Rethinking Judas: Maybe He Wasn’t A Bad Guy, But Was Just Like You And Me

Rethinking Judas: Maybe He Wasn’t A Bad Guy, But Was Just Like You And Me March 14, 2017

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Growing up we learn that Judas was the disciple who betrayed Jesus, and that’s true. What is also true is that Judas, I believe, is profoundly misunderstood.

The truth is, while he did screw over Jesus, I don’t think Judas was a bad guy– I just think he made a tragic miscalculation, like we all do at times.

As I’ve said over the years, the cultural context where the story takes place matters. Jesus and the disciples were living under a violent military occupation of their country. Imagine if you will, living in an America where a foreign country functionally captured us, dethroned our government, and ruled over us by force and violence– often nailing hundreds of people to trees along the highways as a constant reminder to keep your head down and mouth shut.

That’s the context the story of Jesus takes place in.

Just as in our context one of the popular discussions of the day is, “What do we do about ISIS?” in the time of Jesus the popular discussion was, “What do we do about the Romans?”

People disagreed on how to best deal with the fact that their entire country was basically being held hostage.

Some people, like the chief priest and tax collectors, cozied up to them in order to make life more bearable (nonresistance). Some, like Jesus, taught people to engage in a subversive love (nonviolent resistance). And others– like Judas– wanted a leader who would lead them to defeat Rome, and win freedom for their people (violent resistance).

All three positions at least make intellectual sense, and I can understand why someone would adopt any of the three.

When we step away from viewing Judas as a mole planted in the tribe of Jesus, when we resist viewing him as one who plotted to get Jesus killed, we see a different person. Judas has been literally demonized, and re-humanizing him invites us into a different picture.

When I see Judas through empathetic eyes I see someone who loved his country. I’m sure he loved his people. I imagine he was filled with a righteous anger at the injustice of being occupied, and was sick and tired of walking down dusty roads and seeing his fellow Israelites dead and hanging from trees. In Judas I see someone who desperately believed that God was about to save them from their suffering, as God had promised.

And I can imagine that day by day, he grew determined to do something about it.

I also believe that Judas deeply loved Jesus and believed in him– I can’t fathom him spending so much time following Jesus and learning from him, if he did not.

But here’s where things went wrong: I believe Judas thought that ultimately, under the right conditions, Jesus would lead them to a violent resistance. In fact, I think that Judas had *actually* placed all of his faith and trust in Jesus– particularly that Jesus was the awaited one who would free them.

It was a misunderstanding that led to the worst miscalculation one can think of.

When Jesus failed to emerge as a warrior Messiah, I believe Judas tried to intervene to make it happen.

“Maybe Jesus is just waiting for the right time?” or, “Maybe we just need an unavoidable clash with the authorities?” are among questions I imagine he pondered.

He got tired. Impatient. His anger against the injustice at the hands of the Romans grew by the day. He wanted to help Jesus fulfill his destiny, but totally misunderstood what that destiny was.

And so, taking matters into his own hands, he tried to arrange the meeting he thought would be the beginning of a revolution that would lead to their freedom.

Except, the whole thing backfired. Badly.

When the disciples tried to violently resist, Jesus actually rebuked them and willingly went to his death– not at all how Judas, Peter, or I’m sure other disciples, thought the whole thing would go down.

I don’t believe for a minute that Judas intended to harm Jesus or get him killed– I believe instead, Judas was trying to “invite” Jesus to take a stand against Rome, and all those who were colluding with them.

It was never about greed or money– he returned the money when it was over, and wouldn’t have followed a homeless rabbi for three years had greed and money been high priorities for him.

Instead, Judas was a guy who believed in his friend. He placed all of his hopes in him, and the dreams for the future of his people were in him.

He wasn’t intending to betray him– he just wanted to move the story along in the direction he thought it was supposed to go in.

And when the plan failed, when he accidentally got his friend and mentor killed, he was overwhelmed with grief. So overwhelmed, that he took his own life.

I grew up seeing Judas as the evil one– the one who sat quietly in wait until he could find a way to have Jesus killed. But now, I don’t see it that way at all.

When we invite our eyes to see with empathy, I think we get a different picture of Judas– someone who actually thought he was doing the right thing, but who in doing so, accidentally harmed someone he loved.

I think it’s easy to demonize people and to write them off as one of the “bad guys.” That’s exactly what’s happened to Judas for the last 2,000 years, and I think that’s unfortunate– because I don’t think Judas was one of the bad guys.

In fact, I think Judas was a lot like you and me.

We get impatient. We think we know what God should do in a given situation. We hatch plans that, in the moment, we think are good and wise and for the best.

And sometimes, those plans don’t turn out the way we had hoped, people we love get unintentionally hurt in the process, and we find ourselves filled with grief and remorse.

In this way, Judas is not some distant, evil character… he’s just a guy like you and me; someone who accidentally hurt one of the people he loved most.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com. 

Be sure to check out his new blog, right here, and follow on Facebook:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mark Edward

    I think this view has a lot of merit, though I’m curious how you view biblical texts that do, literally, demonize Judah: one Gospel (I forget which) implies Judah’s greed by pointing out he was in charge of the group’s money, GLuke and GJohn each say the satan entered Judah, and one Gospel has Jesus saying it’d be better for his betrayer to have never been born.

    These seem to indicate the early church saw Judah in an overly villainous manner. Do you think the Gospels err at these points, or might there be a different way of understanding them that redeems Judah’s motivations?

  • >Imagine if you will, living in an America where a foreign country functionally captured us, dethroned our government, and ruled over us by force and violence–

    I don’t have to imagine it!! it’s reality and becoming more certain everyday that the entire country is systemically and politically being held hostage. Civil War is becoming more cunning, violent, overt everyday that goes by in this country in my humble opinion.

    Once to ev’ry man and nation
    Comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth and falsehood,
    For the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, some great decision,
    Off’ring each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever
    ‘Twixt that darkness and that light.

    2 Then to side with truth is noble,
    When we share her wretched crust,
    Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
    And ’tis prosperous to be just;
    Then it is the brave man chooses
    While the coward stands aside.
    Till the multitude make virtue
    Of the faith they had denied.

    3 By the light of burning martyrs,
    Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
    Toiling up new Calv’ries ever
    With the cross that turns not back;
    New occasions teach new duties,
    Ancient values test our youth;
    They must upward still and onward,
    Who would keep abreast of truth.

    4 Tho’ the cause of evil prosper,
    Yet the truth alone is strong;
    Tho’ her portion be the scaffold,
    And upon the throne be wrong;
    Yet that scaffold sways the future,
    And, behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow,
    Keeping watch above us all.

    https://youtu.be/vqmvB71kL6s

  • George Dran

    One other possibility is also presented in the Gospel stories. That being Jesus was complicit in what Judas did. The dinner words that one of them would betray him and the disciples asking ”Is it I?’ is usually portrayed as angry denials by them. Could it be their volunteering? When asked who would betray him, Jesus responds with an answer that would indicate who it was to the questioning disciple. If it were a ”betrayal”, why was there no action by the group to stop him? Why did Jesus tell him to go and do what was needed to be done unless Jesus knew and approved of the plan? On the cross also, the words of Jesus to God “Why have you forsaken me?” are taken to be a quoting of the Psam, but they could also be a legitimate question of why the kingdo had not come as envisioned.

