The historical Judas


Though I have posted a directory of prominent Chrestians of the first century, I make little mention of their enemies - The Poor - led by such as James the Righteous Teacher, leader of the messianic community of observant Jews at Qumran. The principle reason for this is simply because of their enemies, allowing them a damnatio memoriae on this history. I must make an effort  to correct and thus, here is a leading member of that Jewish sect:
JUDAS THE GALILEAN:
By: Kaufmann Kohler, M. Seligsohn
Leader of a popular revolt against the Romans at the time when the first census was taken in Judea, in which revolt he perished and his followers were dispersed (Acts v. 37); born at Gamala in Gaulonitis (Josephus, "Ant." xviii. 1, § 1). In the year 6 or 7 C.E., when Quirinus came into Judea to take an account of the substance of the Jews, Judas, together with Zadok, a Pharisee, headed a large number of Zealots and offered strenuous resistance (ib. xviii. 1, § 6; xx. 5, § 2; idem, "B. J." ii. 8, § 1). Judas proclaimed the Jewish state as a republic recognizing God alone as king and ruler and His laws as supreme. The revolt continued to spread, and in some places serious conflicts ensued. Even after Judas had perished, his spirit continued to animate his followers. Two of his sons, Jacob and Simon, were crucified by Tiberius Alexander ("Ant." xx. 5, § 2); another son, Menahem, became the leader of the Sicarii and for a time had much power;
As Lugdunum I (countermarked "VAR" (Varus)
he was finally slain by the high-priestly party ("B. J." ii. 17, §§ 8-9).
Grätz ("Gesch." iii. 251) and Schürer ("Gesch." i. 486) identify Judas the Galilean with Judas, son of Hezekiah the Zealot, who, according to Josephus ("Ant." xvii. 10, § 5; "B. J." ii. 4, § 1), led a revolt in the time of Quintilius Varus. He took possession of the arsenal of Sepphoris, armed his followers, who were in great numbers, and soon became the terror of the Romans.
Bibliography:
Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., iii. 260, 364;
Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., i. 420, passim.
These various terms may seem confusing; perhaps Josephus, who used them, meant for us to be confused (if not misled), so let me now remove the confusion: the messianic community never describe themselves with any label; the label Essene provided by others, notably Josephus, will suffice; this community had an armed wing, which may be called Zealot (those zealous for Jewish law), or Sicari (those using the sicari knife). Zadoc - the name of the priest - means Righteous and thus he is probably a predecessor of James the Righteous Teacher at Qumran. We therefore know that these above-mentioned Jews are all on the same side, messianic and members of the Qumran community - this, despite the various labels later stuck on them.

