Saturday, December 27, 2008

How Could Judas Be "Keeper of the Money Bag?"

In John 12:4-6 we read, after Mary sister of Lazarus anoints Jesus' feet with a pint of very expensive perfume, and then wipes his feeet with her hair: "4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it."

How could it be true that Judas was keeper of the money bag?

Craig Keener says this would not be a story later people would make up about Judas because of what’s called “the criterion of embarrassment... It is likely that Judas’s role as treasurer stems from genuine historical tradition... Appointing someone who misadminstrated funds could be scandalous, all the more if the one who mad the appointment were now claimed to be omniscient.” (Keener, John Vol. 2, 865)