    Yes, Judas loved Jesus deeply and followed him and his ideas. If he committed suicide, it came from that love, that he had done something that killed his friend and leader. Something he could not live with.

  • George Dran

    I think the Gospels err in presenting that. The main reason being that there was no one alive, who could read or had access to the writings, who could correct them on that point.

  • As an ex-Christian humanist on here, loving the whole post and discussion. This is why I love this channel, Corey and the people who comment here. :-)

  • Jon Dixon

    I think it is appropriate to say that Satan entered Judas to “inspire” the betrayal, much as Jesus calls out Peter as being Satan when he opposes Jesus’ mission towards the cross. Beyond that, realizing that your actions will result in the death of the Son of God (and your close friend) rather than the dispatching of the Romans as you had hoped would probably make you wish you were never born (and we see the guilt felt by Judas is so great that he cannot live with it).

    As for Judas being in charge of the money, that is one of those odd passages that are hard to completely figure out. Perhaps it suggests that Judas is more concerned with worldly things, making him more susceptible to the coming temptation?

  • Justin King

    I highly recommend reading Walter Klassen, Judas: Betrayer Or Friend of Jesus? (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2004). It is one of the most important recent studies of Judas,

  • Ama Nazra

    If you are Christian you believe that Jesus died so that we would be ‘saved’. How did this have to happen? Jesus had to die an ignominious death on the cross among other criminals, which he did. Deciding that Judas is the villain who arranged this is taking away his role in God’s very important plan for humanity. Judas may well have been frustrated in not having a Warrior Messiah, as the Jews were hoping for, but he still did what Jesus either arranged, or knew he would do .. he set up the chance for the Jews to save themselves, by standing by Jesus and having him rescued, or .. which I think would have happened anyway .. creating the opportunity for all those prophecies to be fulfilled and humanity, not just the Jews, to be set free. It took more courage to defy his friends and condemn his leader to death. IF he committed suicide, he did it twice, according to the bible, so its probably unlikely .. or I hope it is. He actually deserves our thanks, not our hatred. He is not a villain, if nothing else, we might see him as a pawn in a celestial game.

  • John Lindsay Mayger

    Perhaps a wider reading of the Bible is called for to evaluate Judas. Perhaps John 12:6 “Judas did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag, he used to take from what was put into it.” STOP reading into God’s word your morality.

  • I enjoyed your article. Empathy is the perspective taken in my book, Judas: Hero Misunderstood. If you would like a complementary copy I will gladly send you one. Let me know. http://amzn.to/2n80sjq

  • I agree. Like the two different accounts of Judas’ death. It’s important we read the whole Bible so we know the real deal. Like how Judas hung himself. Or fell over and exploded.

  • The gospels are all written in long retrospective after the events they describe and include both interpretation and theological commentary that is not just presented along with events, but interwoven into them.

    I don’t really think we can say, for example, that the gospel of John “erred” when it called Judas a thief. There’s no particular reason to think that comment was inaccurate. However, we can also take that comment for what it is – an interpretation. There’s no way the author of the gospel of John had some secret insight into Judas’ motivations. He’s trying to figure Judas out just like everyone else.

  • John

    Things we know about Judas:
    1) He was a thief throughout Jesus’s ministry. (John 12:6)
    2) Jesus called him the son of perdition, saying that his falling away from Jesus was prophesied from the Old Testament. (John 17:12)
    3) Jesus calls him a devil. (John 6:70)

    You seem to be totally reading your own purposes and feelings into the text.

  • John

    Your analysis is starkly opposed to the actual narrative given in the Bible.

  • John

    As for Judas being in charge of the money, that is one of those odd passages that are hard to completely figure out. Perhaps it suggests that Judas is more concerned with worldly things, making him more susceptible to the coming temptation?

    It’s only hard to interpret if you refuse to read it for what it says. It’s just an aside comment that gives context to Judas’s desire to not waste money. The author is telling the reader to not think that Judas actually cared about the poor, but that he was greedy and wanted some of the money for himself.

  • John Lindsay Mayger

    “The Devil entered into Judas”. He was demon possessed. But he was complicit in his own destruction. He saw the miracles, he ate the manna in the wilderness nevertheless God was not pleased with him. Have I mixed up the unbeleaving first exodus people of God with Jesus’ exodus. This is what Jesus spoke to Moses and Elijah about on the mountain

  • Brandon Roberts

    there’s a difference between evil and good/neutral people who do evil things to me a prime example of someone evil is someone like that black girl who kidnapped and tortured that white autistic guy and livestreamed it or ted bundy people who have no empathy no care who take pleasure in the suffering of others and causing pain. while a good person doing bad thing would be someone like a guy who steals to help his family or a cop who shoots a perp who’s pointing a gun at him but feel guilt and wants to make up for it to the family. judas i’m not sure

  • Tim

    Lol. Excellent point, Phil.

  • Tim

    Hmm. Fair point… perhaps. But what if these were later additions to the text by some scribe(s), or even the writer of the gospel of John who wanted to diss Judas? (Not saying they necessarily are, but it’s certainly a possibility). This sort of thing happened fairly frequently among differing copies of the texts.

    See also Phil’s response below re: the two different accounts of Judas’ death.

  • Tim

    Jesus called Peter “satan” at one point as well.

  • Bones

    Judas represents Israel/Judah…..

    Edit: or probably even Judaism….

  • Ama Nazra

    You have very right to choose to believe the devil ‘made’ him do it. Can’t blame the man, it has to be some evil entity. Would not be appropriate to look God in the face and ask ‘why did you allow the devil to possess a man so that your Son could be killed?’, if the devil possessed him, instead of just some simple emotional demand, like divine necessity (that absolute feeling that something MUST be done), or simple greed – but the money is mentioned in only two gospels, and not in the same way – so how can we be sure?

    There are four stories in the gospels, most of which don’t agree with
    each other, or are like a jigsaw puzzle of contradictory ‘facts’, of
    events that happened at least 30 years or far more, before they were
    written, and at least half were written by people who had never even met
    Jesus, before or after he died. Nor Judas, to get the exact facts.
    No, they were just ‘reporting’ what they had heard from others, directly
    or indirectly.

    And extrapolating it means there was no divine plan, just a greedy man’s actions that saw another man killed, but it wasn’t just him, it was also all the other Jewish people, when asked to save one man, as was the custom of the day .. chose Barabbas … and yet Jesus taught about the divine plan, and the necessity of his death.

    And then there were questions such as: was there a kiss, or wasn’t there? We have two stories that don’t match. We have two stories that said the devil did it, and another that doesn’t mention it. Which leads to more questions – do you honestly think that the Pharisees and Sadducee didn’t know which man was Jesus, with all those people, including them, following him about, for days, in the Temple and out of it? Why did they need someone to point Him out?

