Is Judas misunderstood?

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SamBee
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Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by SamBee » 06 May 2018, 09:28

From another thread.

One could argue that Judas - for example -
* helped fulfil the plan, much like Adam, through what was a bad but necessary choice.
* thought that the act might stir Jesus to action against the authorities.
* thought that Jesus might free the Jews from the Romans
** Judas -> Judah -> Yehudah/Yehudi = Jew (a common name)
** Iscariot -> Sicarii (a revolutionary organization).
* may have thought Jesus' capture would incite othera to action.
* was himself conned and regretted his act, which drove him to suicide in despair.

Judas is not a cardboard cut out villain. Which funnily enough makes that aspect of the Gospel look realistic.

Pontius Pilate, a big brute of a soldier is so moved by Jesus that he tries to get him let off, because he thinks he is not a criminal, and doesn't deserve this.

The Sanhedrin think that Jesus a) undermines their God-given authority, b) is causing Jews to leave the Torah/Law, c) may be a sorcerer and d) threatens the fragile peace with the Romans, which could bring death ro their communities (which happened a few decades later).
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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dande48
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by dande48 » 06 May 2018, 10:16

Is Judas misunderstood?
Probably. Just like Jesus, or Paul, or Nephi... or Joseph Smith.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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DarkJedi
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by DarkJedi » 06 May 2018, 12:46

Yes, I do believe that Judas is misunderstood and vilified. Someone had to do it, so does it matter if it was Judas or Thomas, or even Peter? Peter did deny the Christ three times in the matter of a few hours after all. I think this is much like the fall of Adam. His fall was not a tragedy, it brought death into the world. Death is a necessary part of the plan, a plan we were all part of forming and agreed in the pre-existence (if you believe that, and even if you don't you still recognize death as inevitable). Likewise, the betrayal by Judas (or someone) was necessary to bring eternal life into being.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Roy
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by Roy » 07 May 2018, 09:22

SamBee wrote:
06 May 2018, 09:28
* thought that the act might stir Jesus to action against the authorities.
* thought that Jesus might free the Jews from the Romans
** Judas -> Judah -> Yehudah/Yehudi = Jew (a common name)
** Iscariot -> Sicarii (a revolutionary organization).
* may have thought Jesus' capture would incite othera to action.
The musical Jesus Christ Superstar seems to have taken this interpretation. Jesus appears to prophesy during the last super about one that would betray him and then sends Judas off to do the deed.

I personally believe that particular prophecy to have been inserted in retrospect.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DarkJedi
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by DarkJedi » 07 May 2018, 09:55

I believe much of what is said about Judas (which is really very little) was inserted in retrospect. It seems he is referred to as the one who betrayed Jesus before that happened at least a couple times in the scriptures. I also gather that John particularly disliked Judas and perhaps had a higher opinion of himself than deserved ("the one who Jesus loved"). I do agree that Jesus was prophesying about his betrayal and that he did indeed send Judas off to do what he needed to do. I'm also not at all sure Jesus said anything about it being netter that Judas was not born.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 May 2018, 17:30

I like the view that the ministry needed money and even broader exposure, so Judas, as the treasurer, either was told by Jesus or decided on his own that they could get a reward for Jesus' capture - knowing Jesus hadn't done anything that would jeopardize his life. No long-term damage, extra publicity, stronger hero status when released, financial stability.

Three things point to something like that:

1) Jesus knew about it. That could have been prophetic and/or visionary, but it could have been planned - and the sorrow written into the account at the Last Supper could have been inserted after-the-fact, especially if everyone was in on it - which is doubtful, given Peter's sword play at the garden;

2) Judas was the group treasurer;

3) Most convincingly, when Judas found out Jesus was going to be killed, he hung himself. That could have been conscience, but it makes more sense as horror and regret about the unanticipated outcome.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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SamBee
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by SamBee » 08 May 2018, 03:02

The suicide is what really damns Judas according to orthodox Christian theology.

In the case of 1, it could just be astute judgement.

I really do think there is something else the gospels don't tell us. But I am more convinced of the historicity of this than the native stories. The interesting thing about the gospels is beside the supernatural elements, there are some very convincing human details, which don't sound contrived to me - a lot of the disciples run off, deny they knew Jesus, sell him out etc.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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On Own Now
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by On Own Now » 08 May 2018, 07:45

For me, I find the traditional interpretation to be the most compelling from a purely literary standpoint. Jesus was betrayed by a presumably-disgruntled friend and disciple and movement leader. It's not like this kind of thing doesn't happen... "Et tu Brute?" The Bible itself kicks off with a bang with the murder of Abel by his own brother. In America there is Benedict Arnold; in Mexico, Malinche; in France, Philippe Petain. Dennis Nedry, Anakin Skywalker, Saruman. And those are just the big examples. I'm sure we are all aware of people who have thrown former friends or colleagues under the bus to get something they wanted or to avoid something they didn't want. I've observed it many times in my life.

In a larger sense, Judas' betrayal is an echo of the rejection of Jesus by his own people. The Gospel of Mark reads like a tragedy; Jesus is heaven-sent and loved by all initially, but seen as an increasing oddity and threat to the status quo and the tables turn against him. In Mark, even the two crucified thieves reviled him.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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nibbler
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by nibbler » 08 May 2018, 08:05

Is Judas misunderstood?

Sure. Aren't we all?

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dande48
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Re: Is Judas misunderstood?

Post by dande48 » 08 May 2018, 10:17

Here are a few things that don't make sense to me, in the story of Judas, which makes me think we're missing a whole lot from the story:

1. The Jews and Romans were outraged at Jesus, while not really knowing what he looked like (hence, the need for Judas to point Him out).
2. Judas shows up with a band of Jews and Roman guards, and instead of pointing Christ out, "That's Him", proceeds to kiss Christ and call him "Master". That seems a little... odd.
3. Judas obviously loved and respected Christ, enough to feel so guilty about his condemnation, that he gave back the money and hung himself.
4. If Jesus Christ really willing gave himself up to be a sacrifice for sin, why didn't he just turn himself in?
5. If Christ's death was necessary for salvation, why would've Judas felt guilty? Why didn't Jesus simply sacrifice himself in a way that didn't place grievous sins on the heads of so many people? Why does the ultimate willing sacrifice of a God look so much like wrongful murder?
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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