Black Saturday

I like the term “Black Saturday” better than “Holy Saturday” for this reason: if Christianity is true, the most convincing evidence as I see it is that a small group of people in the first century witnessed something about a man named Jesus that convinced them that he was God and for whom they were willing to give their very lives. If I am to believe it, that is why. So for those people who were living the events of this weekend 2000 years ago, there was nothing about this day that felt holy. It was just black.

So on this black day I want to share a different perspective about one of the parts of the entire story that many would consider to be the blackest: the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. Peter Rollins has quickly become one of my favorite authors/philosphers, and in his recent work, Fidelity of Betrayal, he starts off with a different look at Judas.

He begins with the most traditional reading of the story that results in Judas often being considered evil incarnate but then quickly turns the tables in true Rollins fashion as he indicates that Christianity is in some manner indebted to Judas for its very existence. He suggests that Judas may in fact not be the real betrayer. On page 14 and continuing on to page 15: “For if, as an initial reading of the text would imply, the betrayal was deemed necessary for the rise of Christianity and the fulfillment of God’s will, then we are presented with the image of Judas as one who was in fact central to the outworking of a divinely ordained plan. With this in mind one might ask whether it was really Judas who was betrayed by Jesus rather than the other way around.”

He continues further down on page 15: “…if Jesus did know what Judas was capable of from early on, then the narrative compels us to ask why he called him to be a disciple in the first place. Or why Jesus did not endeavor to both warn him about his weakness for money and to ensure that he was never in a position to give in to such temptation. Surely, if someone knowingly offers a recovering alcoholic some wine, then that person is implicated in the consequences. The ultimate betrayal, according to this traditional reading, could thus be said to be the one perpetrated by Jesus against Judas, rather than the other way around.”

Rollins then suggests other ways to view the actions of Judas. Perhaps he was, as a zealot who desired a forceful military-style overthrow of power, just attempting to further along the confrontation between Jesus and the unjust chief priests and was not aware of what the consequences would be thus leading to his decision for suicide when it all fell apart. But yet again, Rollins makes an even more intriguing suggestion.

As John’s gospel makes clear, Jesus was aware early on of what Judas was going to do. Rollins asks the question of page 18: “What if Jesus knew at an early stage precisely because Jesus was going to ask him to do it?” He then leads us through an interpretation of details in Mark’s story of the woman spilling out expensive perfume on Jesus head which is coupled with Judas almost immediately leaving to go to the chief priests with his deal. Could it have all been planned by Jesus, the woman, and Judas to work that way? An interesting question, and maybe the fact that Jesus addresses Judas as “friend” after the kiss in the garden is a clue to a much deeper relationship than we have traditionally assigned.

Finally, on page 21: “Is it possible then that Jesus himself not only wanted Judas to betray him but actually demanded it? Is it possible that Jesus, as portrayed in the Gospel of Mark, possessed the insight that for his mission to expand and impact the whole world, this betrayal needed to take place? And is it then possible that this singular betrayal is one that actually testifies to a profound fidelity? It is with such a reading in mind that the philospher and cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek goes so far as to write that, while ‘in all other religions, God demands that His followers remain faithful to Him-only Christ asked his followers to betray Him in order to fulfil His mission'”.

Lest you fear that Rollins is just asking a bunch of ridiculous questions, he does have a method to his madness. The remainder of the book explores the idea that we must put “…our religion to death so that a religion without religion can spring forth.” Rollins is suggesting that this act of betrayal may actually be the highest act of fidelity.

A challenging read. And enlightening read. Appropriate for Black Saturday.

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41 responses to “Black Saturday

  1. “our religion to death so that a religion without religion can spring forth”

    wooot! religionless christianity! i’m all about it! plus if you wanna read the Gospel of Judas by Elaine Pagels, it’s like 6 pages total, which set Judas up as the “beloved disciple” who was asked by Christ himself to turn him over.

    without Judas there could be no resurrection.

  2. Thats exactly the point of duality. Without Evil there is no good.

  3. Luke…so can we say that Jesus had a successful ‘death wish’?

  4. TitforTat…it sounds like yr saying that Good is contingent upon Evil to be good…then,why do we root for the hero?

  5. Luke. I have heard of that book but was not aware of the content. When I read this the first time from Rollins it was a rather dramatic contrarian idea for me, and since I love contrarian, I loved this way of looking at it. I realize that there is no way to prove which way this all played out which really is the point of the exercise I think. We all tend to think that we have scripture all figured out and interpreted “correctly.” That really is sticking our head in the sand rather deeply, and as a friend from Seattle recently said to me, “What is it costing you to keep your head in the sand?” Well, it may be costing me a deeper relationship with the God to whom I claim to be so devoted.