    So no, there was just an ancient evil overwhelming the will of one man, to remove the Messiah, the Son of God, not because he was part of a pre-arranged scheme, between Jesus and God (your will not mine) – and then you would have to add in that Jesus didn’t look Judas in the eye, at the last supper, and say “What you are about to do, do quickly.” (John 13:27)’ … ?

    And then we have to ask, what would have happened to all the people who
    became Christian if Judas had not turned Jesus into the Jewish Hierarchy?

    Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen, what HAD to happen, to set humanity free. He knew his life would end the way it did. He showed he knew what Judas had to do. That’s if you believe any of these stories are actually facts, with not a tinge of imagination in them, given that Judas killed himself immediately after giving back the money .. in two completely different ways .. he either hung himself or literally burst open in a field. It would have been very hard to do both at once.

    You see, I’ve just been writing an assignment for my Theology degree on the Synoptic Gospels, so I am nose deep in all the facts and figments .. loving it, even when they contradict each other. And Judas will always be a servant of God to me, after all, without him, if Jesus lived to be a ripe old age and died in anonymity, there would be no Christians now, and he would just have been a deluded old man.

  • Realist1234

    Ben I find it strange that you seem to think you know Judas much better than the Gospel writers, not to mention Jesus. And that you know his ‘true’ motivations, in contradiction to those closer to him than you.

    ‘I believe Judas thought that ultimately, under the right conditions, Jesus would lead them to a violent resistance. ‘

    – what evidence do you have of that? Having been with Him for 3 years, I would have thought it was pretty obvious He was not going to do that (‘love your enemies’ surely would have included the Romans in the disciples’ minds), and it seems all of the other disciples understood that, so why is Judas suddenly unique?

    ‘“Maybe we just need an unavoidable clash with the authorities?” are among questions I imagine he pondered.’

    – except there was no ‘clash’ when he betrayed Him.

    ‘And so, taking matters into his own hands, he tried to arrange the meeting he thought would be the beginning of a revolution that would lead to their freedom.’

    – really? By betraying Him to the Jewish authorities, that was going to be the beginning of a revolution? I see no evidence of that.

    ‘I don’t believe for a minute that Judas intended to harm Jesus or get him killed– I believe instead, Judas was trying to “invite” Jesus to take a stand against Rome,’

    – no evidence and contrary to the evidence we have.

    ‘It was never about greed or money’ – oh dear. That was clearly part of it. Otherwise he could have refused the money offered. 30 pieces of silver was alot to a poor man.

    ‘I think we get a different picture of Judas– someone who actually thought he was doing the right thing, but who in doing so, accidentally harmed someone he loved.’

    – I think he knew full well what he was doing in betraying Jesus. Which is precisely why Jesus’ own words about him were so harsh – it would have been better for him if he’d never been born. Cant get much worse than that. Or do you know better than Jesus?

    ‘I think it’s easy to demonize people and to write them off as one of the “bad guys.”

    – you seem to have done that with quite a few ‘conservative’ Christian leaders.

  • blogcom

    So THIS culture maintains a traitor is only a misunderstood individual instead of a reprehensible one.
    Has treachery now become a virtue.
    And we wonder why the west is in rapid decline.

    It would have been better for him if he hadn’t been born so said Jesus Christ.

    Not much of a crime eh.

  • Bones

    You are aware Jesus could have stopped Judas at anytime (cos like He knew what was happening being god and all)…….and Judas was part of the plan…..apparently….

  • George Dran

    We seem to ignore that over-riding fact that had Judas not done what he did, there would have been no death of Jesus on the Cross and none of the various theologies that have been developed over that.

    .

  • Jon Dixon

    However, truth be told most of the time the majority (or all) of the disciples were likely looking forward to the time when Jesus establishes his earthly kingdom and they get the money/power that comes from being his closest supporters (James and John being the others that are most obviously called out, for the others it is more implied). So Judas wanting a bit more money around is probably not unique.

    What is tricky is why the detail was included. Was it bitterness on the authors’ parts over what Judas had done. Is it simply an odd aside (like the naked person in Mark’s Good Friday drama)? Was it a warning for us to make sure we don’t object to spending money for God’s purposes under false pretenses?

  • John

    There’s a difference between looking forward to Jesus coming into power and creating wealth and glory for Israel and stealing from Jesus’s funds he’s working. To compare them makes no sense.
    Also, the reason he put it in there makes perfect sense. It’s in the context of Judas objecting to the woman pouring the expensive perfume on Jesus. A normal reader might say, “Yeah, Judas is right. He must be extremely conscientious, possibly the most kind of them all.” John wants to dispel that notion by letting the reader know that Judas was acting out of self-interest, not love of the poor. It clarifies the hidden motives of Judas.

  • Herm

    Oh, Phil, how can that be from the canonized guaranteed precise word of God? I am so let down!

  • Ben, I am starting to wonder about you. First, Revelations is not about the future, second, Israel is committing genocide against Palestine and now Judas is misunderstood. Are you looking for guest visit on CNN: Fake Bible News?

  • Artistree

    Yes, just as Judah/Judas sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver/gold but becomes ruler over the land.
    So Jesus is betrayed by the House of Judah but rises up out of the pit to be enthroned in glory.

  • Marja Erwin

    “Has treachery now become a virtue.”

    Has loyalty ever been a good guide?

    Hasn’t loyalty enabled tyranny, war, and worse – “just obeying orders.”

    Iesus was executed as a rebel. Do you think he shouldn’t have spoken out and shouldn’t have spooked the sacrificial animals?

  • Herm

    Bob, I think you make Ben’s point. Maybe, please consider this, you are learning from today’s Pharisees and teachers of the law (as clearly to a large extent was Judas) rather than the one Teacher. How would you know for certain?

    For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 5:20 (NIV2011)

  • Lynn

    I do not think Judas was a good guy. I do think Jesus forgave him, also, from the cross. I also think his suicide was a form of repentance.

    Reading through your article I am reminded of the song Strange Fruit. Talking about Black men hanging from trees to tell them to keep their head down and their mouth shut. Now we lock them in prisons sometimes for wanting to eat.

    Judas reminds me of the original beliefs of Malcolm X to be able to fight for yourself.
    When Malcolm wanted to be more like Martin Luther King Jr. his own people killed him.
    Judas seemed to want to make God’s time. So many American Christians want to try and make God’s time in Israel.

    Many of the Chief Priests or do I mean Priests were worse because they did sell their people out to maintain wealth for themselves. I think the widow’s mite story says more about the amount a wealthy person who can afford more than 10% should give, and less than how one person gave everything she had.

    Not in this article, but I also wonder who pressured the Romans to send Jesus to the cross. A day before a large crowd of regular people honored Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem on a baby donkey. I think it was the priests, scribes, pharisees and other high positioned people that sent Jesus to the cross. Tax collectors were held in a low position.

  • Lynn

    Yet Jesus let Judas continue to hold the purse even when he knew Judas was stealing from it.
    This act of Jesus shows me that Jesus has hope for all sinners and continues to believe that we can be better.

  • John

    Why is that? Based on Jesus’s words, he also knew that Judas was the prophesied betrayer, yet Jesus let him stay with him.

