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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

READING JUDAS

READING JUDAS
March 20, 2007

I had read about the Gospel of Judas in magazines and saw an interview in The Dallas Morning News with one of the authors of Reading Judas, so when I saw Reading Judas (New York: Penquin Group, 2007) in the new books section of my main library, I checked it out. The Gospel of Judas was written by Gnostic Christians, whose teachings I relate to and identify with. My soul has lived about eleven lives as a Gnostic (and seventeen lives as an Essene).
The Gnostic gospels (books) were condemned as heretical by the early church fathers. Much literature is available on how this came about, including words of the men who branded Gnostics as heretics (as they did those of various other Christian sects).

The authors have impressive credentials. Karen L. King, the author of four other books, is Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School. Elaine Pagels, the author of six other books, is Harrington Spear Pain Professor of Religion at Princeton University.

I must present words from the cover of the book to give a better picture of what it contains: "The unveiling of the long lost [but mentioned in other writings of its time] Gospel of Judas has stirred controversy not just among Biblical scholars and those interested in the gospels that were excluded from the New Testament but among all those brought up on the story of Judas as the ultimate betrayer. . . . Written in a climate of persecution, when Christian martyrs were regarded as heroes of the faith, the authors of the Gospel of Judas angrily condemns church leaders who are encouraging believers to die as 'sacrifices' to God. What kind of god is this, he asks, who would desire the bloody deaths of his son and his followers? We also see that what later historians depicted as an unbroken procession of a uniform faith was nothing of the kind. In fact, the traditional history of Christianity is written almost solely from the viewpoint of the side that won the disputes of the times, with those who disagreed with the orthodoxy branded as dangerous 'heretics.' The Gospel of Judas, along with othe newly discovered writings, restores the vibrant and tumultuous picture of early Christianity, a time of intense reflection, experimentation, and struggle involving every fundamental issue of human life. Reading Judas raises compelling issues--about the nature of God, the meaning of Jesus's death, the suffering of martyrs, and much else--issues as important today as they were 19 centuries ago. This passionate, insightful book plunges us into the heart of Christianity itself."

Reading Judas contains many words that validate my reality, including the following.

"Yet, the Gospel of Judas pictures Jesus's death (too) as a sacrifice, for he tells Judas that by handing him over, he will surpass them all, for 'You will sacrifice the human being who bears me'. (Judas 15:4)" [Substitute the word "hosts" (a term used a lot today) for the word "bears." The human body-mind unit has a human soul, but the human also hosts a Divine spirit/soul.]

"He [Jesus] teaches Judas that there is a wider universe of the spirit beyond the limited world people perceive, and unless they come to know it, they will never know God or fulfill their own spiritual nature."

"As long as they remain ignorant, people are easy prey to the error of false gods. But Jesus appeared on earth to show the true nature of the universe and the end time so that those who understand these things would turn away from the worship of false gods--with all its sacrificial violence and immorality--and discover their true spiritual nature."

"Almost half of Jesus's teaching is taken up with instructing Judas about the existence and structure of the heavenly realm above, about how this world and the gods who rule it came into being, and about what will happen at the end of time."

As a result of Reading Judas, I did more research on the nature of the soul and humanity. This information will be shared in another blog.

I Am Angel-Light. I Am That I Am. I am supported by donations of persons who appreciate my service to them, to others, and to the world in general.

Angel-Light Love
Healing/Wellbeing Facilitator
(Spirit-Mind-Body-Environment)
http://angel-light-love-healing.blogspot.com