❰Ebook❯ ➨ Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity Author Elaine Pagels – Thisbookse.co

Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity files Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, read online Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, free Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, free Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity d8669e9eb The Two Leading, Bestselling Experts On The Gnostic Gospels Weigh In On The Meaning Of The Controversial Newly Discovered Gospel Of Judas When The Gospel Of Judas Was Published By The National Geographic Society In April , It Received Extraordinary Media Attention And Was Immediately Heralded As A Major Biblical Discovery That Rocked The World Of Scholars And Laypeople Alike Elaine Pagels And Karen King Are The First To Reflect On This Newfound Text And Its Ramifications For Telling The Story Of Early Christianity In Reading Judas, The Two Celebrated Scholars Illustrate How The Newly Discovered Text Provides A Window Onto Understanding How Jesus Followers Understood His Death, Why Judas Betrayed Jesus, And Why God Allowed It Most Contemporary Readers Will Find Passages In The Ancient Gospel Of Judas Difficult To Comprehend Outside Of Its Context In The Ancient World Reading Judas Illuminates The Intellectual Assumptions Behind Jesus Teaching To Judas And Shows How Conflict Among The Disciples Was A Tool Frequently Used By Early Christian Authors To Explore Matters Of Doubt And Disagreement Presented With The Elegance, Insight, And Accessibility That Has Made Pagels And King The Leading Voices In This Field, This Is A Book For Academics And Popular Audience Both Pagels S Five Previous Books, Including The New York Times Bestseller Beyond Belief, And King S The Gospel Of Mary Of Magdala Prove That There Is A Considerable Audience Eager For This Kind Of Informed And Engaging Writing


10 thoughts on “Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity

  1. says:

    I don t think Karen L King has been good for Elaine Pagels s prose I strained thoughout to hear Pagels distinctive voice and could never quite locate it Instead the tone seems a little rushed, a little shrill almost, as opposed to Pagels s much relaxed and considered pace Second, while the arguments broached here are compelling enough they never seem to go as deep as Pagels on her own seems to go when writing without a collaborator If you want to start with a great Pagels book try The Gnostic Gospels. This is an astonishing work It looks at some of the gospels that were not made canonical by the early Catholic Church that is to say, gospels that did not make it into the New Testament because they supported a non clergy based view of Christianity These gospels were found in Upper Egypt in 1945 near a place called Nag Hammadi The Gnostics, basing their faith on these texts before they were expunged, preached an inner way to Jesus Christ that required neither priest nor institution For this reason they were branded heretics by early Church zealots Irenaeus and Tertullian, and persecuted The second book I would recommend as a possible starting point for those not familiar with Pagels s work is Adam, Eve the Serpent This volume tackles the question of why we in the West consider sex sinful today Pagels s argument is fascinating It turns out that it was St Augustine of Hippo, the 4th century theologian, who pretty much single handedly created original sin a concept, it should be emphasized, that Christians were unburdened with before his writings changed everything Augustine, you see, was quite the rake and libertine in his youth who became guilt ridden by his healthy sexuality and came to see it as a curse Both books are must reads, which you start with is up to you.


  2. says:

    The authors nicely summarize the Gospel of Judas for us Although it is a bit speculative, to us the point in the Gospel of Judas seems to be that Jesus represents the true nature of all human beings who worship the true God Their fleshly bodies are real they suffer and die but at the same time, their true nature is the spirit filled soul, which will live forever with God above But the actual content or interpretation of the Gospel of Judas is not the point of this book Whether people accept or reject what the Gospel of Judas says, it should be approached in terms of what we can learn about the historical situation of the Christians who wrote and read it their anger, their prejudices, their fears and their hopes That is, the rediscovery of this document should help us contextualize the canon by examining what got excluded, what kind of social environment caused them to be canonized or excluded, and what competing narratives or dialogues were the canon competing against I know very little about Christian theology, history, canonicity I haven t even read the Bible yet working on that I m so uninformed in this area, everything is new and shiny and interesting to me I find the questions or questionable speculations in this book engaging and thought provoking Off topic remark What really grabbed my attention though, is the apparent parallels to Joyce s Ulysses I m starting to understand why some call Ulysses theodicy The mental gymnastics performed both in Ulysses and in G.o.J to re interpret material reality and subjectivity, in order to re arrange the proper hierarchy, the proper order of things, are so strikingly similar I m starting to question some commentators who attributed Joyce s structures and symbolisms and metaphysics to Dante though Joyce did mention Dante in his letters, hmm given Joyce s Jesuit education, what if J D simply shared an older source I know the GoJ was only rediscovered in the 1970s, but other documents that debated it existed


  3. says:

    This is a fairly interesting, if rather short, analysis of a text that I ended up finding not particularly interesting.A copy of the Gospel of Judas was found a couple decades ago, but handled very badly and nearly destroyed It s only recently been restored and translated and made available to scholars The text is a relatively short work in which Jesus reveals secrets of the universe to Judas so that Judas can sacrifice himself by making the necessary betrayal It appears to be one of the many gospels that were floating around during the early days of the Church, including Nag Hammadi texts such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary Magdelene Eventually, after a great deal of infighting, some Church leaders and their chosen texts emerged triumphant, and the others were suppressed.The analysis is really a reconstruction of some of that early infighting, and is fairly interesting They don t have much material to work with, though, and so the book is relatively short The second half is taken up by the translation itself and notes on that translation I have mixed feelings on the order On one hand, reading the analysis first means that for the bulk of that analysis, we have to take the authors word for what the text says and the impression it gives They even seem somewhat dismayed by what they have to work with the tone is deeply bitter, and the second half is a mishmash of numerology and new angel names in a convoluted explanation of the origin of the universe Not having read the primary source yet, it s sometimes a little hard to follow, and it s impossible to then read the text without viewing it through the authors lens However, they re right in their dismay the original is kind of unpleasant and confusing If I d started with the text, I don t know if I would have continued.The authors are really historians than theologians, and their reading tilts very much in favor of picking apart the politics of why the author of Judas would write what he did rather than the theological implications of the work itself While I regret some of the folks who won Irenaeus sounds like a remarkably unpleasant fellow , I can t actually regret this work not making it into the canon No one s going to draw real spiritual insight from this But the brief insight it gives us into the history of the early Church is interesting enough.


  4. says:

    Another good one from Pagels, though I ve now listened through enough of these that certain chunks start to sound familiar She s doing the proper work of always situating the fragment s under consideration with the history of the early church es , with other fragments, with the various manuscripts and versions of the New Testament, but that means you hear read a lot of the same framing comparative facts and fragments as you read quite a few of these.Gospel of Judas is particularly divergent, but also deeply fascinating, especially the sections which present most of Jesus followers choosing the way of violent sacrifice, sacrificing even their family members and children, to a mistaken idea of Jesus and God Certainly a powerful image that current trends don t exactly render irrelevant.


  5. says:

    The anti war Gospel That s the message of these two scholars of early Christianity in their reading of the Gospel of Judas, of which only tattered fragments remain after a greedy dealer kept it in his freezer for years while angling for a huge sale An incredible restoration effort has salvaged a healthy amount of the original text, dating probably from the second century CE The translation provided here runs 14 very short pages, and notes various gaps of missing material of three lines, 15 lines, 18 lines, and so on, as well as an occasional untranslatable passage The two authors focus on a possible disagreement over martyrdom reflected in the fragments of this gospel Its sect may have differed from other early Christian groups over whether martyrdom was ever to be the price of faith, and whether it was unnecessarily encouraged by church fathers of the time On the most basic storyline level, this gospel presents Judas as the hero of the Passion, and shows Jesus scorning and mocking all his other disciples in favor of Judas, who was actually doing Christ s bidding.The Gospel of Judas was unveiled by the National Geographic Society in 2006, and this book was copyrighted in 2007 Those dates are significant than they may first look, because the controversy then raging at full blast over the U.S led coalition s occupation of Iraq seems to run through much of these authors analysis.That was the worst period of the Iraqi occupation, with relatively high casualties and much pain and disorder and doubt It is hard not to hear the fear and concern in the authors introduction, for example, when they write As the age of martyrdom closed with the conversion of Constantine, stories glorifying the martyrs came to dominate the history of Christian origins, providing spiritual heroes for the new imperial church The Gospel of Judas restores to us one voice of dissent, a call for religion to renounce violence as God s will and purpose for humanity Am I overreading Given all the critical comments being made at the same time about then President Bush s personal religiosity and other pop psychologizing, I don t think so Especially since similar notes recur periodically in their writing, as though one or both authors saw in this text a lesson for U.S policies and had to throw out hints for their readers to understand As it happened, happily, the casualties in Iraq were just about to experience a wonderfully rapid decline, while the political situation was slowly improving the second free general election in Iraq was just held as I was finishing reading this book.The authors passions also target the early church with a hostility and bitterness that surprised me on first reading a tone I had not encountered in previous books by co author Elaine Pagels Pagels can be critical but is never bitter So, is it from Karen King I haven t read anything else of hers, so have no idea But, to make their case for this strange gospel, they fall into the trap of making allowances for every wacky turn in the text, explaining them away as they show great sympathy for its original author and followers while excoriating early church fathers like Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons, who analyzed it and many other texts and found them essentially bizarre tangents for cults who were losing the way of Jesus, in his eyes And, I suspect, in those of most readers of the actual text here The differences from the biographies of the synoptic gospels are so vast, it seems hard for anyone to imagine this as anything but what Irenaeus recognized at the time Still, that said, it provides another window into the dynamism, ferment, drama and excitement of those first two centuries starting with the overlapping lives of Octavian Augustus and Jesus of Nazareth two polar opposite lives could hardly be imagined, which makes the eventual crossing of their legacies so fascinating This and all the manuscripts that have been discovered over the last century or so are making those times much vivid to us, and encouraging some of the most exciting scholarship going on today If this particular effort is miss than hit, well, that comes with the territory The ideas the authors present in their reading are worthy of consideration and testing against the manuscript itself I gave only two stars because of my doubts, but it is still a book worth reading for those with an interest in the ongoing discoveries of how Christianity developed from those little journeys around the hills of Galilee and Judea.


