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some questions re Judas' account

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  • Rikk Watts
    A couple of questions that come to mind: a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and if both died soon after, to whom was it related and
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 9 7:31 AM
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      A couple of questions that come to mind:

      a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and if both
      died soon after, to whom was it related and how was it passed on?

      b. if Judas was doing what Jesus' asked, why would he commit suicide?

      Regards
      Rikk
    • dbockdts
      Rikk s second question is right on the point in terms of historical information. The Gospel of Judas various connections to Gnostic materials I have noted in
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 9 8:02 AM
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        Rikk's second question is right on the point in terms of historical information. The Gospel of
        Judas' various connections to Gnostic materials I have noted in an earlier post also
        underscore the setting of this text in a polemical interaction with more traditional texts.

        Darrell
        > A couple of questions that come to mind:
        >
        > a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and if both
        > died soon after, to whom was it related and how was it passed on?
        >
        > b. if Judas was doing what Jesus' asked, why would he commit suicide?
        >
        > Regards
        > Rikk
        >
      • Rikk Watts
        and another question... If Jesus simply needed to be freed from his mortal coil so to speak, why not hand himself over (or leap from the Temple pinnacle sans
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 9 9:08 AM
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          and another question... If Jesus simply needed to be freed from his mortal
          coil so to speak, why not hand himself over (or leap from the Temple
          pinnacle sans angels)? Why the charade of a betrayal anyway? Doesn't this
          all look suspiciously like a later attempt to rewrite a firmly entrenched
          betrayal story?

          Rikk


          On 9/4/06 7:31 AM, "Rikk Watts" <rwatts@...> wrote:

          > A couple of questions that come to mind:
          >
          > a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and if both
          > died soon after, to whom was it related and how was it passed on?
          >
          > b. if Judas was doing what Jesus' asked, why would he commit suicide?
          >
          > Regards
          > Rikk
          >
          >
          >
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        • Bob Schacht
          ... One need suppose only that Judas had friends or family other than the disciples and Jesus. ... It is one thing to plot an action with a friend who provides
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 9 10:23 AM
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            At 04:31 AM 4/9/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
            >A couple of questions that come to mind:
            >
            >a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and if both
            >died soon after, to whom was it related and how was it passed on?

            One need suppose only that Judas had friends or family other than the
            disciples and Jesus.


            >b. if Judas was doing what Jesus' asked, why would he commit suicide?

            It is one thing to plot an action with a friend who provides support and
            encouragement, without fully realizing the consequences. It is another
            thing to deal with the consequences afterwards, without that friend
            providing support and consolation, and experiencing the isolation from
            one's former friends.

            Of course, these responses are speculative, and lacking in any concrete
            evidence.

            Bob


            >Regards
            >Rikk
            >
            >
            >
            >
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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Rikk Watts
            ... Thanks Bob. But let me pursue this a bit more. Is this really what GJ suggests? Here we have Jesus and a uniquely elite Judas, who is blessed with a
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 9 5:36 PM
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              On 9/4/06 10:23 AM, "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...> wrote:

              > At 04:31 AM 4/9/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
              >> A couple of questions that come to mind:
              >>
              >> a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and if both
              >> died soon after, to whom was it related and how was it passed on?
              >
              > One need suppose only that Judas had friends or family other than the
              > disciples and Jesus.

              Thanks Bob. But let me pursue this a bit more.
              Is this really what GJ suggests? Here we have Jesus and a uniquely elite
              Judas, who is blessed with a special vision, alone is considered worthy to
              receive special secret teaching, secret even from both his and Jesus'
              closest friends with whom they have spent day and night for the better part
              of say three years, and who enters a luminous cloud from which he hears a
              voice (Judas' own transfiguration experience‹three days before Passover? Are
              we now talking of two transfigurations?). And yet I am to believe that
              within a few hours/days of hearing it he shares this esoteric and deeply
              secret teaching not with the disciples but with such unenlightened people as
              his family or other friends who presumably did not follow Jesus? Wouldn't
              that be entirely antithetic to the whole raison d'etre of secret teaching?
              Why would he do that? How does one reconcile such a lack of discipline with
              being the archetypal enlightened one?

