ForFreedom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:17:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are no Dead Sea scroll accounts of the (7+ / 0-)

        New Testament.  The Dead Sea scrolls probaly date from the first century, but they contain only writings from the Hebrew Scriptures.  But even if the Dead Sea scrolls were abandoned, as in likely, in about 70, they antedate the Gospel of Judas by 130 years.  

        The gospel of Mark was written in the mid- to late-60s.  The gospels of Matthew and Luke were written in mid-70 to the mid-80s.  The gospel of John was written somewhere between 90 and 100.  That is, they are the testimony of people who heard the disciples of the Lord preach.

        The "gospel" of Judas has all the relevance to the story of Jesus as my testimony concerning the night at Ford's Theater when Lincoln was shot.

        The "gospel" of Judas is relevant as an historical text that describes to us what a person (or a group of people) in the early third century imagined the relationship of Jesus and Judas to be.  It is interesting, but it is not a source of ipsisima verba Jesu.

        Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

        by DCDemocrat on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:09:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  all things gnostic and nag hamadi here: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quotefiend, kraant

          http://www.gnosis.org/...

          you're right, the oldest canonical Bible is 4th century but when it is completely translated in an online interactive edition, there will be many many surprises, especially the inclusion of the "outlawed" apocrypha:

          The Codex Sinaiticus is the world's oldest Bible and the most important Biblical manuscript. It was written in Greek by hand in the mid-fourth century around the time of Constantine the Great. Though it originally contained the whole of the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha, half of the Old Testament has since been lost. The surviving manuscript concludes with two early Christian texts, an epistle ascribed to the Apostle Barnabas and the Shepherd by Hermas.

          http://www.bl.uk/...

          what i meant to say, easy to get confused, is that this new gospel of judas comes from the same writing techniques, etc. as the canonical gospels and has been authenticated as as such...

          thanks for less snark...  the real story of Jesus is even better thant the HIGHLY edited version, which was created for population control...

    •  As does the Canon (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      philgoblue, snakelass, Quotefiend, kraant

      The earliest of which was written 40 or so years after the time of Christ and it didn't become the Canon until 300 years or so later. See Bart Ehrman for a more scholarly take on it.

      "Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right"

      by molly bloom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:16:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same with all the gospels (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      molly bloom, Quotefiend, kraant

      Written at least 40 years after Jesus' execution and none by the actual apostle (reverse plagiarism).  What is important is that it represents the views of a group within a broad and diverse Jesus Movement.

      Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

      by philgoblue on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:18:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  see my note above this. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bam101, kraant

        Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

        by DCDemocrat on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:12:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  all gospels we have are COPIES... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quotefiend, kraant

          ..NO ORIGINALS... so who the fuck are you kidding?

          all these gospels are COPIES, not engraved in stone.... earliest Bible is centuries later, Greek...

          "The oldest known surviving part of a gospel dates from about 125 CE. "

          http://www.religioustolerance.org/...

          making shit up as you go along as usual...

          •  You have too literal an interpretation (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bam101, Quotefiend, reahti, Lepanto, kraant

            of 'the bible'.

            earliest Bible is centuries later, Greek...

            And what texts ware used as sources for this 'bible'? The CANON is called such because it is the accepted text. And by 'accepted' it is meant that it is the orthodox text most tied with the theology of the church.
            The apocryphal writings are significant, historically, but they don't carry a lot of theological value as they fall OUTSIDE of the CANON. That might seem like a conspiracy to you but that's a rather popular sentiment these days. One without a whole lot of biblical scholar support.

            This is a good site:

            http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

            •  Abe.. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Quotefiend, kraant

              ..Abe Abe Abe...just because they forced it on us in 325AD, murdering all dissenters, doesn't make it the truth...

              Read Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels" and read up on what the "orthodox," the martyr-obsessed "christians" did to the original Christhood-oriented Christians, an inclusivity vs. the murderous exclusivity of the modern Church..

              just saying it is so doesn't make it so... history is catching up to this false story and the CANON is about to change my friend.

              •  Everything is interpretation (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                molly bloom, bam101, Quotefiend, reahti, kraant

                Because Jesus never wrote anything down. Or do you know of something?
                If the apocryphal writings are more to your theological taste then fine, that's cool... nothing wrong there.
                But those, just like the canonical documents are all about interpreting the life and the message of Jesus of Nazareth.
                His ministry wasn't about starting a church and calling it "Christian". He said he came to bring the 'good news', he never said he came to build the "One" "True" "Church".

                •  yeah but his followers have left an unforgivable. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RabidNation, Quotefiend, kraant

                  ..path of destruction and hate... the only real good thing they did was allow his story to survive to this day...

                  besides that, they have a history of mass murder, persecution, intolerance, induction of guilt, did i say hate already?

                  the actual history is going to expose the extreme editing that occurred on the "Bible."

                  All that said, I appreciate a somewhat tolerant tone, quite in contrast to some of the other posters here, other haters that posted here.

                  •  'Lost' texts are important... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Quotefiend, kraant

                    I think study of the CANON as well as to "what has been left out" is hugely important.
                    A lot of Christians take the view that "The Good Book" was somehow dictated by a thunderous cloud and typed-up by an army of monkeys. i.e. It is the "Word of God" or "Divinely Inspired".
                    They don't see it as an organic set of texts written by faithful members of the community trying to come to grips, or explain, exactly what all this "Jesus" business was about...
                    But on a personal note, I'm a bit saddened that these days when 'regular' folks take an interest in Biblical texts the first thing they pull out is the DaVinci Code and start talking about conspiracy theories.
                    So some of my comments towards you were affected by that 'defensive' filter, if you will... :)

                •  I concur (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Quotefiend, kraant

                  I have a lot of problems with a lot of the organized Christian sects today. But one's sincerely held personal religious beliefs are what the are. Noone is going to change that.

