Washington: Judas used a kiss to betray Jesus because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to a newly-deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years.
The text also puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline, the Fox News reported.
Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text further claimed that Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorised Jesus’ crucifixion, had dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offered to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus.
Roelof van den Broek of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who published the translation of the text in the book “Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem on the Life and the Passion of Christ” (Brill, 2013), said that 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.
Copies of the text are found in two manuscripts, one in the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City and the other at the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Most of the translation comes from the New York text, because the relevant text in the Pennsylvania manuscript is mostly illegible.
While apocryphal stories about Pilate are known from ancient times, van den Broek wrote in an e-mail to LiveScience that he has never seen this one before, with Pilate offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus.
The understanding of Judas’ kiss goes way back.
“This explanation of Judas’ kiss is first found in Origen [a theologian who lived AD 185-254],” van den Broek wrote.
In his work, Contra Celsum Origen stated that “to those who saw him [Jesus] he did not appear alike to all".
The text is written in the name of St Cyril of Jerusalem who lived during the fourth century.