              >> b. if Judas was doing what Jesus' asked, why would he commit suicide?
              >
              > It is one thing to plot an action with a friend who provides support and
              > encouragement, without fully realizing the consequences. It is another
              > thing to deal with the consequences afterwards, without that friend
              > providing support and consolation, and experiencing the isolation from
              > one's former friends.
              What consequences? What is there that he needs consoling for? Everything is
              going according to plan. He, the only truly enlightened one, has been
              obedient. He has arranged for Jesus' blessed escape from his imprisoning
              mortal body. Of course he knows this means death for Jesus, not much point
              otherwise. But since Jesus is immortal what's the problem? This is not
              betrayal but liberation and exaltation, and he Judas has had a role in
              freeing the cosmic redeemer. Yes Jesus says he will grieve but only because
              he will be replaced by people who do not understand, not because of any
              remorse for what he has done. And why take his life so early in the
              piece‹after only one night? Is this really a viable period even to speak of
              isolation from former friends? Why not just tell the others that this is
              what Jesus told him to do? After all, presumably from the Gnostics' point of
              view, the risen Jesus can confirm this later on, right? All he has to do is
              wait a few days.

              One can see where this is leading: to the highly improbable scenario that it
              was only Judas of all of Jesus' followers who really knew what he was on
              about and even though he Judas was the elite enlightened one he had a mental
              collapse within hours of this great act of obedience, and finally that the
              risen Jesus declined even after resurrection to let the others know what
              really happened. And it still doesn't explain why the charade of a betrayal
              in the first place. Seriously, how viable is this scenario? On the other
              hand, it just might be that this second century document simply reflects a
              Cainite-like attempt, as Darrell suggested, to rewrite a fairly fixed
              tradition‹that Judas betrayed Jesus‹to fit in with their own particular
              theological agenda, with all the inconsistencies and bizarre features that
              ensue from such fabrications.

              In terms of the media and some less than temperate scholarly responses, I
              don't doubt that this gives us a bit more insight into a second century
              marginal movement. But as you said earlier, in terms of the historical Jesus
              very little, and on my view, probably nothing.

              Regards,
              Rikk

              (PS I'm guessing that you've been playing a little more devil's advocate
              than you've been letting on, right?)
            • Bob Schacht
              ... Good questions. I don t have any good answers. Thanks for your patient reply. ... The problem is not with what happens with Jesus; as you say, that part
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 9 6:07 PM
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                At 02:36 PM 4/9/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
                >On 9/4/06 10:23 AM, "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...> wrote:
                >
                > > At 04:31 AM 4/9/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
                > >> A couple of questions that come to mind:
                > >>
                > >> a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and if both
                > >> died soon after, to whom was it related and how was it passed on?
                > >
                > > One need suppose only that Judas had friends or family other than the
                > > disciples and Jesus.
                >
                >Thanks Bob. But let me pursue this a bit more.
                >Is this really what GJ suggests? Here we have Jesus and a uniquely elite
                >Judas, who is blessed with a special vision, alone is considered worthy to
                >receive special secret teaching, secret even from both his and Jesus'
                >closest friends with whom they have spent day and night for the better part
                >of say three years, and who enters a luminous cloud from which he hears a
                >voice (Judas' own transfiguration experience‹three days before Passover? Are
                >we now talking of two transfigurations?). And yet I am to believe that
                >within a few hours/days of hearing it he shares this esoteric and deeply
                >secret teaching not with the disciples but with such unenlightened people as
                >his family or other friends who presumably did not follow Jesus? Wouldn't
                >that be entirely antithetic to the whole raison d'etre of secret teaching?
                >Why would he do that? How does one reconcile such a lack of discipline with
                >being the archetypal enlightened one?

                Good questions. I don't have any good answers. Thanks for your patient reply.


                > >> b. if Judas was doing what Jesus' asked, why would he commit suicide?
                > >
                > > It is one thing to plot an action with a friend who provides support and
                > > encouragement, without fully realizing the consequences. It is another
                > > thing to deal with the consequences afterwards, without that friend
                > > providing support and consolation, and experiencing the isolation from
                > > one's former friends.
                >What consequences? What is there that he needs consoling for? Everything is
                >going according to plan. He, the only truly enlightened one, has been
                >obedient. He has arranged for Jesus' blessed escape from his imprisoning
                >mortal body. Of course he knows this means death for Jesus, not much point
                >otherwise. But since Jesus is immortal what's the problem?

                The problem is not with what happens with Jesus; as you say, that part went
                "according to plan." The problem is what happens to *Judas.* Obviously, he
                can't just continue hanging out with his old friends. The "plan" promised
                that he would be exalted over the un-enlightened ones, but exalted by whom?
                The this-world reality of social disapproval from one's closest
                acquaintances is hard to appreciate until it happens, even if they are
                supposedly unenlightened.