                  That said, the majority accepts the canon by tradition and not by scholarship.

                  All of the gospels (canon and non canon) have some tradition behind them. The canon gospels have the force of being "the winners" and we all know God does not back losers.

                  "Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right"

                  by molly bloom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 01:46:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Of course all we have are copies (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Carnacki, bam101

            the thing that was translated today is a copy.  But saying that the Nicean Christians edited the gospels is silly when we have copies of the gospels that are considerably older than Nicea.  Google away, Gnostic, but what I write is stuff I learned in school.  I don't have to consult the Internet to talk about this stuff.

            Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

            by DCDemocrat on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 06:00:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ok, Mr. Educated... (0+ / 0-)

              ...what are the oldest new testament gospels in their totality?  you can use my link if you want... 125AD has the oldest fragments from my googling...

              4th century is oldest altogether.. just because i mistook the oldest OLD testament having been found at nag hamadi, you think you have GOTTEN me, uncovered me, and devastatingly undercut my argument.

              you see, you haven't even addressed my core argument... why?  because it is irrefutatable that Jesus and St. Stephen and Isaiah were criticizing those who thought or think that they can "contain" God in 4 walls...

              so now who is discredited...

              as to your dating, good ms molly below seems to think you are quite ignorant with your declarations...

              •  You have no core argument (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Carnacki

                Your arguments are like so mamy grains of sand shifting endlessly among themselves in the Sahara.  

                Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

                by DCDemocrat on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:26:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  why not address the quotes from jesus, stephen... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...and isaiah?... try addressing the items at hand instead of attacking the messenger.. it might help with credibility... not a concern of yours apparently though...

                  Again, evidence is plentiful that a prevailing ideology going back to Moses (idols) and Isaiah (see above) and on to Jesus and Stephen (above)centered around the critique of centralized religion, the temples therein, the symbols therein, and the persons inserting themselves between man and God, the wanna-be Pharoahs if you will... seen today with evangelicals who claim to "talk" to God in order to "impress" themselves on a gullible populace.

                  Do you claim some prescience Mr DC toughguy or do you just run your mouth?

                  We are eternal creature.. you and I have likely met, spit in each others faces thousands of times throughout millenia...

                  how's about i blow in your ear.. maybe that will make you address the argument at hand rather than blather like a moron about the person delivering the message.

                •  yoo hoo sweety!!! blowing in our eaaaarrr... (0+ / 0-)

                  bueller?

                  •  microencephalopathy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Carnacki

                    or substance abuse.  dunno which.

                    Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

                    by DCDemocrat on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 10:05:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  oh well.. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DCDemocrat

                      ...i'll just assign your commenting to insignificance since you can't seem to comment on the basic argument on jesus, stephen, moses, isaiah, etc.

                      maybe next time... false advertising on the ear blowing to answer a question thing... got me all hot and heavy hoping for a response on the basics of discussion.

                      •  gnostic (0+ / 0-)

                        It's impossible to have a discussion with you.  You always shift the discussion away from the topic at hand when the facts are against you and claim the discussion is about something else.  I have ignored you for the last year, and I made a mistake to reengage with you.  I apologize for the untoward things I wrote above.  This is the last time I will engage you.

                        Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

                        by DCDemocrat on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:15:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  spare me the sob.. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DCDemocrat

                          ...i am SO sad that you avoided me... old school and all... pathetic you are in your arrogance.

                          i notice you didn't manage to address ... YET A FUCKING AGAIN the hardcore basis of my diary.. the jesus, stephen, isaiah rebel premise... the fake story "we've been fed" theory... the "rebel leader" who was fighting those such as yourself who would "brainwash" and maintain the fascade of orthodox "christianity."  my quotes from the diary above...

                          so who the fuck are you kidding with the "shift" from the topic at hand... just look in the mirror fool

                          so just because i mixed up the oldest old testament dating with the new testament dating, which dates to roughly the same time period, you sit atop your high and mighty throne and think your GOTCHA makes you win the argument... your pathetic dude, ye of old school Kossack... fucking pathetic.

                          and you can run but you can't hide... ignore all you want, your diatribe has exposed you...

                          too bad you chose the side of bastardized ideology... i will make sure you remember your brainwashing and your attack modus operandi when you don't have a foot to stand on... asshole.

                          stick your apology up your ass you crass lying sack of shit.. coming out to my diary, talking shit, making shit up, never addressing my argument at hand, and now when challenged, apologizing because i challenged you to discuss the topic at hand... fuck you asshole.

    •  For a reality-based community (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      morinao, Quotefiend, reahti, Lepanto, kraant

      They would rather embrace a "gospel" dismissed at the time as false, simply because it fits the worldview of so many anti-Christians here.  The "gospel" of Judas is historically authentic, in that it does date from 200 and does represent the views of some at that time.  However, it cannot be viewed as historically authentic in giving an accurate account of Jesus' life and the views of him at the time.  Rather, it's simply the view of a distinct minority who wanted to reframe Jesus for their own views.

      Wait... that sound familiar....

      •  Reframe for YOUR view... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quotefiend, kraant

        ..spare me.

        The Council of Nicea initiated modern "christianity" with a wave of violence, whose legacy lasts to this day with Heir Bush leading the way... the Council of Nicea edited the original Bible and every scholar who hasn't sold his or her soul to the devil know this.

        Spare us your proselytizing.

