December 1, 2007

The National Geographic's "Gospel of Judas?" Crap Then. Crap Now

Remember the fluff published by National Geographic about Judas being simply "misunderstood?" It turns out that NatGeo well understood what they were doing. They were publishing a scam. And took pains to hide their tracks. Here's today's item from NYT (via The Anchoress) Gospel Truth - New York Times by April D. DeConick, a professor of Biblical studies at Rice University, is the author of "The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says.

"So what does the Gospel of Judas really say? It says that Judas is a specific demon called the "Thirteenth." In certain Gnostic traditions, this is the given name of the king of demons — an entity known as Ialdabaoth who lives in the 13th realm above the earth. Judas is his human alter ego, his undercover agent in the world. These Gnostics equated Ialdabaoth with the Hebrew Yahweh, whom they saw as a jealous and wrathful deity and an opponent of the supreme God whom Jesus came to earth to reveal....

I think the big problem is that National Geographic wanted an exclusive. So it required its scholars to sign nondisclosure statements, to not discuss the text with other experts before publication. The best scholarship is done when life-sized photos of each page of a new manuscript are published before a translation, allowing experts worldwide to share information as they independently work through the text.

Another difficulty is that when National Geographic published its transcription, the facsimiles of the original manuscript it made public were reduced by 56 percent, making them fairly useless for academic work.

It is, of course, worse than that. Any time the New York Times publishes a "correction" to their "standard reality narrative" it is always worse.

As I noted at the time:

WHEN IT COMES TO DISCOVERING new ways to cheapen the human soul, the "professional intellectuals" of our society have cornered the market. So it was last week when, timed carefully to cash in on the Easter holiday, the "serious" editors of National Geographic chose to release their gleanings from a sheaf of rags and call them "The Gospel of Judas."

Having risen through the echo chamber of "higher" education and survived the ruthless but quiet vetting process of their "profession," these editors knew full well that what they were putting out into the world was not a "gospel." They also knew that calling it a "gospel" would ensure greater attention and greater sales. Beyond that, the editors, secular cultists all, also got a quiet little tingle by having, in their minds, "stuck it" to the Christian church once again. As usual, such secularists love to stick it to Christianity. Addicts of auto-erotic spiritual asphyxiation, their onanistic pleasure in these deeds is only enhanced if they can be performed during the most holy days of the Christian calendar. Only then can maximum profit and pleasure be assured. -- Judas: A Saint for Our Seasons @ AMERICAN DIGEST

That was then and this is now. I'm waiting for National Geographic to come out with a confession -- good for the soul you know -- but I continue regular breathing. They'll be out with that shortly after the vile New Republic announces they were had by Scott Beauchamp. Sometime never.

UPDATE: New Republic seems to have just published something of a retraction just now. Ah, the power of American Digest strikes again! I'll read it and get back. Nat Geo, over to you you bunch of slimy little Judases.

Posted by Vanderleun at December 1, 2007 12:51 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Excellent article on the Judas fiasco. Note what the NYTimes piece says about the Dead Sea Scrolls:

"The situation reminds me of the deadlock that held scholarship back on the Dead Sea Scrolls decades ago. When manuscripts are hoarded by a few, it results in errors and monopoly interpretations that are very hard to overturn even after they are proved wrong."

The consequences of the outrageous Scrolls monopoly are in fact still continuing today in a series of massive, biased and misleading museum exhibits traveling around the country. See this article for details:

Posted by: View from Here at December 2, 2007 12:02 PM

"These Gnostics equated Ialdabaoth with the Hebrew Yahweh, whom they saw as a jealous and wrathful deity and an opponent of the supreme God whom Jesus came to earth to reveal...."

I'm confused. Does this mean the Lord of the Hebrews is a different Lord than the supreme Lord? Are there two? Is the Lord of the old testament evil? This is a stunning revelation for me!

Posted by: Nick at December 2, 2007 1:36 PM

"New York Time correction" is an oxymoron.