    JohnT. A difficult thing to think about. You really can’t know happiness without also knowing sadness and vice versa. And in fact, the more extreme sadness that you know, probably the more extreme happiness you also know. It has made me wonder if God actually made evil. Or if evil has been around as long as God has been around. I know Yael thinks that God is somehow responsible for it.

    Faithlessinfatima. Thanks for stopping by. Have seen your thoughtful interaction over on nakedpastor. Interesting questions you pose. Especially the thought that maybe we should also have some respect for the villian as he plays a part in molding the hero.

  6. G-d as creator or do you want to have G-ds. If you deny that the creator created all of it, then you need to have more than one creator. I have enough trouble dealing with just one, lol. Plus if we are to have interaction(some free will) then we do need to have options.

  7. freestyle…thx…can’t quite remember that comment,but it does ring a bell and coincidentally pertains to yr present post.If I might add, I wd make a distinction between multiple questions ,as in 1).Did Jesus foresee his death and resurrection?…2).How do the individual writers report that 40 to 70 yrs later? ..3). If he did,what do the reported reactions to his death tell us..4).What is the relation between event and theology(interpretation of the event),etc,etc,?I cd go on,but I think you get my point….I’m always a little distressed when I read,”As John’s gospel makes clear”….if only it was that easy

  8. Faithlessfantima. I certainly agree with you the certainty issue. A great deal of ill will and denomination and church splitting and shame has been handed out because of “certainty” in our interpretation of particular passages of scripture. I share your distress, and it was a poor choice of words on my part. Thanks for pointing it out.

    As far as the respect for the villian piece….I was reading that from out of your comment above to TFT…”Good being contingent on evil for it to be good…root for the hero.” I understood you to possibly be saying that some credit is due the villian for making the hero. We root for the hero because we want good to win, but if there was no evil to fight, there wouldn’t be a hero plus no need for the hero. Maybe I am misreading you, and we do actually have something we need to get angry and fight about :).

  9. freestyle…sorry,I didn’t realize the comment was in reference to that,but ’tis true,I think you might be misreading what I was trying to suggest to John.With respect to Dualism and whether or not we have two seperate,but symbiotic powers in some kind of cosmic dance,I think our experience wd suggest something closer to traditional theology.To call one thing good and another evil is to bring in a third thing, a standard that we measure good and evil against.We wdn’t know what crookedness was if we didn’t have any idea of straightness.In that sense,evil is a parasite,it’s good gone bad…nobody’s bad for badness’s sake,we call call that mental illness and don’t blame anyone for it.
    As for rooting for the hero,why do we identify and emotionally engage with our heroes,historical as well as fictive? Have you noticed the similiarity of experience when watching ‘Gandhi’ and reading the gospels? We innanetly seem to be drawn to the side of the ‘moral imperative’.In that sense,dualism doesn’t hold any water.

  10. I meant innately…as you can guess

  11. We innanetly seem to be drawn to the side of the ‘moral imperative’.In that sense,dualism doesn’t hold any water.(fif)

    You seem to be implying that we are all drawn to the “good” all the time. Do you honestly believe that. And by the way, just having the ability to think these thoughts requires both a negative and positive chemical reaction in your brain. Hence the duality I speak of.

  12. TforT…maybe we shld clarify what each other means by dualism.If yr suggesting that ‘dualism’ is having a choice and sometimes our choices will be right and somtimes wrong,then we’re not talkin’ about the same thing? Wd that be correct?

  13. My thoughts on dualism is that our existence is based on it. So from my perspective it all stems from the same place. Choices just give you outcomes, some positive from our limited perspective and some not.

  14. As John already stated, if God didn’t create evil than evil was created by something else and we no longer have one creator, but multiple creators.

    Whoever wrote this verse in Isaiah also held to just one creator: Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am Adonai, that doeth all these things.”