        •  Hey, I understand you're a gnostic (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quotefiend, reahti, kraant

          And that this is a critical issue for you.

          So I'm not exactly the one prosletyzing here.  Let me reframe it this way: if the "gospel" of Judas is so accurate, how come it disappeared for 1800 years?  How come there were so few followers?  Why were they such a minority after 200 years?  Why didn't they have a critical mass to carry on?

          Unless you're insinuating that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul had all perverted the gospel of Jesus within a couple of generations, it seems to me that this version, while historically authentic, can't claim with much veracity to be the "Real Truth."  The weight of evidence simply isn't on your side.

          That's not to say it isn't a fascinating look at the divisions that existed within Christianity, or the range of viewpoints that existed, because it is all of that and more.  A group of gnostics believed this version sincerely then.  I'm fine with that.  That alone is fascinating history.

          •  Council of Nicea outlawed alternate viewpoints... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quotefiend, kraant

            ...destroyed gospels that didn't adhere to their viewpoint of the "martyred" Jesus, and murdered the original christians, many of whom were gnostics.

            So, the "Real truth" was outlawed my friend.

          •  gnostic were declared heretics (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quotefiend, a gnostic

            and were hounded by the early church. Sort of an early inquisition. Once declared heretical their all the copies of their texts which could be found were destroyed. The mother lode was found in Egypt ad Nag Hammadi.

            If you are seriouly interested in this subject go check out Bart Ehrman and his book Lost Christianities.

            Short version, much of the apocrapha were based on oral tradition as early as the canonical text and may have been written much earlier than we know. What we have is text that survived. Judas' gospel could have been originally written as early as 33CE a/k/a 33AD (CE =Common Era). But the surviving text was a copy made 200 year later. What we don't have as far as I know, is any original texts.

            The earliest texts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are not from the dates cited by DC Dem. There is also scholarly debate as to which was 1st. Finally even those texts have been adulturated. They didn't have copy machines back then, it was copied by hand. This led to mistakes and there were insertions made by scribes to clarify and amplify. Then there is the issue of forgeries, some modern and some ancient. At least one forgery was unmasked in the early years of the church. No reason to believe their weren't others.

            Again I suggest you read Ehrman.

            "Once in a while you get shown the light In the strangest of places if you look at it right"

            by molly bloom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 06:09:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Reality-based... please. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quotefiend, kraant
        •  Speaking of reality-based (4+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Carnacki, reahti, kraant, Distaste for Dissent
          Hidden by:
          a gnostic

          what happened to "The" Gnostic.  I guess that account was trolled into oblivion?

          Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

          by DCDemocrat on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:13:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thought it a bit presumptuous to be The... (3+ / 3-)
            Recommended by:
            RabidNation, Quotefiend, kraant
            Hidden by:
            DCDemocrat, Carnacki, Lepanto

            ...anything...

            not trolled as you can see... am I not allowed to move to another username as long as I don't post from both?  i am only posting from this one because your being a fucking prick.

            •  No, Gnostic (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Carnacki, bam101, kraant

              This is an extraordinary breach of the rules.  There is one account per person.

              Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

              by DCDemocrat on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 02:03:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  In fairness, (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                morinao, DCDemocrat, Carnacki, kraant

                the two accounts don't overlap: s/he stopped using The Gnostic with the switch to a gnostic.  I think the spirit of the rule is that people shouldn't be posting with more than one account - it encourages dishonesty, skewed ratings, etc. Changing one's user name doesn't seem as problematic (although it means the count of actual dkos users is slightly off).

                Either way, gnostic should not have posted a comment under The.  Let that one die a natural death.

                 

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 02:11:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Extraordinary? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kraant

                Whatever.  It's not like I was trying to hide it... my link has the same diary as the other one?!?!  If you google "destroy this temple," both of my subtitle links from both incarnations come up.

                Your credibility just took yet ANOTHER hit.  I regret however that I let you get to me again; I forgot you were one of the dedicated establishment "christian" blog bombers.  I won't forget you next time and yes i will be there to catch your every mistake going forward...

                by the way, it is the oldest OLD testament version found at nag hamadi... so you GOT ME there... otherwise, you never addressed the substance of my assertation on Jesus, Stephen, and Isaiah... this latest gospel just further shows that the original christian story was subverted...so you have only embarassed yourself in front of the "gang," that is if the "gang" is now waiting in the wings for my reply to you with bated breath... after emailing/ instant messaging them that i am on the warpath again...

                Maybe you will get to antagonize me to my face one day and then we can take it outside.  Until then, I guess I need to remember to be at blog war with you ... asshole.

  •  This is great news (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homo neurotic, Quotefiend, kraant

    I'll go take a look at it.  The Coptic Christians tell much more of the real story of Jesus and his message than the traditional bible.

    The traditional bible contains writing that most likely originated with the disciples in verbal or written form, but it was edited by a highly Roman church.  This is very significant becuase it is where we start to see an emphasis on the institutionalization of the church rather than the spiritual journey of the believer.  The Gospel of Thomas is pretty clear about the most important element being that spiritual journey.

    If you don't mind I'm interested in your view of Saul of Tarses.

    Live Free or Die-words to live by

    by ForFreedom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:11:29 AM PDT

    •  I read that in a book on the dead sea scrolls but (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homo neurotic, Quotefiend, Brubs, kraant

      forgot most of it... why do you ask?

      Be careful of citing the G of Thomas, which has been shown to have been edited itself sometime WAY after its original creation.

      Nevertheless, the G of Thomas is a part of the gnostic gospels.  I highly recommend "The Other Bible" for most of the gnostic gospels.

