About Me

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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Jesus Christ Describes the Universe to Judas

For some reason, Biblical scholars are only interested in the idea that the newly discovered "Gospel of Judas" claims that Judas' betrayal of Christ was a sort of higher calling.

We love self-determination, we're really a culture about Fate. Manifest Destiny. "I did it because God told me." "I was always meant for this." It's like Abraham and Isaac, except no one stops Judas from killing the thing he loves most.

BUT... there is some really fantastically WEIRD stuff in this recent apocrypha. I actually think it's all amazingly batshit brilliant. It's like Revelations meets the Open Center.

To wit:



Jesus said, "[Come], that I may teach you about [secrets] no person [has] ever seen. For there exists a great and boundless realm, whose extent no generation of angels has seen, [in which] there is [a] great invisible [Spirit], which no eye of an angel has ever seen, no thought of the heart has ever comprehended, and it was never called by any name.

"And a luminous cloud appeared there. He said, ‘Let an angel come into being as my attendant.’

"A great angel, the enlightened divine Self-Generated, emerged from the cloud. Because of him, four other angels came into being from another cloud, and they became attendants for the angelic Self-Generated.

The Self-Generated said, [48] ‘Let […] come into being […],’ and it came into being […]. And he [created] the first luminary to reign over him.

He said, ‘Let angels come into being to serve [him],’ and myriads without number came into being. He said, ‘[Let] an enlightened aeon come into being,’ and he came into being. He created the second luminary [to] reign over him, together with myriads of angels without number, to offer service.

That is how he created the rest of the enlightened aeons. He made them reign over them, and he created for them myriads of angels without number, to assist them.


"Adamas was in the first luminous cloud that no angel has ever seen among all those called ‘God.’ He [49] […] that […] the image […] and after the likeness of [this] angel. He made the incorruptible [generation] of Seth appear […] the twelve […] the twenty- four […]. He made seventy-two luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit. The seventy-two luminaries themselves made three hundred sixty luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit, that their number should be five for each. "The twelve aeons of the twelve luminaries constitute their father, with six heavens for each aeon, so that there are seventy-two heavens for the seventy-two luminaries, and for each [50] [of them five] firmaments, [for a total of] three hundred sixty [firmaments …]. They were given authority and a [great] host of angels [without number], for glory and adoration, [and after that also] virgin spirits, for glory and [adoration] of all the aeons and the heavens and their firmaments.


"The multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos— that is, perdition—by the Father and the seventy-two luminaries who are with the Self-Generated and his seventy- two aeons. In him the first human appeared with his incorruptible powers. And the aeon that appeared with his generation, the aeon in whom are the cloud of knowledge and the angel, is called [51] El. […] aeon […] after that […] said, ‘Let twelve angels come into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld].’ And look, from the cloud there appeared an [angel] whose face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with blood. His name was Nebro, which means ‘rebel’; others call him Yaldabaoth. Another angel, Saklas, also came from the cloud. So Nebro created six angels—as well as Saklas—to be assistants, and these produced twelve angels in the heavens, with each one receiving a portion in the heavens.


"The twelve rulers spoke with the twelve angels: ‘Let each of you [52] […] and let them […] generation [—one line lost—] angels’:

The first is [S]eth, who is called Christ.
The [second] is Harmathoth, who is […].
The [third] is Galila.
The fourth is Yobel.

These are the five who ruled over the underworld, and first of all over chaos.


"Then Saklas said to his angels, ‘Let us create a human being after the likeness and after the image.’ They fashioned Adam and his wife Eve, who is called, in the cloud, Zoe. For by this name all the generations seek the man, and each of them calls the woman by these names. Now, Sakla did not [53] com[mand …] except […] the gene[rations …] this […]. And the [ruler] said to Adam, ‘You shall live long, with your children.’"


Judas said to Jesus, "[What] is the long duration of time that the human being will live?" Jesus said, "Why are you wondering about this, that Adam, with his generation, has lived his span of life in the place where he has received his kingdom, with longevity with his ruler?" Judas said to Jesus, "Does the human spirit die?" Jesus said, "This is why God ordered Michael to give the spirits of people to them as a loan, so that they might offer service, but the Great One ordered Gabriel to grant spirits to the great generation with no ruler over it—that is, the spirit and the soul. Therefore, the [rest] of the souls [54] [—one line missing—].


"[…] light [—nearly two lines missing—] around […] let […] spirit [that is] within you dwell in this [flesh] among the generations of angels. But God caused knowledge to be [given] to Adam and those with him, so that the kings of chaos and the underworld might not lord it over them." Judas said to Jesus, "So what will those generations do?" Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, for all of them the stars bring matters to completion. When Saklas completes the span of time assigned for him, their first star will appear with the generations, and they will finish what they said they would do. Then they will fornicate in my name and slay their children [55] and they will […] and [—about six and a half lines missing—] my name, and he will […] your star over the [thir]teenth aeon."

After that Jesus [laughed]. [Judas said], "Master, [why are you laughing at us]?"

[Jesus] answered [and said], "I am not laughing [at you] but at the error of the stars, because these six stars wander about with these five combatants, and they all will be destroyed along with their creatures."


Holy...shit. I love how the lines that are missing are all sort of "perfect." A screenwriter couldn't do it better. "I have given you the key to heaven and it can be found in [two lines missing] under the [five words missing.]"

I love the end.

"Master why are you laughing at us?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Als ich den Text las, war ich auch über die "kosmologischen" Schilderungen verblüfft und über die fehlenden Stellen, die wirklich genau da liegen, wo ein moderner Produzent die Werbepausen eingeplant hätte. Das Neckische ist nur, dass wir über die Auslassungen wohl ewig rätseln werden.