Sunday, December 02, 2007
Now it all makes sense!
One of the problems I had with reading the Bible was trying to reconcile the god of the Old Testament -- that cranky old man who would not only smite your ass if you violated one of his arbitrary edicts, but the ass of the 7th son of your 7th son -- with the living embodiment of love that Jesus called God. I mean, it's no wonder that people didn't believe the Prince of Peace when he said that God is Love. They knew he was the kind of guy that would butcher innocent children for teasing a bald man. My wife says she always thought parenthood mellowed the old curmudgeon god, but I still had my doubts.
Well, I think that problem has now been solved for me. Remember a while back when the National Geographic made a big splash out of the discovery of the lost gospel of Judas Iscariot, which painted Judas in a very flattering light? April D. DeConick, a professor of Biblical studies at Rice University and the author of “The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says” says that National Geographic, in a rush to get the story out first, did a pretty crappy job of translating the lost gospel. You can read all about it here. Quoting from the NY Times article:
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 am not all that concerned with whether Judas was a saint, a sinner or a demon, but I think the Gnostics are really onto something with that Yahweh as a jealous and wrathful minor deity and not at all the God of love and forgiveness that Jesus was talking about.