                >This is not betrayal but liberation and exaltation, and he Judas has had a
                >role in
                >freeing the cosmic redeemer. Yes Jesus says he will grieve but only because
                >he will be replaced by people who do not understand, not because of any
                >remorse for what he has done.

                Do you mean Judas instead of Jesus in this sentence?

                > And why take his life so early in the
                >piece‹after only one night? Is this really a viable period even to speak of
                >isolation from former friends? Why not just tell the others that this is
                >what Jesus told him to do? After all, presumably from the Gnostics' point of
                >view, the risen Jesus can confirm this later on, right? All he has to do is
                >wait a few days.

                Maybe he tried to "just tell the others," and it didn't work. Maybe their
                instant disapproval was much stronger than he anticipated. Or maybe he
                wanted to emulate Jesus' escape from his earthly body. Your earlier point
                about if release from one's earthly body is the point, why doesn't he just
                jump off the temple roof is relevant here, too. If suicide wouldn't work
                for Jesus, why would it work for Judas?


                >One can see where this is leading: to the highly improbable scenario that it
                >was only Judas of all of Jesus' followers who really knew what he was on
                >about and even though he Judas was the elite enlightened one he had a mental
                >collapse within hours of this great act of obedience, and finally that the
                >risen Jesus declined even after resurrection to let the others know what
                >really happened. And it still doesn't explain why the charade of a betrayal
                >in the first place. Seriously, how viable is this scenario?

                Perhaps not very. You've raised good questions.

                >On the other hand, it just might be that this second century document
                >simply reflects a Cainite-like attempt, as Darrell suggested, to rewrite a
                >fairly fixed
                >tradition‹that Judas betrayed Jesus‹to fit in with their own particular
                >theological agenda, with all the inconsistencies and bizarre features that
                >ensue from such fabrications.

                I'm in no hurry to just write it off as totally irrelevant. I look forward
                to the full publication and more commentary.

                Bob


                >In terms of the media and some less than temperate scholarly responses, I
                >don't doubt that this gives us a bit more insight into a second century
                >marginal movement. But as you said earlier, in terms of the historical Jesus
                >very little, and on my view, probably nothing.
                >
                >Regards,
                >Rikk
                >
                >(PS I'm guessing that you've been playing a little more devil's advocate
                >than you've been letting on, right?)
                >
                >
                >
                >
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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • dbockdts
                Bob: I understand that the thrust of your response to Rikk is that the argument for something of substance in GJ does not look good, but it is too early to
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 9 7:17 PM
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                  Bob:

                  I understand that the thrust of your response to Rikk is that the argument for something
                  of substance in GJ does not look good, but it is too early to just write it off. Let me make
                  one more point about the scenario you are contemplating. Why would Judas be surprised
                  about the rejection if Jesus has told him ahead of time that it would happen? Judas has a
                  vision that he has seen himself stoned by the twelve (Interesting they are still called the
                  twelve, when his absence in the group makes it eleven). Jesus consoles him about that and
                  promises exaltation despite it. So there is nothing for him to react to in such a radical way.
                  Why not just move on to await what Jesus promised?

