Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shape-shifting Jesus

T-INFINITY? Shape-Shifting Jesus Described in Ancient Egyptian Text (Owen Jarus, LiveScience).
A newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, tells part of the crucifixion story of Jesus with apocryphal plot twists, some of which have never been seen before.

Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text tells of Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorized Jesus' crucifixion, having dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus. It also explains why Judas used a kiss, specifically, to betray Jesus — because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to the text — and it puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline.

The discovery of the text doesn't mean these events happened, but rather that some people living at the time appear to have believed in them, said Roelof van den Broek, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who published the translation in the book "Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem on the Life and the Passion of Christ"(Brill, 2013).

An interesting little text, presented with a refreshing lack of hype. Shape-shifting Jesus is even more fun than flying Jesus. For more shape-shifting miracles, see the Legend of the Ten Martyrs in the Hekhalot Rabbati.

(HT Steve Caruso.)