  • Paula Champion Jones

    Thank you. I agree completely.

  • I am sure Ben agonizes every day on what fruitcakes who can’t be bothered to know anything about the Scriptures thinks about his conformity to them.

  • I’ll leave aside the irony of you criticizing someone for having beliefs about biblical material with no evidence.

    The “Iscariot” of Judas’ name has long been thought by biblical scholars to indicate that he was one of the Sicarii. This is also presented by the Encyclopedia Brittanica’s entry on Judas. That’s where the revolutionary stuff comes from. We know this is entirely feasible because Jesus’ disciples also includes Simon the Zealot, another revolutionary. This idea is contested by some historians because some believe Josephus indicates that the Sicarii rise after Jesus’ death.

    I’m not saying I agree with Ben’s take, here, but you should probably lose the snooty attitude, because obviously you have no idea what scholarship has said about this issue.

  • Jesus called Peter Satan.

  • How does the author of the Gospel of John know the hidden motives of Judas?

  • John

    They are such different situations!

    Peter was called “Satan” when he was telling Jesus that he shouldn’t die. In that case, Peter was doing the work of Satan. He was trying to discourage Jesus from completing his work on Earth. It was a pronouncement from Jesus about what Peter had just said.

    On the other hand, Jesus called Judas “a Devil.” Not because of one thing he said or one thing he did, but because of who he was. He was the prophesied son of perdition who would betray Jesus.

  • John

    If we’re going that route, then the entirety of John is basically useless. It’s filled with theological statements that aren’t direct quotes from Jesus.

  • blogcom

    Yes good is bad- up is down etc.

    Treachery is part of the fabric of human history-personal and political- and comes in many guises- loyalty not so much.

    Your take is entirely off.

  • Realist1234

    So if people disagree with Ben’s and your views, they are ‘fruitcakes’? Now who’s being ‘snooty’?

  • Realist1234

    My point was that Judas had lived on a daily basis with Jesus for 3 years, so like the other disciples, if anyone should have understood His non-violent attitude, the direct opposite of ‘revolutionaries’, it should have been Judas. Ben is reading into the situation, something you’ve accused me of before.

  • blogcom

    Or it has to do with people ultimately deciding their own fate via free will.

  • blogcom

    Sure its all relative to a relativist- isn’t that so?

  • Exactly how was Judas learning to a large extent from the Pharisees and what did he learn that caused him to turn on his faith?

  • So, Simon the Zealot wasn’t really a zealot?

  • No, very smart people can disagree. Bob Shiloh in specific is a fruitcake.

  • Where does the Bible say Jesus called Peter Satan because of what he did, but he called Judas a devil because of who he was?

  • blogcom

    Indeed why conform to any standard of objectivity when you can just superimpose your own preferred view on anything to fit your own biases otherwise known as making up as you go along.

  • Why would that make John useless? Are all history books fiction because the authors don’t have ESP?

  • I guess if Ben were a relativist. But you’re right, there are varying degrees of fruitcakery.

  • blogcom

    The context of your comment and verse probably only makes sense to you.
    What has it to do with the price of cheese?
    In other words its nonsensical.

  • Realist1234

    I didnt say that. My point is, only Judas betrayed Jesus.

  • Well, your logic isn’t consistent. If Judas can’t be a revolutionary because he was aware of Jesus’ non-violent attitudes for three years, then Simon couldn’t be one, either. If Simon could be a Zealot and still be a disciple of Jesus, then Judas could be a Sicarii.

  • Matthew

    I don’t like fruitcake(s), but a lot of people give them out as gifts during the holidays …

  • I actually sort of like holiday fruitcake, but don’t tell anyone.

  • Herm

    Bob, Judas was sure the Messiah King was coming to free God’s chosen people from oppression as in an eye for an eye, as the Levite priests wrote was the nature of God, the vindictive God of wrath they served. It was the Pharisees and teachers of the law who carried this on to teach from their interpretive studies of scripture. Judas didn’t turn from his faith, his faith was misguided. Your faith is misguided because you follow the traditions taught by modern day Pharisees and teachers of the law, not the Spirit of truth as did Peter when led by the rock that Jesus builds His church on today.

  • Herm

    Maybe, you’re just not in the Spirit of things around here, like Eva and Bob, unlike two others who got it. It’s okay to acknowledge that you don’t know what you don’t know. Apparently cheese you know and I really don’t, sorry.

  • Herm

    Do you not understand that when the Spirit of truth is with and in you and you are immersed in the Spirit of truth the whole of objectivity is founded upon, and bound in, love of the Lord your God, your good neighbor, yourself and your enemy? In other words in everything do to all others first as you would have all others do to you, including your enemy. The last “other” is why all disciples of Christ have picked up their own cross.

    You empty judgments do not reflect that you understand.

  • Realist1234

    My point is, even if Judas’ and Simon’s backgrounds were ‘revolutionary’, it was only Judas who betrayed Jesus. Simon clearly understood Jesus (at least eventually), and there is no reason to think Judas was any different, but Judas still decided to betray Him, thus revealing his heart. Hence Jesus’ condemnation. The argument that Judas’ actions were all based on forcing Jesus into a confrontation which would then lead to a physical uprising is without foundation, particularly as the majority of Jewish people at the time had little or no interest in Jesus, as shown by the crowd’s attitude when Barabbas was released.

  • I agree that the interpretation that Judas was trying to force a revolution is just a theory. The gospel narratives don’t say that. Like I said, I’m not here to defend Ben’s take, which is thought provoking, but difficult to prove.

    But the fact is that we have in Jesus’ group of disciples at least one other person designated as a Zealot as his primary identifier. He’s “Simon the Zealot” just like “Judas Iscariot” could be “Judas the Sicariot.” So, we can’t a priori rule out the idea that Jesus had people who wanted revolutions in his group.

    It is true that Simon does not betray Jesus, but we have no indication from the text that he ever stopped being a Zealot. For example, Peter (who is not Simon the Zealot) continues to misinterpret Jesus right up to the end and, if we can believe Paul about Peter’s conduct among Gentiles, continued to do so even after becoming an apostle.

    So, if you want to object to Ben’s hypothesis on the grounds that the narrative does not present Judas’ betrayal as a prelude to revolution, that’s a fine objection, in my opinion. But to object on the grounds that Judas couldn’t have been a revolutionary or the Bible doesn’t portray him that way is much, much shakier, because if “Iscariot” means “Sicariot” (I mean, which of the other disciples get last names?) as many biblical scholars have argued, then the text actually does present him as a revolutionary and a particularly aggressive sort, moreso even than the Zealots.

    Once again, there are reasons to argue against that, too. But it’s not like Ben is just making this stuff up and “ignoring” the biblical text.

  • Marja Erwin

    Loyalty is part of the fabric too.

    It can be good or ill. If people take loyalty as an inherent good, and treachery as an inherent evil, they can do a lot of evil.

    How many people could Hitler or Stalin have killed without their loyal followers? And in Hitler’s case without a blind loyalty to the Reich and a belief that only treachery could have led to defeat in the previous war?

  • Michael Richter

    He was, after all, the first Christian ministry treasurer. Something I remind myself every time I’m elected to a new term!

  • Margaret Ann Porter

    Yes, and thank you for a compelling observation. I have always thought Judas was a tragic political character who realized his alliances had gone all wrong. Highly relevant in these times.

  • Lynn

    Hope. The people of Nineveh repented.

  • John

    Jesus knew that Judas was the prophesied son of perdition. He can’t be the son of perdition that was prophesied, and also not be the son of perdition.

  • Lynn

    What is perdition. The internet said it was to destroy. Judas destroyed Jesus I guess?

  • This is probably one of the things I find myself disagreeing with BLC over, yet I’m left thinking it over and wondering just how much of my resistance is from proper reading of scripture and how much from my own bias and position.

    I don’t think I ever agree with another theologian on everything. To do so would be unnatural and defy the odds. What I CAN do is accept that this is just an opinion of BLC that challenges us all to give it a chance to run through our head. And our heart.

    He is an unconventional thinker. So am I. Even if we disagree on matters, we’re of the same stuff. I have always despaired of fellow believers who just think as they have been trained to, and that is growing exponentially to the point of almost despising them. However, Jesus commands me not to despise or pass judgment.

  • John

    “Son of perdition” essentially means “Person who will be destroyed.” The antichrist is also called the “son of perdition.” It’s the idea of a person who is destined to destruction.

  • Considering there is no “the antichrist” in Scripture, I’m not sure you’re helping your case.

  • John

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 –

    “2 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”

    Take it to mean whatever you want, but that bolded phrase is the same one that is used to describe Judas.

  • Herm

    Phil, there might be an exception to that rule in first and second John. But that wasn’t the scripture everyone in the New Testament was studying.

  • I didn’t say that phrase wasn’t in there. You were trying to draw a meaning out for Judas by paralleling it with something said of “the antichrist.” But there is no “the antichrist” anywhere in that passage or anywhere in any passage. If you want to say this phrase indicates that Judas ranks up there with Antiochus or Nero or other tyrants who oppressed the people of God, then you might be on to something.

  • But those epistles don’t describe “the antichrist.” They describe what it means to be “antichrist” and assert that many people have fit that category.

  • RonnyTX

    We need to really look at and think on the following scripture, before we so greatly condemn Judas and or think of ourselves, as so much better than him.

    “22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”
    Acts 2:22,24

    A real good article here, about Judas.
    http://www.tentmaker.org/Dew/Dew3/D3-JudasIscariot.html#Conclusion

    And I will add, in the next life, I so look forward to getting to meet Judas and every person born, from Adam on down! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    GeorgeDran:
    We seem to ignore that over-riding fact that had Judas not done what he did, there would have been no death of Jesus on the Cross and none of the various theologies that have been developed over that.

    Ronny to GeorgeDran:
    The part I think on, is that if there had been no Judas, there would have been no death, burial and ressurection of Jesus Christ. And without that, there would be no salvation and we would all simply die some day and stay dead. So, there had to be a Judas, who betrayed Jesus; but the thing is, Jesus Christ loved Judas, just as much as he does all of the rest of us. Jesus Christ went to the cross for all of us, including Judas and there, he took all of our sins, upon himself. So, Judas is going to end up just fine, just as all of us are. :-) And I do look forward to getting to meet Judas, in the next life.

  • RonnyTX

    Bones to Blogcom:
    You are aware Jesus could have stopped Judas at anytime (cos like He knew what was happening being god and all)…….and Judas was part of the plan…..apparently….

    Ronny to Bones:
    Amen Bones, for as you say, Judas was part of the plan. God planned and saw to that. So, in the next life, Judas will be just fine- just as all of will be, from Adam on down! :-)

  • Herm

    Phil, I totally agree and for those who might read our conversation this is an example:

    Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

    1 John 2:18 (NIV2011)

    On the subject of many antichrists I believe you know why I insist so strongly that this quote from Jesus must be appended relative directly to all disciples of the Messiah today:

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

    The only reason the word sisters is not there is because in that setting Jesus was talking to the disciples before Him that were only male.

    Today anyone who insists that they are the teacher, instructor or even father for God are in the spirit of the antichrist. I have a deep disagreement with Paul in his letters because he clearly wasn’t present when Jesus talked to His disciples in Matthew 23 and seemed to have missed that the churches he served to establish were not his children but in the Spirit were children of God with only one Father, one Teacher and one Instructor. Anyone who takes away from that relationship in God is an antichrist.

    Did I just blaspheme the idolized sacredness of apostles, prophets and disciples? Am I an antichrist? Who can teach any and all of us the truth for certain?

  • Always good to read your stuff, Herm.

  • John

    Herm, your entire point consists of “I’m more spiritual than you are. So I must be right.” You’re welcome to believe that, but know that it’s entirely useless in any sort of discussion. I can just say the same thing about myself and we would be stuck in a loop.

    The simple fact is the Judas is presented as the prophesied son of perdition (or destruction). He was destined, and chosen by Jesus, to be his betrayer.

  • John

    That’s why the Bible doesn’t present it as some crazy accident or lucky coincidence, as the author of this article seems to believe. Judas is presented as the prophesied “son of perdition” by Jesus, himself. Judas’s purpose was the be the betrayer.

  • John

    Even if we were to totally accept that Judas came from an extreme and revolutionary sect, that still does nothing to show that it was his motivation for the betrayal of Jesus.

  • John

    Peter told Jesus that he shouldn’t die. Jesus then said, “get behind me Satan.” They then continued walking towards Jerusalem. Jesus’s statement is clearly in reference to the command given by Peter about Jesus not dying. It makes no sense outside of that context.

    Jesus called Judas a devil in the context of his betrayal, but before he even did the act. Judas was a devil, even outside of any specific act.

  • John 6 says Jesus called Judas a devil because he was going to betray him. Do you have any evidence that Judas was a devil outside of that context in some way that Peter was not?

  • On that we agree. But I hope we can also agree that viewing Judas as a revolutionary isn’t spurious, either.

  • Herm

    … and yours, thank you!

  • Herm

    John, it is not useless at all if it gets anyone to ask the Teacher what is truth. The truth is not in the Bible, the truth is much, much larger than the Bible.

    While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

    John 17:12 (NIV2011)

    If you read the “son of perdition” as the “one doomed to destruction” (more apropos to today’s understanding) then a picture is painted that God sacrificed Judas for the fulfillment of Scripture right from the beginning. How would you go about doing that if you were selecting disciples to walk with you for three years? Today, I would choose either you or Bob who is certain that the Messiah is coming back with the four winds to cleanse this earth once and for all.

    I wouldn’t choose an open spirit heart and mind such as Simon Barjona from whose mouth came the spirit of Satan one time and the rock (also spirit) Jesus builds His church (only spirit) on at another time.

    If having only one Teacher who is the Spirit of God is more spiritual than those who do not then I am guilty.

  • John

    Your reasoning sounds very similar to the Jehovah Witnesses when they speak about the “burning of the bosom.” You can refute their reasoning time and time again, but they fall back onto the claim that the Holy Spirit has shown them the truth of their beliefs.
    How is your position any different?
    Once you’ve thrown out the words of Jesus and the apostles who he chose to spread and teach his message (as opposed to the apostle that he chose to betray him), you’ve thrown out the way, truth, and life.

  • Herm

    Where have I thrown out anything?

    Is it not written and just as relative to all disciples of Christ today as when Jesus spoke these words?

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

    Did you do this …

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    … and Jesus reneged on this promise?

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    I can’t speak to your problems but I can testify beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Brother and Lord Jesus does not lie and has never failed to honor His promises.

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

    John 14:6-7 (NIV2011)

    Jesus is in me and I in Him so what have I thrown out?

  • John

    You’ve thrown out Jesus’s words that Judas was the prophesied “son of perdition” (or “son of destruction”) who was chosen as one of the 12, even though he was “a devil.”

    Can you also clarify how your position is different than that of a Jehovah’s Witness? The only way I’ve ever seen to convict a JW of their false beliefs is to point at the word of God and show them how they’ve strayed. Just telling them that I’m right because the Holy Spirit has personally taught me, outside of scripture, means nothing to them. They feel the same way.

  • Bones

    I love the way people are taught by the Holy Spirit and all have different interpretations of the text.

    Wtf is wrong with doing a bit of study.

  • Bones

    That’s called being led by the Holy Spirit. …

  • Bones

    Heaps of times treachery is seen as a good thing in the bible – Esau being ripped off, Rahab lying about the spies, the maids lying about baby moses to pharaoh and that’s off the top of my head.

  • Oscar Scott Oliver

    I’m not sure when I started thinking differently about Judas but I think “Jesus Christ Superstar” planted the seed. Judas believed fully that Jesus was the Messiah and would deliver Israel from Roman subjugation just like Moses. He knew the passage about the Heavenly Host coming to keep the Messiah from breaking his foot. So he decided to force God’s hand to send the Heavenly Host to save Jesus. God’s Word is truth. It literally says that. BINGO! He probably unconsciously or consciously alluded to Jesus what he was thinking. There’s another part of this story though. Satan wanted to use Peter but Jesus resisted Satan. It’s seems that people forget that God is in control and we are not, yet we still often believe what God wants done and wrest control from God to achieve God’s purposes. Never happens though!

  • Herm

    While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

    John 17:12 (NIV2011)

    While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

    John 17:12 (KJV)

    John, the exact same word as used by the disciple John “ἀπώλεια” in Greek is translated in the King James Version of the Bible as perdition 8 times, destruction 5 times, waste 2 times, damnable 1 time and pernicious 1 time. It is translated as “doomed” in the 2011 New International Version because Jesus chose Judas to be His disciple knowing that Judas viewed the Messiah the same as the Pharisees and teachers of the law, a Warrior King, the nature of King David only divinely more powerful.

    If I were Jesus preparing for the cross I would choose someone just like you to sell me out. You still expect Jesus to come down in the clouds to save you to live on earth as one of mankind forever and ever more.

    The truth is in the Spirit not the carnal. The truth is Jesus is here for the Holy Spirit came to be with Him and in Him appearing like a dove. Then was the first time the Son of Man was recognize before the world by His Father. You don’t know our Father because the Spirit of truth has not come to be with and in you.

    This you have to throw out in order to pick up your cross to be Jesus’ sibling disciple forever …

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    … and until you do you will not know the only one Teacher, one Instructor and one Father of God who are one God.

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    John, the time came 1,984 years ago and will be forever more the only way you can live eternally, as a child of God starting today for you and 22 years ago for me.

    If you don’t throw out your carnal thinking and feeling to be filled with the Spirit of truth in your spirit (God’s image) heart, soul, strength, mind you cannot hope to inherit (as a child of God) life beyond your physical animal body. You will cease to be aware and soon forgotten.

    The design of the tabernacle was the prophesy kept of Jesus’ sacrifice to release the Holy Spirit from the Holy of Holies (the curtain torn top to bottom) to all who would accept Him as their Teacher.

    I have no physical church for the temple raised in three days is spirit and is served by my High Priest forever, as is true for every child of God in heaven and on earth.

  • John

    It is translated as “doomed” in the 2011 New International Version because Jesus chose Judas to be His disciple knowing that Judas viewed the Messiah the same as the Pharisees and teachers of the law, a Warrior King, the nature of King David only divinely more powerful.

    Wait, where are you getting all that? Jesus sure didn’t say any of that, and neither does anyone else in the Bible. All Jesus said was that Judas was the one from the OT prophecy who was doomed to destruction (I’m fine using your words. They mean the exact same thing as “perdition”) and that he chose him, even though he was a devil (John 6:70). Jesus goes so far as to say that Judas was “lost,” according to scripture.

    You have to resort to making things up to justify throwing away of the words of Jesus. Jesus didn’t make excuses for Judas. He calls him what he was: a devil, chosen for the very purpose of betraying Jesus.

  • Herm

    Okay John, here’s all the references to Judas as a devil and Satan entering him. Your obsession with the son of perdition seems to be your pet gotcha’ that you judge all others by and it is not of the Spirit. Even Jesus judged no one as a Son of Man on this earth. Jesus chose Judas because of Judas’ convictions that were no different than the Scripture scholars except Judas knew to believed Jesus’ was the Messiah that he thought would be a warrior king. Dr. Corey’s considerations are far more correct of the reality of the relationship between Judas and Jesus than are you. Most of the disciples did not understand the spirit as versus the human. Read Matthew 16:33 which is included in these verses. Satan is the spirit of human concerns and as long as you are fixated on Jesus’ chosen son of perdition that is the spirit you convey.

    If you, in all humility, plead with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to protect you from evil, provide for you as Their child and to teach you all truth as you are ready do you believe They would agree to honor your request? If you do could you then trust Them to keep that spirit of human concern from becoming the stumbling block for your inheritance as a child of God today and for forevermore? What more do you need to know?

    Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

    Luke 22:1-6 (NIV2011)

    After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

    His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”

    Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

    Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”

    Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

    But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

    John 13:21-30 (NIV2011)

    Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

    John 6:70-71 (NIV2011)

    Greek Word: διάβολος
    Transliteration: diabolos
    Phonetic Pronunciation:dee-ab’-ol-os
    Root: from
    Cross Reference: TDNT – 2:72,150
    Part of Speech: adj
    Vine’s Words: Accuser, Devil, Devlish, Slandered
    English Words used in KJV:
    devil 35
    false accuser 2
    slanderer 1
    [Total Count: 38]
    from (diaballo); a traducer; specially Satan [compare (satan)] :- false accuser, devil, slanderer.
    Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

    Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

    Matthew 16:23 (NIV2011)

    When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

    They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

    “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

    Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

    Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

    Matthew 16:13-20 (NIV2011)

    “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

    John 15:26-27 (NIV2011)

    I testify to you, John, that the Advocate, from the Father, is the rock Jesus builds His church on today and forever more. The mortal Judas has long been forgiven. The immortal Satan and his angels are deposed from any authority on this earth and any judgments are Jesus’ to administer not ours. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth and that is more than good enough for me.