                  Darrell
                  >
                  > At 02:36 PM 4/9/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
                  > >On 9/4/06 10:23 AM, "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > > At 04:31 AM 4/9/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
                  > > >> A couple of questions that come to mind:
                  > > >>
                  > > >> a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and if both
                  > > >> died soon after, to whom was it related and how was it passed on?
                  > > >
                  > > > One need suppose only that Judas had friends or family other than the
                  > > > disciples and Jesus.
                  > >
                  > >Thanks Bob. But let me pursue this a bit more.
                  > >Is this really what GJ suggests? Here we have Jesus and a uniquely elite
                  > >Judas, who is blessed with a special vision, alone is considered worthy to
                  > >receive special secret teaching, secret even from both his and Jesus'
                  > >closest friends with whom they have spent day and night for the better part
                  > >of say three years, and who enters a luminous cloud from which he hears a
                  > >voice (Judas' own transfiguration experience‹three days before Passover? Are
                  > >we now talking of two transfigurations?). And yet I am to believe that
                  > >within a few hours/days of hearing it he shares this esoteric and deeply
                  > >secret teaching not with the disciples but with such unenlightened people as
                  > >his family or other friends who presumably did not follow Jesus? Wouldn't
                  > >that be entirely antithetic to the whole raison d'etre of secret teaching?
                  > >Why would he do that? How does one reconcile such a lack of discipline with
                  > >being the archetypal enlightened one?
                  >
                  > Good questions. I don't have any good answers. Thanks for your patient reply.
                  >
                  >
                  > > >> b. if Judas was doing what Jesus' asked, why would he commit suicide?
                  > > >
                  > > > It is one thing to plot an action with a friend who provides support and
                  > > > encouragement, without fully realizing the consequences. It is another
                  > > > thing to deal with the consequences afterwards, without that friend
                  > > > providing support and consolation, and experiencing the isolation from
                  > > > one's former friends.
                  > >What consequences? What is there that he needs consoling for? Everything is
                  > >going according to plan. He, the only truly enlightened one, has been
                  > >obedient. He has arranged for Jesus' blessed escape from his imprisoning
                  > >mortal body. Of course he knows this means death for Jesus, not much point
                  > >otherwise. But since Jesus is immortal what's the problem?
                  >
                  > The problem is not with what happens with Jesus; as you say, that part went
                  > "according to plan." The problem is what happens to *Judas.* Obviously, he
                  > can't just continue hanging out with his old friends. The "plan" promised
                  > that he would be exalted over the un-enlightened ones, but exalted by whom?
                  > The this-world reality of social disapproval from one's closest
                  > acquaintances is hard to appreciate until it happens, even if they are
                  > supposedly unenlightened.
                  >
                  > >This is not betrayal but liberation and exaltation, and he Judas has had a
                  > >role in
                  > >freeing the cosmic redeemer. Yes Jesus says he will grieve but only because
                  > >he will be replaced by people who do not understand, not because of any
                  > >remorse for what he has done.
                  >
                  > Do you mean Judas instead of Jesus in this sentence?
                  >
                  > > And why take his life so early in the
                  > >piece‹after only one night? Is this really a viable period even to speak of
                  > >isolation from former friends? Why not just tell the others that this is
                  > >what Jesus told him to do? After all, presumably from the Gnostics' point of
                  > >view, the risen Jesus can confirm this later on, right? All he has to do is
                  > >wait a few days.
                  >
                  > Maybe he tried to "just tell the others," and it didn't work. Maybe their
                  > instant disapproval was much stronger than he anticipated. Or maybe he
                  > wanted to emulate Jesus' escape from his earthly body. Your earlier point
                  > about if release from one's earthly body is the point, why doesn't he just
                  > jump off the temple roof is relevant here, too. If suicide wouldn't work
                  > for Jesus, why would it work for Judas?
                  >
                  >
                  > >One can see where this is leading: to the highly improbable scenario that it
                  > >was only Judas of all of Jesus' followers who really knew what he was on
                  > >about and even though he Judas was the elite enlightened one he had a mental
                  > >collapse within hours of this great act of obedience, and finally that the
                  > >risen Jesus declined even after resurrection to let the others know what
                  > >really happened. And it still doesn't explain why the charade of a betrayal
                  > >in the first place. Seriously, how viable is this scenario?
                  >
                  > Perhaps not very. You've raised good questions.
                  >
                  > >On the other hand, it just might be that this second century document
                  > >simply reflects a Cainite-like attempt, as Darrell suggested, to rewrite a
                  > >fairly fixed
                  > >tradition‹that Judas betrayed Jesus‹to fit in with their own particular
                  > >theological agenda, with all the inconsistencies and bizarre features that
                  > >ensue from such fabrications.
                  >
                  > I'm in no hurry to just write it off as totally irrelevant. I look forward
                  > to the full publication and more commentary.
                  >
                  > Bob
                  >
                  >
                  > >In terms of the media and some less than temperate scholarly responses, I
                  > >don't doubt that this gives us a bit more insight into a second century
                  > >marginal movement. But as you said earlier, in terms of the historical Jesus
                  > >very little, and on my view, probably nothing.
                  > >
                  > >Regards,
                  > >Rikk
                  > >
                  > >(PS I'm guessing that you've been playing a little more devil's advocate
                  > >than you've been letting on, right?)
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >The XTalk Home Page is
                  > ><http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/>http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                  > >
                  > >To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > >
                  > >To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > >
                  > >List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >----------
                  > >YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
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                  > > "<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2>crosstalk2" on the web.
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                  subject=Unsubscribe>crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                  >
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... Darrell, Thanks for your comment. I think sometimes we spend so much time in literary analysis that we forget what its like to have a life. Its one thing
                  Message 8 of 11 , Apr 9 9:53 PM
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                    At 04:17 PM 4/9/2006, dbockdts wrote:
                    >Bob:
                    >
                    >I understand that the thrust of your response to Rikk is that the argument
                    >for something of substance in GJ does not look good, but it is too early
                    >to just write it off. Let me make one more point about the scenario you
                    >are contemplating. Why would Judas be surprised about the rejection if
                    >Jesus has told him ahead of time that it would happen?

