Second Thoughts ~ Walking with Judas Part II — Betrayer

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Greetings Dear Reader,

In case you have missed it, my next work of fiction, The Judas Scroll will be out on November 5, 2021. It is the next novel in The Jesus Cycle which includes, The Foster Father of God, Magi: The Gift Bearers, and The Praetor. What I wish to do is address some of the historical background leading up to it.

This week I wish to focus on the word we so often associate with Judas. If you guessed thief, you are incorrect. That is the second most popular thought people have on the maligned apostle. The first word people associate with Judas is “betrayer”. It is listed with him in every gospel when the apostles are listed.

We need to carefully examine the word. The Greek word used in the gospels that gets translated “betrayed” is “paradidomi.” The meaning of this word is primarily:

1) To give into the hands (of another), 2) to give over into (one’s) power or use, 2a) to deliver to one something to keep, use, take care of, manage. (Thayer’s Greek Definitions, G3860)

The difficulty is one cannot translate this word without characterizing the actor. In the case of Judas, it is always characterized in the most treacherous ways. This word is also translated in the Gospels as “commended” and “entrusted”. To translate it as betray means one desires to characterize Judas as having abandoned his relationship with Jesus. As we draw closer to November, we will look at the reason why this is not true.

If we look at the other things in our historical review, we find Judas is not seen this way until the middle ages. One must determine ahead of time that the gospel writers were condemning him to translate the word as betrayed or traitor. The word paradidomi is neutral in the Greek. This means we must look for further evidence before we can condemn him with integrity.

Let us consider holding the neutral meaning of the term before we determine his guilt. Were he on trial, he could not be found guilty based on the translation of the word. I will offer other evidence pointing to his innocence of betrayal as we move along. Feel free to offer your own thoughts and questions. I promise to read and respond to them.

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn

Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, “That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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Every human story is part of the great story that leads to the Father getting everything back to Good.

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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.



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