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Judas Iscariot: Hero or Betrayer?

About 2,000 years after the Gospel according to Judas sowed discord among early Christians, a Swiss foundation says it is translating for the first time the controversial text named after the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus Christ. [â??Gospel of Judas back in spotlight after 20 centuriesâ? by Patrick Baert, Middle East Online, 2005-3-30]

This gospel apparently is so controversial as only to be back in the spotlight in select circles, it seems. My thanks to a friend who directed me to this story. My own subsequent online search demonstrated a paucity of mainstream news articles. Of course, subject matter and timing might preclude more coverage. Somehow drawing attention to heretical material that contradicts a Christian orthodox dogmatic rendition of supposed historical events wouldnâ??t seem appropriate to some while a pope is dying. Not politically wise, and, to be sure, John Paul II was a very political figure.

But that will not stop the pursuit of historical inquiry. Many earthly sojourners, including heretics such as myself, should be quite intrigued by information from the Dutch press, found on Dutch art dealer Michel van Rijnâ??s website.

Interestingly, while there are those Christians who rely on the literal theological significance of alleged historical events, there exist(ed) also those heretics who might not consider the actuality of these events important so much as the derived, inner symbolic truth from the rendering.

The impact, or lack thereof, will be felt around Easter, 2006 when the translated document is scheduled for full launch.

UPDATE: Michel van Rijn has kindly offered a translation based on photographs of fragments of nine pages from the Gospel of Judas on his website (scroll down his webpage). He also has added commentary with the text, which isnâ??t always carefully delineated. Nonetheless, itâ??s nice to have a preview before Spring, 2006!

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