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Was Judas a Real Person

 
 
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 09:27 am
The story about Judas has been used over the centuries to persecute Jews. Moreover, I think there is a real question whether such a person lived and, if so, whether he actually betrayed Jesus.

I am very interested in getting your views and information on this.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 3,436 • Replies: 20
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Luzy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 09:40 am
@Advocate,
well ii dont really think that person exist i believe lucifer who betrayed god but it depends on you religion
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 11:32 am
I think we can well ask whether anyone in the Bible actually existed or whether their stories were literature. (Ducking the brickbats from those committed to defending Christianity who may or may not be true believers.)

When I was a young sprout, somewhere between 10 and 12, I told my mother that it is easier to believe in Satan than in Jesus. That did not sit well with her! But evil and misfortune seem to dominate the world, not goodness and the miraculous.

When I watched Connections written and narrated by James Burke so many years ago, I immediately thought a great sci-fi novel could be based on the failure of Jesus' mission with what became Christianity remaining an obscure Jewish sect. Whether it would have continued in the Middle East or followed Mary Magdalene to France or Joseph of Arimathea to England is another story.

Kim Stanley Robinson's novel Years of Rice and Salt posits a world in which Christianity does not exist because the Black Death wiped out 90% of the Europeans. While I think he had an interesting premise, I don't think he developed the plot as well as he could have.

But, to return to the question, the historicity of Judas. Doesn't every leader have a betrayer, either actual or potential? Isn't there someone who can be bought within every circle? Isn't there always the leader and his opposite disciple? The relationship of Elijah Mohammed and Malcolm X comes to mind immediately.
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Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 11:42 am
Luzy and POM, thanks for your thoughtful replies. As I recall, mention of a Judas betrayor is contained in the Book of Matthew, which is full of myths and parables. Also, Jews at that time did not have surnames, which brings into question his alleged name, Judas Iscariot.
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saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 12:00 pm
It was around 30% of the Europeans who died of the Black Death not 90%

There are several explanations of why Judas betrayed Jesus. A common explanation is that Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16). One of Judas's main weaknesses seemed to be money (John 12:4-6).
Another possible reason is that Judas expected Jesus to overthrow Roman rule of Israel. In this view, Judas is a disillusioned disciple betraying Jesus not so much because he loved money, but because he loved his country and thought Jesus had failed it. According to Luke 22:3-6 and John 13:27, Satan entered into him and called him to do it.

The Gospels suggests that Jesus both foresaw (John 6:64, Matthew 26:25) and allowed Judas's betrayal (John 13:27-28)[29]. An explanation is that Jesus allowed the betrayal because it would allow God's plan to be fulfilled In April 2006, a Coptic papyrus manuscript titled the Gospel of Judas dating back to 200 AD, was translated into modern language, suggests that Jesus may have asked Judas to betray him, although some scholars question the translation.
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 12:24 pm
@Advocate,
why do you care what others think? The bible (any of them) is not a reportage, but seems intended to be more of a metaphor for people how to live their life.

However you interpret the stories there is your own philosophy. How I interpret is that I see it as a comic book.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 01:45 pm
@saab,
Robinson wrote alternate history.
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talk72000
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 02:13 pm
I think all religious texts were part entertainment and oral history with a grain of truth. Most people were illiterate in those days. Why in 1957 it was reported that most of the world's population (0ver 50%) were still illiterate. In countries all over the world there are plays during which are usually religious or harvest related these stories are accompanied with music to not only be read but seen and enjoyed. The Bible is reported to have musical symbols to indicate that it was also a play as in many other cultures.
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Advocate
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 02:49 pm
I pretty much share the views of all who have posted. I have chatted about this issue with a number of well-educated friends, and it floors me that every one of them is certain that Judas lived and that he betrayed Jesus. One said that the part of the bible covering Judas was written in 90 AD, when some cognizant people were still alive. I wonder whether their information was given under oath, and whether they were subject to cross examination. (The last sentence is, of course, a joke.)
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 11:28 pm
@Advocate,
Stories told as the truth after 90 - 100 years and then written down are often seen as not historical when it comes to the bible.
Stories told at the same lenght of time within a family are seen as historical.
If I would write something here which my greatgrandfather had told my grandfather and he again my father you would believe me. The story might have changed a little over the generations - made more fun, more dramatic, but you would never denei that my greatgrandfather lived.
The same would be for people who lived and are historical during Jesu time.
The story was told over 2-3 generations and then written down.
For some people the Bible is nothing but fairytales so it is much easier to say it is not historical, simply because they don´t want them to be.
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 09:31 am
@saab,
saab wrote:

Stories told as the truth after 90 - 100 years and then written down are often seen as not historical when it comes to the bible.
Stories told at the same lenght of time within a family are seen as historical.
If I would write something here which my greatgrandfather had told my grandfather and he again my father you would believe me. The story might have changed a little over the generations - made more fun, more dramatic, but you would never denei that my greatgrandfather lived.
The same would be for people who lived and are historical during Jesu time.
The story was told over 2-3 generations and then written down.
For some people the Bible is nothing but fairytales so it is much easier to say it is not historical, simply because they don´t want them to be.