                    Darrell,
                    Thanks for your comment. I think sometimes we spend so much time in
                    literary analysis that we forget what its like to have a life. Its one
                    thing to be told ahead of time what will happen. It is VERY DIFFERENT to
                    *experience* the consequences.

                    >Judas has a vision that he has seen himself stoned by the twelve
                    >(Interesting they are still called the twelve, when his absence in the
                    >group makes it eleven). Jesus consoles him about that and promises
                    >exaltation despite it. So there is nothing for him to react to in such a
                    >radical way.

                    I disagree. I don't know why it is so difficult to grasp the difference
                    between hearing about something, and experiencing it, because it happens in
                    so many domains of life how very different these things are. We can also be
                    in denial that the predicted consequences will actually happen. How much
                    good does it do to explain to a teenager about the consequences of drinking
                    and driving? They get a glazed look in their eyes while you're earnestly
                    telling them about the consequences. Yada yada yada. The words mean
                    nothing. They're in denial that it will actually happen to THEM. They think
                    you're exaggerating. Then, if they are in a serious accident, they're
                    shocked. They couldn't believe that it would actually happen to them.

                    >Why not just move on to await what Jesus promised?

                    If I understand this sentence correctly, perhaps it was because "just
                    moving on" involved a whole lot more than he (Judas) anticipated, and the
                    reality of trying to "just move on" overwhelmed him.

                    Of course I realize that all this is speculation. But proper appreciation
                    of the sitz im leben of a text requires an appreciation of the concrete
                    realities of life, and not just the mentations that may accompany the process.

