10 April 2006

Patrick, Judas, Langdon, and Wolverine

I was in good company last weekend.

First off, there was Spongebob's best friend Patrick Starfish. He's a prize from a UFO Catcher. Igor has become so adept at UFO Catchers that he already has quite a bounty at home. When he sent me an MMS about his latest exploits, I immediately asked if I can have Patrick Starfish. He acquiesced. A Woodchuck will keep Patrick company. Thanks Igor!

I also had the good fortune of borrowing a couple of books from Ruben, a camping buddy. He has been harassing ... or rather influencing me to read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons whose main character is University Professor Robert Langdon of The Da Vinci Code fame.

I must admit, I'm quite engrossed with this book. Which is strange, really, because I had the chance of getting a copy of Da Vince Code months before but only got to the first three chapters. I found it cumbersome to read. But this one, Angels and Demons, is filling up my spare time.

A very interesting read it is. In fact, I have learned some things along the way. About Masons and the Illuminati, about ambigrams and the pyramid at the back of the US Dollar bill and the all-seeing eye (which, incidentally, i have a pendant of. Intriguing.) Excellent writing. Very direct and readable. Dan Brown rarely uses flowery words to get his message across. Perhaps when I'm done with it, I'll proceed with Da Vinci Code. I won't go into the specifics lest I spoil it for you in case you haven't read it yet.

The other book I was able to borrow from him is a graphic novel: X-Men's Extinction Agenda. The country of Genosha, a progressive country, has declared war on the mutants and have gone so far as to kidnap them for trial on Genoshan soil. The first target of violence, however, were on The New Mutants: kids affiliated with X-Factor and the X-Men. Other than learning of the unfolding events via TV news channels, the others have no idea what lay ahead of them as they attempt to rescue the kids.

I am an X-Men fan and have followed their adventures to a degree. Things got pretty mixed up though when Professor X died at the Age of the Apocalypse and I was no longer able to follow the stories. I finished this book in one sitting.

I wonder ... what would have been my power if I were a mutant? The power to have migraines? The power to sweat profusely? The power to become grumpy when hungry? Hmmm...

I can't wait for X-Men 3 to hit the theaters!

And finally, last night I was able to watch National Geographic's The Gospel of Judas. The 2-hour documentary details how the manuscripts were found, how the badly-damaged pieces were painstakingly put together, and how they verified its authenticity.

It was quite a revelation. I learned that...
- there are more than 4 gospels. How many more? 30-plus more! There's the gospel of Thomas, the gospel of Mary, etc. At the time of the Christian persecution by the Romans, an authority in the early Church decided that with all these gospels available to everyone, it was quite difficult to give a definite theme to the story of Christ. If one were to die for the name of Christ, it is best that the person knows specifically what he is dying for. Hence only 4 gospels were chosen to be included in the Bible. Why only four? Because there are 4 corners of the earth (and other 4's I cannot remember) with Jesus at the center. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John's gospels were chosen out of popularity, though the gospel of Thomas was also quite popular then. A man named Ireneus (or so pronounced) made these choices. The method of choosing though, are debatable.
- The gospels were written after the time of the people to whom the gospels are attributed to. All these - including the 4 gospels - were not written by them but by now-anonymous authors.
- There were no places of worship then. People gathered in houses to listen to the gospel. The person who reads and teaches were called nostics.
- In the gospel of Judas, Judas was depicted to be having a close relationship to Jesus. So close that the other apostles grew jealous of him. Jesus revealed to Jesus the secret of the kingdom of heaven.
- Jesus apparently instructed Judas to betray him because it had to happen. Judas did as he was told because he had a deeper understanding of Jesus and his purpose. So Judas is actually portrayed as a hero.
- Jesus laughed often in the gospel of Judas.
- Incidentally, the gospel of Judas ends at the betrayal. It does not talk of the crucifixion and the resurrection. The gospel implied that for Jesus to fulfill his destiny, he had to be set free. Free of his earthly body. This was the ultimate spirituality. Hence this gospel - including others with a similar message - was branded a heresy.

A book about religious conspiracies. A TV show with intriguing revelations. A graphic novel on exterminating those who are different from us. And a starfish named Patrick. Quite an interesting weekend, don't you think? :-)

How ever you will be celebrating the Holy Week, peace to you and your kin, and joy on Sunday!

[Last Supper photo credit: dc2net]

17 comments:

  1. walang anuman po. :D

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  2. i also liked angels and demons better than the da vinci code. wala lang... aside from the cumbersome language... sometimes dan brown also uses the same words over and over again. like: how many times did you read... "langdon did a double take" in those two books?

    about the xtinction agenda... meron din ako nun pero hindi pa collected as graphic novel. hmmm... benta ko kaya sa yo yung comic book collection ko? :D

    yung gospel of judas... interesting. but a similar idea, judas' pivotal role in the passion, had been put forth before in nikos kazantzakis' the last temptation of christ. hmm...

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  3. Oooh this was very interesting. I wish I had seen that documentary!

    Read The DaVinci Code before the movie version comes out in May!!!!!!!!!

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  4. sige tol pagkatapos mo nyan, pahiram ko naman sa yo ung legacy virus, death of colossus,

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  5. I don't feel all that strongly about this subject, (or maybe I do!) but the fact that there are many gospels was something I was already aware of. The early church authorities decided to winnow through all of the writings and of course it would not do to have "conflicting" stories among the cannonical scriptures. How could the early church possibly include this wayward writing when it deviated so much from the "accepted" story of Christ? It doesn't just go against the "final 4," it flies in the face of ALL the many gospels. To say the other apostles changed the truth out of abject jealousy makes these brave and holy men seem petty indeed, and its just unlikely. If you know how the apostles suffered and died for their faith, all except John of course, then you would know how incredible the Judas version really is. It's like believing that ALL the cops involved in the O.J. Simpson case REALLY did collude to plant false evidence. Wat, the Judas gospel is a crock.

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  6. Makes for good TV though, eh?

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  7. ...and the DaVinci Code isn't even worthy of my time. It's a complete fabrication. It's on the same level of believablity as your X-Men.

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  8. For me, all the Judas Gospel says is that the bible is a collection of stories. I've never taken the bible literally because much of it is written third hand and as the documentary pointed out, it is one person's edited version out of lots of biblical literature. That is why it is sometimes contradictory in nature. I would really like to read all the gospels someday and not just the selected four in the modern bible.

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  9. The timing is also superb! Imagine doing the TV special during Holy Week. Galing ng marketing!

    I suggest you also read the gospels of Thomas and Philip.

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  10. I think I'll write a gospel, make it racy and salacious, sell it to a producer and make a million bucks! Oh, and I'll throw in some humor too. Everyone loves a good laugh. I'll call it the "Curly, Moe & Joe does Cloe Gospel."

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  11. Many of the Gnostic gospels were written before the four standard ones.

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  12. I've just started reading The Da Vinci Code. I hope I don't find it as cumbersome as you did. I'm also looking forward to the movie.

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  13. For me, mas maganda ung Angels and Demons kesa DVC. I guess whats gret about DVC are the secrets revealed in it. Jesus secrets sa DVC, sa A&D, secrets ng Church naman.

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  14. Hello all. This is the second time I'm typing on this comment box. Something wrong with the posting feature for comments. I wrote rather lengthy replies to your comments but I got an error message and was not able to save my comments.

    At any rate, I appreciate the comments and Happy Easter to everyone!

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  15. if your faith is not that strong, you can easily be swayd by dis diff points of view. the Bible is the ultimate truth and i'm sure there are great reasons why only the 4 gospels were chosen. be careful what you read.

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  16. Hi dessagirl. The Catholic Church assumes responsibility in guiding the flock, so to speak, hence the choosing of the four gospels vs the others. It is also up to us whether we believe what we read, see, and hear. We should exercise discretion too and guidance.

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  17. God is the ultimate truth. Not the bible... :D

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