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The Gospel Of Judas: Its Protagonist, Its Composition, And Its Community

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Chapter Summary

In the Gospel of Judas, the Gnostic Jesus is not the Jesus of the canonical Gospels, nor does Judas act according to a plan of salvation. A plan of salvation requiring the death of Jesus goes entirely against Gnostic thought. Hence Jesus is not dependent on Judas to be freed from his mortal coil, nor does Judas do Jesus a favor in assisting him on Jesus' request. In order to make the relationship between the text and its implied audience more transparent, this chapter provides a closer look at the structural arrangement of the composition, which will reveal a transmission history that reflects community's place in religious environment of the second century. By reasoning backwards from what the text expresses to its function in the community that used it, the chapter determines the specific role the figure of Judas plays in the unfolding account from a different - i.e. the community's - perspective.

Keywords: Gnostic thought; Gospel of Judas; Jesus; religious environment; salvation



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