    I would rather wrestle with a God who contains both good and evil than wrestle with a God who did not create evil and thus has no control over it whatsoever. People ask me how I can worship a God who might be evil but first off, I wouldn’t call the relationship I have with God ‘worship’; it is much more complex than that, and second of all, people can also be evil yet they don’t have to be, so just because God can be evil doesn’t mean God will be evil. And in reading Tanakh and in looking at history, I don’t see how it is possible to claim God is always good anyway. I am not going to spin everything so even though it looks like God did something bad, it was actually good because God did it? No way. I am fascinated by the ideas in Eli Wiesal’s book “The Trial of God’ where God is shown to be the devil and those in a book by Julius Lester, “The Autobiography of God” where God is shown to be Hitler.

    I know this is a bit more extreme than most people are willing to go, but it doesn’t bother me. My experience has been that people who claim to be right there with God are just as likely to be evil as good. So, I have to wonder why this would be if God is only good.

    To me, the verse from Isaiah just makes sense in it’s plain meaning, that God did actually create evil as well as good. Otherwise where did evil come from, who created it and how can we say God has control over it? No dualism in my world, just a God of tensions with whom I can have a mutual relationship where we help each other behave!

  15. TforT..thx John and I’m glad yr takin’ a break from the Christian Taliban over at NP ;)…on the point, I don’t think yr payin’ enuf attention to the way we use words. To call something good or evil is to make a value judgement, a third thing which acts as the ground of our position.The judgement as to what is good or evil becomes meaningless if we perceive our choice to be one thing and it’s opposite the same. As stated previously,how is it that we can call something evil…one wd have to know what good is before that statement made any sense. The sentence,”That line is crooked or that sum is wrong” presupposes an understanding of what straight lines and proper mathematics are. Can you imagine a world that punished or praised good and evil equally?I might add that most of human wrongdoing is actually the pursuit of something good,as in the man who steals to feed his family,the promiscious spouse who seeks refuge from a loveless marriage,the teens who lies to friends because they crave acceptance,etc.The wrongdoing is in the means ,not the end. If dualism was the universe’s ‘modus operandi’,then people wd be bad for the sake of being bad,but don’t we call that mental illness.Then again,why call it bad?

  16. Yael…not extreme,but an interesting take and not (on a practical level) much different than someone wrestling with the idea of an omnipotent good God who allows evil to happen. I can see the same contradiction(as john’s) in yr postion when you state yr image of God containing both good and evil,but soon make value judgements…
    “My experience has been that people who claim to be right there with God are just as likely to be evil as good. So, I have to wonder why this would be if God is only good.”

    I think you answered yr own question…that is,if you didn’t know good(that third standard),then how is it you perceive some actions to be evil….or good…to use these words suggests we’re measuring one thing with respect to another.

    A better question wd be(to flip the scales)..What do we mean when we call something good? ,as in, “God is good”…”He’s a good person”…”That was a good thing to do”

  17. “I would rather wrestle with a God who contains both good and evil than wrestle with a God who did not create evil and thus has no control over it whatsoever.” (Yael)

    I would have to say that this makes a whole lot of sense to me. If we believe in one creator, that creator has to be responsible for evil to have control over it. In a sense, it is actually reassuring.

    I also like what faithlessinfatima is saying, and maybe it is that we are parsing language a bit. Good does seem to have the upper hand so to say that world actually is a dualistic system may be a spot off. We have an inherent sense of fairness and justice. It would seem that this comes from the creator since it is within us all. That side of us is what dominates. It would seem that the scales are tipped towards good.

  18. freestyle…sorry to get a litle off topic here,but more to the point. Do you not think a Jesus who foresaw and manipulated his own death implies a rather weak attempt at some sort of cosmic passion play,not to mention the theological problems of Divine complicity?

  19. Faithless. No problem getting off topic. In fact, you’re really getting more back to the original topic. What you are asking kind of gets into the different theories of atonement. I grew up in a strict fundy denom and only knew of the “Jesus appeasing a pissed of Father who demanded blood” theory. But I have come to see that I think the work of the cross may have been more about an act of love than it was about anything else. An all powerful God, it seems to me, could have set things up anyway he wanted. It doesn’t seem to me that God is limited by the fact God HAS to have death and blood to rid God of God’s anger and rage over sinful humans. That boxes God in quite a bit. So I think God is trying to say with the cross that the love and desire for connection with creation and the human part of creation is infinite and this is the model by which we can live to maximize that connection. Christ showed the way on that. Good is stronger than evil. And living good is better than living evil.

