Judas Iscariot....Evil or necessary evil?


#1

We had a discussion about this once at a meeting at the young Catholic adult group I am in and am perplexed by it somewhat . Was Judas betraying Jesus a complete betrayal of God and thus he is complete evil, or was he in fact part of God’s plan and thus Judas was only carrying put what God had willed? It is pretty clear Jesus knew what was happening and even in the garden while asking God to pass this cup from him, yet the Father wills it and Jesus accepts. How are we to interpret this? In one way of thinking Judas had free will and abandoned faith in Jesus; yet on another Jesus had known this was what would happen, and thus so did the Father, and the Father wills It, so couldn’t one argue that Judas was in fact necessary for God’s plan of salvation to be obtained?


#2

Think of it this way: would you say that Jesus would have been thwarted in his will to give up his life for our salvation, if Judas hadn’t betrayed him?

If the answer is “yes”… then we’ve got a lot of theology to review, 'cause you’d be saying that God is at the mercy of human whim.

If the answer is “no”, then you’ve already answered your question: that would mean that Judas wasn’t ‘necessary’. If Judas hadn’t done it, then the Jewish leaders would’ve found another way to get to Jesus.

So, it comes down to the free will decision made by Judas to betray Jesus. Not necessary, but just part of the story.


#3

I see what you mean. And I may sound way off left field here; but what If, like God chose Mary before birth that she would conceive of his Son; what if before birth God also chose Judas to fulfill his plan of atoning humanity’s sin once and for all by being the cause that ultimately leads to the atonement. Not in entirety but maybe also the Jewish high priests were as well? I know what I am saying sounds like blasphemy but it actually is a logical question when you think critically… am I wrong? As God willed Mary to carry out his plan of salvation to give birth to Christ; who is to say in the opposite way, the people we view as the villains in the Bible were also chosen before they were conceived to carry out God’s ultimate plan. One argument for the High Priest is in John 11…

One of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, told them, “You don’t know anything! You don’t see that it is better for you that one man die for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed.” He didn’t say this on his own. As high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would soon die for the nation— and not only for the nation. Jesus would also die so that God’s children scattered everywhere would be gathered together as one. From that day on they plotted to kill him.
John 11:49‭-‬53

So it’s saying Caiphas had already known beforehand. Last I checked being a high priest doesn’t make you a prophet?


#4

I think it is important to remember that God is outside of time. He isn’t sitting in Heaven thinking “well… only 20 more years til that Judas guy is born.” Everything is happening in the NOW for God.


#5

Judas being ‘secretely good’ is traditional ‘left hand path’ Luciferianism (which is ultimately taken form the dualistic mind of Judaism. ie: the serpent in the garden being good, cain being good, etc).

I realize the arguments about Judas, but lets just say the best evidence is this. Judas would have been a Saint but was never declared a Saint. Not in ANY Sect or Church. That should be all the evidence we need on this matter. Also commiting suicide is important to factor in on the discussion and you’ll see it doesnt add up.


#6

I looked into this and what I found, was that in one of the four gospels it states that Judas did it for Satan, look it up.


#7

Jesus had to die, but He didn’t necessarily have to be betrayed: Judas wasn’t essential to setting Jesus’s death in motion. The fact that Jesus’s arrest came about as a result of Judas’s betrayal was because Judas chose to get involved, not because God will it. He was fully culpable for the sin he committed.


#8

Right. That God brings good out of evil (and knows in advance both the evil and the good that will occur) does not mean that the evil doers don’t act freely and from evil motive.

From what we’re told, Judas betrayed Jesus for money, perhaps having been disappointed that Jesus was not a conquering messianic king.

Likewise, Caiaphas’ statement about one man dying for the sake of the nation was a bit of political calculation that the Gospel writer saw in retrospect as a sort of prophecy given to him in his role as High Priest. He wasn’t acknowledging Jesus as savior, but as a scapegoat to improve relations with the Romans.

They did evil. That it played into God’s greater plan does not alter their evil intentions and culpability. Satan’s temptations also play into God’s greater plan to make saints, but that doesn’t make the Evil One good.


#9

It’s an interesting idea (and it’s been proposed before, by various groups throughout the past two millennia), but it doesn’t really hold up to reason. God did ask Mary (through the angel Gabriel) “will you bear Jesus?”… but there’s no evidence that God asked Judas “will you betray Jesus?”.

Now… God did allow Judas to betray Jesus (just as He allows humans to make any free will choice to sin). That doesn’t mean that God willed it, or condoned it, or requested it (or even that He bears responsibility for it!)…

who is to say in the opposite way, the people we view as the villains in the Bible were also chosen before they were conceived to carry out God’s ultimate plan.

