Thursday, April 10, 2008

Apocryphote of the Day: 4-10-08

"When the demon had said this, the apostle said to him, 'How did you acquire knowledge concerning the hidden mysteries of the height? A soldier, when cast out of the palace, is not at all allowed to learn the mysteries of the palace. And how will he learn the hidden mysteries of the height?...Why then should you not tremble, when you speak the mysteries of the height? For I tremble completely in all my limbs and I glorify the receiver who will come for the souls of the holy people.'"

Acts of Andrew, P. Utrecht I, p. 13-14

Comment: My critics say that Judas in the Gospel of Judas cannot be a demon because he knows the mysteries, which I have argued is not the case since the demons know plenty in the Gospel of Mark. Today I pulled down The Apocryphal New Testament, and opened it randomly to p. 269. And here it be! A fragmented text, but with another demon in the know, and an apostle who is concerned about it. Oh, poor Judas, the demon who knows the mysteries. Need I say more?

8 comments:

Memra said...

Good point. Similarly, in the canonical Gospels, it is always the demons that know who Jesus really is, often identifying him openly as the "holy one of God." It is the demons that Jesus charges to keep silent about him.

And it is the disciples who, until later, keep wondering who Jesus is.

David Creech said...

This text certainly helps your case. What do you make of Wurst's contention that only insiders (i.e., Gnostics) participate in dialogues with Jesus in Gnostic texts? Do you know of any exceptions?

Nick Kiger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Kiger said...

I am arguing in my master's thesis (due in a few weeks!) that in Mark, the bad part about knowing the mysteries is not who knows them, but who is willing to reveal them to the wrong people at the wrong time, which is the role I think the demons play in Mark.

April DeConick said...

Nick,

Be sure to send me an abstract to post as a student thesis!

Christian Nielsen said...

Today's apocryphote definately adds to your case. I'm wondering what the impact would have been at the Codex Judas Conference. Gregor Wurst made his argument that we know of no Gnostic texts in wich the reciever of revelation is the antagonist of the tale. But I feel that this part of Acts of Andrew is contesting this. That being said, I know not much about the Acts of Andrew. I will surely look further into that. Thanks April. Funny how luck also plays a part in scholarly work.

Roadscholar said...

Possible flaw in the argument -- The questions put to the demon in the apocryphote must still be answered: "How did you acquire knowledge concerning the hidden mysteries of the height?" And, "Why then should you not tremble, when you speak the mysteries of the height?" So a.) how does a demon, if he is a demon, learn of God's secrets, and b.) Why does a demon, if he is a demon, not worry and tremble knowing about his ultimate demise?

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