      •  And Thomas is also fragmentary (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quotefiend, Brubs, kraant

        But you are right to offer caution.

        The way I like to look at it is that all the writings from that time are incomplete or inaccurate in some way, and that part of the journey is to read as much material as possible from as many different sources in order to develop one's own understanding.

        Live Free or Die-words to live by

        by ForFreedom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:21:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I view Saul as one of the first (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quotefiend, kraant

        major departures from the original teachings of Jesus.  So I'm curious what any others who have a reasonable degree of understanding of the early history of Christianity have to say about it.  There is not much point in discussing it with people who will simply quote verses back at you without understanding their meaning, which is unfortunately much more common than persons like yourself.

        Live Free or Die-words to live by

        by ForFreedom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:34:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Saul became Paul right? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quotefiend, kraant

          ...and then, from my understanding of the alternate history, according to Elaine Pagel's research (who some people claim is not academic enough (she IS an academic)), Saul, who initiated the murder of St. Stephen, began, as the converted "Paul" the perversion of the rebel story of Jesus to the crucified , martyred Jesus version...

          ...it all gets so confusing but that is what I remember from Pagels ("The Gnostic Gospels").  He would be the founder of her "orthodox" christians, who took over in 325AD after the Council of Nicea which outlawed the Gnostics and others after the death of Alexander (and the subsequent downfall of the Roman empire)...

          •  That would be it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quotefiend, kraant

            I believe he is also one of those responsible for the institutionalization of the church.

            This is important because many of the Falwellian types lean heavily on the letters of Paul, in some cases more heavily than they do on the Gospels and Acts.

            This became apparent to me as my family fell more and more into conservative churches.  The churches we attended in my youth had alot of emphasis on the Gospels, with some reference to various letters.  As we started to go to more conservative churches I heard less from the Gospels and more from the letters of Paul.

            Live Free or Die-words to live by

            by ForFreedom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:57:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not just the Falwellian types; (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kraant, Distaste for Dissent

              the reason the letters of Paul are so often quoted is a purely practical one: the recorded statements of Jesus are notoriously vague and scattered, and Paul is the only early theologian whose works were granted canonical status.  So, if Jesus came to end the old convenant (the Jewish scripture) but provided little specific information about the new covenant, Paul's letters are the only source of specific information outlining a new theology.

              I'm suspicious of Paul's authority to do this (one place where a gnostic and I would certainly agree), but once his works were entered into the canon, they were the only place for specific outlines.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:08:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pico, kraant, Distaste for Dissent

                What separates things is the balance of Gospels and Paul's letters, IMO.

                The more mainstream churches use alot of the Gospels, and some Paul.  The Fallwellian types seem to use only selected parts of the Gospels-the passion in particular, and the virgin birth-the 'big' miracles-and less of the actual teachings of Jesus, substituting the letters of Paul.  I'm sure that given a choice of doing a sermon on the Beattitudes or on Paul alot of the more conservative types would pick Paul.  Not that they won't do the Beattitudes, just that you will get much more Paul (and Revelations).

                Live Free or Die-words to live by

                by ForFreedom on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 02:10:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And don't forget (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kraant

                  the Gospel of Matthew, which has given us more headaches than it's worth:

                  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

                  As I mentioned on another discussion, we're lucky as hell that the humanists convinced us to read that passage metaphorically instead of literally.  

                  Fundies love Matthew.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 02:17:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Often, they only use the first verse. (0+ / 0-)

                    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. That's often quoted out of context as justifying violence. The following verses give context: Unless Jesus was advocating killing your parents or your children, the sword was not meant to be a literal sword.

              •  Not so much vague as inconvenient (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ForFreedom

                I don't see that "turn the other cheek" is all that vague. But if you're pro-violence, it's inconvenient.

                "Blessed are the peacemakers" carries the implication of "cursed are the warmakers", which to is inconvenient.

          •  Saul persecuted Christians (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bam101, Quotefiend, reahti, kraant

            long before he became one: if the murder of Stephen was part of his grand scheme to take over Christianity, he certainly waited a while before converting.  He was known to be a passionate anti-Christian.

            He also must have been planting the other gospels before his conversion, including accounts by people who he would have had no contact with, like Luke.  

            I'm sorry, but as suspicious as I am of all the Gospel accounts, this story seems even less likely.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:02:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this a gnostic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homo neurotic, kraant, a gnostic

    I read this this morning with great interest and was impressed.  I have one question though that has always bothered me, and no one seems to be able to answer it:

    When did a religion "of" Jesus become a religion "about" Jesus?  

    A subtle, but important distinction that many seem to miss.  Any thoughts?

    So I turned on the crowd. And I screamed "You and You! It could have been you..."

    by Brubs on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:16:00 AM PDT

    •  325AD to be exact.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant

      ..that's when the Catholic church was born and when they began the great editing of the original story of Jesus to fit their population-control designs...

      ...read Elaine Pagel's "The Gnostic Gospels" for more on the gnostic v. orthodox history.

      •  Wrong (5+ / 0-)

        The Christian community evolved from the moment Jesus resurrected. And we've been trying to make sense of it ever since.

        •  If you read Acts 2, you will see that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kraant

          that those that actually knew Jesus still kept going to the Temple and it was not until Paul the forefather of the Televangelists who never knew Jesus came along with  his story about meeting Jesus that things changed.