The name Judas Iscariot is simply a play on Judas the Sicari: Judas Iscariot

The above Tiberius Alexander is the apostate son of the estate manager of Antonia Minor and they are all Chrestian, as we have seen earlier. We are therefore treating here accounts of messianic Jews in conflict with early Chrestians (some Judean, some from Italy and others from Alexandria - all with Roman citizenship).
Gamla synagogue; a ritual bath was unearthed next to it. On the eve of Gamla's destruction, the synagogue appears to have been converted to a dwelling for refugees.
The census mentioned above was the responsibility of this Roman:
Publius Sulpicius Quirinius (c. 51 BC – AD 21) was a Roman aristocrat. After the banishment of the ethnarch Herod Archelaus from the tetrarchy of Judea in AD 6, Quirinius was appointed legate governor of Syria, to which the province of Iudaea had been added for the purpose of a census. The most famous mention of Quirinius occurs in the Gospel of Luke, which dates the birth of Jesus by the Census of Quirinius.
...Iudaea (the conglomeration of Samaria, Judea and Idumea) came under direct Roman administration with Coponius appointed as prefect. At the same time, Quirinius was appointed Legate of Syria, with instructions to assess Iudea Province for taxation purposes. One of his first duties was to carry out a census as part of this order.
The Jews already hated their pagan conquerors, and censuses were forbidden under Jewish law. The assessment was greatly resented by the Jews, and open revolt was prevented only by the efforts of the high priest Joazar. Despite efforts to prevent revolt, the census did trigger the revolt of Judas of Galilee and the formation of the party of the Zealots, according to Josephus.
The account of Josephus:
Coponius, procurator of Judea under Augustus, 6-9 CE; bronze prutah
1. NOW Cyrenius, a Roman senator, and one who had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts, was of great dignity, came at this time into Syria, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to he a judge of that nation, and to take an account of their substance. Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power over the Jews. Moreover, Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus's money; but the Jews, although at the beginning they took the report of a taxation heinously, yet did they leave off any further opposition to it, by the persuasion of Joazar, who was the son of Beethus, and high priest; so they, being over-pesuaded by Joazar's words, gave an account of their estates, without any dispute about it. Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty; as if they could procure them happiness and security for what they possessed, and an assured enjoyment of a still greater good, which was that of the honor and glory they would thereby acquire for magnanimity.
(Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews - Book XVIII)
"Zealous" has the same meaning as "Zealot" - zealous for the law (the laws of Noah and Moses), confirming that these Jews are all of this one community of messianic, observant Jews, the same who lead Judea in the first two Jewish-Roman Wars (after which Qumran is deserted).
It is worth noting, therefore, that several disciples of Jesus, almost certainly his (and James’s) brothers are also labeled this way. Most directly of course, “Simon Zelotes” (i.e., Simon the Zealot) and slightly less clearly “Judas Iscariot” (i.e., Judas Sicarios), the first letters being sometimes reversed in transliteration. This identification is further secured by his designation “Judas [brother of] James” in Luke, as “Judas the Zealot” in Syriac texts.
 (Robert Eisenman’s “New Testament Code”)
That these people zealous for the law are highly important (in a negative manner) to Chrestians is shown by their appearance in the New Testament (particularly in the manner they - and their faith - are parodied). This, decades before James is killed and the First Jewish-Roman War initiated.
Revellers and attendants of the Dionysus party. Roman villa at Sepphoris, built ca 200 CE.
What we have here, with historical figures of the messianic movement opposed to Chrestian Romans, is another series of New Testament parodies at the expense of the losers, the observant Jews. We see this also played out in the archaeology of Sepphoris, which at the start of the first century is a bastion of messianic Judaism, then - after the First Jewish-Roman War - becomes a Greco-Roman, perhaps even a Chrestian, stronghold.
Zodiac Wheel Mosaic in the great synagogue of Sepphoris/Tzippori, 5th century. The combination of Roman scroll designs combined with Hebrew alphabets also features in a number of synagogues after the Jewish-Roman wars.
The Gospel of Mark, probably the earliest of the canonical, has many astrological allusions. Is this a Greco-Roman cultural manifestation, or just another parody, this time of Jewish astrology (as seen in the Dead Sea Scrolls)?

The New Testament is black propaganda containing many parodies of messianic Jews; the original codices are explicitly Chrestian, not Christian; Chrestianity is pagan, Greco-Roman drawn on the faith of Cleopatra VII, and magical (with invocation, conjuring, prophecy, astrology, exorcism and resurrection). It is still being used to suppress the history of the first centuries of the modern era.
The breach in the wall of Gamla. About 100 catapult bolts have been uncovered, as well as 1,600 arrowheads and 2,000 ballista stones, the latter all made from local basalt. This is a quantity unsurpassed anywhere in the Roman Empire.
In conclusion, let us consider for a moment how any of this may matter to us, now; if it is of any importance and if so, what?

How the first century of the modern era is portrayed to us must matter, if only because we should have history, not mythology; this is a general principle. This mythologising did not stop there, but continued for centuries; it became not just another religion, but eventually, the political entity of Christendom; this is the core of Western Civilisation, the basis of our modern world.

Ultimately, this is not abstract, but political and affecting every part of our own lives. In the first centuries, there was a bitter struggle to claim the levers of power and the winners kept their hands on those levers. At some point, we need to reclaim history and that power; how long should we wait?

Share this: