eightbits, do you have any sources you can give us to back up this claim?
Like Sublimecraft, I refer you to the Transfiguration (in any of the synoptics), and I like John
20 for one post-resurrection example for the
root notion that Jesus could appear differently to different people.
The tie to Judas' kiss is Origen's Contra Celsum
Book II, "Chapter" 64, but not scriptually supported as a direct cause-and-effect. There
is no "shape shifter" claim except something the reviewer made up, not me, to build traffic for the review page. It's his commercial spin on an
entirely diferent gift or skill.
According to the article, this text was written 1,200 years ago. Christianity was mainly practiced between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD before
the Muslim conquest of Eqypt.
Christianity is still practiced there today. Here is the website of the American branch
It is a minority position in mostly Muslim Egypt, subject to discrimination, vandalism and persecution, but it hangs on despite its minority,
opposition status. (The Coptic language survives with the change that the Arabic alphabet is nowadays often used instead of the Greek alphabet for
renderings of the spoken tongue. Links to examples are on that site.)
Why would Christians distort the message of Christianity?
I'm not sure that that is what the intent of the underlying Coptic text was. Pilate is a different figure in Oriental Orthodoxy than is familiar in
Europe. It is a separate apostolic tradition.
Why would anyone claiming to be Christian write a story disregarding the last supper with the disciples for a dinner with Pilate on the wrong
day of the week?
Actually, the canonical Gospels are a little shaky on which day of the week. In part, this reflects reverse engineering of the Second Temple Jewish
festival by people who become farther and farther removed from any thing from the practice of Second Temple Judaism. The Last Supper is also very
different in John
than in the synoptics (or the snippet in 1 Corinthians
So, what was the intent of the original author of this work, as opposed to the spinmesiter whose review of a translation is the subject of the OP
article? I wouldn't be surprised if it were similar to many late Gospels, such as so-called "Infancy Gospels," or the Shepherd of Hermas
the Acts of Peter
or Acts of Paul and Thecla
. These are devout works, probably not competing with the canonical message, but developing
selected aspects of it.
Devout stories can be told not because they are true, but because there would be a moral lesson if they were true. That's what I think you have here,
something in an apostolic tradition, mindful of a canon, but wishing to supplement it for devotion outside of church meetings.
Or to put it another way, does the Galahad version of the Grail Legend "distort the message of Christianity?" No, it combines devotion with
imagination. Odds are good that it was developed by professional Christian clergy, spinning the Perceval troubador version to make the hero more
devout and monkish, more conventionally Christian. But making a fetish of the Last Supper cup must stir some reaction in any Protestant soul... but
somehow it doesn't.