Topics should range on anything like Shroud of Turin, Noahs Ark, Ark of the Covenant, Exodus Red Sea crossing, locations of newly found digs, Dead Sea Scrolls etc...
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Post#1 » Sat Apr 08, 2006 4:26 pm

National Geographic is not one of those leading scholar groups that I look up to for the truth regarding Christianity. The Beast Matrix is constantly digging up Bullshit. This is no different.

Synopsis: "The Gospel of Judas"
Source: NY Post
Published: April 6, 2006 Author: Cindy Adams
For Education and Discussion Only. Not for Commercial Use.

April 6, 2006 -- HERE'S A big story. Not that anything I've reported before was junk. But just to point out, in case you're in a hurry and not paying real attention, that this is a big story.

For two years, National Geographic has secretly worked on a project dealing with religious history. Their deep pockets financed an architectural dig in biblical desert land. Its ultimate was to yield a scriptural trove and, in fact, has unearthed what they will soon proclaim are ancient scrolls.

These scrolls have painstakingly been translated by a group of scholars, and the revelation is that they deal exclusively with Judas.

The assumption is this wondrous history of the ages has been authenticated via forensics, carbon dating, historians, clergy, graphologists, geologists, geneologists, biologists, specialists, scientists, pathologists, zoologists and any other kind of -ists who peer through magnifying glasses. Still, how this gets awarded the official kosher sign enough to satisfy some modern doubting Thomas, I'm not sure. I mean, to my knowledge, nobody except the president has directly spoken to Jesus and his posse in weeks.

Anyway, packaged in two separate volumes, this gets released through Bantam's distributing arm in 60 days. Judas' story will be titled "The Gospel of Judas." (The National Geographic television channel will air a TV show of the same name on Sunday.) The companion book, although both may be sold independently, is the saga of the discovery.

Anticipated is that this could be the most talked about tome of the century. Anticipated is that the Vatican will come out against it. Anticipated is that the hostility directed toward Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" and "The Da Vinci Code" book and movie will be a hymn-sing in comparison.


Because, also anticipated, is that this could blow the lid off Christianity's established concepts. The deciphered words supposedly unveil a story different from that in The Holy Bible. They remove the centuries-old animus Christians have held towards Jews because, they state, Judas did not betray Jesus.

The words say it was Jesus' wish for Judas to exhibit this precise behavior in order to fulfill Jesus' divine destiny. In this record, supposedly as ancient as the Scriptures themselves, it twists all around Judaism and Christianity. No longer, per these scrolls, can Judas, a Jew at the Last Supper Passover table, be thought of as betraying the Lord for pieces of silver if - per these supposedly sacred writings - he was, in fact, doing the Lord's bidding.

This is all I know. For more, for answers, questions, facts, widening of this information, you are directed to spokespersons at National Geographic. They are not speaking. Until this point they have remained even more silent than Katie Couric's manager.

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The Judas Cover-up ...nah, but dont let that stop you fro

Post#2 » Sat Apr 08, 2006 4:32 pm

from selling this crap.

The Judas Cover-up
[ ... and muttered underneath his breath, 'Nothing is revealed.']

Some 1,700 years after it was hidden from the Imperial Romans who were brutally creating their own government-sanctioned version of Christianity, the Gospel of Judas was finally released to the world today ... or was it?

With great fanfare in Washington, the National Geographic Society revealed ancient pages and intriguing passages from the Coptic codex that dates back to the early days of Christianity -- a leather-bound collection of several early Church texts including the long-rumored Gospel of Judas.

But for reasons undisclosed, only 4 of the gospel's 13 double-sided pages will go on display. And the translated version made available to the New York Times (PDF) is "from" the Judas gospel and apparently not the whole text.

Yet the National Geographic Society claims almost all of the badly damaged manuscript was successfully put back together, and last month said it would release the "full contents of the manuscript."

"Incredibly, the team was able to recreate some 90 to 95 percent of the manuscript and produce a nearly complete translation. Some sections may be forever lost, due to holes in the original papyruses, but scholars hope to fill them in as they finish their herculean task -- an additional half page recently surfaced in New York City."