          •  Thomas and Peter? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            reahti, kraant, Distaste for Dissent

            Fine. But you would do well to realize also that the person that could be most called "the leader" of the early Christian community wasn't Paul or even Peter but Thomas.
            And Thomas, along with Peter, did intend their ministry to be, mostly, for Jews... why? Because THEY all were Jews! :)
            All of these early Christian followers believed Jesus was the Messiah that fulfilled the prophecy of Isiah 53 et al.
            But what they were selling wasn't selling. "Who's this Jesus fella? Joseph's son, the son of God? Get outta here! Are you INSANE???!!!" /snark
            Paul extended the message to the Hellenistic community within the Roman empire which took to the message because of similarities in values with Hellenestic philosophies of the time.
            When Paul's ministry began to extend to Gentiles well.. then that's when the whole thing took off.

  •  Sounds a lot like Judas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant, a gnostic

    in The Last Temptation of Christ.

    Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

    by philgoblue on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:20:00 AM PDT

  •  I Dunno.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gnostic

    Sounds very interesting and I'd like to read more but I have trouble with these lines--

    > ...you will be cursed by the other generations - and you will come to rule over them. [p46 G. of Judas codex]

    > ...you will exceed all of them.  For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me. [p56 G. of Judas codex]

    Why would Jesus be telling one disciple that he would exceed and 'rule over others ?'

    I'm also dismissive of the Catholic interpretation of "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church," as the foundation for establishing the papacy.

    Seems to me that all disciples, up until today, would be equally esteemed in Jesus' eye.

  •  I heard Billy Bragg sing a song called...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant, a gnostic

    "Stand Up For Judas".

    The lyrics are really interesting. I don't know much about Judas but I'd like to know more.

    The song says that Judas was the real revolutionary and much more a champion of the underclass.

    Here are some of the lyrics. All the lyrics can be found here. There's some good discussion of the topics near the bottom of the same page.

    So stand up, stand up for Judas and the cause that Judas served
    It was Jesus who betrayed the poor with his word

    Now Jesus brought division where none had been before
    Not the slaves against their masters but the poor against the poor
    Set son to rise up against father, and brother to fight against brother
    For he that is not with me is against me, was his teaching
    Said Jesus, I am the answer
    You unbelievers shall burn forever, shall die in your sins
    Not sheep and goats, said Judas, But together we may dare
    Shake off the chains of misery we share

    Jesus stood upon the mountain with a distance in his eyes
    I am the way, the life, he cried, The light that never dies
    So renounce all earthly treasures and pray to your heavenly father
    And he pacified the hopeless with the hope of life eternal
    Said Jesus, I am the answer
    And you who hunger only remember your reward's in Heaven
    So Jesus preached the other world but Judas wanted this
    And he betrayed his master with a kiss

    Thanks for the diary. I've been looking for more insights on who Judas was and what he stood for.

    "The best cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy."--Edward Abbey

    by Manix on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:42:49 AM PDT

    •  Wasn't Billy Bragg...... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant, a gnostic

      it was Dick Gaughan. If you go to this link you will find a link on the left of the page that lets you play most of the song "Stand Up For Judas".

      "The best cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy."--Edward Abbey

      by Manix on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:57:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The rehabilitation of Judas (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Manix, morinao, kraant

      was an important part of Romantic culture, especially in the 19th century.  Judas, Satan, and Pontious Pilate all became heroic anti-heroes for various reasons (some relating - I kid you not - to the birth and spread of democracy).

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:04:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thomas Pynchon does a variation on this... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Manix, pico, kraant, a gnostic

      ....in the novel Gravity's Rainbow, when talking about Tyrone Slothrop's heretical ancestor and his book on Judas:

      He wrote a long tract about it presently, called On Preterition. It had to be published in England, and is among the first books to've been not only banned but also ceremonially burned in Boston. Nobody wanted to hear about all the Preterite, the many God passes over when he chooses a few for salvation. William argued holiness for these "second Sheep," without whom there'd be no elect. You can bet the Elect in Boston were pissed off about that. And it got worse. William felt that what Jesus was for the elect, Judas Iscariot was for the Preterite. Everything in the Creation has its equal and opposite counterpart. How can Jesus be an exception? could we feel for him anything but horror in the face of the unnatural, the extracreational? Well, if he is the son of man, and if what we feel is not horror but love, then we have to love Judas too. Right?....

      Could he have been the fork in the road America never took, the singular point she jumped the wrong way from? Suppose the Slothropite heresy had had the time to consolidate and prosper? Might there have been fewer crimes in the name of Jesus, and more mercy in the name of Judas Iscariot?

      ...but for three years I had roses and I apologized to nobody.

      by sagesource on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:36:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What interests me about this new Gospel (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sagesource, kraant, a gnostic

    is that the treatement of Judas has always been one thing about Christianity that I could never really comprehend.  

    Part of God's plan was for Jesus to be betrayed by someone close to him.  By making that betrayal, Judas' actions actually served God's intended method of bringing redemption to mankind.  In other words, Judas was actually doing God's work in betraying Christ.  Yet the Bible also tells us that Judas is to be condemned to Hell for having done so.  

    Why should Judas be punished for doing something that HAD to be done for God's plan to be fulfilled, and how can a God who is supposed to be "loving" and "just" allow such an injustice to occur?  The only answer I've ever gotten from ministers and others I've asked about this is that God gives each of us free will and that any of the diciples could have ended up being the one to betray him - it just worked out that it was Judas who chose to do so, and because he made that choice of his own free will, he deserves to be punished for it.  Yet if it was INEVITABLE that one of the diciples would betray Christ, then how can we truly say that any of them acted entirely of his own free will?  Had ALL of them decided to remain loyal, Jesus would not have been arrested and his sacrifice would never have occured.

