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> Judas Iscariot, What do you think of him?
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Elspeth 
Posted: 12-Jan-2004, 09:28 AM
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I am writing a drama for our church's Maundy Thursday service, focusing on Judas Iscariot.

So, I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts, opinions, insight or research they would like to share on the Bible's most recognizable villain - after Satan, of course.



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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 12-Jan-2004, 03:41 PM
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well, he seems quite normal to me, compared to todays standarts (even after antique ones... look at the Celtic population of Britain who adopted Roman Ways very fast!)

and satan is no villain, everything good needs a nemesis. So if you say god is the personification of good, you'll need a nemesis i.e. a personification of bad.


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Shadows 
Posted: 12-Jan-2004, 05:17 PM
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Seems to me he was just a greedy man who had his own agenda, nothing special there, we have lots of those today!! wink.gif

As for satan, I don't believe in hell so I guess that makes him a non-being also.

Good and evil yes they exist but not in the personified characters created by those of religious furvor.


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MDF3530 
  Posted: 12-Jan-2004, 05:26 PM
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I think that Judas is a lot like George W. Bush. Judas betrayed his constituents, humanity, for thirty pieces of silver. Bush is betraying his constituents, the voters, for Big Oil and Big Business (and probably, through a dummy corporation, making a fortune off the stock options).


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andylucy 
Posted: 13-Jan-2004, 04:55 AM
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I see Judas as a good example of what happens when one loses faith, for whatever reason.

I think that a neat angle to explore would be the inner conflict that Judas had to be experiencing. This inner conflict is what led him to end his own life in the end. The inner struggle with the evil spirit which led him to seek out the Sanhedrin and offer to deliver Jesus to them. The inner conflict between the devoted disciple and the foretold traitor.

Maybe a recreation of the Upper Room, with a running narrative commentary of what was going on in Judas' mind the whole time?

Just a couple of suggestions. Good idea for a project! Good luck!!

Just my tuppence.

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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 13-Jan-2004, 09:56 AM
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hehe, well what I said above about Satan & God being personifications goes for the bible.. being a non-believer I wouldn't put any over the other...

I think trying to save your own skin is quite a strong motive for betrayal I think...
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andylucy 
Posted: 13-Jan-2004, 12:52 PM
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QUOTE (Aon_Daonna @ Jan 13 2004, 08:56 AM)
I think trying to save your own skin is quite a strong motive for betrayal I think...

But Judas didn't betray Jesus to "save his own skin." He betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin for monetary reward. And, he could have done it secretly, instead, he showed up with the guards and id'd Jesus with a kiss (the original Judas kiss wink.gif ).

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being a non-believer I wouldn't put any over the other...


Being as this is for a church service during Holy Week, I think that we can let the Bible account be the guide for this one. laugh.gif

Just my tuppence.

Andy
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Elspeth 
Posted: 13-Jan-2004, 01:15 PM
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QUOTE (andylucy @ Jan 13 2004, 12:52 PM)
But Judas didn't betray Jesus to "save his own skin." He betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin for monetary reward. And, he could have done it secretly, instead, he showed up with the guards and id'd Jesus with a kiss (the original Judas kiss wink.gif ).


Actually this opens up some interesting points.

The gospels are not of one accord in telling the story of Judas. Mark, percieved to be the first, doesn't mention money at all. Matthew is the first to speak of the 30 pieces of silver. By the time we get to John, Judas is now a theif who steals from their meager coffers.

So, motive is really open to several possibilities. All human. All ones we are capable of ourselves. And that is the angle I am exploring.

There is the school of thought that Judas, being the only disciple from Judah, the others being from Galilee, was a zealot in that he was looking for Jesus to fulfill an earthly kingdom, as was many of the followers. Followers who left once Jesus made it clear that was not his intent. Judas, however, stayed.

Did he feel betrayed by Christ when he didn't follow what Judas thought was the right plan? Did he feel the stings of rebuke when Jesus chastized him for complaing when the woman anointed him with costly perfume? Or did he see the way the wind was blowing? Jesus wasn't going to set up this earthly kindgom. He wasn't going to get to be the rich treasurer. Jesus was heading for a fall and he didn't want to go down with him.

