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Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164

 Judas was only misunderstood?

Judas the Misunderstood
From Richard Owen, in Rome
Vatican moves to clear reviled disciple’s name

JUDAS ISCARIOT, the disciple who betrayed Jesus with a kiss, is to be given a makeover by Vatican scholars.
The proposed “rehabilitation” of the man who was paid 30 pieces of silver to identify Jesus to Roman soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane, comes on the ground that he was not deliberately evil, but was just “fulfilling his part in God’s plan”.

Christians have traditionally blamed Judas for aiding and abetting the Crucifixion, and his name is synonymous with treachery. According to St Luke, Judas was “possessed by Satan”.

Now, a campaign led by Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, head of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Science, is aimed at persuading believers to look kindly at a man reviled for 2,000 years.

Mgr Brandmuller told fellow scholars it was time for a “re-reading” of the Judas story. He is supported by Vittorio Messori, a prominent Catholic writer close to both Pope Benedict XVI and the late John Paul II.

Signor Messori said that the rehabilitation of Judas would “resolve the problem of an apparent lack of mercy by Jesus toward one of his closest collaborators”.

He told La Stampa that there was a Christian tradition that held that Judas was forgiven by Jesus and ordered to purify himself with “spiritual exercises” in the desert.

In scholarly circles, it has long been unfashionable to demonise Judas and Catholics in Britain are likely to welcome Judas’s rehabilitation.

Father Allen Morris, Christian Life and Worship secretary for the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, said: “If Christ died for all — is it possible that Judas too was redeemed through the Master he betrayed?” The “rehabilitation” of Judas could help the Pope’s drive to improve Christian-Jewish relations, which he has made a priority of his pontificate.

Some Bible experts say Judas was “a victim of a theological libel which helped to create anti Semitism” by forming an image of him as a “sinister villain” prepared to betray for money.

In many medieval plays and paintings Judas is portrayed with a hooked nose and exaggerated Semitic features. In Dante’s Inferno, Judas is relegated to the lowest pits of Hell, where he is devoured by a three-headed demon.

The move to clear Judas’s name coincides with plans to publish the alleged Gospel of Judas for the first time in English, German and French. Though not written by Judas, it is said to reflect the belief among early Christians — now gaining ground in the Vatican — that in betraying Christ Judas was fulfilling a divine mission, which led to the arrest and Crucifixion of Jesus and hence to man’s salvation.

Mgr Brandmuller said that he expected “no new historical evidence” from the supposed gospel, which had been excluded from the canon of accepted Scripture.

But it could “serve to reconstruct the events and context of Christ’s teachings as they were seen by the early Christians”. This included that Jesus had always preached “forgiveness for one’s enemies”.

Some Vatican scholars have expressed concern over the reconsideration of Judas. Monsignor Giovanni D’Ercole, a Vatican theologian, said it was “dangerous to re-evaulate Judas and muddy the Gospel accounts by reference to apocryphal writings. This can only create confusion in believers.” The Gospels tell how Judas later returned the 30 pieces of silver — his “blood money” — and h anged himself, or according to the Acts of the Apostles, “fell headlong and burst open so that all his entrails burst out”.

Some accounts suggest he acted out of disappointment that Jesus was not a revolutionary who intended to overthrow Roman occupation and establish “God’s Kingdom on Earth”.
In the Gospel accounts, Jesus reveals to the disciples at the Last Supper that one of them will betray him, but does not say which. He adds “Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

But he also — according to St Matthew — acknowledged that Judas had a divine function to fulfil, saying to him during the arrest, “Friend, do what you are here to do” and adding that “the prophecies of the Scriptures must be fulfilled”.

The “Gospel of Judas”, a 62-page worn and tattered papyrus, was found in Egypt half a century ago and later sold by antiquities dealers to the Maecenas Foundation in Basle, Switzerland.


*In Dante’s Inferno, Judas is relegated to the lowest pits of Hell, where he is eaten, head first, by a three-headed demon with flapping bat-like wings

*In Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 silent film The King of Kings, Judas’s attraction for Mary Magdalene and the resulting jealousy contributes to his betrayal of Jesus

*Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar depicts Judas as a disillusioned, angry character. In the 1973 film version he is presented as more of a victim than villain

*Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ shows Judas hounded by demon-like street children who send him to his death amid a sea of insects and maggots


Josh Parsley

 2006/1/13 12:37Profile

Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131

 Re: Judas was only misunderstood?

I found this story as well

[b]Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible[/b]
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing “intelligent design” to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.

The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.

