Question: What did Judas betray?
Answer: Why do you ask? Don’t you know? Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver.
That much we know well. This is the immediate and thoughtless answer, given blindly. We have surely not asked why he perpetrated the betrayal, even though this is also a very important question. The thirty pieces of silver is a very naive answer that satisfies the believers that have suffered from the brainwashing of faith since childhood. Certainly the four gospels, plenty of hymnography, and traditions justify the betrayal by having put into various passages the thirty pieces of silver. That is, Judas did it because of his hunger for money, to the point that he got so sick by it as to blur his mind and betray his divine teacher. This justification does not convince any unbiased researcher. The thirty pieces of silver are a very cheap excuse, taken from the Hebrew Old Testament, because according to the godly given law of Moses an Israelite could buy or sell a slave with thirty pieces of silver coins (shekels). The gospels and the divines took care of finding more god-inspired justifications.
1. The betrayal happened in order to fulfill pertinent prophesies of the Hebrew Old Testament. Now, what prophesies? You figure them out and check if they refer to these incidents.
2. The god Yahveh had a divine plan for the salvation of the human race from his full-of-love curse against the original forefathers. Judas and his betrayal was a part of this divine plan. (How nice! Then the Christians dare to claim the doctrine of free will!)
3. That is how the god Yahveh wanted the divine drama to be played in the theater of salvation, etc.
Our question here is set as follows. On the basis of the four canonical gospels what did Judas’ betrayal consist of? That is, what were the ingredients of the betrayal? First of all, what did Judas betray Jesus as? As a criminal, as a brigand, as a rebel, as what? We ask for an explicit and effortless answer that is implied from the expositions and all the elements that the four canonical god-inspired gospels include. We do not look for a catalog of guesses with all those “maybe this, but not that” or all various hypotheses with “this may have happened in this way, but not in that” etc. We have enjoyed too many of these guesses and hypotheses, which are provided by the inspired theologians when they reach an impasse. I can cook up as many things like these as you like myself. I repeat that we want the explicit and complete answer that is found in the four canonical gospels of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church.
To be clearer, allow me to explain what I mean. When someone betrays a fellow man, for whichever reasons, to the authorities or the secret services of a state, government, dictatorship, etc. the betrayal contains the following elements:
1. The informer betrays that person as something. As an anarchists, criminal, thief, rebel, communist, fascist, etc.
2. The informer tries to depict his image as accurately as possible. If possible he provides his photograph. His description must make it possible that the suspected person is recognized and arrested at the first opportunity.
3. If the accused person hides himself, the informer tells the authorities where he is staying, what times he goes where and all he knows about the whereabouts of this wanted person so that they can wait for him and arrest him.
4. The informer betrays the secret plans, fuzzy goals, subversive intensions, etc. of the wanted person.
5. The informer says whatever he knows about how the other person thinks, acts, works, recruits others, etc.
6. (You can probably find more elements of this kind that apply here.)
Such an answer that contains any of the above elements does not exist in the gospels. As far as I know, there is no theological or historical answer either. On the contrary, the gospels provide too many elements that categorically overturn the need of any of the above pieces of information. Jesus was with the people and the Jewish authorities every day. He had no secrets. In other words this betrayal was totally unnecessary to the Jews or to the Romans. Everybody knew him well and could find him very easily. He taught and preached without secrets. Every day he was quarreling with the priests, the scribes, the Pharisees and the merchants in the temple. He taught everywhere and wrought miracles and wonders. The first three gospels, the synoptics, state that when the Jewish authorities with the priests were about to arrest Jesus he felt strangely and protested that “well, every day I was with you teaching in the Temple and you did not spread your arms on me to arrest me, and now you have come with sticks and knives to arrest me as a thief in the middle of the night…” John’s gospel tells us that Jesus said to the Jewish authorities “I have always spoken openly and in secret I have said nothing…” Mark is also conveying the two funny and inconsequent lines of the episode of the naked youth that jumped out in the darkness of the night… It is very curious what a naked young man wanted that time of the night by endangering himself with the priests and 100 Roman spear-bearers. Matthew, who is considered more factual, says nothing about the composition of Judas’ betrayal. So, four wrote about it, two of whom (Matthew and John) were from the twelve and therefore eye witnesses, and still they were not enough or able to give us these pieces of information that a natural, sincere and effortless exposition of the events of such a case demands. That is, as what did Judas betray Jesus? As a thief, as a blasphemer, as a rebel, as what? Very strange things indeed, for in Judas’ case, as portrayed in the gospels, the betrayal is sudden, catastrophic and without any known and concrete motive.
So we repeat our question: On the basis of the four canonical gospels what did Judas betray Jesus as and what did his betrayal consist of? We await a clear answer… from the servants of the Judeo-Christian disastrous Religion. We will be greatly indebted if we receive a satisfactory one.
Along with this very important question, the next basic and serious questions on various pertinent topics arise:
1. Why a destitute group of Galilean beggars found a Jew, from the other part of the country, and appointed him to be the treasurer of their company and hold the moneybox? (Their Lord’s orders were not to keep any money on them and not to think about tomorrow; only to get the necessary food and lodging of the day, as offered to them.)
