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Judas The Gadianton

David T

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I've been reading Josephus' Wars of the Jews to get myself caught up a little on (one view of) contemporary and post-New Testament politics and history. One fascinating element is of the group known as the Sicarii, pretty much a branch of zealots who walked around with concealed knives, and would strike to kill in a crowd, and then use the cover of the crowd to escape detection.

They were attributed responsibility for Jonathan, one of the high priests, and became even more prevalent and predominant directly leading up to the Jewish War with Rome (they did much to agitate the people in encouraging the War), which eventually led to the destruction of the Temple, and the Great Dispersion.

I have noticed that while the traditional explanation of Iscariot is "Man of Kerioth" (which is also attributed to Judas' father), some have seen the appellation 'Iscariot' to derive from 'Of the Sicarii'.

Perhaps it's both, with the wordplay of the Gospel writers in hindsight (writing during the period when the Sicarii had done the most damage) marking him with the appellation of a revolutionary assassin, who struck when assumed plans of revolution were clearly not going to be a part of Jesus' plans.

In reading, I just found quite a similarity between the methods of the Sicarii and the work of the Gadiantons as found in Helaman.

I found it interesting :P

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You might be interested in the book, "James, the Brother of Jesus." The author takes the same position you do on Judas' name.

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You might be interested in the book, "James, the Brother of Jesus." The author takes the same position you do on Judas' name.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Recognizing I'm about to go a little off the OP's topic, Just reading over the contents shows that it seems to express and expound upon some of the connections I'd been seeing in my own studies (concerning James). Although from reading the reviews, it looks like he takes his conclusions to a further extreme than I think is necessary.

I will say one thing - a parallel study of the rise of the early Restored Church and early 1st Century Christianity brings to mind some very interesting parallels, and raises some questions and connections that I may not have thought of otherwise.

Such as having two headquarters, Kirtland and Zion, with Zion being the intended Headquarters until it is made impossible for that to occur, and the President of the Church in Zion (David Whitmer, an Apostle, and one of the Three Special Witnesses, but never a member of the Quorum of the Twelve) becoming divisive and dissenting against Joseph and his followers, and forming his own opposing version of the Church.

It would have a very interesting parallel to what some view as the Jerusalem Church (under James the brother of Jesus) being in some ways an opposition to the Apostolic Church headquartered in Antioch.

But that discussions could be a thread in and of itself. Thanks for sparking more thinking :P

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