Brother AACOOLDRE : The Gospel of Judas

AACOOLDRE

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THE JUDAS FACTOR:
TWO BOOK REVIEWS IN ONE
By Andre Austin

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins”1Peter 2:24

Two new books about the infamous Judas Iscariot have been published this year. The almost polar opposite books: “Reading Judas” by Elaine Pagels and “The Judas Brief” By Gary Greenberg was necessary simultaneous reading for the full enlightenment of biblical narratives focusing in on martyrdom as a recruitment tool.

Reading Judas, (based on the lost Gospel of Judas GOJ written before 180AD),explores the allegation that Judas died by stoning by the 11 disciples rather than suicide and charges Christian leaders with what he labels the sin of promoting martyrdom in the form of sacrificing even their women and children for the promotion of their cause. The Judas Brief takes on a new swing against martyrdom. Greenberg returned an email to me to say: “The traditional gospel story is completely at odds with what I have to say…in my version, there was no Jewish plot to kill Jesus and Jesus didn’t plan to die. Judas was acting as Jesus representative to protect Jesus and the other apostles from a Roman massacre”. So I see the two books alike in protesting against martyrdom/massacre but dissimilar with all the other details.

Jesus was brought to us to be the final and sum total of all sacrifices. Thousands of animals were sacrificed over thousands upon thousands of years until Jesus the lamb ended it all with his cross death. Then why did the early Christians advocate the physical reenactment of martyrdom as a pillar of the faith? Pagels states: “The rite of baptism was-and is-for many Christians a reenactment of Jesus death and resurrection”p.48 (see 1 Peter 3:20-21). This appears to be a spiritual martyrdom while Paul appears to advocate a physical martyrdom in (Philippians 3:10-11) but was this part of his opinion or “my gospel” based on past guilt of being an accessory of murder of Christians he helped to put in prison (Acts 22:4)? Those who were thrown in prison were given the choice to retract their faith and sacrifice to Roman Gods or prepare a requiem for their body to be layed in repose. Paul overall letters and comments makes his stand on martyrdom unclear on whether or not it was his personal desire or Christians as a whole. When the Bible talks about taking up your own cross it may relate in part to the crucifying of sinful deeds and not your physical life. Paul states: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). If Christians thought you needed to physically die for Christ then originally Jesus didn’t die for their sins.

The teachings of Christ himself may have perhaps countermanded and trumped any calls of martyrdom. Christ taught that killing in hot or cold blood is forbidden, killing ourselves, killing any other directly or indirectly. In this context Jesus is reported saying: “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison”(Matthew 5:25).Even Peter taught by letter to fellow Christians to be alert for your life to avoid the devil who was looking to devour you (1Peter 5:8).Lying to save your life under torture, fear or other circumstances of death is no sin at all because the omnipresent God knows what’s hidden in your heart. By avoiding prison you avoid death/martyrdom. Jesus knew that Peter, the foundation of the church, would deny him three times to avoid martyrdom and his keys weren’t taken away from him. What if John the Baptist would have taken the advise from Jesus. His criticism should have been more of a cryptograph speech against the powers and principalities. John blasted Herod Antipas for marrying his half brother’s wife and was beheaded for it. Greenberg contends that Judas agreed to keep Jesus under house arrest to avoid a Roman massacre. But Herod Antipas, the fox, learned of the negotiations and ordered Pilate to carry on with the crucifixion,(see Acts 4:27 and Luke 13:31) . My questions in conclusion is why would Judas kill himself if he was so bent against martyrdom? Why would Peter avoid martyrdom by abandoning Christ three times and then go back to Rome at Jesus request to be crucified upside down, a behavior inconsistent with his previous acts? Why were early Christians appalled at animal sacrifice above the human sacrifice of martyrdom?

Martyrdom became a pillar of the church; a practice not all early believers embraced doctrines now accepted as being handed down from Jesus or early church leaders. The 21st century Christian is more lilely to be led to a financial sacrifice of leaving behind real estate and life insurance policies to the Church than actually being malign to death on a cross into today’s world.
 

