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For the June 1st meet-up we will read "the Gospel of Judas"

Judas, for thousands of years the name alone has been synonymous with the sin of betrayal. Dante placed him in the lowest ring of hell along with Brutus and Cassius, all guilty of betrayal of the highest order. The tradition of a newly elected Pope began when the newly elected Pontiff thought it not a good idea to use his real name which was Judas. In the four canonical gospels  he is not a good character, but he becomes more and more demonized in each of the subsequent gospels in the order they were written beginning with the oldest, but something happened a few years ago. In 2006 a team of scientists, biblical scholars, translators, and the like were assembled to examine a codex that purported to be The Gospel of Judas. It was subsequently authenticated as real, dated to the third or fourth century, with references within the text dated to the first and second century, identified as a tradition of the Gnostic sect of Christians, the sect that preserved text in the desert of Egypt and discovered in 1945, with titles such as The Gospel of Peter, The Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene  just to name a few.Low and behold we have a text of conversations between Jesus and Judas and low and behold Judas isn't such a bad character, a guy that was just playing his part in the passion play.

So what does this say to us. What does it say to the politics of the time. What does it say to how we have always looked at the way Christians believed what Christ's ministry was in fact and what does it say to the fundamentalists that believe that the official bible is the absolute word of God.

Bring these questions and more and lets try and figure out  what this all means, that's not that lofty of a task for us at The Thinkers Club.

You can find the text of the Gospel on line in PDF format it is about sixty pages. I really like "Reading Judas" by Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King, it contains the text and it is subtitled The Gospel of Judas and The Shaping of Christianity. I am especially fond of Pagels, she is the head of the department of Religion at Princeton, has translated many Coptic documents along with Judas and so many other Gnostic text, she gives a terrific historical context along with analysis of the spiritual, and she is a Stanford girl.

This should be a good one and the rumor is Amy might be there, see you on June 1st.

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  • Mark R. O.

    We always seem to have a good discussion, but I must say this one was more lively than I thought it would be. Great pick Heidi.

    June 2, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Everybody was very familiar with the history of the early church. I was a novice and I learned a lot. Very pleasant people, as always.

    June 2, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    If so, call me at[masked]

    June 1, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone by Akron want to carpool?

    June 1, 2011

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