God foreknows everything that everyone will ever do. That doesn’t mean that God wills all of humanity’s actions… just that He allows them.

So it’s saying Caiphas had already known beforehand.

No, that’s not the implication. Let’s look at the quote in the RSV-CE, since it’s closer to the original Greek text:

“He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation.”

To get a good sense of what’s being said here, we need to understand Greek verbs a bit. In the Greek of the Bible (“Koine Greek”), verb tenses worked a bit differently than they do in English. In English, tenses tend only to reflect the time of the action, but in Greek, that’s only part of what they do. Now, the verb “prophesied” in the sentence you refer is in the “aorist” tense. It generally speaks of something that happened in the past, and is a simple (not continuous) act.

So, here, it doesn’t mean “since he was the high priest, he prophesied on a regular basis, and here was one of his prophecies.” (Neither does it imply that he had any special or previous knowledge.) It merely means that, on this one occasion, through divine inspiration, he said something that was to come true in the near future.

In other words, it doesn’t mean that God acted through him in order to make Jesus’ death happen, or that God gave him a choice (“Umm… as high priest, would you please murder my son?”). Rather, he happened to say one thing that, later on, Christians would look back at and say, “dang! he was right and didn’t even know it!”

But, over and above all that, the prophetic part was something he hadn’t even intended or was aware that he had said. Caiaphas only meant to say, “how about if we kill one guy so that the Jews are saved from the Romans?” … but it was God’s intent that his statement be true on a far more intense level: “how about if we kill one guy so that all people are saved from sin?”

Last I checked being a high priest doesn’t make you a prophet?

You’re right – it doesn’t. However, God used him to make one statement that was not only true in the sense that he intended it, but also true in a wider, more far-reaching salvific sense.


#10

Hi, Jas!

…it is somewhat a conundrum… but we do have a few hints…

It is prophesied that Jesus had to be betrayed by one of His Own–there’s no escaping this fact, less we want to make void the Word of God and the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit!

It could not be just a number in the crowd–Scriptures are specific… the betrayer had to be within Jesus’ inner circle.

Jesus elects Twelve because there are Twelve Offices (the Twelve Tribes of Israel) that must be represented; yet, Jesus introduction of Judas is ‘the son of perdition.’ Further, when the issue of loyalty to Jesus arises, Jesus places the attention on His Election of the Twelve and then counters that one of them is a devil.

As far as I can understand the issue of Judas, he was predestined (elected) by God to serve as Christ’s betrayer; the task could not fall upon Simon or upon John or any of the rest since even before their election Judas was the son of perdition–had anyone else conspired or beaten Judas to the “coins,” then the Word of God would have failed as there would have been two (not one) sons of perdition.

I know that I’m basically alone on this… yet, I think that God’s Mercy holds Judas as a singularity: he had to remain ignorant of Jesus’ True Entity in order to bring about the cause that would place Jesus on the Path to His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. It is because of this singular task that his understanding had to veiled and, because of his “diminished capacity,” God’s Mercy would accept Judas’ final act as an act of Repentance and Reconciliation.

Maran atha!

Angel


#11

Hi, Jas!

…that’s why I call Judas’ issue a singularity (similar to that of the Virgin–an event that has to take place, regardless of how we may feel about it or if we fail to understand God’s Design).

However, Caiaphas is a different subject… Scriptures tells us that he was being used to prophesy about Jesus’ death but not that he understood the implication of God’s Salvific Plan:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but may have life everlasting. 16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him.

(St. John 3:14-17)
Caiaphas’s concern was religious “power;” not man’s eternal Security (Salvation).

Maran atha!

Angel

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#12

Hi, Jas!

…that’s why I hold Judas’ issue as a singular event (similar to that of the Virgin–an event that has to take place in order for God’s Salvific Plan to Unfold).

However, Caiaphas’ situation is different–though it is true that Scriptures attest that he was used to prophesy Jesus’ Death, it does not mean that he actually knew the depth of God’s Revelation:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but may have life everlasting. 16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him.

(St. John 3:14-17)
Caiaphas’ concerns were not about man’s Salvation but about religious “power.” He analyzed the situation from that perspective–to his understanding, Jesus’ Teaching would cause religious confrontations which could lead to Roman military intervention.

Maran atha!

Angel

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#13

Hi!

…do you mean that a commentary, referenced in a Bible, is making such assertions or that that particular Bible version makes such assertions?

Maran atha!

Angel


#14

Hi!

…yet, by your definition Jesus did not have to have become Incarnate through the Virgin–He could well have appeared as an orphaned infant or as a grown man… but, if we remain loyal to Scriptures we must agree that the events had to Unfold as they did because God Himself Determined it.

Maran atha!

Angel


closed #15

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