Jeffrey Archer is taking aim at the traditional understanding of Judas Iscariot. He has co-written a book which paints Judas as someone who wanted Jesus to overthrow the politcal power of the Romans.
He believes that Judas was someone who misunderstood what Jesus was trying to achieve on earth. “Unquestionably he wanted the Messiah to ride into Jerusalem in front of a triumphant army and defeat the Romans. But that was never Christ’s purpose as he kept telling his disciples.When he arrives on a donkey, that for Judas is the proof that he isn’t the Messiah.”
His book, The Gospel According to Judas, will be released in March this year and will challenge the idea that Judas betrayed Jesus simply for the 30 pieces of silver he was payed.
Archer says that the book has come out of his own interest in the character of Judas. “I’m a life-long Church of England Christian, but in more recent years I’ve been puzzled about Judas and wanted to find out more about whether the traditional version is the correct one. Of course, the right wing of the church and evangelicals will say you must never tinker with the gospels. But I think you have got to reassess.”
So is he trying to re-write history or is there some validity to his writings?
My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.
This morning we took another look at Judas to discover what we do and don’t know about this man who seems to be so central to the gospel story. If you’d like to hear what we discussed and come to your own conclusions you can click here.
Pauline emailed me at work yesterday to say there was a box at home for me. It was a parcel that had been sent from New York. Why would someone send me something from New York?
I didn’t know if it was a big or small box, heavy or light. All I knew was that there was a parcel waiting for me and it could have been something wonderful or it could have been somewhat of a let down.
Pauline’s email arrived in the morning and I wasn’t going to be getting home until the afternoon. The suspense was killing me.
I suppose I could have asked Pauline to open it for me but then I’d miss the surprise of opening it for myself. On the other hand if it wasn’t anything exciting it would have put me out of my misery.
Finally I made it home. I wandered into the house and looked for the box. It was a reasonable size. Not too big. Not too small. Whoever packed it had done a good job with the packing tape so I grabbed my trusty pocket knife to slice through the tape and open the box.
Inside were two books. That’s when it clicked. I’d noticed an offer on a website a month or so back. They were offering a couple of free books and were saying that they were surprised at how few people had taken up the offer. I gave them my details and then forgot about it.
The box was remarkably large for the size of the books but I guess that added to the surprise.
I don’t often have parcels turning up on my doorstep but I love it when they do. What about you? Do you enjoy letting your mind racing through the possibilities? Do you wonder if it’s a prize or if some kind person has sent you a gift?