Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Apocryphote of the Day: 3-20-08

"Then their high priests murmured because he had gone into the guest room for his prayer. Some scribes were there watching carefully in order to arrest him during the prayer. For they were afraid of the people, since he was held by all as a prophet. And they approached Judas. They said to him, 'What are you doing here? Aren't you the disciple of Jesus?' He answered them as they wished. Then Judas received some money. He handed him over to them."

Gospel of Judas 58.9-26 (trans. by DeConick)


Los libros de religión said...

Buenas tardes Profesora April DeConick.
Le escribo desde la Argentina y deseaba preguntarle si se había hablado, en su Congreso, acerca de las relaciones probables entre Evangelio de Judas y el Pensamiento de nuestro Gran Poder.
Yo, particularmente, encuentro puntos de contacto con el Evangelio de Juan 13, 27 ss.
¿A Ud. qué le parece?

Saludos cordiales.

Juan Bautista

April DeConick said...

Professor Bautista,

I too see a connection between the Gospel of Judas and the Concept of Our Great Power. I think the relationship is on the level of shared Gnostic tradition rather than literary connection. It appears that some Christian Gnostics shared a common story that Judas worked for the archons in bringing about Jesus' death. This likely was the result of their exegetical tendencies, reading the scriptures in such a way that "Satan" or the "devil" or "demon" were understood to refer to the archons who ruled this world and battled against the high God for possession of Sophia's stolen spirit. said...

The editors of the writings attributed to Josephus have a Judas who "laid the foundations of our future miseries by this system of philosophy, which we were before unaquainted withal." I suggest that Judas was none other than Israel's last prophet which was why he was remembered as the key character in the Gospel of Judas. He was no doubt regarded as a traitor by those who regarded his 'philosophy' as leading to the destruction of Israel.

So did Israel’s innovative prophet tell two of his fellow prophets to ‘go into the city’ (Mk.14.16) and prepare ‘the Passover’ (Mk.14.16)? I suggest not, but that he did instruct the two to go into the temple and prepare the sanctuary. The altar of incense had to be kept burning and the lights had to be lit. This would have been immediately before the sunset that started the last great day of The Feast on a Sabbath. The so-called ‘guest room’ or ‘large upper room’ was the sanctuary. Our prophet had an authority comparable to that of any previous prophet of Israel.

The two prophets were to meet a fellow prophet carrying a jar of water (Mk.14.13). This was for an oblation when water would be poured out into the earth, symbolic of God pouring out the Spirit. It was a daily ritual during The Feast.

There was no last supper as such. But when the prophets gathered at the sanctuary, the water of the New Covenant was poured out by the prophet, not for ‘the many’, but for Israel. (Mk.14.24). A remanent clue to what the prophet was proclaiming is in the anachronistic extant text of Jn.7.37-39. On the last and great day of The Feast, the prophet stood (no doubt on the steps to the sanctuary) and proclaimed loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come and drink. Whoever obeys the Spirit, streams of living water will flow from within him”. ‘Living water’ or ‘pure water’ referred to the continual obedient actions of those cleansed by the Spirit.

Of course the editor’s of John tell us that up to that time, the Spirit had not yet been given, implying in effect, the Spirit would be given after the Jesus of their story had risen. In another sense, the Spirit wasn’t yet given to Israel, because most of the priests rejected it, preferring the status quo of the temple cult of animal sacrifices for sins. It was the subsequent violent treatment of the prophets by the priests that triggered the Roman invasion of 66 CE.