In 1953, Nikos Kazantzakis published his novel The Last Temptation of Christ, a version of the story of Jesus in which Judas was Jesus' closest disciple, and betrayed him to the Romans on Jesus' instruction, in order that Jesus might fulfill his mission and the will of God. That is to say, he published the original Greek version of that novel in 1953. The English translation appeared in 1960, spreading the controversy and scandal over Kazantzakis' unorthodox tale, and the controversy was spread much wider still in 1988, when Martin Scorsese's film version of the novel appeared, with Willem Dafoe in the role of Jesus. It was Scorsese's 3rd attempt to make the movie. In the 1st go-round Robert DeNiro was going to play Jesus, the filming was to take place in Jerusalem, and the budget was going to be around $40 million dollars. But the film's financial backers backed out, afraid of the controversy. The 2nd attempt went as far as Aiden Quinn growing a beard in order to play Jesus. Again, just like Peter after Jesus' arrest being accused of knowing Jesus, the money people became sore afraid for a 2nd time and the project was abandoned again. When Scorsese finally got it done with Dafoe as Jesus, he filmed in Morocco on an $8 million budget.
And a lot of people flipped out. In Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1988, someone drove a car through a wall of a theatre planning to show the movie, and behold, the theatre owners were sore afraid, and The Last Temptation of Christ got its Knoxville premiere a couple of years later when it was shown by the University of Tennessee Film Committee, a dedicated group of film lovers notable not only for their good taste in movies but also for their guts.
Meanwhile, in the 1970's, the Coptic Gnostic text now known as the Gospel of Judas was discovered in Egypt. It was published in 2006, and widely remarked upon and exclaimed over for its "novel" version of the story of Jesus, in which Judas was Jesus' closest disciple, and betrayed him to the Romans on Jesus' instruction, in order that Jesus might fulfill his mission and the will of God.
And apparently, out of all of the billions of people on Earth, I'm the only one who has noticed the similarity between the Gospel of Judas and Kazantzakis' novel, written 2 decades before the Gospel was discovered and 5 decades before it was published, the novel also having been made into a famously controversial and scandalous Hollywood movie in the meantime also.
Well. I guess it's a darn good thing I'm around to point out things which somehow weren't already obvious to everybody! Can I have that Nobel now?
PS: Just as with the similarities between Homer and the Pentateuch which I pointed out in a recent post, I suppose that it's possible that an entire community of scholarly folks has been excitedly discussing the similarities all along, and I've simply never noticed. Possible but not bloody likely.