Saturday, February 22, 2014

Judas: betrayer or victim?

Every once in a while I like to address subplots of the major religious themes I attack. By major themes I mean things such as morality, freewill, hell, Jesus, the bible, etc. Today, however, I'd like to look at Judas Iscariot and how he became a subplot of god's plan, another major theme.

Very quickly, Judas was one of Jesus' 12 apostles and as the story goes, for 30 pieces of silver he informed the arresting soldiers who Christ was so they could apprehend him before the feast (to avoid a riot). Judas kissed Jesus on the cheek as a sign to the soldiers of the high priest Caiaphas, who then turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate's soldiers. Christ was taken and tried, ultimately ending in his conviction and crucifixion.

In today's vernacular, if you were to refer to someone as a Judas, you would be indicating that person betrayed you in some hurtful fashion. But I would contend Judas didn't betray Jesus. No, I'm not saying I was there or have empirical evidence that someone else betrayed Jesus.

It's here where I'd like to refer back to god's plan. In most Christian circles, their god is omniscient, meaning he knows everything that has happened and everything that will happen. In these same Christian circles, Jesus is god incarnate, so if he were god, then he would know the events that would unfold. And finally, John 3:16 refers to god so loving the world that he gave his only begotten son, meaning he purposely put himself on earth with the plan of being crucified to fix the world's problems (problems he was responsible for I might add).

So, if god needed someone to turn him over to the Romans so that his plan could be set into motion, and Judas was the man who did that, did he in fact betray Jesus, or did he just help god with his plan? There are some reports that Judas and Jesus were thick as thieves and arranged for Judas to betray him, but that story isn't "accepted."

Also, if god already knew Judas would be the "betrayer" then that would mean we are crossing over into another major theme: freewill. Doesn't the fact that Judas' actions are predestined mean he didn't actually have freewill? This is why god's omniscience (master plan) is in direct conflict with freewill and just another reason why the idea of an omniscient being is so preposterous. And if you believe in one, then you can't have freewill, and do you really want to think that whatever you do isn't up to you? If we have freewill, and I believe we do, then we're all Judases to god's master plan, and not Judases to ourselves. Nothing is worse than betraying yourself.

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