In the document, the bishops acknowledge their debt to biblical scholars. They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is “God’s word expressed in human language” and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.

They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways “appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries”.

The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: “We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.”

They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach.

“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”

Of the notorious anti-Jewish curse in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us and on our children”, a passage used to justify centuries of anti-Semitism, the bishops say these and other words must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt. Describing this passage as an example of dramatic exaggeration, the bishops say they have had “tragic consequences” in encouraging hatred and persecution. “The attitudes and language of first-century quarrels between Jews and Jewish Christians should never again be emulated in relations between Jews and Christians.”

As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing.

Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.

The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.”

In their foreword to the teaching document, the two most senior Catholics of the land, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh, explain its context.

They say people today are searching for what is worthwhile, what has real value, what can be trusted and what is really true.

The new teaching has been issued as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council document explaining the place of Scripture in revelation. In the past 40 years, Catholics have learnt more than ever before to cherish the Bible. “We have rediscovered the Bible as a precious treasure, both ancient and ever new.”

A Christian charity is sending a film about the Christmas story to every primary school in Britain after hearing of a young boy who asked his teacher why Mary and Joseph had named their baby after a swear word. The Breakout Trust raised £200,000 to make the 30-minute animated film, It’s a Boy. Steve Legg, head of the charity, said: “There are over 12 million children in the UK and only 756,000 of them go to church regularly.

That leaves a staggering number who are probably not receiving basic Christian teaching.”



Genesis ii, 21-22

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man

Genesis iii, 16

God said to the woman [after she was beguiled by the serpent]: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

Matthew xxvii, 25

The words of the crowd: “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Revelation xix,20

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.”


Exodus iii, 14

God reveals himself to Moses as: “I am who I am.”

Leviticus xxvi,12

“I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”

Exodus xx,1-17

The Ten Commandments

Matthew v,7

The Sermon on the Mount

Mark viii,29

Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ

Luke i

The Virgin Birth

John xx,28

Proof of bodily resurrection


 2006/1/13 14:08Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497


So how long will it be until they will try to rehabilitate Lucifer?


Sandra Miller

 2006/1/15 20:18Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


Sounds like they already are in the process.

Mike Balog

 2006/1/15 20:58Profile

Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924


it seems to me that there will be that many more disappointed people on that last day when they find themselves in the lake of fire with the beast lest they repent of this foolishness.

Lord conform us to yourself by any means necessary.AMEN

Farai Bamu

 2006/1/16 13:27Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497



In reading your post I was reminded of a transcript I have of a man who had a vision when he was deathly ill. Here is an excerpt:

I was led to the edge of the shadows and the angel Gabriel said, "look out beyond” and I saw a great multitude of dark colored beings, multiplied millions of lost souls,” I was told. Then he said, "Look again and there in the front lines were many hundreds of persons and to my surprise I knew and recognized many of them. They were in the light where I could see them clearly, all were adults. I was horrified as I saw and heard them crying and pleading to the Lord for mercy, and telling about the many good deeds that they had done in this life. Then came that fateful and final command - "Depart from me I never knew you." There was a great cry of anguish and immediately they were swept into a great canyon of fire and smoke. It was horrible - I sank to the ground sobbing out of control. Then the angels, one on each side lifted me to my feet and we turned around in the opposite direction and the angel Gabriel said, "Come we have something else to show you.

They led me up to the crest of a hill and turned part way around and again the angel Gabriel said "Lift up your eyes and look." Oh!I gasped in awe at what I saw. The beauty and grandeur was far beyond my ability to describe but I will try.
It was much like the "City of Gold" that is described in Revelations 21 & 22. There were many mansions all of the same design and size. They were a deep yellow gold but the streets were much lighter and polished very bright. There were no fences or gates within the City. All streets led to the center of the city and I saw what appeared to be a very large arena and in the center was a huge fountain of many colors far more than I had even seen before.
High above was a bright light like the sun in the center of a deep blue sky above and there were many lights of many colors extending in all directions similar to rainbows. Between us and the city was a great wall below, (we were standing on the crest of a hill.)The wall was of large blocks, pale yellow and the joints were sparkling like blue diamonds. Soft music was drifting toward us like a gentle breeze. Now I can appreciate the scripture verses - I Con. 2:9 & Isa. 64:4 quote “Eyes have not seen and ear has not heard, man has not conceived what God has prepared for them who love Him & kept his Word. NIV"

This vision was given to Amos Hostetler, Waynesboro, VA on Jan. 31,1981. He has since died.


Sandra Miller

 2006/1/17 10:10Profile

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