In The Divine Comedy, author Dante Alighieri illustrates Inferno, his interpretation of Hell, which is divided into nine distinct circles, each designated for a particular severity of sinner. Within the ninth and innermost circle resides Satan, forever trapped inside a mountain of ice, perpetually beating his wings and eternally devouring the body and soul of Judas the Iscariot. This special treatment is reserved for the man who exchanged Jesus Christ for some pocket-change, the man who Dante describes as the greatest betrayer in history.
[...] Jesus feeds a group of people and eventually they dissipate to live their separate lives; yet these are considered in Christian doctrinal education to be some of the greatest miracles Jesus performs. The only ultimate goal that can be fully assumed is that God, through allowing this miracle to be performed, is attempting to convince the subjects of the miracle of his existence and power. However, this goal may only be inferred, because in the sensation of the miracle the only reality that isn't lost in the sparkle is that thousands of people will not go hungry for one night. [...]
[...] Donald Senior, president of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, explained to the Washington Post on April "At one level, the Gospels already see the betrayal as a mysterious part of God's plan." The gospel of John 13:25- 27 depicts Jesus not only identifying Judas as the person who will betray him, but also saying “What you are about to do, do quickly.” That is direct evidence from the New Testament that Jesus not only was aware of the imminent betrayal by Judas, but also made him aware of his knowledge and told him to go through with it. [...]
[...] In all four aforementioned New Testament gospels, there is an instance where Judas, a disciple of Jesus, betrays him. This action leads directly to the death of Jesus. Judas is damned to hell forever for his action while Jesus is left to reign supreme in heaven. However, perhaps there was more to the story than these New Testament gospels and Christian doctrine allow to be seen. Perhaps, it is as simple as the Religious News Service reports on April 4th, 2006: “every great story deserves a great villain.” There is a utilitarian method of measuring the moral worth of an action based on a ratio of resulting pleasure and resulting pain: Hedonic calculus. [...]
[...] It may be that Christian officials simply chose to portray Judas as a betrayer because his actions were not morally universalizable, as so many fundamental Christian ideals must inherently be; it may be that Christianity denied the teleogical interpretation of Judas' betrayal, opting for a deontological interpretation and the easy way out, rather than explaining the convoluted truth. While no account can be historically verified, this only furthers the argument that all ideas must be taken into account. If there is no more historicity inherent in either side of Christian texts than both hold weight and need to be accounted for and receive support. [...]
[...] Herbert Krosney, author of The New Gospel, explained in an ABC News interview on April that this new ancient text describes Judas as favored disciple of Christ who Jesus asked to betray him.” Antithetically to traditional biblical scripture, The Gospel of Judas paints a portrait of Judas as possibly the greatest scapegoat in both religious and secular history. The April issue of The Irish Times states that the Gospel of Judas “describes conversations between Jesus and Judas during the week before Passover, in which Jesus tells Judas ‘secrets no other person has ever seen.'” The Gospel further claims Judas to be Jesus' only real friend, the only disciple who actually understood the teachings of Jesus. [...]
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