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The Gospel of Judas and the Interpretation of Truth

I yesterday read in the Swiss Coop Consumer magazine – which is publishing besides theirs ads some contents of general interest to attract the attention of consumers – an article about the restauration of the papyrus of the Gospel of Judas (for details see the National Geographics article). In five years of a crazy detail work Florence Dabre and others have restored 66 pages of the old codex dating back to the 3th or 4th century a.d. which was about to decay. Part of it is now in the Bodmer Foundation near Geneva, where many original manuscripts are kept.

According to the canonical Gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus to the Jewish authorities, who then turned him over to the Roman authorities by whom he was crucified. This newly discovered Gospel portrays Judas as acting at Jesus’ request when he hands Jesus over to the authorities. Wikipedia says: “Like many Gnostic works, the Gospel of Judas claims to be a secret account, specifically ‘the secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot’.” And: “The Gospel of Judas describes Judas as being the favourite disciple of Jesus, just as the Gospel of Mary describes Mary as the favourite disciple, the Gospel of Thomas describes Thomas as the favourite disciple, and as the Gospel of John describes its author as the Beloved Disciple.”

This discussion reminds of the feeling of most of the jealous religious believers that their belief is the best and only right one and the others are wrong – an attitude which has to be overcome on the spiritual path. When seeing things from a synthetic point of view, you can discern what is right for you and respect what is right for the others without judging what is wrong and right. And you accept a multitude of different points of view as the many facets of the one reality.

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