Monday, March 17, 2008

Codex Judas Congress Report 1

Sorry that I haven't been on the blog for several days, but the CJC was very intense and I didn't even have time to check e-mail let alone blog.

I am happy to report that the CJC was immensely successful. Thirty scholars attended and about ten graduate students, as well as many public auditors. The two public lectures filled our auditorium. The atmosphere was one of cooperation and work. There was no chair-throwing which many attendees expected. Instead it turned out to be a model conference for scholarly exchange and understanding. I wish in fact that we could have started out our study of the Gospel of Judas with just such a conference, and then moved to the work on the critical edition and public translation together. There are many things that we learned from each other. Very good questions were raised. And scholars were very open and generous with their knowledge.

What did we accomplish? As for the figure Judas, there were four positions that were maintained by various scholars. The hero Judas is being seriously challenged now by a large number of scholars, in fact most who attended. The room was mainly split between those who think that he is ambiguous in the text and those who think that he is a negative character, a demon. There were a few who were advocates for the agnostic stance - "I don't know."

Gregor Wurst showed us a new fragment that he has put together. It says "servant of Saklas" but he doesn't know where in the text it should be placed yet. Should it be placed on p. 56? We don't know. But this fragment in such a context would support the idea that the apostles (or Judas) are making sacrifices to Saklas as his servants!

The room was evenly split on who enters the cloud, and seriously good arguments were made for both Jesus and Judas. We all agreed that this missing page is the page that we really want to find. If any of you have purchased a fragment of this text on e-bay or anywhere else (or know someone who has) PLEASE I beg you to contact me or Gregor Wurst. We need every fragment of this text that we can find to make the proper reconstructions.

More later...

1 comment:

Joseph Sinkiewicz said...


It was an honor and a pleasure to participate as an auditor at the CJC. My thanks to you, your grad students, Rice University, and the attending scholars.

While the presentations and discussion were technical I found I could follow along most of the time. It was a great opportunity to push my limits. I would encourage anyone who reads this blog and has never attended such an event to do so if they get the chance.

Of course, I must admit that I was just a little disappointed that none of the furniture went airbourne. ;)

Best Regards,

Joseph Sinkiewicz