But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii[b] and the money given to the poor?” 6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)
For several reasons John’s addition that Judas was a one-time thief seems like an artificial embellishment. First, this highly significant fact that Judas was a thief is omitted from the earlier gospels. Second, this information has the ring of a literary design to entertain the reader by making Judas a more contemptible and despicable person. Third, this fact is dubious, given that “that the group included two former tax collectors (Levi and Matthew)” (Osler 2009, 35). That is, why were these more qualified men not given the responsibility to maintain the group’s finances? Finally, it was peculiar that Jesus would have selected this one time thief to have been put in charge of the group’s finances, given that Jesus was omniscient and knew in advance that he would also betray the group.
–Jewish author, Michael Alter, The Resurrection, a Critical Inquiry, p. 451
Gary: The author of John was obviously not an eyewitness. He was a non-eyewitness making up tall tales as he went along, all to spice up his story, all to increase the popularity of his book.
End of post.