Posted by: Murphy Klasing at December 2, 2007 8:43 PM

Nick, for what it's worth my opinion is that the God of the Old Testament and the Christian God are very different; Yahweh apparently thought that being ripped apart by bears was a suitable punishment for small children yelling childish insults at his prophet, while the Christian God of course sent his only son to die for the sins of others.

Of course, the code in Leviticus (is it there?) provides for blood-curdlingly vicious punishments for trivial crimes. Perhaps Jesus himself (no capital H in order to distinguish the man from the aspect of the Trinity) did not make the distinction clear because he did not want to be murdered ahead of schedule.

The argument that Judas did God's work is an interesting one. After all, Jesus had to be betrayed somehow, otherwise The Crucifixion would never have happened, Jesus would never have died for our sins and the Gospels would never have been written. Perhaps the other great pacifist religion, Buddhism, would have taken over the world. Certainly the last two millennia would have been very different. I am sure that there is a book in there somewhere - I'm not competent to write it.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at December 3, 2007 12:05 AM

The objective of this study is to bring to light the most probable story with likely evidences to prove beyond doubt to the common reader that when it comes to Christ and Christianity the history has been seriously twisted by men to suit the political and social agenda of those ages.

To agree or not agree is common sense of the reader and how much brain washing a common Christian has gone through.

The whole Christian faith is based on crucifixion of Christ and his Resurrection that makes him Messiah. This fact and faith has been strongly protected by Roman Catholic Church for over 2000 years now. Any attempts to think otherwise has been strongly opposed by church, condemned as an act to defame Christian religion and no discount is being made for historical possibilities. The difficulty of bringing facts to the world is that many of those who will read my presentation will belong to one of the two sides- Christians who have been conditioned to close their eyes for the faith that has been forced down their throats since childhood and not think otherwise and non-Christian who will be condemned if they believe in what I describe just as enemies of the religion. So my efforts may be pointless to give a story but I would do it any way for the sense of order that has to be brought to this world divided in number of ways.

Let us start with first fact- there was a death on cross as a result of capital punishment for treason against Roman Empire. The second fact- One body was recovered from the fields in mutilated state not far away from the cross. Examination of body reveals opening of belly and spilling out of intestines and internal organs. (Question 1) Are these two facts connected? Two events are spaced by 12 to 13 hours.

Resurrection of Christ is based on the fact that no dead body was found and later Christ walked among 500 followers and stayed for 40 days with his followers. Why 40 days? Joseph of Arimathea was imprisoned after he brought down the body from the cross and placed it in the tomb in his property. He escaped the house arrest with the ministerial clout he had. (Question 2) Did Joseph of Arimathea need 40 days to make arrangements? He was aware of 40 days by a story he invented in which he met Christ during house arrest. Is there a connection here?

Let us study two personalities- Christ and his apostle Judas. Do these two persons have similar height and body type? At any point of time do both have beard? Among Roman soldiers, executioners and judiciary how many have seen Christ and Judas closely enough and long enough to identify them. (Question 3) In case of swollen face with facial and body wounds will it be possible to identify one from the other especially when the interaction between soldiers, executioners and judiciary and Christ has been very short? (Question 4) Where were those people who knew Christ when the whole drama was unfolding? What were those who knew Christ (Mary Magdalene, Martha, Nicodemea, Joseph of Arimathea, John the Baptist) going through when the body was raised on to cross? (Question 5) Were they calm without any revolt and why? Does it say that Christ was safe?