  • John

    Your obsession with the son of perdition

    Yes, you’re right. I am obsessed with the words of Jesus. He’s the one who used them. I will not ignore them or give excuses for them.

    Jesus chose Judas because of Judas’ convictions that were no different than the Scripture scholars except Judas knew to believed Jesus’ was the Messiah that he thought would be a warrior king.

    You keep saying this, but you have literally zero reason to believe it. Where does anything in the Bible say that Jesus chose Judas for that reason? It doesn’t. The only thing in the Bible that talks about Jesus choosing Judas is in the context of Jesus calling him a devil.

    You are filtering the words of Christ through your personal beliefs about what Jesus should have done instead of savoring the words of Christ and moulding your beliefs around them.

  • Herm

    John, obsess on these words of Jesus as quoted by John the disciple:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    I have every reason to believe as I am taught by my Teacher.

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV2011)

    I am taught to not sweat the small stuff. Jesus and I share His yoke and He does the heavy lifting. I hope you find some rest for your soul, also.

  • John

    John, obsess on these words of Jesus as quoted by John the disciple:

    Every word from Jesus is quoted by one disciple or another.

    As I said at the very beginning, you throw out the words of Jesus because they don’t fit your preconceived notions. You pick and choose the parts that you like and listen to those while ignoring anything that goes against it.

    Remember, I love and agree with every verse that you’ve quoted. I love every word of Jesus. On the other hand, you seem to only love the parts that agree with your sensibilities.

  • Herm

    This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

    John 21:24-25 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    John, you’re so close to getting why I am concerned for you as we are concerned for the disciple Judas Iscariot when you begin with, “Every word from Jesus is quoted by one disciple or another.

    If you walked arm in arm with another for three years and one of your brothers was a traitor to the cause you thought you had sacrificed so much to reach fruition how would you reflect on the character of Judas, especially after ruminating with the remaining 11 after the death of Jesus?

    Did each disciple think that son of a bitch bastard Satan lover snuck by Jesus’ divine qualifiers to become one of the elite 12 only to betray their three years of hard work all on his devious own? The truth is Jesus chose a very passionate disciple in Judas clearly knowing that Judas was doomed to die at his own hand in utter remorse just to fulfill a prophesy. Jesus knew that He was igniting the fuse that would cause Judas to blow. You don’t think that Jesus could have defused Judas if He wanted? Why didn’t any of the disciples write about that?

    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

    Matthew 5:17 (NIV2011)

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12 (NIV2011)

    Did Jesus do to Judas what Jesus would have Judas do to Him to fulfill the law and prophets?

    He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

    Luke 24:44 (NIV2011)

    John, you are nearly tearing off your cyber clothes off and passionately coming very close to judging some of us to be speaking blasphemy? Why is that?

    How many more words has Jesus shared with His disciples, his brothers and sisters in God on earth and in heaven, through the Spirit of truth in the past 1,984 years? Do you think there might just be more new awareness that Jesus has in store for the rest of eternity?

    Seriously, why this calloused obsession on that damned asshole son of perdition?

    Wouldn’t the remorseless Caiaphas be a more suitable target for your ire?

  • John

    Did each disciple think that son of a bitch bastard Satan lover snuck by Jesus’ divine qualifiers to become one of the elite 12 only to betray their three years of hard work all on his devious own?

    No, of course not. They recognized that Judas was chosen by Jesus with his specific role in mind. Hence we have the statement:

    70 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.

    Note that this statement by Jesus is right after another very interesting statement that helps us to understand it better:

    64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

    So Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, and what’s his explanation? He says that it’s because no one can come to him unless it has been granted from the Father. The logical conclusion is that Judas didn’t truly come to Jesus in faith and belief because it was not granted him from the Father.

    Jesus says that Judas did not believe, and he didn’t believe because it was not granted him from the Father. That’s Jesus’s explanation.

    Instead of listening to Jesus, you have invented your own reason. Jesus’s actual words are a stumbling block to you, a rock of offense.

  • Herm

    And it was granted Peter from the Father upon which rock Jesus’ church (spirit) is built.

    John, what does this mean to you?

    Is not Jesus speaking to you beyond 1,984 years ago?

    Truly, I do not understand your nit picking disciples then when there is so much more we can understand today as students of Jesus.

    The more you continue with your logic arguments against Dr. Corey’s article the more you paint Jesus and our Father as intentionally sacrificing an ignorant dupe named Judas Iscariot without his okay, which our Father had Jesus’ okay, to fulfill prophesy. Is that your intention?

  • John

    Did Jesus nitpick when he specifically spoke of Judas?

    I think that God, and therefore Jesus, have all power and authority to do whatever they want with their creation. Who am I to say that Jesus was wrong when he said what he said?

  • Bones

    Your problem is you think the authors actually wrote what Jesus said.

    They didn’t.

    I can see why you love the gospel of John so much with its evil caricatures of Jews and the world and it’s hatred of them.

  • Herm

    I tried to make that clear but John seems to think that testimony and witness is 100% verbatim. Next he’ll be counting the letters for the secret code?!?!?

  • Bones

    John loves quoting John.

    That dualistic worldview of me v them suits him right down to the ground.

    He loves it and gets off on it.

  • Herm

    John, since I showed you Matthew, Luke and John had different words and different pictures of the same situation I thought for certain you would see that not only was their recollection tainted by sympathetic prejudices but from each account Jesus did not say “specifically” the same thing. God did not write the accounts of Jesus in the New Testament from the eyes, hearts and minds of God.

    If there is one thing I have learned for certain from Jesus is that He leads by example. He mounts His cross before He asks me to mount mine that my enemy might live. He, in everything, does to others first as He would have others do to Him.

    You don’t love the Lord your God with all your spirit self and suggest He would cheat another after He went to the cross for you, little ole’ ignorant you. You have ultimate faith that He didn’t take advantage of the ignorance of another poor ignorant human simply to set the record straight on prophesy.

    Is this how you wrestle with God, Israel?

  • John

    None of the accounts that you presented were contradictory. I’m not sure what you were trying to prove. People can present the same situation from their own perspective. That doesn’t mean all of them are wrong.

    You say you follow Jesus’s actions? Jesus chose his apostles and told them to spread his message. Why don’t you believe them?

    You don’t love the Lord your God with all your spirit self and suggest He would cheat another after He went to the cross for you, little ole’ ignorant you. You have ultimate faith that He didn’t take advantage of the ignorance of another poor ignorant human simply to set the record straight on prophesy.

    You misunderstand me. My hope in Christ comes totally on the work that he did on the cross and in the resurrection, based on his mercy, not on any work that I’ve done. I was in the same situation as Judas, as one who doesn’t believe and deserves death. What possible arrogance could I have? All praise and glory goes to God who, through his own good will, chose to bring me to Himself. Even my faith is a gift, as the scripture says. How could I possibly get any credit for even that?

    I am taking the words of Jesus seriously instead of ignoring them because I, personally, find them disagreeable.

    You don’t actually have any reason to think those words of Jesus are wrong. Your only reason to think that is because it doesn’t jive with your, personal, opinions. That’s it.

