excerpts from the three versions of judas

I love to read because there are times it can surprise you, throw you a ball you never saw coming. Jorge Lusi Borges is one such writer. He is an Argentine writer best known for his short stories. When talking about how he writes he said,

“It is a laborious madness and an impoverishing one, the madness of composing vast books, setting out in five hundred pages an idea that can be perfectly related orally in five minutes. The better way to go about it is to pretend that those books already exist, and offer a summary, a commentary on them.”

Below are excerpts from a story called the three versions of Judas. The first excerpt sets out the first version and so on. Do me a favour and think on the end instead of offhandedly dismising it, nothing i’ve read has stayed with me longer or had a stronger effect than what’s copied below.


He plotted his sins with terrible lucidity. In adultery, tenderness and abnegation often play a role; in homicide, courage; in blasphemy and profanation, a certain satanic zeal. Judas chose sins unvisited by any virtue: abuse of confidence (John 12:6) and betrayal. He labored with titanic humility; he believed him -self unworthy of being good. Paul wrote: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (I Corinthians 1:31); Judas sought hell because joy in the Lord was enough for him. He thought that happiness, like goodness, is a divine attribute, which should not be usurped by men.


Part 2

To claim that He was man, and yet was incapable of sin, is to fall into contradiction; the attributes impeccabilitas and humanitas are incompatible. Kemnitz will allow that the Redeemer could feel weariness, cold, distress, hunger, and thirst; one might also allow Him to be able to sin and be condemned to damnation. For many, the famous words in Isaiah 53: 2-3, He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, are a foreshadowing of the Crucified Christ at the hour of His death. For some (Hans Lassen Martensen,for example), they are a refutation of the loveliness that the vulgar consensus attributes to Christ; for Runeberg ,they are the detailed prophecy not of a moment but of the entire horrendous future, in Time and in Eternity, of the Word made Flesh. God was made totally man, but man to the point of iniquity, man to the point of reprobation and the Abyss. In order to save us, He could have chosen any of the lives that weave the confused web of history: He could have been Alexander or Pythagoras or Rurik or Jesus; he chose an abject existence: He was Judas.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “excerpts from the three versions of judas

  1. 3CB

    I know people who argue – with logic as a basis – that happiness is pointless because it achieves nothing. Anger, pain, desire – those breed action and success, where happiness leads to nothing – except maybe sadness once the happiness is done. Maybe Judas was one of those people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s