Let us go back to Question 1. To make sure that person on cross after hanging for 4 to 5 hours was indeed dead a soldier was asked to pierce the heart. He repeatedly used spear to puncher the belly on the side and tear open the heart. (Question 6) Why was Joseph of Arimathea collecting blood? Was he going to use the blood later to make a death look fresh? At the back of his mind he might be thinking I need to remove the cup in case it is used to make the death in fields look fresh. The land was purchased in name of Judas using same money he threw back at Pilate as an ideal ground to dump a dead body and show as if curse hit back the fate of dead Judas. Pilate was aware of what was going to happen so he arrested Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph of Arimathea escaped and Nicodimea was free to plan a clean escape for everyone to Egypt.
Let’s look into mentality of people when this was unfolding and why they behaved this way in concert with each other. Judas joined Christ to get saved after he heard that only Christ could save him. But his suspicions were alive as long as Christ does not prove he is a Messiah. He has been observing Christ closely and discovered lots of realities of Christ. He lost his mind when he lost his faith in Christ. This happened at the time of anointing of Christ by Mary Magdalene to raise him to priesthood. The oil was expensive for which Judas did the stealing. He found a different activity unfolding besides regular anointing ceremony which totally upset him as it shattered his total faith in Christ. What had unfolded before this discovery is also very important because he was aggravated of being fooled by Christ to give in his life in service of Christ. Gospel of Judas throws light on what had transpired. Christ told Judas that he can establish Kingdom of God on earth and that would need a sacrifice. This would be an occasion when all men who died for the word of God shall rise from dead to take their respectable positions in the Kingdom of God. He pampered Judas to feel that Judas will be leading star in this unfolding of events if he makes sacrifice of his life. The idea was to kill Judas for what he had known and discovered. Christ was upset when he discovered that Judas and other apostles were talking about God and wanted to take lead ahead of him. He even laughed sarcastically for he believed that his apostles had bought his idea of Kingdom of God when he knew there was no such thing. To re-establish Christ’s dominance and keep many things under cover Judas had to go. With the arrest of Christ the whole mission to gain power and stimulate civil war in Rome had gone off-track. Now was the time for next person to take charge of events. It was none other than Christ’s maternal uncle Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene’s father Nicodimea who were out on business at the time of Christ’s arrest.
Joseph of Arimathea was very angry with Judas and he was determined that Judas still will have to pay the price for his doings by his death. Judas was not a free man after Christ was arrested. Judas was also arrested and Joseph of Arimathea followed the ploy of guilt laid down in the head of Judas by Christ one step further. It is like emotional black mailing that he is sinner and he need to sacrifice his life to be saved. He was also beaten up badly by Nicodimea and Joseph of Arimathea and his men mostly on face and upper body. He was made to think that he will go through same punishment as Christ was going through. Later Nicodimea and Joseph of Arimathea planned a swap when Nicodimea went to meet Christ. This happened. The story unfolded among people that Christ would carry cross. People who knew Christ were either far away or totally in hiding. Those who saw the man carry the cross (Mary mother of Christ, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene, Martha and others) were part of this ploy and satisfied at the back of their mind that Christ is safe. Judas totally unaware of what was unfolding after being hit on head and face thought he was going through execution. The commotion was beyond his brain could handle. It was very late while he was on cross that he realized what had happened and he said “Forgive them they do not know what they are doing”. This line stands as true for Romans as for followers of Christ. The only truth was in the heart of Judas on cross. There was no energy to revolt.
Now Joseph of Arimathea has to hurry along with Nicodimea to make the dead body disappear and Christ to reappear. The excuse was Shabat. Christ at other place was gaining consciousness and recovering. The swelling on face was subsiding after three days of rest. Nicodimea and Joseph of Arimathea were ready to hang dead Judas to the tree. But they could not do it cleanly and the body fell from the tree and split open right at the stomach.
40 days it took to run messengers to Egypt and Britain to find Christ, family and followers a safe haven. In this time the roman king came to know that Christ had escaped right under his nose. A laughable matter for public to know that could topple his government and make him a symbol of ridicule for ages to come. He kept silent and agreed with the resurrection story in public though he wanted to get his hands once again on Christ which he never got.
Let me also bring light to birth from a virgin. Mary mother of Christ had a condition called Septate Hymn where it pushes to side when forced but will not survive a delivery. It was almost not known thing at that time. Now it is commonly known to gynecologists.
As for God making the earth in 7 days Big-bang has to be explained in terms of Space-Time theory. Only one thing I would explain for now is that time was slower when Big-bang occurred and now it is many times faster.

Posted by: Anurag Nigam at April 26, 2009 12:16 PM