The Penultimate Supper?

For St. Patrick’s Day, it was rainy all day and the temperature was in the mid-30s; of course I was the only one in this household to step outside.  This morning I woke up to the sounds of a 6 AM thunderstorm.  You definitely don’t expect to hear that in the winter!

Yesterday I read an article about a very thought-provoking manuscript.  Written in the Coptic language, at least 1,200 years ago, the author was somebody called Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem.  Apparently this is one of the Gospels floating around in the days of early Christianity that did not make it into the New Testament.  No doubt that was because it adds three twists to the crucifixion story, which you do not see in the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  According to Pseudo-Cyprian:

1.  Jesus was arrested on a Tuesday night, not Thursday night.  The crucifixion still happened on a Friday, though.

2.  The Passover meal with the Apostles was the second-to-last supper.  The real “last supper” was on Thursday, while he was held prisoner by Pontius Pilate.  Pilate ate with him, and tried to get out of the affair with some plea bargaining; he offered to let Jesus go and fool the Pharisees by executing his son instead.  Jesus said that wouldn’t work, and that night both Pilate and his wife had dreams which told them not to go against God’s plan.

3.  Judas identified Jesus with a kiss because he was a shapeshifter.  Supposedly He could change His skin color to look light or dark, and could make wrinkles appear and disappear to make Himself look old or young.  Sure, it sounds silly, but it got me thinking, because I remembered the verse where Paul said he “became all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22).  The ability to change one’s face would be a good power to have, if Jesus was also trying to become all things to all men.  Remember how Woody Allen did that, in the movie “Zelig?”  No wonder most early Christians avoided drawing/painting pictures of Jesus, until the New Testament was organized in the form we have now; some of them might have thought He was a human chameleon!

Here’s the article for your reading pleasure:

1,200-year-old Egyptian text describes a shape-shifting Jesus

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