  6. says:

    Just in time for Easter, I ve finished this book about the Gospel of Judas This non canonical gospel was purportedly found in Egypt in the 1960s or 1970s Its provenance is somewhat shaky, but the only known copy of the work, in the Coptic language, has been carbon dated to around 280 of the Common Era, give or take 60 years It is believed that this is a translation of an earlier Greek work which was in existence at least in 180 C.E when the influential Christian priest, Irenaeus, spoke out against it and other writings that offered an alternative view of the circumstances and meaning of Jesus life and death.Elaine Pagels and Karen King are two respected scholars of Gnosticism, the philosophical tradition from which the Gospel of Judas springs They explain how and why the author of the work who, obviously, was not Judas Iscariot but apparently someone sympathetic to him disagreed with the branch of Christianity that came to be the accepted, canonical version, the life of Jesus as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John A major disagreement between the two factions had to do with the question of death and the afterlife The canonical view held with a bodily resurrection of the redeemed The Judas gospel affirms an immortal spirit Jesus was not reborn in the flesh and the eternal life that he offers is lived in the spirit alone.Another major difference is the view of blood sacrifice Judas has Jesus expressing scorn for animal sacrifice and for the implied human sacrifice of the Eucharist In this gospel, eternal life is won through adherence to Jesus teachings rather than through the sacrifice of his life.Judas is the hero of this gospel and the other eleven disciples are essentially clueless They don t really understand Jesus teachings or who he is or the significance of his life It is only Judas who really understands and his gospel tells how Jesus singles him out, takes him aside and teaches him the mysteries that are beyond the world In this telling Judas so called betrayal of Jesus is simply Judas following orders from Jesus.I think the main value of the Gospel of Judas as well as the other Gnostic writings that have been found over the past century is that they shed light on the conflicts of early Christianity and how it happened that the religion that we know today emerged In the beginning of this new religion, there were many different views of the events of Jesus life and of its meaning and different factions fought hard for their views over several centuries before an orthodoxy triumphed and books of the Christian Bible were set in stone so to speak All that being said, I m bound to point out that the Jesus portrayed in this gospel is not a very attractive character He is sarcastic and laughs derisively at his disciples stupidity It makes for an interesting alternative hypothesis of what Jesus the man may have been like, but, on the whole, I have to admit I prefer Luke s compassionate Jesus.


  7. says:

    I m a fan of Elaine Pagels Her approach to Biblical scholarship and unraveling historic conundrums makes sense and is easy for me to follow.I enjoyed this collaboration because of the cross references to other texts from early Christianity The background laying out some of the conflicts in the early church is thought provoking.As often happens, the original Coptic text had been damaged over the centuries The translation of it is easy to read The end notes on the translation are a valuable source of further information.


  8. says:

    This book was overall pretty interesting I guess, though, I should at least put forth some of my biases I enjoy the complications in scholarly works on early Christianity, I really enjoy some of the alternative Christianity histories, and I have an affinity toward Pagels work.That being said, I thought that Pagels section was interesting She seemed rushed at times and almost to be hitting only a surface level analysis of the text The King portion is pretty analytical in what it conveys, but if you have read The Gospel of Judas Meyer et al you may begin to feel you are having some sections of repetition My main piece of advice is do not read this if you just want the Gospel of Judas The text of the Gospel is fairly short with multiple sections missing and you can read through it in about 20 minutes if that Read this book and the Meyer book if you want the commentary to understand some of the Gnostic overtones of the text The book itself is not trying to purvey the idea that Gnosticism is correct but rather that there are multiple forms of early Christianity and this was one Gnostic thinkers way of continuing his version.


  9. says:

    This is another fine, lucid volume by these two great scholars of religion The recently discovered and translated Gospel of Judas, combined with other newly studied non canonical gospels, radically alters our understanding of the origins of Christianity Elaine Pagels and Karen K King are careful and balanced in their methodology, never claiming too much while also exploring profoundly different understandings of early church events and beliefs I have always felt, even as a child, that Judas betrayal must have been part of God s plan otherwise, the triumph of Judas as Satan s representative explodes the divine narrative that Jesus had to be crucified This gospel makes a different case, and Pagels and King do an excellent job establishing the contexts, the argumentation, and the implications.


  10. says:

    An interesting book on a fascinating subject The discovery and publication of relatively recently discovered works of early Christianity quite literally force anyone who has every thought about popular Christianity as it exists today to think again However, as the Gospel of Judas included in this edition is very often confusing and at times downright bizarre, the expository essay that accounts for the first half of this volume is extremely useful and illuminating in terms of both laying out the meaning of the Gospel in clearer terms and placing it within an historical and intellectual context Although Pagels and King are occasionally less dispassionate about their subject than one might prefer his scholars to be, this book is not the less interesting or informative for it.


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