So, did he make the deal to save his own skin? The money more a token to seal the pact? I discovered the 30 pieces of silver was actually a paltry sum. Certianly not enough to retire on, and definately not enough to sell out his Lord.

And it appears it must be believed Judas did at first see Jesus as Lord. He was chosen to be a disciple. He was sent out with the others and had his share in the teaching, miracles, etc.

So, it seems the most logical course to follow is to look upon Judas as disillusioned. Disillusioned enough to take a course that three years ago would have been reprehensible.

That is the mystery of Judas. How did he get to that point? A point anyone of us could get to. For even those who do not believe in God or Jesus, are capable of selling out on their fundamental principles.

And here is a question I stumbled across - why the kiss? Why did Jesus need to be identified? Afterall wasn't the problem in the first place that He had become too popular? So, what is the deep significance of the kiss?

And one last interesting point. Judas repented of what he did. He went back to the Chief Priests and tried to give the money back, but they wouldn't take it. He then committed suicide. Why did he go to the Chief Priests for absolution? Why not to Jesus? Or pray to God, or even go to the disciples? No, he went back to the ones he made the deal with. Interesting.......

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Roisin-Teagan 
Posted: 13-Jan-2004, 03:01 PM
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QUOTE
And one last interesting point. Judas repented of what he did. He went back to the Chief Priests and tried to give the money back, but they wouldn't take it. He then committed suicide. Why did he go to the Chief Priests for absolution? Why not to Jesus? Or pray to God, or even go to the disciples? No, he went back to the ones he made the deal with. Interesting.......
by Elspeth.

Now I'm going to speak as a Christian who believes the Gospels to be factual, historical accounts of Jesus' life...

Elspeth, Judas did not repent...He was sorrowful or grieved by his actions, but he was not repentative. Let's look at Peter...He denied the Lord three times, which is just as grievious as betraying him. The difference is that Peter was sorrowful and repented of his actions, while Judas killed himself, because he couldn't find any relief for his grief. He tried to make it right through his own actions by going to the priests and trying to give back the 30 pieces of silver, but never truly repented. If he did, I think he would have went back to the other 11 disciples. Another point I would like to make is---just because Judas was with Jesus for three years during His ministry doesn't mean he was a true believer. Remember Jesus said, "Many in that day will say, Lord, Lord..." and...they will say on Judgement Day "Didn't we cast demons out in your name, didn't we heal the sick in your name, but the Lord will say depart from Me I never knew you." (paraphrased)
I lean toward the theory that Judas was a zealot but contend that he also had his own agenda and selfish motives. Judas never believed that Jesus was the Son of God, but most likely thought of Him as a revolutionary.

Just my three pence worth...
Roisin
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 13-Jan-2004, 08:20 PM
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On the gospels as factual.. why do we need 4 (and more) of them then?

Anyway, Jesus - the historical figure - did cause alot of trouble for the (then) roman authorities. Anybody seen in the close circle around him would have been in danger themselves. So Judas saving his own skin is I think a valid point.
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oldraven 
Posted: 13-Jan-2004, 09:46 PM
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I think Judas was a man who loved Jesus. He was one of his best friends, before the betrayal. He also loved his people, and was terrified for them. Christ was gaining momentum daily, and the Roman gov. was becoming extremely aware of the threat he posed. I think Judas may have been so afraid that the Romans would come down on Jesus, and all who aligned themselves with him, that he felt a need to stop him. I really can't believe that one of Christs' closest deciples, and one who was an example to many, would be truly swayed by greed. I think it was fear. I think he went to identify him because he may have felt Christ deserved to know who betrayed him. He obviously knew what he did was wrong, after the fact. You don't hang yourself when you think you're justified. He knew he had done wrong, and he knew who Christ was.

And yes, he was a pawn. God needed him to betray Christ, just as Jesus needed him to. It was expected of him.

But perhaps I'm just to big a fan of Jesus Christ Superstar. tongue.gif



A note to the comment of Satan and hell. For some reason people think Satan is simply the landlord of the lake of fire. He's not. He betrayed God long before Adam ate the apple. He is jelous of being second best, and tried to overthrow God, and ended up taking a fair chunk of Gods' angels with him. He is a villain. He's not an anti-God, because that would indicate an equality to them. Satan is more an equal to Christ. He was an Angel who turned against his Lord.


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andylucy 
Posted: 14-Jan-2004, 01:00 AM
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As far as possible motivations for Judas' betrayal, I have read several:

1. Of course, the money. Not a huge sum, no, but kings have been assasinated for much less.

2. Judas was a zealot, who grew disenchanted with Jesus' insistence of a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly one.

3. Judas was "predestined" to betray Christ, and had no choice in the manner.

4. Judas had his feelings hurt by the rebuke Christ administered to him after he complained about the waste when Mary Magdalene annointed Christ's feet.

5. Judas was "possessed" by Satan, and lost the ability to know right from wrong.

6. Judas was scared to be associated with Jesus, because He was causing great unrest among the Sanhedrin.

But the Gospels do not spell out the motivation for the betrayal. I feel this to be important. The actual pivotal moment came when Judas took the Eucharist unworthily. It says in John 13:27: "As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him." It was Judas' loss of faith, coupled with sacrilege by taking the Eucharist unworthily, that is the pivotal issue in understanding his actions.

None of the aforementioned reasons (with the possible exception of #3) would have been sufficient, IMHO, to cause Judas to betray his Lord had his faith in His divinity been secure. Of course, that is a lesson for all of us, at one time or another, as we all suffer through those times of blackness of the soul, and a feeling of seperation from the Father's loving kindness.

And I tend to agree with Roisin. I do not feel that Judas repented for his deeds. He felt regret, yes, but never actually repented. Had he actually repented, he would have returned to confess and receive absolution from any one of the Apostles, as they were given the power to bind or loose the sins of this earth. He then succumbed to his despair, committing suicide, and condemning his soul to hell. I do not feel that Judas was an unbeliever all along. I believe, and it is no more than a gut feeling, that Judas grew disenchanted over a period of time, having started out as a believer. His zealot ways came back to him. He made the choice to give in to his loss of faith. He refused to fight it. And that is the difference. All of the disciples fought with doubt (note Thomas wink.gif ), but they did not succumb to the despair that comes from that loss of faith.

By the way, I agree with you, oldraven, in most of your assessment of Satan. I do not think he is, in reality, equal to Christ, as Christ, in a trinitarian way, is God. However, I do think that he is (to paraphrase an old KGB phrase) the "main enemy." biggrin.gif He isn't just the "landlord from hell."

Anyhow, just my tuppence.

Andy
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 14-Jan-2004, 09:44 AM
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well... that is all very script-orientated.. I was actually thinking elspeth looked for a personal/psychological reason to betray Jesus.

If it is all script related I won't argue because I'm not overly sure on certain points and I don't have my bible here to check it up
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Elspeth 
Posted: 14-Jan-2004, 10:07 AM
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No, Mirri don't go away. I am looking for all points.

And I happen to agree with you on the self preservation motive. We sin all the time in order to save our own butts. We call it society.

I think Judas' motive was much more complex than most want to think. It is easy to dismiss him as a zealot or a thief or a devil. What is hard is to see him as ourselves, because then we have to admit we could have done the exact same thing. And do the exact same thing is a smaller scale. Sin is a betrayal of the covenant between God and man.

I think his motivations were a combination of many things that lead to disillusion. And disillusion open the door to a path he wouldn't have taken three years earlier when Jesus chose him as a disciple.

In a hurry, gotta run, hope this is coherent.

Question: How many have betrayed a friend?
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 14-Jan-2004, 04:30 PM
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don't worry I don't bugger off too fast.. (btw andy, never replied in that god said thread because I wrote a good post, posted and it never came up.. I'm still trying to recollect what I was saying there)..

I don't know, just saying "oh, that guy was possessed by the devil" or "oh, this was predestined to happen" makes it too easy. human relationships are a very complicated thing, the self-preservation motive is a strong but may be not the only motive.
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