“It (the Judas Gospel) may shock some people, but to me it just adds to the Sethian corpus,” Turner said.
He summarized some of the basic beliefs of the Sethians in this way: According the book of Genesis, the first man, Adam, had two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain killed Abel, and he and his descendants were marked for that crime. But two passages (Genesis 4:25 and 5:3) state that Adam had a third son “in his own likeness,” who was named Seth. The Sethians believed that while the material world was created by an ignorant, angry and jealous god, Adam himself had a spark of divinity that came from the true God, the Father who exists in the realm of pure spirit.
“Adam is actually smarter and more perceptive than the creator being,” Turner said. The god of this world attempts to deprive Adam and Eve of their immortality, driving them from the Garden of Eden after they eat from the tree of knowledge. But Seth inherits the spark of divinity and a soul that returns to the spiritual realm after death.
Seth is also called the Allogenes, meaning “of a different seed or race,” a term that also was applied to Jesus. “Revealers from the divine world appear from time to time, culminating with the heavenly Seth appearing in the guise of Jesus,” Turner explained.
In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus imparts esoteric teachings to Judas that he does not reveal to the other disciples. In fact, Jesus laughs at the other disciples because they pray to the false god of this world rather than worshipping the true eternal Father, whom Jesus identifies as a “great invisible spirit.”
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS is placed in its Sethian Gnostic context by Professor John Turner in the Lincoln Journal Star. Excerpt: