Posts Tagged 'judas iscariot'

Spong breaks down ‘literary myth’ of Judas Iscariot

Spong breaks down ‘literary myth’ of Judas Iscariot

The story of Judas Iscariot is full of intrigue, betrayal and condemnation. Of the players in the New Testament, Judas, the fallen apostle, is recognizable to most Christians, but retired Bishop John Shelby Spong said he believes Judas, the man, never existed.

In Thursday’s Interfaith Lecture, Spong examined the case of Judas Iscariot through a historical and biblical lens. In his fourth lecture of the week based on the title of his recent book Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World, Spong said Judas Iscariot was never a man, but a literary figure created decades after the crucifixion to represent non-Christ-following Jews.

To contextualize his argument, Spong opened his lecture with the story of the Jewish war with the Roman Empire. The war between the Romans and the Jews exploded in the year 66. Before the full-blown military engagement, Jewish Zealots, or “freedom fighters,” had staged frequent guerilla attacks against the Romans for decades, Spong said. In 70 C.E., the Romans embarked on a fierce offensive and seized the city of Jerusalem.

Spong’s success grounded in deeply committed faith

Spong’s success grounded in deeply committed faith

Eighty-one-year-old John Shelby Spong still runs four miles every day before breakfast.

He and his second wife of 23 years, Christine, have five children and six grandchildren. The couple lives in New Jersey, and Spong spends his time lecturing, writing, traveling and — most importantly, he said — being with people he cares about.

“It’s been a wonderful life,” he said. “I’ve had just an incredible experience.”