    So to be more specific about your question….Either Christ came and intended it to work out the way it did, death on the cross, or Christ came and it just happened to work out that way. If the latter is true, then all the emphasis placed on it by mainstream Christianity (penal substitution, paying the price we are supposed to pay, etc) is somewhat worthless because God just lucked into it. If God did intend it, then God had to make sure it was going to happen. So either Judas had no choice to do what he did because God predetermined him to do it, or Judas did have a choice and Christ asked him to do it. I don’t see a great deal of wiggle room there (I suspect you might come back with some of the free will arguments here, and if you do it will good to hash that out a bit). Maybe that is manipulation or maybe not. As far as divine complicity goes, if we have gotten it wrong with our theories of Christian salvation that are rather exclusive unless you have jumped through the right hoops (sinner’s prayer, baptism, sanctification, spiritual laws, etc) and the universalist view is actually correct, then complicity is not all that important.

  20. freestyle…here’s an interesting quote,with respect to the passion that I came across recently while reading thru PBS Frontline’s From Jesus to Christ:..hope ypu don’t mind the bandwidth
    The question the interviewer asks of John Dominic Crossan is:”Can you characterize the way Mark portrays Jesus and what kind of audience he’s trying to play to?

    Crossan says,”Let me compare Mark with John to explain how two gospels do it differently in an episode we call “the agony in the garden”. Now, there is no agony in John and there is no garden in Mark, but we call it the agony in the garden because we put them together. Mark tells the story in which Jesus, the night before he dies, is prostrate on the ground, begging God, “If this all could pass, but I will do what you want.” And the disciples all flee. Now that’s an awful picture. That makes sense to me because Mark is writing to a persecuted community who know what it’s like to die. That’s how you die, feeling abandoned by God.

    Over to John. Jesus is not on the ground in John. The whole cohort of the Jerusalem forces come out – 600 troops come out to capture Jesus, and they end up with their faces on the ground in John. And Jesus says, “Of course I will do what the Father wants.” And Jesus tells them to “Let my disciples go.” He’s in command of the whole operation. You have a Jesus out of control almost in Mark, a Jesus totally in control in John. Both gospel. Neither of them are historical. I don’t think either of them know exactly what happened. Mark is writing to a persecuted church, “Here is how to die … like Jesus.” John is writing, I think, to a community that’s hanging on by its fingernails. It’s getting more and more marginalized. Its Jesus is getting more and more in control, in control of the passion, in control of Pilate. The more John’s community is out of control, the more Jesus is in control. Both of that makes absolute sense to me. But both are gospel.

    As I stated previously,we tend to read the narratives compositely.If Crossan is correct,we have more than one passion narrative…he doesn’t mention Matthew and Luke ,but you can be sure they ,while using Mark, have their own community’s needs in mind as they construct their narratives.

    My question is,if so,how shld we read these narratives twenty centuries later ?

  21. freestyle…if I might add for context,seeing myself as a miserable sinner in need of a Saviour is not the lynchpin that keeps me hooked to religion.The human stain that requires a blood sacrifice is,in my mind,Iron Age thinking and belongs there.Makes for more mystery than facts,but I can live with that.

  22. Faithless. “How should we read these narratives twenty centuries later?” Great question. And one that I don’t think is easily answered. Denominations with their systematic theologies tell us how we should read them. They think that have theses stories (and the entire bible for that matter) packaged into a nice little “proper” way to think about God. And it gets presented to us as THE truth. But it seems to me that if it was so critical for us to “right” in the way we think about scripture, God would have gone to greater lengths to make it more clear. Instead, I think scripture is a book that tells us about God, tells us how some people way back there and then experienced God, gives us some idea about what God is like. So how should we read them?…I don’t know that there is a way that we SHOULD read them as that implies that there is a “right” way and a “wrong” way. Instead, I think we should read them and re-read them and discover what we discover. Talk about it. Share it. See what each one of us experiences and notices. Each time we do that don’t we gain a bit more truth about God. I think the bible tells us that God is about relationships. And that is what we should be about both with God and with each other. Not much else matters, does it?

  23. I can’t argue with that…well spoken

  24. Correction:…I just noticed I shld have said…”well written”…unless yr that voice in my head .;)

    If I might add,I’m impressed that a former fundy never once mentioned,when scripture is the subject, that ‘God wrote a book’…who says there’s no such thing as progress?