  • Herm

    John, if you want to be a disciple of the Messiah then you do this, all of this:

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    You are arrogant, just like Judas. You are ignorant of the Spirit of truth with and in you, just like Judas. You are stuck in the same Pharisaical interpretive study of scripture as was Judas. You don’t recognize the Spirit of God in your midst.

    This is all you have to do to inherit eternal life as a child born of God with and in the same Spirit appearing as a dove, sibling of Jesus:

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    Luke 10:27 (NIV2011)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

    Matthew 5:43-46 (NIV2011)

    Did not Jesus love Judas, who had remorse for what he did, and even love Caiaphas who had no remorse for what he did? What happened between Judas and Jesus is between them and no one else, no one. Jesus didn’t say what He said to Judas for your benefit but for the benefit of the present disciples, including Judas.

    Read the end of the book of John and you will see there is much more that could have been written. Read John 16:12 to know that there is much, much more that Jesus can teach directly through the Spirit of truth. The Bible is a compilation of Man’s choosing not God’s. Only the Holy Spirit can teach you what you need to know. If you are going to argue the fate of Judas over pointing to the Advocate available to all who see Him to accept Him then you are arrogant because you think you can figure all of the Father’s will out without help just by reading the Bible.

    I am but a little child and my patience trying to bring you to Him is running low. Suffice it to say for this moment I can guarantee to you that the words you read are not specifically Jesus’ words. They are, at best, the words the author heard or the author is relaying what another witness heard. You can only hang your life on what Jesus can say to you directly, not what the Bible tells you so. The Bible is not even close to the word of God which I am boldly speaking to you right now.

  • John

    You love to pick out specific texts and ignore the rest.

    Yes, I love those verses and agree with them completely. I also love the words that I quoted before.

    The difference between us is that I love all the words of Jesus while you love some parts and ignore other parts.

  • Herm

    THEN LISTEN TO THE WORDS HE HAS FOR YOU NOT JUDAS!!!

  • John

    But I do? This discussion is about Judas, though. That’s the topic of the article.

    Why do you ignore the words about Judas?

  • Herm

    no, you don’t john, for you didn’t even read what i sent you for it should have taken you more than four minutes to digest. why do you ignore the words directed to you? what possible good is it doing you to dissect the relationship between Judas and Jesus? how many of all of the words of Jesus would you expect to love for an eternity?

    love as a word is not to love but to relate

    there are not enough words to fully relate to being with and in God as a little child

  • John

    The topic of the article is Judas. Please don’t try and dodge the relevant topic by changing it over to me.

    I would be happy to discuss other issues, but we can only do one at a time effectively.

  • Snooterpoot

    You mean opposed to the narrative as you interpret it, right?

  • John

    No, as opposed to what Jesus actually says about Judas:
    – That his position as the betrayer was prophesied
    – That he was not a believer because the Father did not grant it of him

    Nothing that the author of this article said is found anywhere.

  • Snooterpoot

    Well, again, that’s the narrative as you interpret it.

  • John

    Those are the actual words of Jesus. There isn’t even really any interpretation going on.

    The only interpretation is whether you believe Jesus’s words or not.

  • Steven Waling

    Of course, it could just be one of the many stories swimming around at that time about Jesus… some of which happened, some of which didn’t…

  • I am right with you on that position, Tim. I too feel that despair…and I find I am going beyond the not despising or passing judgement o nthose who disagree radically from me, and actually learning to love these i̶d̶i̶o̶t̶s̶ people. Yet another repentance for me :)

  • Maybe he should be the patron saint of ministry treasurers ;)

  • See Noevo

    Benjamin,

    What do you make of the verse below?

    “For the Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to
    that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better
    for that man if he had not been born.” [Mark 14:21]

  • Jessica Speck

    Has anyone here read The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed by Bart D Ehrman? It’s a whole different look at Judas’s role in fulfilling Jesus’ destiny. In this lost gospel, it says that Jesus actually sent Judas out to get the Romans and told him to kiss him when he got back, thus helping Jesus fulfill his destiny. In it, Judas is NOT a bad guy at all–rather he is the most beloved disciple entrusted with this final commandment. It’s interesting stuff. Not sure I believe it, but it’s one more fascinating theory.

  • Domonic James

    I bet that is exactly how Judas felt after it all went down…. Better if he’d had not been born. Do we really think that humanity interfeered with the plans of the Creator? Ohh people… ALLL things work for good for those that love Love (God) and act according to Loves purposes. -to the greater good

  • Brendan Hickey

    Judas is tough and worth the struggle. Here’s the real bugger: if you believe that Jesus had to die in order to redeem humanity then Judas’ actions helped to bring that about, which is to say, Judas acted in accordance with the will and plan of God, which would make his actions not sins at all. That would be a synoptic perspective. In the Johanine tradition, with Jesus obedient even unto death, I’m not sure where Judas lands.

  • Justin

    Alternate title: “Judas was a bad guy because he was just like you and me.”

  • When we concentrate on Judas, we find it easy to find fault, to demonize because that is in our nature to do. We scapegoat, we divert attention from ourselves, compare ourselves to those we feel are worse than us. I recently became aware of a story that I think expresses where we should be looking:
    “On the day of the final judgment, the day of victory when evil and the devil’s minions are finally vanquished, there is obviously great rejoicing in heaven. Everyone is singing and dancing in paradise except Jesus who is standing quietly at the gates of heaven. Someone goes and asks the Lord why he is standing there, to which Jesus replies: “I am waiting for Judas.”
    The question we should all ask ourselves is, when Jesus was dying on the cross, when we nailed him to that awful symbol of state power and corruption, and he cried out, “Father forgive them,” did he? Did the Father honor the Son’s wishes? I have never heard a satisfactory answer. Mercy is NEVER earned. It is love bestowed with no expectation of repayment. No, God’s love and mercy is great enough to overcome even Judas’ betrayal.

  • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

    No, I’m thinking that Scripture WHICH TELLS NO LIES didn’t get anything wrong about Judas the theif and betrayer of Jesus.

    Why would anyone waste their time even reading this article no matter what sort of ‘reason’ they want to put on the betrayer of Jesus?

    I would go so far as to tell the article writer they are most likely wicked at heart to dare to writs this garbage and try to spin Judas into something he isn’t/wasn’t. And whatever Judas motive was, IT WAS WRONG Nothing with justify what he did. Nothing will mitigate what he did.

  • YankeePatriot1969

    Mark 14:21: The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

  • YankeePatriot1969

    God uses evil as well as good to fulfil His purpose. That was true of Pharoh. But those who do evil are punished for it, even though God’s will is done through them.

  • Bones

    Actually the scripture says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

    So it was god who stopped pharaoh releasing the Jews which Pharaoh was then punished for……

  • Bones

    Judas was part of the Divine Plan……

    And his response shows contrition.

    Which is more than a lot of christians do today.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    ///

  • Ivan T. Errible

    But it doesn’t excuse tax breaks and housing allowances, still less national church taxes and established churches.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    That’s not possible-we exist; Judas is a character in a fairy tale.