                    Bob Schacht




                    >Darrell
                    > >
                    > > At 02:36 PM 4/9/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
                    > > >On 9/4/06 10:23 AM, "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > > At 04:31 AM 4/9/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
                    > > > >> A couple of questions that come to mind:
                    > > > >>
                    > > > >> a. if this was a secret conversation between Jesus and Judas and
                    > if both
                    > > > >> died soon after, to whom was it related and how was it passed on?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > One need suppose only that Judas had friends or family other than the
                    > > > > disciples and Jesus.
                    > > >
                    > > >Thanks Bob. But let me pursue this a bit more.
                    > > >Is this really what GJ suggests? Here we have Jesus and a uniquely elite
                    > > >Judas, who is blessed with a special vision, alone is considered worthy to
                    > > >receive special secret teaching, secret even from both his and Jesus'
                    > > >closest friends with whom they have spent day and night for the better
                    > part
                    > > >of say three years, and who enters a luminous cloud from which he hears a
                    > > >voice (Judas' own transfiguration experience‹three days before
                    > Passover? Are
                    > > >we now talking of two transfigurations?). And yet I am to believe that
                    > > >within a few hours/days of hearing it he shares this esoteric and deeply
                    > > >secret teaching not with the disciples but with such unenlightened
                    > people as
                    > > >his family or other friends who presumably did not follow Jesus? Wouldn't
                    > > >that be entirely antithetic to the whole raison d'etre of secret teaching?
                    > > >Why would he do that? How does one reconcile such a lack of discipline
                    > with
                    > > >being the archetypal enlightened one?
                    > >
                    > > Good questions. I don't have any good answers. Thanks for your patient
                    > reply.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > > >> b. if Judas was doing what Jesus' asked, why would he commit suicide?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > It is one thing to plot an action with a friend who provides
                    > support and
                    > > > > encouragement, without fully realizing the consequences. It is another
                    > > > > thing to deal with the consequences afterwards, without that friend
                    > > > > providing support and consolation, and experiencing the isolation from
                    > > > > one's former friends.
                    > > >What consequences? What is there that he needs consoling for?
                    > Everything is
                    > > >going according to plan. He, the only truly enlightened one, has been
                    > > >obedient. He has arranged for Jesus' blessed escape from his imprisoning
                    > > >mortal body. Of course he knows this means death for Jesus, not much point
                    > > >otherwise. But since Jesus is immortal what's the problem?
                    > >
                    > > The problem is not with what happens with Jesus; as you say, that part
                    > went
                    > > "according to plan." The problem is what happens to *Judas.* Obviously, he
                    > > can't just continue hanging out with his old friends. The "plan" promised
                    > > that he would be exalted over the un-enlightened ones, but exalted by
                    > whom?
                    > > The this-world reality of social disapproval from one's closest
                    > > acquaintances is hard to appreciate until it happens, even if they are
                    > > supposedly unenlightened.
                    > >
                    > > >This is not betrayal but liberation and exaltation, and he Judas has
                    > had a
                    > > >role in
                    > > >freeing the cosmic redeemer. Yes Jesus says he will grieve but only
                    > because
                    > > >he will be replaced by people who do not understand, not because of any
                    > > >remorse for what he has done.
                    > >
                    > > Do you mean Judas instead of Jesus in this sentence?
                    > >
                    > > > And why take his life so early in the
                    > > >piece‹after only one night? Is this really a viable period even to
                    > speak of
                    > > >isolation from former friends? Why not just tell the others that this is
                    > > >what Jesus told him to do? After all, presumably from the Gnostics'
                    > point of
                    > > >view, the risen Jesus can confirm this later on, right? All he has to
                    > do is
                    > > >wait a few days.
                    > >
                    > > Maybe he tried to "just tell the others," and it didn't work. Maybe their
                    > > instant disapproval was much stronger than he anticipated. Or maybe he
                    > > wanted to emulate Jesus' escape from his earthly body. Your earlier point
                    > > about if release from one's earthly body is the point, why doesn't he just
                    > > jump off the temple roof is relevant here, too. If suicide wouldn't work
                    > > for Jesus, why would it work for Judas?
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > >One can see where this is leading: to the highly improbable scenario
                    > that it
                    > > >was only Judas of all of Jesus' followers who really knew what he was on
                    > > >about and even though he Judas was the elite enlightened one he had a
                    > mental
                    > > >collapse within hours of this great act of obedience, and finally that the
                    > > >risen Jesus declined even after resurrection to let the others know what
                    > > >really happened. And it still doesn't explain why the charade of a
                    > betrayal
                    > > >in the first place. Seriously, how viable is this scenario?
                    > >
                    > > Perhaps not very. You've raised good questions.
                    > >
                    > > >On the other hand, it just might be that this second century document
                    > > >simply reflects a Cainite-like attempt, as Darrell suggested, to
                    > rewrite a
                    > > >fairly fixed
                    > > >tradition‹that Judas betrayed Jesus‹to fit in with their own particular
                    > > >theological agenda, with all the inconsistencies and bizarre features that
                    > > >ensue from such fabrications.
                    > >
                    > > I'm in no hurry to just write it off as totally irrelevant. I look forward
                    > > to the full publication and more commentary.
                    > >
                    > > Bob
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > >In terms of the media and some less than temperate scholarly responses, I
                    > > >don't doubt that this gives us a bit more insight into a second century
                    > > >marginal movement. But as you said earlier, in terms of the historical
                    > Jesus
                    > > >very little, and on my view, probably nothing.
                    > > >
                    > > >Regards,
                    > > >Rikk
                    > > >
                    > > >(PS I'm guessing that you've been playing a little more devil's advocate
                    > > >than you've been letting on, right?)
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
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                  • Mike Grondin
                    ... With the very definite possibility that the writers identified themselves with Judas - as also being outcasts from orthodox Christianity. Orthodox writers
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 9 11:10 PM
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                      --- Rikk Watts wrote:
                      > ... it just might be that this second century document simply
                      > reflects a Cainite-like attempt, as Darrell suggested, to rewrite
                      > a fairly fixed tradition (that Judas betrayed Jesus)to fit in with
                      > their own particular theological agenda ...