  25. Faithless. Thanks for the complements. I realized over the last 5 years or so that I believed the things I believed about God and scripture just because they had been handed to me by others. I had never exposed myself to any other ideas and had never, as I like to say it, owned my faith/beliefs. So I have been willing to question just about everything even coming right up to the verge of atheism and peeking inside. It was interesting to see that many of the atheists with which I have communicated (on deconversion.com for instance) seem to have come from extreme fundamentalist Christianity, realized that it didn’t work, and now are making the same mistake on the opposite end of the spectrum, going from faith in the ridiculous to faith in only hard data and science and the empiric. The area where one can live with the most truth has to be between those extremes. So that is where I try to find myself. Thanks so much for reading and interacting here. I hope you continue to find something meaningful on my site.

  26. Freestyle..I can identify with yr position…it seems that the ‘religion of Jesus’ has been trumped by the ‘religion about Jesus’;the latter requires a manual(the bible),while the former requires death which leads to life.The problem for me is that both paradigms are embedded in an apocalyptic worldview…it’s always been hard to wash feet and simutaneously sharpen yr sword.Somethin’s gotta give.

  27. Judas was, what we would call in the hood, a snitch. To me, he was a coward plain n simple – switched teams for the ‘money’. Guilt at the end of his life does not take away the fact he ratted out his friend – which then lead to his death. Those are the facts of the story – all the roses in the world make something like that tough to forgive. Imagine if that was you and a good friend of yours?

  28. “Those are the facts of the story” (Jason)

    Interesting that you are so certain that you know the facts. All we have is what a few dudes, who happened to be around at the time of the events, wrote down about what they understood to have occurred. Their descriptions are full of their own biases and interpretations of events. All we have is pieces. And it’s not like we can look for archeological evidence that corroborates their stories. I think your unwillingness to consider it differently is short-sighted. Sorry to be a bit harsh. :)

  29. We’ve all been snitches(or S.O.Bs) at some point in our lives. Remember glass houses? ;)

  30. A good hero story necessitates a villian…as for betarayal with respect to the original post,if it was us,wd we forgive the betrayer on the grounds that we believed their betrayal to be part of a larger plan? If so,is that how we read or see Jesus in any or all of the narratives?….not forgetting when and who wrote those narratives.

  31. Freesyle…I was talkin’ a look at de-conversion ,but somehow linked to this…very concise and interesting essay…http://secweb.infidels.org/?kiosk=authors&id=794

  32. Faithless. Thanks for the link. A very interested article indeed. I have always felt that the left-sided fundamentalists who only trust in the empiric were missing something too just like the right-sided. This article seems to support that.

  33. “Interesting that you are so certain that you know the facts” (Doug)

    We all agree it’s a narrative right? Well, what parts of the story seem to remain concise – from work to work? Judas betrays a person called Jesus – leading to his death at the hands of the Roman courts…correct? We can get into archaelogical evidence – but that’s a tough sell regardless of the digging they do.

    Now how much Judas knew of what he was doing is quite unknown – but the ‘narratives’ all pain pictures – even the gospel of Judas is simple a narrative about the same incident.

    My point is – from a very human standpoint – did Judas know he was part of a bigger plan? I would say ‘no’ – because as humans we function from the ‘present’ – not some ‘future’ we have no clue will happen/or not happen. To me, from a functional present standpoint – Judas sold him out (literally) leading to his death.

    What does it say about Judas? All I know is if a friend of mine did that to me – on evidence that is flimsy at best (so it was a set-up he walked me into) – forgiveness would be a tough sell to the remaining friends who knew I was innocent (and yet had to pay for a crime I did not do). Maybe this is why Judas is killed off in thr story – because is there a way back from that kind of betrayal? It’s poignant really and lesson.

    As for glass houses – I am not sure calling something the way I see the story as hurling anything – but going from the commons in the narratives and seeing what I see.

    Am I wrong? Yes.

  34. “if it was us,wd we forgive the betrayer on the grounds that we believed their betrayal to be part of a larger plan? If so,is that how we read or see Jesus in any or all of the narratives?” (Fif)

    Good question – this is all a matter of perspective.

    If one views the idea Judas knew he was being used in a bigger plan – then his betrayal really isn’t that bad (and is seen as part of that plan). I would say the story of his suicide kind of goes against this idea – but you never know.

    The thing is – maybe the writers struggled with what to do with Judas and this incident – so they write into prophecy fulfilled category to clean it up a bit? It’s rather tough to believe someone would do such a thing to the ‘messiah’ without God having some say on it…thus prophecy fulfilled category.