AACOOLDRE

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WHO REALLY KILLED JESUS
Book review
By Andre Austin

Author, Gary Greenberg has released a brand new book, The Judas Brief: Who really killed Jesus. His main thesis is an attempt to rightfully indict and exeronate the murders of the man you know as Jesus Christ. He uses all of his lawyer verbal and writing skills coupled with digging deep through the historical records to offer an alternative ethological assumption of the murder of Jesus. Gary cuts through the chase, hyperbole and all of the embellishment handed down to us all the zealous followers of Jesus.

So just who killed Jesus? We are led down a road to believe that Pilate with the assistance of Jewish priest forced Pilate to crucified Jesus. However, all that we know about the cruel Pilate was that only another individual with similar or equal power or the Emperor could make Pilate budge on issues dealing with political and military operations within his jurisdiction. According to the Bible “Herod and Pontius Pilate met together…to conspire against your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:27). Herod was called a fox a possible allusion to foxes who wore sheep clothing because by birth he was a Jew but was Roman in all of his ways. So if Herod conspired to kill Jesus just what did he do? When you conspire it’s a joint effort of two or more person to achieve a criminal or immoral goal. The goal was killing Jesus. The trumped up charges was he claimed to be Son of God and or Son of Man. Theses terminologies meant King and ultimately treason to Herod and Pilate; and we are lead wrongfully to believe it meant blaspheme to Caiaphas, the Sadducee priest.

For some reason or another the apocrypha book the Gopel of Peter (GOP) didn’t make it in the official canon of the New Testament, however it’s useful because it continues the dialogue of fully explaining Herod’s conspiracy to kill Jesus. According to the GOP Herod was the one who gave the order for the execution. “Herod the king commandeth that the lord (Jesus) be taken saying to them (Pilate), what things soever I commanded you to do unto him (Jesus), do” (GOP). This settles it for me. Like father like son Herod the great attempted to kill Jesus, (with no massive baby killing was the embellishment), in his infancy and his son Herod Antipas finally was able to get him as an adult. In the New Testament Jesus had taunted Herod to try to kill him out of his jurisdiction. Herod beheaded John the Baptist which he thought Jesus was a reincarnation of.

As I read The Judas Brief, I began to see the real picture. Judas didn’t betray Jesus the correct term was “hand over” temporary for house arrest at the Sadducee priest house. It is very unclear in the gospels just what Judas Iscariot's betrayal consisted. Matthew says that Judas' payment and death were prophesied by Jeremiah, and then he quotes Zecharian 11:12-13 as proof!

According to Matthew 26:15, the chief priests "weighed out thirty pieces of silver" to give to Judas. There are two things wrong with this:
a. There were no "pieces of silver" used as currency in Jesus' time - they had gone out of circulation about 300 years before.
b. In Jesus' time, minted coins were used - currency was not "weighed out."
By using phrases that made sense in Zechariah's time but not in Jesus' time Matthew once again gives away the fact that he creates events in his gospel to match "prophecies" he finds in the Old Testament. The embellishments were for moral teachings not historical teachings. Judas was a trusted treasury and rebuke Jesus for using expensive oil that could be used for the poor. This behavior is inconsistent with a man wanting to kill Jesus for money. Although the bible says Satan entered Judas the only apostle called the devil was Peter and that was because Peter didn’t want Jesus to die. Judas also didn’t commit suicide which Greenberg points out the contradiction. And if you read also another apocrypha book called the Gospel of Judas you will see the allegation that Judas was murdered.

The deal was brokered that Jesus would remain under house arrest after the Passover festivals was over. When Herod found out about it he countermanded Pilate to put Jesus on the cross. The Jewish authorities had to hand him over to Pilate and Herod to avoid widespread killing spree. So Jesus died so that many Jews could live at that time and place. Judas and the others didn’t believe in suicide, martyrdom or sacrifice but it was out of their hands now. The Jews had very little to do with Killing Jesus.

It appears that at one point in time Christians and Jews didn’t get along. It’s possible that in that zeal of animosity the Jews involvement with killing Jesus was hyped up.

I stopped everything I was doing to finish this book. Two thumbs up for this page turner. It was worth my money.
 

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