    I've just never been able to get past that (among a number of other such connundrums)....

    "Ignorance and prejudice and fear go hand in hand" - Neil Peart (Rush)
    different strings - a blog

    by thorswitch on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:46:18 AM PDT

    •  The Bible Says Judas Repented (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant

      He was obviously remorseful, felt bad about his actions, and tried to give back the money before his suicide.  If repentance for one's sins allows entrance into Heaven, then I think Judas may not be suffering eternally.  The story of Judas and his fate may have taken on its own lore much in the way many people assume that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, even though the Bible never says she was.

      •  There's the rub: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kraant

        If repentance for one's sins allows entrance into Heaven...

        Different Christian groups disagree on this one.  For some it only through grace, for some it is only through acts of absolution, for some it is only through faith.   Judas definitely appeals more to some groups than others.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 02:03:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's a great find (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    morinao, bam101, reahti, kraant, a gnostic

    from the point of view of archaeology and classical studies, but it's really nothing special theologically speaking.

    The alternate story of Judas survived the loss of the manuscripts and was carried on through various oral and apocryphal traditions.  Most recently, Robert Graves wrote about it extensively in his books King Jesus and The White Goddess.

    But, as enthusiastic as I am about the discovery's historical significance, I can't help but feel that your take on it is a little sensationalistic.  There are some 20-something gospels out there, most have long since been available for public viewing, and this version doesn't deviate any more from the canonical story than some of the older texts.  See, for example, Early Christian Writings - your one-stop shop for all things early Christianity.  

    This discovery isn't making this version of the life of Jesus any more valid that it already was/wasn't.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 11:59:31 AM PDT

    •  It doesn't support the St. Stephen/ Jesus.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant

      ...rebel theory but it supports the theory that the story we have according to the "church" is dead wrong and highly edited.  Good point you make however -- I am indeed on a mission to expose the false story for what it is so...

      •  Why does it support (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        reahti, kraant

        that the church is wrong?  There are already competing stories that conflict both with the canonical gospels and with the Judas version.  

        No disagreement that they were highly edited.  They all were, to reflect the beliefs of the groups they represented.  Matthew is clearly written to a Jewish community (and probably the closest to your vision of Jesus, since this one encouraged battle, not peace); Luke was clearly written for Gentiles; John was clearly written to engage early Christians against gnostics.  And Judas was written in support of gnostics.  I don't see how this necessarily changes anything.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:11:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the church outlawed anything that didn't support. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kraant

          ...their new criteria established at the council of nicea 325AD... they banned the gnostic take on jesus' teachings, which was less oriented on jesus as a martyr... they used the martyr aspect, to great effect, to get the more, shall we say, "hands on" types... i get most of my information from elaine pagels' "the gnostic gospels" which discusses the martyr/ orthodox vs. "christhood"/ gnostic take on early christianity.

          those are interesting takes on the influences of the canonical gospels...

          i would think that the gospel of john was more in line with the gnostics however per the "destroy this temple" sequence, Jesus' most famous public act....

          i am not enough of a scholar on early christianity to say about the other gospels' influences...

          why do you say john was against the gnostics?

          •  Some resources; (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            morinao, reahti, kraant

            the relationship of John to gnosticism is problematic, but here are some references:

            From theologywebsite:

            The View that John was Combating Gnosticism.
            This view is naturally closely tied to a near second-century dating for the gospel, when the movements generally classified as Gnosticism were flourishing. The particular form of Gnosticism which John is claimed to be combating is Docetism which maintained that Christ could never have been contaminated by the world which was essentially evil. This meant that Christ did not really become flesh. It may have seemed as if he had, but any contact with matter would have defiled him. Hence, he could not suffer, and it was not he who was nailed to the cross. His purpose was revelatory not redemptive. It is not difficult to see that John's Gospel would be a very useful instrument in combating this kind of error, for he places much stress on the truly human character of the incarnation and passion. He depicts Jesus as being tired and thirsty (4:6-7), as weeping at Lazarus' grave (11:35), as expressing thirst while on the cross (19:28), and possessing a real body from which flows blood (19:34).

            From Early Christian Writings, the argument of Irenaeus (your friend at Nicea who outlawed the other gospels):

            Irenaeus stated that the purpose of John at Ephesus was as follows:

            by the proclamation of the Gospel, to remove that error which by Cerinthus had been disseminated among men, and a long time previously by those termed Nicolaitans, who are an offset of that 'knowledge' [gnosis] falsely so called, that he might confound them, and persuade them that there is but one God, who made all things by His Word; and not, as they allege, that the Creator was one, but the Father and the Lord another; and that the Son of the Creator was, forsooth, one, but the Christ from above another (3.11.1)

            Some scholars (see the ECW link) have argued that an older version of John may actually have been gnostic, but church officials later edited out gnostic references.  There doesn't seem to be a complete consensus on this.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 02:00:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  if no consensus.. (0+ / 0-)

              ...and John exposes Jesus' most famous public act, the town square criticism of the temple which is a gnostic trait, why assert that John was anti-gnostic when the jury is still out on that?

              hmmm..

              thanks for your contribution and links though... and civility.

  •  Big whoop (6+ / 0-)

    The actual contents of this Gospel have been known for centuries.

    There is another way of looking at the actual selection of the accepted canonical Gospels. One that requires much less tin foil hat conspiracy theorizing.

    That the gospels that did get in got in because they were the gospels that were the most accepted by the average Christian of the day...that is to say, they fit in with the mainstream of Christian worshipers of the early first, second, and third centuries.