                      With the very definite possibility that the writers identified
                      themselves with Judas - as also being outcasts from orthodox
                      Christianity. Orthodox writers certainly weren't above charging
                      their opponents with being betrayers of Christ. One response to
                      such a charge would be to turn it around, by claiming that the
                      outcast was the true disciple who really understood what Jesus
                      was all about, while the other disciples were ignorant of these
                      secret doctrines, and as a result persecuted those who held to
                      them. (The exaltation of Cain and the serpent in other texts would
                      also be indicative of this strategy.) Other Gnostic groups followed
                      the different strategy of appealing to figures that the orthodox
                      couldn't very well reject, but the Cainites seem to have chosen
                      the perverse strategy of embracing the unembraceable. What may
                      well be behind that strategy is that they had already suffered
                      denunciation, shunning, and/or ejection from orthodox churches
                      and reflected that in their writings before Irenaeus came on the
                      scene.

                      Mike Grondin
                    • Bob Schacht
                      ... A very interesting point. Wouldn t this also work for the Gospel of Thomas and its adherents? In fact, aren t there some verses of GThomas that take this
                      Message 10 of 11 , Apr 9 11:36 PM
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                        At 08:10 PM 4/9/2006, Mike Grondin wrote:
                        >--- Rikk Watts wrote:
                        > > ... it just might be that this second century document simply
                        > > reflects a Cainite-like attempt, as Darrell suggested, to rewrite
                        > > a fairly fixed tradition (that Judas betrayed Jesus)to fit in with
                        > > their own particular theological agenda ...
                        >
                        >With the very definite possibility that the writers identified
                        >themselves with Judas - as also being outcasts from orthodox
                        >Christianity. Orthodox writers certainly weren't above charging
                        >their opponents with being betrayers of Christ. One response to
                        >such a charge would be to turn it around, by claiming that the
                        >outcast was the true disciple who really understood what Jesus
                        >was all about, while the other disciples were ignorant of these
                        >secret doctrines, and as a result persecuted those who held to
                        >them.

                        A very interesting point. Wouldn't this also work for the Gospel of Thomas
                        and its adherents?
                        In fact, aren't there some verses of GThomas that take this approach?

                        Bob Schacht

                        > (The exaltation of Cain and the serpent in other texts would
                        >also be indicative of this strategy.) Other Gnostic groups followed
                        >the different strategy of appealing to figures that the orthodox
                        >couldn't very well reject, but the Cainites seem to have chosen
                        >the perverse strategy of embracing the unembraceable. What may
                        >well be behind that strategy is that they had already suffered
                        >denunciation, shunning, and/or ejection from orthodox churches
                        >and reflected that in their writings before Irenaeus came on the
                        >scene.
                        >
                        >Mike Grondin
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
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                      • Mike Grondin
                        ... Well, let s say that there s some sayings that can be read that way - though of course there s no indication of big-g Gnosticism in Thomas . Quite the
                        Message 11 of 11 , Apr 10 9:55 AM
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                          > Orthodox writers certainly weren't above charging
                          > their opponents with being betrayers of Christ. One response to
                          > such a charge would be to turn it around, by claiming that the
                          > outcast was the true disciple who really understood what Jesus
                          > was all about, while the other disciples were ignorant of these
                          > secret doctrines, and as a result persecuted those who held to
                          > them.

                          --- Bob Schacht wrote:
                          > A very interesting point. Wouldn't this also work for the Gospel
                          > of Thomas and its adherents? In fact, aren't there some verses
                          > of GThomas that take this approach?

                          Well, let's say that there's some sayings that can be read that
                          way - though of course there's no indication of big-g Gnosticism
                          in "Thomas". Quite the contrary, in fact. But aside from Thomas,
                          what I think was probably going on even prior to Ireneaus was that
                          orthodox and Gnostic groups were using the sayings and traditions
                          of the Jesus story against each other. The orthodox would accuse
                          the gnostics of being betrayers of Christ, while the Gnostics
                          would accuse the orthodox of being the new "scribes and pharisees"
                          (or, in the case of "Judas", as being the new "Temple priests").
                          Some Jesus-sayings can easily have been turned against orthodoxy
                          itself, as, e.g., sayings about persecution probably being applied
                          to the situation of some orthodox bishops attempting to drive
                          Gnostics out of their churches.

                          The strategy of "embracing the accusation" was used by Paul when
                          accused of being a fool. As a rhetorical device, it's much more
                          effective to turn the negative into a positive (if that can be
                          successfully done) than to deny the charge. So I do think it
                          probable that what lies behind "Judas" is a rather vicious
                          pre-Ireneaus struggle between the particular group of Gnostics
                          who came to write "Judas" and the orthodox churches and bishops
                          of their acquaintance.

                          Mike Grondin
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