In hundreds of news stories and broadcasts about the reconstruction and translation of the 1,700-year-old papyrus manuscript and its long suspicious purgatory in a moldy New York bank vault, there is not a single mention of the contents of the other 21 pages of the Judas document.

(The National Geographic Society did not respond to questions from SPLOID, but the society has announced it is selling a book with the complete text.)

Even more intriguing, researchers haven't even hinted at the contents of another mystery book that is part of the Coptic codex.

National Geographic historians have titled the enigma "Book of Allogenes," which may or may not be related to the Allogenes text found at Nag Hammadi. (That 1945 discovery is incredibly bizarre -- "And empowering the individuals, she is a Triple-Male," is a typical passage.)

The other texts found in the codex are reportedly copies of an unspecified epistle attributed to Peter and the First Apocalypse of James -- an apparently coded conversation with a ghostly Rabbi Jesus about battling archons, first found in the Nag Hammadi codices back in 1945.

But what of the handful of fragments National Geographic has revealed from the Gospel of Judas?

It was widely reported months before today's unveiling that the ancient gospel would redeem Judas Iscariot -- proving he was less of a sell-out than a divine actor who was entrusted with a crucial part of the conspiracy: the arrest of Jesus in Jerusalem during the Passover week rituals.

But the Judas gospel is stripped of some of the most melodramatic moments from today's New Testament gospels. Instead of the highly charged scene of Jesus weeping in the city gardens of Gethsemane and then seized by a patrol of imperial soldiers in full Roman regalia, Jesus is simply arrested by local Jewish authorities at the Temple of Solomon. And the iconic 30 pieces of silver is reduced to "some money."

"Their high priests murmured because [he] had gone into the guest room for his prayer. But some scribes were there watching carefully in order to arrest him during the prayer, for they were afraid of the people, since he was regarded by all as a prophet. They approached Judas and said to him, 'What are you doing here? You are Jesus' disciple.' Judas answered them as they wished. And he received some money, and handed him over to them."

The translated passages made public today also show a Jesus who considers Judas to be so important that the alleged traitor will one day rule over the whole Christian world.

"You will be cursed by generations," Jesus reportedly says, "and you will come to rule over them."

That alone -- the idea of Judas ruling over humanity -- should be enough to rock the frail foundation of modern Christianity. But it is the final passage released by National Geographic -- page 56 of the 66-page codex -- that suggests today's Christians can hardly begin to comprehend the staggering secret mysteries of the prophet Jesus:

"Look, you have been told everything," Jesus says to Judas after whispering those secrets to his friend and most loyal follower.

"Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star. Judas lifted his eyes and saw the luminous cloud, and he entered it .... "

The Gospel of Judas exhibition opens Friday in Washington at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.

A television documentary will be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday night.


Posts: 437

Judas Was "Demon" After All, New Gospel Reading Cl

Post#3 » Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:44 pm

Funny how things are revealed sometimes. The coincidence here is that, yesterday, I happened to pop in a DVD of a more recent production of Jesus Christ Superstar. In this stage performance, I noted that Jesus told Judas to go do what he is supposed to do ... betray him to Caiphus. It reminded me of the interpretations presented when the "Gospel of Judas" first hit the news.

A 2nd irony is that I was just reading Steve Quayle's interpretation of the word, daemon, which is discussed in the article. Quayle's view in "Aliens & Fallen Angels" is that the word is used to describe "evil" spirits.

Take it for what it's worth.


--------------------------------------------------------------------- ... judas.html

Judas Was "Demon" After All, New Gospel Reading Claims

The new interpretation contradicts the first translation, released by the National Geographic Society in April 2006. But the debate is far from settled.

That initial interpretation of the newfound gospel says that the apostle was following Jesus' orders when he gave Jesus up to enemy soldiers.

In the National Geographic translation, the text's ancient authors depict Judas Iscariot as Jesus' closest friend and the only apostle who truly understood Christ's message. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)

The Bible famously tells of Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Evil as Ever?

April DeConick, a professor of biblical studies at Rice University in Texas, says the first translators got it wrong.

In her new book, The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says, DeConick offers her own translation of the gospel.