2. In contradiction, let us assume for a moment that this group of pauper servants of the invalid and the miserable people needed someone to manage their bursar affairs. Then, why did they find a stranger from a distant side of the country? Did not the whole of Galilee have an accountant? Matthew as a tax collector publican would have been the most appropriate one.
3. Why did Jesus accept Judas into his ranks?
4. Why such a petty sum of thirty pieces of silver was enough to make him perpetrate such a betrayal against his so benevolent, holy and miracle-worker teacher?
5. What better thing did he think that he would achieve with his betrayal?
6. Why the other eleven disciples did not arrest him as soon as Jesus openly and explicitly revealed him during the Last Supper.
7. Why was Judas necessary to identify, by kissing, a very well known man, whose frequent places were known to anyone?
8. Why they did not bring him to the trial as a witness, even by force, but instead they brought false witnesses?
9. For what reason did he repent? Just because of remorse of conscience?
10. Why was his repentance manifested by the useless act of suicide, by hanging himself according to Matthew? According to Luke, in the book of Acts, the end of Judas occurred by a totally different way. How is it possible to have such a glaring contradiction between Matthew and Luke? What is the meaning of this inspired contradiction?
11. Why instead of suicide, didn’t he try to do whatever was possible to him to even desperately save his teacher in those ultimate moments?
12. Finally for what reason did Judas Betray his Lord? Because of the waste of the expensive perfume in Bethany; because of the thirty pieces of silver; because of both; because he went crazy; because Satan entered him; to make the Old Testament scriptures turn true; to play the predestined role in Yahveh’s theater of salvation; because of what reason anyway?
It seems most likely that various unknown authors among whom are the authors of the gospels got involved into a myth making to purposely verify the so-called prophesies or they wrote reflections of other stories and myths. Therefore they had to improvise in order to make up the shape and form of Judas that would serve their fairy-tales, which in turn they push unto the illiterate, miserable and naïve mobs.
However, none of these simple objections, here put in the form of questions for any objective scholar, is allowed to enter the divine drama of the gospels. The gospel-narrations demand the sudden emergence of a very strong shock together with a tragic arousal of sentimentality. In no way do they allow any room for logic, rationalism and the deductive method of cause and effect.
We await answers to these basic questions… from the servants of the Christian scourge. We will feel indebted if we ever receive them.
With the opportunity of all the above questions let us pose a few more for which we seek answers based again on and proven by references from the four canonical gospels and the Christian history.
1. Who finally condemned Jesus? That is, who pronounced and announced the final guilty verdict? Is there any clear answer in the god-inspired gospels?
* The Jewish court council, Sanhedrin, consisted of 71 members?
* Herod Antipas?
* The mob?
* All of the above?
* None of the above?
* Someone else?
* Finally who?
2. What was the formal reason, on account of which Jesus was condemned to ultimate punishment by the manner of the awful Roman crucifixion? What was his crime that deserved such a capital punishment? What did the secretary (-ies) of the court, that issued this awful guilty verdict and sentence to death, write down in the official minutes? Because:
* He called himself Son of God (Yahveh)?
* He did not keep the Law of Moses?
* He blasphemed God (Yahveh) by calling himself his son and other stuff like that?
* He resurrected Lazarus? (Please note, that Lazarus’ resurrection is exposed only in the gospel according to John. Matthew and Peter, even though they were eyewitnesses did not consider it that important as to refer to it. Does this say something to anyone of you?)
* He lied by claiming that he could demolish and erect anew the temple of Solomon within three days, by hands or without hands, or by divine powers that he only possessed?
* He violently expelled the merchants from the temple?
* He very frequently quarreled with the high Priests, the Scribes and Pharisees and launched at them uninhibited tirades?
* He was envied and hated by the Jewish leaders for many reasons?
* His polemics against Herod Antipas, the tetrarch king of Galilee?
* He turned against the Roman authority
* He pushed the people to pay or not to pay taxes to the Romans?
* He named himself king of Israel or king of the Jews?
* He did not respect Caesar?
* What was the reason from all the above reasons and maybe more not listed here, anyway?
3. Who arrested Jesus?
* The Jews with their own police force?
* The Romans with a cohort of soldiers?
* The mob with sticks and knives?
* The Gentiles?
* All together?
* Some of the above?
4. Who crucified Jesus?
* The Jews?
* The Romans?
* The Gentiles?
* All together?
* Some of the above?
5. In how many ways does the Gospel according to Mark end, in the manuscripts and codices that have reached us since the year 325 C.E.? Why are there five or six such different ways? What has happened with the godly inspiration? Why the originals of the Gospels (referred back to 185 C.E. by the bishop of Lyon Irenaeus) have vanished from the face of earth?
Anybody able to answer these questions, or objections if he or she likes, clearly and precisely along with the substantiating elements of his or her answers, is kindly requested to publish them all worldwide. He or she will perpetrate an immense benefaction not just to us (the writer and those who agree with him), but also to the whole wretched humanity and civilization. We thank him or her from this moment.
Ioannis, Neoklis Philadelphos, Markos Roussos
Doctor, Professor of Mathematics
B.S. 1977, National and Kapodistrian University of Greece
M.S. 1982, Ph.D. 1986, University of Minnesota
Fighter for Atheism.
By Prof. Ioannis Roussos