This section will discuss the disciples seeing the temple in a vision. They discuss what they saw, with each other. I’ll also be discussing Jesus offering an allegorical interpretation of the vision of the temple that the disciples see. This section will be REALLY long. Jesus’ interpretation of the disciples gets kinda windy/lengthy. But enjoy!
At this point in the text, the disciples have seen a vision/dream of the temple. They describe it as such by saying, “We’ve seen a great house with a huge altar in it. And there were 12 men, they were priests, we would say. And a name. But we kept waiting.” Here the passage suggests that the disciples had a vision of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, or less likely, that they’ve gone to visit the temple. When they report what they’ve seen, because they make references to “we.” The name they couldn’t figure out is supposed be the name of Jesus, throughout the Gospel of Judas it states “your name” & “my name.” In the context of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, the reference to “a name” could also be understood to refer to the ineffable name of God (Yahwah. Or the Tetragrammaton.). And here the text seems to inadvertently to repeat “to the altar,” a case of dittography a mistaken repetition of a letter, word, or phrase by a copyist.
Jesus said, “What are the priests like?” Jesus refers explicitly to what the disciples have seen. In the New Testament gospels, the accounts of Jesus & the disciples visiting the temple is in Matthew 21:12-17, 24:1-25, 46; Mark 11:15-19, 13:1-37; Luke 19:45-48, 21:5-38; & John 2:13-22. The disciples say, “Some 2 weeks; some sacrifice their own children, others their wives, in praise & humility with each other. Some sleep with men (pretty sure they’re talking about homosexuality, but it’s unclear.); some involved in slaughter; some commit a multitude of sins & deeds of lawlessness. And the men who stand before the altar invoke your name. In all the deeds of their deficiency, the sacrifices are brought to completion.” On the polemical description of leaders of the emerging Orthodox Church in the allegorical interpretation of the vision of the temp,e given by Jesus in Gospel of Judas 39-40. “Deficiency” (from the Coptic šōōt) is a technical word in Sethian & other texts for the lack of divine light & knowledge that can be traced to the fall of the Mother (usually Sophia, the Wisdom of God. I’ll be getting into that in another series on forbodden books of the bible! It’s super juicy & I’ll do that series next!) & the subsequent loss of Enlightenment. For example, the Letter of Peter to Philip 3-4 (Codex Tchacos), 135 (Nag Hammadi Codex VIII).
Here comes the LONG part. Get ready!
Jesus says to the disciples, “Why are you troubled? I say to you, all the priests who stand before that altar invoke my name. Again I say to you, my name has been written on this, if the generation of the stars through the human generations. They’ve planted trees without fruit, in my name, in a shameful manner.” There are multiple references to planting trees without fruit, in Jesus’ name. The same image of trees bearing fruit or nor being found is in the Revelation of Adam 76, 85 & the Gospel of Judas 43. Also check out Mark 21:18-19 & Mark 11:12-14.
Jesus said to the disciples, “Those you’ve seen receiving the offerings at the altar – that is who you are. That is, the gods you serve, & you are those 12 men you’ve seen. The cattle you’ve seen brought for sacrifice are the many people you’ve led astray before that altar. Will stand & make use of my name in this way. Generations of the pious will remain loyal to him. After him another man will stand there from the fornicators, & another will stand there from the slayers of children. Another from those who sleep with men, & those who abstain, & the rest of the people of pollution & lawlessness & error. Those who say, ‘Look,God has received your sacrifice from the hands of a priest,’ a minister of error. But it is the Lord, the Lord of the Universe, who commands, ‘On the last day, they will be put to shame’.” The interpretation of what the disciples had seen at the temple as a metaphor for erroneous religious instruction in the emerging Orthodox Church. The priests are the disciples. Perhaps their successors in the church, & the animals led to the slaughter are the victims of wrong religious observance in the church. On the slayer of children: the passage here suggests that the leaders of the emerging Orthodox Church are immoral in their own selfs & are endangering the lives of the children of God & leading them into spiritual death. Ergo the cattle being led to slaughter. On the sleeping with men: the accusation of sexual impropriety is a standard of saying about one’s enemies, especially those of a religious/spiritual leaning. One’s opposition is usually said to be immoral people. And at the end of time, the leaders of the emerging Orthodox Church will be punished for their acts of impiety.
Jesus then said to the disciples, “Stop sacrificing that which you have over the altar, since they are over your stars & your angels. And have already come to their conclusion there. So let them be ensnared before you, & let them go. A baker cannot feed all creation under heaven.” Jesus implys here that the leaders of the emerging Orthodox Church are strong but their time is coming to an end. On the baker, this statement may be an ancient proverb about setting reasonable goals for what people can achieve. In this case, readers of the Gospel of Judas who face the opposition of the emerging Orthodox Church. The statement may also be a critique of the Eucharist as it was celebrated in the emerging Orthodox Church.
Jesus then said to the disciples, “Stop struggling with me. Each of you has their own star. Everybody who, or which, has come sprung from a tree of this aeon for a time. But he has come to water God’s paradise, & the generation that will last, because he will not defile the walk of life of that generation, but for all eternity.” Okay, bear with me on this one. I love the show ‘Ancient Aliens’ on the History Channel. Huge fan! So it comes full circle for me after I read this & then watched a few episodes of us coming/going to the stars. The teaching in this passage & elsewhere in the Gospel of Judas that each person has a star seems to reflect Plato’s presentation in his Timaeus. After a statement by the creator of the world, it’s said that the creator “assigned each soul to a star” & declared that “the person who lived well during his appointed time was to return & dwell in his native star. ALIENS! On the star of Judas, check out the Gospel of Judas 57. The reference to a tree may indicate one of the trees in paradise. The trees of the Garden of Eden are frequently talked about in gnostic texts. The tree of the knowledge (Greek, gnosis) of good & evil is often thought to be the source of the knowledge of God. And there’s also a theory that the serpent was like Prometheus. Wanting humans to have the knowledge of God.