"In my translation Judas did not come across as a benevolent spirit like he does in National Geographic's translation," DeConick said.

"He emerged as a much more negative Judas—a demon Judas as evil as ever."

Marvin Meyer is one of the translators who National Geographic enlisted. He said he welcomes additional interpretations of the Gospel of Judas.

"It doesn't come as any surprise whatsoever to find out that there would be another kind of interpretation," said Meyer, a biblical scholar at Chapman University in California.

"What is remarkable is the extent to which what was presented early on still has carried the day with us and most people."

Heretical Origins

The Gospel of Judas was found in a codex, or ancient book, that dates back to the third or fourth century A.D.

(Related news: "Medieval Christian Book Discovered in Ireland Bog" [July 26, 2006].)

Written in Coptic, or Egyptian Christian, script, the text is believed to be a translation of the original—a Greek text written sometime before A.D. 180.

The document remained hidden for more than 1,700 years before it was discovered in Egypt in the 1970s.

About 85 percent of the fragile text has been restored, but major gaps remain.

(See photos of the pages on the Lost Gospel of Judas Web site.)

The author of the text is unknown. But scholars say it originated with a group of early Christians known as Sethian Gnostics.

These "heretics" believed that truth could be known only through revelation from Jesus and a personal experience with God—hence the Gospel of Judas's subtitle: "the secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot."

"Demon" vs. "Spirit"

DeConick said she was excited to see the Gospel of Judas translated, and began analyzing the text immediately after it was published last year.

"But I soon noticed that my translation wasn't matching [National Geographic's] in significant spots," she said.

At the center of the debate is one passage in which Jesus calls Judas "daimon."

According to the National Geographic translation, "daimon" means "spirit."

DeConick, however, maintains that "daimon" should be translated to mean "demon," and that Jesus literally calls Judas a demon.

"What we find in all the Gnostic materials—and I've found about 50 references to the word 'daimon' in these texts—[is that] they're always indicating demons, malicious figures that possess and torment people, trying to get people to do things they're not supposed to do against God," she said.

But Meyer, who worked on National Geographic's translation, said Sethian Gnostics were also heavily influenced by earlier, Greek writings. In those texts "daimon" is used to mean "spirit" or to describe the spiritual side of a person.

The Gospel of Judas was written at an early stage and in an almost entirely Greek-influenced form, he said. For that reason "daimon" should read "spirit," he added.

"It is only in the developing Judeo-Christian heritage that eventually 'daimon' becomes exclusively negative," Meyer said.

New Testament scholar Simon Gathercole—who was not involved in the National Geographic translation project—said that either "demon" or "spirit" could be correct.

"'Demon' is the meaning in the New Testament, though it only appears a few times. And 'spirit' is the meaning in Plato. And the Gospel of Judas is influenced by both the New Testament and Plato," said Gathercole, of the University of Cambridge in England.

Antti Marjanen, a biblical scholar at the University of Helsinki in Finland, warned against reading too much into the use of that one word.

"Since the word 'daimon' appears only once in the entire text, some caution should be exercised in its interpretation," said Marjanen, who also was not part of the National Geographic Society effort.

"Even if it is taken as a negative reference, it does not necessarily mean that it is the final characterization of Judas in the text."

At Odds

Many of the Sethian beliefs were at odds with those of what would become mainstream Christianity. The Sethians did not, for example, believe that God would have sacrificed his child, Jesus, to atone for humanity's sins.

The Gnostic texts contradicted the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John found in the New Testament. As a result, the Gnostic gospels were later denounced by Christian leaders and refused inclusion in the Bible.

No scholar of early Christianity seems to believe that the Gospel of Judas provides a historically reliable account of the relationship between Jesus and Judas. Instead, it is seen as the Gnostic interpretation of that relationship.

"Jesus' voice [in the Gospel of Judas] is the Gnostic voice challenging the apostolic Christians to reassess their faith, to listen to their own reason and consciences rather than blindly accept their faith because they thought it was handed down to them from the twelve disciples," DeConick said.

(Follow a time line of early Christianity.)