It is a matter of biology that your great grandfather lived. But this, of course, is not true with respect to an unrelated person, such as the alleged informant, Judas.

The best theory, I think, is that the Jews and Christians were competing for adherents, and the story about Judas was written as a cheap shot against the Jews.
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 12:52 pm
I don't think I would be so harsh as to say Judas was a cheap shot against the Jews but I do think that there is the leader/opponent thing coming into play . . . the first two parts of a syllogism if you will.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 03:18 am
@Advocate,
You accepted my theory about my greatgrandfather, but say that Judas was an alleged person.
I told it to show that 90-100 years is not that long for a story.
If Judas´story was written as a cheap shot as you said and he never existed and never betrayed Jesus, Jesus probably never would have been crucified either.
Paul visited Rom year 63 which is about 30 years after Jesus died - one generation only and at that time there would have been enough people to proove the Judas had lived or not. So it would have been more difficult to make up a story than 60-70 years later.
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 12:14 pm
@saab,
I don't see your logic when you say that Jesus would probably not have been killed were there no such person name Judas. There could have been other informants, such as the lenders Jesus drove from the temple. Or, perhaps, he was detected by the Romans themselves. There are endless possibilities.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 01:22 pm
@Advocate,
It is a theoogica question why just Judas was the inoformant.
If you deny Judas as historial person would you also deny another informant as a historical person?
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 01:32 pm
@saab,
saab wrote:

It is a theoogica question why just Judas was the inoformant.
If you deny Judas as historial person would you also deny another informant as a historical person?


Possibly! There was no history at that time. There were oral stories, so-called recollections, parables, etc. Importantly, there was no way to test and verify such stories at that time. At that time, no one would be liable for slander or libel.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 04:59 am
@Advocate,
I think you underestimate the story tellers from times when people could not read or write. If you think stories were told as a short kind of joke you are wrong. The stories were told over and over again with the same words and often long and complicated.
There were storytellers, knowing many stories by heart. The brothers Grimm collected many stories that were told.
There were people who could tell the history of the clan over centuries. Of course they told the story as seen from their side of the fence, but so do modern journalists too.
Then there were men who could tell the ancestors of the family back several generations. I can do that with 8 generations and had I not learned it by reading about them I would probably know even more just by listening to a person.
Norway and the Faroe Islands have songs - a special name wnich I cannot remember - with around 200 or more verses. The singer knows them by heart and not just one song.
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 09:07 am
@saab,
saab wrote:

I think you underestimate the story tellers from times when people could not read or write. If you think stories were told as a short kind of joke you are wrong. The stories were told over and over again with the same words and often long and complicated.
There were storytellers, knowing many stories by heart. The brothers Grimm collected many stories that were told.
There were people who could tell the history of the clan over centuries. Of course they told the story as seen from their side of the fence, but so do modern journalists too.
Then there were men who could tell the ancestors of the family back several generations. I can do that with 8 generations and had I not learned it by reading about them I would probably know even more just by listening to a person.
Norway and the Faroe Islands have songs - a special name wnich I cannot remember - with around 200 or more verses. The singer knows them by heart and not just one song.


Assuming arguendo that there was such a person, there apparently is no known corroboration that he betrayed Jesus to the Romans. (A journalist would not write something as fact without corroboration.) I have never heard it said that there were any witnesses to the alleged dirty deed, or that there were any hearings held on the veracity of the story.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 01:51 am
@Advocate,
There were witnesses, Jesus said" One of you will betray me" - that makes 12 witnesses.
Then Judas came with the Roman soldiers - agains witnesses.
The NT was told and later written down by Jews, living, thinking in a Jewish tradition and culture.
Saying this is all was made up means you think the Jews in those days made up a story about Jesus. The people were not Christians at that time , but Jewsish.
To deney the historical people of those days is saying the Jews were lieing and that is rather anti semetic.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 03:04 am
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:
The story about Judas has been used over the centuries to persecute Jews.
Moreover, I think there is a real question whether such a person lived and, if so, whether he actually betrayed Jesus.

I am very interested in getting your views and information on this.
According to Christian history,
Jesus was born to take upon himself expiation of all sin, by his suffering
(in addition to giving some metaphysical advice while he was on-the-job).
Therefore, Judas facilitated this goal, which antedated Jesus' birth.

I deem it significant that for the first few centuries of Christianity,
most of the followers of Jesus considered themselves to be a variety of Jews.

Note that something that did NOT happen
is that Jesus did not say:
"hay guys, u know the Jews gave me a hard time, so don 't be Jews any more"
the same way that Barry Goldwater did not say:
"hay guys, u know the Americans did not elect me President,
so let 's not be Americans any more."





David
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