    The entire basis for Islam, and ITS interpretation of Christianity comes from the fact that the only Gospels available in the 6th Century Arabian Peninsula were in fact GNOSTIC Gospels.

    Since Christ never existed in the Flesh by by Gnostic Interpretation was a pure spirit placed on earth to do his holy thing, he never could have been crucified, but had to merely APPEAR o be crucified.

    Much of the GNostic Gospels can also be interpreted as convenient fictions being written in order to fit a particular religious point of view.

    Thus the fact that ther Gospel Of Judas has been authoenticated to be a Gnostic Gospel of the time period it was written in does NOT authenticate the events it reports.

    Does the fact that authenicated portions of the Gospel of Mark that date from 50 AD AD alter your opinion of the  events Reported in Mark?

    Significant portions of all of the Synoptic Gospels exist in large enough numbers to date the actual writing of the current new testememt to the first century with a larger number of framents being found that date from the period of the BAr Kochba Rebellion.

    I have seen a large number of these fragments in the Chester Beatty Library.

    Many people uuse the fact that the only COMPLETELY manuscripts, the Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus which date from after the Emperor Constantine made Chriastianity the primary religion of the empire, the manuscripts in the Beatty Library contain the Ryland Fragment of the Gospel of John an almost complete version of that gospel, dating from 125 AD, But the place this fragment was found, Egypt, implies that the writing of that document occured several decades earlier (took a lot more time for documents to move in those days)

    Also large fragments of the Acts of the Apostles and the various letters and epistles of Paul also exist within this library.

    The fact that these documents existed in almost the exact same form over 2 centuries before Constantine makes the proof about the transcription of ancient documents indicated by the Dead Sea Scrolls obvious.

    That religious documents RARELY were altered from transcribed version to transcribed version.

    And that the synoptic gospels, as well as the Gospel of John, existed in the forms that they exist in today, well before any decision as to what would be canonical and what was considered heretical was made.

    Any atempt to compare the Jewish religion of the Temple to the Jerry Falwells and PAt Robertson's is wishful thinking, of a delusional nature, and is in fact, just the practice of the pseuudo historian.

    You are as much indulging in anachronism as the Religious Right is today when it tries to Present the Founding Fathers as "CHRISTIANS" of their ilk.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    In either case.

    •  Beware the wrath (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant

      of Nightprowlkitty: you've used one of her verboten words!

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:16:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  'mainstream'... in 1st, 2nd, 3rd centuries? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant

      no such thing... the "church" was being created then... and the "church" was massacring any detractors post 325AD.

      read pagel's "gnostic gospels" and then tell me that the martyr-obsessed "orthodox" who massacred the original christians are not a farce.

      good try though Uncle pseudo.

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think there was a mainstream of Christianity before the Council of Nicea. There were many communities who had divergent beliefs, and the council hammered them out.

        In the NT epistles, we see one side of an argument in the church, the side which Paul argues against, but that gives us a glimpse of what other ideas were held by different parts of the early Christian community. The differences seem to be greater than the difference between churches today.

        •  Historically there WAS a mainstream (0+ / 0-)

          And Constatines action of making Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire was simply legitimizing a fact.

          By the time Constantine became Emperor, Christians made up the largest single religious group in the entire empire.

          A large percent of the plebians were already Christian and the majority of the bureaucratic and administrative classes of government were Christian as well.

          I have masters degree in this period of time.

          What are YOUR credentials.

          Another factor is the MASSIVE exageration of martyrdom.Both of Christians in the "pre-Constantine Empire" and of heretics in the post COnstantine" Empire.

          In both cases, the total number of martyrs was in the hundreds. Small numbers, exagerated by both sides, primarily for PR.

          Oringinal Christians.

          Certainly the original Christians in Jerusalem did not massacre the "heterodox...

          I have read Pagels.

          I also heard her statement  today, "Lets not make too much of the Gospel of Judas.
          It does NOTHING but add a bit more to our historical knowledge of the birth of Christianity, but does not alter anything"

          Lets cut the bullshit.

          Your interpretations of history are just about as bad as Pat Robertsons.

          Just as twisted.

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

            I don't have a masters degree in that time period, but I have no particular reason to be impressed with yours.

            Indeed, let's cut the bullshit. First you rave about things that I didn't say. I said nothing about martyrdom, Pagels or the Gospel of Judas.

            But maybe your credentials are so awesome that you are able to provide analysis for things that I hadn't said at all.

            •  Fact is (0+ / 0-)

              that there was no "coup de faith" in wich the faith of the "original" Christians was subverted, by the power hungry Bishops...

              If anything the gnosticism and the gnostics were basically a sect of Christianity started by a rather intellectual and how shall we say it...effete group of Christians who did not represent the rather uneducated, poor, and basically as we would put it in todays terms, blue collar, people who constituted the masses of the Christian religion during the first 200 years after the crucifiction.

              If anything,the gnostics represented the ideas of a rather educated elite who had the time to engage in the kind of mental masturbation necessary to come up with gnosticism.

              Far from representing the "original" Christians, the gnostics turned this simple religion into a set of complex ideas and rituals that were too complex for the average person living during the first years of the first millenium AD.

              The primary reason for the rather widespread growth of Christianity in the first 200 years really and much to do with its simplicity, lack of the kind of mystical and magical ritual that came along with gnosticism...

              Which was why the gnostics were rejected.

              To the GNOSTICS, only the most worth were allowed to be initiated into the secret rites.

              Going right back to the kind of mystery religions that existed in Rome at the time that Christianity was founded.