    Also maybe the writers didn’t want it to look like someone actually left Jesus – and I mean left and turned his back on this person – to the point of going against him. How can you write a story and make someone look ‘good’ if one of their followers for many years does a thing like this…kind of taints Jesus’ image in a way.

    The thing that gets me is Judas is painted as someone greedy in some of these gospels – he is painted villaniously. In one incident, about the perfume being used on Jesus, someone comments Judas was against the idea because of the waste of money. Judas seemed to be an odd-ball in the group – but stood out enough to make it into a villian (mind you – if he is real). Wy would a narrative go through that trouble to paint this image – if this person was not that way at all?

    Maybe Judas never fit in – didn’t quite get the mission and was really there for the money? It fits into the end of the story also – giving info/access for money (30 silver pieces). Maybe this person really was a heel? I wouldn’t put it past 1 in 12 people to have a problem with money/greed…stats wouldn’t truly be against us on this.

    I am not refusing to see it another way either – we need to flesh this point out also before I consider a ‘narrative’ that wasn’t widely used in early Christian communities (and how do I know this – because it never even really got a look for the canon).

  35. Jason. Thanks for the thoughtful response. And I’m glad to see that there are others who get as wordy as I. John seems to get a bunch of information into about 3 words. I can’t do that. One of my local friends tells me my posts are too long. Just have a lot to say I guess.

    My only point is that we don’t know all that was behind Judas’ betrayal. If Christianity didn’t have a tendency to treat the bible itself like it is God incarnate and think that there is a “right” way to interpret it all so that it all fits together so nicely and force that way on the masses as THE truth, then I wouldn’t be putting my contrarian ideas there. I just think we need to be reminded that there is a lot more hidden in there than we can see. We don’t really know what Judas was thinking. All we know is what some writers who probably are strongly biased against his actions say about him. Whether he and Jesus had it worked out ahead, we don’t know. There certainly is a way to read this story where Jesus and he had it worked out ahead of time, it went bad in Judas’ mind who was really just interested in forcing a political and possibly military takeback of Israel, and he killed himself in his grief.

  36. “There certainly is a way to read this story where Jesus and he had it worked out ahead of time, it went bad in Judas’ mind who was really just interested in forcing a political and possibly military takeback of Israel, and he killed himself in his grief” (Doug)

    I agree – that is a possible perspective also. I am not sure I do buy it as the possible one but maybe that narrative was also written (gospel of Judas) for dealing with such problems as ‘turning away’…maybe?

    The best explanation I heard yet about Judas is he was not a real person – but Judas as a race – meaning Jews. It lines up with a lot of the anti-semitism language in the gospels (namely John) and could be used as a figure to further distance Christianity (a new movement) from Judaism of it’s times…in (a) a battle for the minds of Israel and (b) to keep away from the revolutionaries within Judaism at the time (the wrath of the Romans).

    Not sure why that explanation stands out for me – maybe because when I read about Judas he is always painted in a negative light and then dies. Maybe the writer’s were hoping the same for Judaism as a movement they were trying to over-take. This is if we believe their were additions or the writer’s were simply not Jewish (I find it hard to believe Jewish people would write such stuff against their own original faith – knowing better more or less).

    Whereas Peter, James, and John – seem like real people to me in the gospels – and in Acts and the letters. Oddly enough – no mention of this Judas affair in later literature.

  37. Im curious, if the point of the Gospels is about forgiveness, is there not a better place to start than with Judas?

  38. I read recently that the narratives(gospels) were written by believers-for believers-to promote belief. If true and keeping in mind the rather long period of narrative development(oral tradition?),then the hypothetical bias that you guys speak of wd have much less to do with interpretation of the core events than the needs of the community that the particular gospel was intended to instruct. An obvious example wd be the difference between the synoptics and John’s gospel.

  39. TitforTat…it doesn’t appear as central as you suggest…if I understand yr comment.

  40. Correction(again)…sorry John,I misunderstood ,actually misread yr comment…I wd have to agree…seems like ‘ol Judas cd be the ultimate antihero.

  41. “Im curious, if the point of the Gospels is about forgiveness, is there not a better place to start than with Judas?” )John)

    I think it can be used a story about forgiveness in some weird way – although we don’t find Judas being forgiven…maybe in the gospel of Judas this happens – but in the 4 gospels in the bible – not much about that.

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