Identity, Religion

The Best Friend Jesus Ever Had

After centuries of virulent, dehumanizing anti-Semitism based, in part, on the idea of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus, out comes The Gospel of Judas, which claims that Judas was the most loyal of the disciples!

The account goes on to relate that Jesus refers to the other disciples, telling Judas “you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” By that, scholars familiar with Gnostic thinking said, Jesus meant that by helping him get rid of his physical flesh, Judas will act to liberate the true spiritual self or divine being within Jesus.
Unlike the accounts in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the anonymous author of the Gospel of Judas believed that Judas Iscariot alone among the 12 disciples understood the meaning of Jesus’ teachings and acceded to his will. In the diversity of early Christian thought, a group known as Gnostics believed in a secret knowledge of how people could escape the prisons of their material bodies and return to the spiritual realm from which they came.
… the discoveries have proved deeply troubling for many believers. The Gospel of Judas portrays Judas Iscariot not as a betrayer of Jesus, but as his most favored disciple and willing collaborator.

Full story.
Excerpts from the newly discovered Gospel of Judas.
More from National Geographic.

10 thoughts on “The Best Friend Jesus Ever Had

  1. it kind of makes sense. If the dude wasn’t killed, there would be no sacrifice on which the Xian faith hinges. Whcih is why I never understood the hatred of the Jews. if we killed the guy, weren’t we helping fulfill this great plan?
    Wasn’t this a line in J-man Superstar?

  2. This sounds just like a popular hypothesis about Dumbledore and Snape! Is this discovery real, or just hype for JK Rowling’s next book?

  3. Umm, well, very few xtians care about the extracanonical gospels or whatever. Which is understandable, since most of them contradict each other (including the ones the xtians DID add to their canon). Of course none of this affects a beliving a xtian, obviously, just like this won’t affect those whose anti-Semitism is based off their interpretation of xtian canon.
    It won’t be “deeply troubling” for anybody.

  4. This idea of Judas being the most loyal was also found in “The Last Temptation of Christ,” by Kazantzakis and portrayed quite well in the movie by Martin Scorcese

  5. This is not a new idea, nor while it do anything to undermine Orthodox Christianity. Ireneus (bishop of Lyons) spoke out against the Cainite Gnostic sect in AD 180, in his treatise, Against Heresies. In fact, were it not for this document, no scholars would have know that a ‘Gospel’ of Judas even existed. Regardless of the Gnostic philosophical implications of ‘Judas,’ antisemitism really has no bearing on the discussion. Antisemitism was an error on the part of Christians, and it cannot be argued from scripture in any sense.

  6. antisemitism a mistake? or an inherent part of the agenda? see: revolution in judea, who killed jesus, constantine’s sword, and caesar’s messiah. “they are a synagogue of satan…”

  7. Poetic license of movies and novels aside, the only account that stands up to the tests of histotical accuracy (like eyewitnesses!) is the report that Judas betrayed Jesus.

  8. Well, if I’m in a synagogue of Satan, shul should be more fun than it is.
    And as for “sacrificing he who clothes me,” sounds like the justification of a fashion victim.
    Seriously, I was obsessed with Jesus-in-pop-culture stuff in college (since yeshiva high school taught us nothing of the historical Jesus)–I learned all the lyrics to Jesus Christ Superstar (which had been rendered in Hebrew at camp the summer before as a play about false messiahs called “Shabtai Zvi”) took a New Testament class, lived with a non-Jewish roommate, watched the Last Temptation of Christ, and dated a non-Jew. (OK, so that last one isn’t true.)
    I know my approach isn’t academic. But if Old Testament exegisis intrigued me, for sure, so would “ExiJesus.” Can’t wait until Mel Gibson’s “The Passion 2: Revenge–I mean, Return–of the Judas.”

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