Special Kingdom

In another passage in the National Geographic version, Judas tells Jesus, "You have set me apart for that generation"—apparently meaning the enlightened Gnostics who, in DeConick's words, "populate the upper world."

But DeConick says a Coptic phrase used in the passage—"porj e"—actually means "to separate from" and not "to set apart for."

"Judas has not been set apart to belong to the holy generation, as the National Geographic translation suggests," she writes in her book.

"My corrected translation reads completely the opposite," she told National Geographic News.

"Judas is upset because he has received esoteric teaching from Jesus—teaching which he sees as useless, because he has been separated from the Gnostic generation who populate the upper world."

In National Geographic's The Gospel of Judas, Critical Edition, both "set apart for" and "separated from" are offered as possible translations.

Even if the correct interpretation is that Judas has been separated from that generation, the meaning is still not clear, some scholars suggest.

"I actually agree with the interpretation of the Coptic verbal expression 'to set apart from' and not 'for.' But I am not sure that the generation the text talks about is the holy generation," said Marjanen, the Finnish scholar.

"Rather, I read [that] Judas is set apart from the generation of the earthly kingdom the other disciples belong to."

Meyer, one of the National Geographic-supported translators, said the issues of translation DeConick highlights are almost all discussed in the footnotes of National Geographic's popular edition and critical edition of the Gospel of Judas.

"We're really only quibbling about the interpretation of a few passages," he said.

"April looks at two to three passages … and with a revisionist understanding of those few passages, she sees the text in an entirely different light."


DeConick said she believes the gospel should be seen as a parody.

"It's certainly satire. [In the Gospel of Judas] Jesus is always mocking the disciples, who are characterized as faithless and ignorant," she said.

"The author uses humor in a very subversive way in order to criticize and correct apostolic Christianity."

But Gathercole, the Cambridge scholar, does not believe the gospel was written as a parody.

"It's a standard Gnostic-style gospel," Gathercole said.

"And since it was common for Gnostics to turn biblical images and figures upside down, there's a logic to their use of Judas," he said.

Meyer said there is a fundamental problem with the Judas-as-demon argument: If Judas was a demon, why did Jesus confide in him?

"To make this negative assessment work, you have to wink at, or put an asterisk next to, all the positive things said about Judas in the text," he said.

"But this is the gospel—the 'good news'—of Judas," Meyer said. "The main reason why the text was composed was so that people would be able to learn something about Sethian thought as it is being communicated to Judas.

"To say that it was all a joke, it was all a parody … well, we don't have any other text from antiquity or late antiquity that functions like that," he said.

Piecing it Together

DeConick also criticizes National Geographic for mishandling the translation project by not making full-size, high-resolution copies of the manuscript available to outside scholars for analysis. (Such copies will, however, be available for download by mid-January 2008 on National Geographic's Gospel of Judas Web site.)

"National Geographic didn't follow the best procedure for dealing with new academic finds," she said.

"Having a text only being worked though by a certain set of scholars ends up resulting in a situation where the material can't be double-checked and can't be questioned before its release.

New Testament scholar Craig Evans worked on the National Geographic team.

He disagrees with some of the translation choices and interpretations made by his colleagues on the National Geographic Society [NGS] project. Even so, Evans defends National Geographic's handling of the project.

"When the National Geographic Society gained access to the Tchacos Codex [the larger book that contains the gospel] … it would have been pointless to publish photographic plates, because the codex was in pieces," said Evans, of Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada.

"It took years to put the thing together so that the text could actually be viewed and read," he said. "Once that part of the work was finished, NGS had the text available for the public in a very expeditious manner."

(Related news: "Gospel of Judas Pages Endured Long, Strange Journey" [April 6, 2006].)

Meyer, meanwhile, dismissed any suggestion that his team set out with any kind of agenda to rehabilitate the image of Judas in its translation of the gospel.

"Our only agenda was to interpret the text, make sense of it, and get it out as quickly as possible," he said.

"To produce a first translation and the first critical edition is a thankless task, because you know you're putting yourself out on a limb. And chances are pretty good that at least a part of that limb is going to come down as time passes," Meyer added.

"That's just the way scholarship works."

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