Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Gospel according to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot part 1

Yesterday's evening discussion of "The Gospel according to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot" began with a description of the project's origins (Cardinal Martini recommended Prof Moloney to Lord Jeffrey Archer as one of his best students) and evolution (total working time of 600 hours and 11 editions).

Selection of material in the book is made according to the principle that events described in it must be possible even if they are not probable. However, everything is written from the perspective of Judas. The chronology and geography of Mark (the oldest gospel) is followed when Jesus' ministry in Capernaum gets underway and we travel to Caesarea Philippi before moving south to Jerusalem. But additional material includes the confession of Peter from Matthew 16 and the birth of Jesus from Luke.

Scriptural citations are in red and marginal notes identify either the text or the source of the paraphrase. Judas occasionally reads scripture strangely: he believes that Jesus is first born of the marriage of his father Joseph and his mother Mary. Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and of Judah and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us? (Mark 6:3) to which is appended in the glossary at the end the remark, "Judas as a Jew could only accept Jesus as the firstborn of a lawful Jewish wedlock." So Judas' reading of the text supplies Joseph as Jesus' father -- in spite of the plain sense of Mark.

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