        •  P.S. (0+ / 0-)

          There pretty much was a general concensus, and a mainstream prior to the Council of Nicaea

          Most historians do NOT ascribe to the wing nut approach othat there was some power struggle between Athanasius and Arian and the odd Gnostic who bothered to get involved with such worldly stuff.

          They pretty much agree that the what the bishops hammered out was in keeping with wht the majority of the average Christian citizen of the empire believed.

          IT is aesier to take power over people by telling them what they want to hear, rather than telling them what they do not want to hear.

          The Arians said that the pagans were just as spiritually enlightened as the Christians...Those POOR,and POWERLESS who had to suffer for generations under the yoke of wealthy Pagans just didnt want to hear that. Theywanted to hear that they were noble, and that punishing those who oppressed them was justice.

          As did Constantine when he made the decision to make Christianity not only legal, but the only legal religion of Empire. He was bowing to a political reality...weven the most powerful emperor was a politician first, and a general second.

          Same thing happened at the council.Can't really establish an organized church if no one has been coming to it before it was organized.. They tailored their CHURCH to what people believed, thought and accepted. It is the easieist way to get people to do anything. Telling them that what they ALREADY believe is the one and only truth.

          Any intelligent and GOOD historian will tell you the same.

  •  As far as I'm concerned, this (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.ccel.org/...

    took care of the Gnostics and others of their ILK.

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 12:48:27 PM PDT

  •  People that quote Isaiah overlook a lot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant

    First those that have been mistaught that Isaiah 53 describes Jesus overlook the last sentence.
    This says " I will divide him a portion with the great -------"
    Notice I will divide him a portion with the GREAT not make him the Greatest.
    I have been told by stupid belivers that I take this out of context. However, since this is about the one talked about in the rest of 53, it is not I who take this out of context but the manure spreading clergy.
    Also in Isaiah talking about after the Messiah 66:23 "And it shall pass from one new moon to another and from one sabbath until another all flesh shall come and worship before me"
    Before ME - not that I am getting old and tired and turning the family business over like a televangelist

    For what your rabbi, minister and priest will not tell you go to
    www.religionquestioned.com where there is an offer to shut site down

  •  Now I think perhaps I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant

    what you are saying that contradicts what I said.
    Maybe when I replied to ask what you din't get in my message, I replied when you were talking about some other message than mine

  •  My original message was about Isaiah 53 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant

    and Isaiah 66:23 because Isaiah is quoted by many Christians to validate Jesus.
    If that is the message you are talking about, I will try again

    Christians use Isaiah 53 as a desciption of Jesus, yet the last verse says the person talked about in 53 was to be given a portion by GOD along with the Greats. My conclusion is that while Christians believe Jesus is the greatest and they think the one talked about in 53 is Jesus , their conclusion is wrong.

    As for 66:23 Christians somehow think that Jesus took over and is now in charge and Isaiah said that God was still going to be the one to be preyed to NOT Jesus.

    Now, I would like anyone to show me where any othe prophets who talked about a messiah said that the messiah had to be believed in so that one could get into Heaven .
    The only reason I am talking about these prophets is that the only reason anyone  was looking for a messiah is because of the prophets

  •  The Early Church (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reahti, kraant

    This is a good diary and all and it's good to debate Biblical issues from a 'historical' or 'scholarly' perspective but with all due respect to a gnostic there's a lot of very dubious claims amongst a lot of posts here that suggest the need for more background information. (one's which my own ignorance prevents me from refuting or endorsing)

    A good book to learn about the Early Christian community (and how it evolved into a church) is WHC Frend's

    "The Rise of Christianity"

    I think anybody that seriously wants to discuss this topic should begin with some general background into the history involved.

    Just my .02... ;)

    •  While I am not saying your source may not be a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant

      good one, I am saying that it is just that a source.
      A hundred years from now if one picked up a book about the Reagan years by a Kennedy and one by Rush, do you think they would look anything like the same history rather then the bias of the writer.
      I personally believe and it is a belief not knowledge that the Bible was written by men of old and forever reinterpreted.
      Acts 2 is clear that those that knew Jesus were actually Jews for Jesus who kept going to the Temple but considered Jesus the Messiah and nothing changed according to the Bible until Saul/Paul came along.
      The truth is that Jews in general were not buying the bit so Paul decided to go after those that had no knowledge of what the hell he was talking about.
      He was able to sell just as Mormons are today.

  •  Gentiles turned out easier to convince (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant

    Because the theology and philosophy of Jesus' "Love" message was more appealing given Hellenistic beliefs (Plato, Aristotle, etc...)
    The Jewish community from which Jesus and the Apostles came, however, was much more resisting because of all the Messiah business.

    And you're right, I provide only a source because that's the best I can do. I'm not a scholar. I just happen to believe this discussion could be improved by injecting reputable (and hopefully objective) sources on all sides.

    •  I wish you could find a scholar to refute (0+ / 0-)

      what is at my site , I am not a scholar but I spent over 20 years reading the bible and other sources asking clergy without results which led me to starting the site
      www.religionquestioned.com where I have an offer to shut site

      As for the message of love by Jesus, it is also a message about original sin (which is not a jewish belief) and that you can be saved and go to heaven. There is nothing in the OT Messiah message that says a belief in the messiah is needed to get into Heaven.
      The Jewish belief for non Jews is that all they need to get into Heaven is to obey then 7 attributes of Noah (opposite of 7 deadly sins) and a belief in ONE God

  •  Not surprised by this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant

    there are several "heretical" writings regarding the crucifixion, including one that claims Simon of Cyrene was on the Cross, since the Spirit of God didn't need to be crucified in Yeshua's body.

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 04:22:57 PM PDT

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