The Dogs Playing Poker Code

Art historians have long marveled at the arcane symbols said to be hidden in Coolidge’s painting, glyphs said to point to whispered revelations of Prior de Dogbone and—it is said—to the worship of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. …

The first painting to be examined by the experts is Coolidge’s masterly Looks Like Four of a Kind.

In this iconic work, we see a masterly representation of the Last Supper, with Christ (on the left) sitting conveying His wisdom to His followers. We see Judas to His right, with the bag of silver coins at his pawside. In the background, we see Mary Magdalene entering carrying the tray with the sacramental drinks, to cleanse the feet of Jesus and quench the spiritual thirst of the Apostles. Notice the shocked and unbelieving look on the faces of the Apostles—all save for Judas who already knows the fate of his master. Bad Judas—bad! Bad!

Unravel the mystery here: The Dogs Playing Poker Code. Thanks to Relapsed Catholic.

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  1. was Judas really bad?

    or was he the only one who understood that Jesus had to die…

    The only one of the apostles that loved Jesus enough to help him do what he had to?

  2. You ask some good questions. The Gnostic gospel of Judas, which has problems from a historical perspective, suggests that Jesus confided secrets to Judas that no one else was privy to.

    But that view was written hundreds of years after the events, so it was a product of the new interpretations of a later era in history.

    The Gospels on the New Testament were written much closer to the events — Mark within decades of the crucifixion. They suggest that Judas was not acting to help Jesus, but from some misguided desire to push Jesus and his ministry in a different direction. It’s frankly hard to know exactly what was on Judas’ mind, except that he clearly regrets his actions after the fact and kills himself. I don’t think the church sees Judas as bad, so much as pitiable.

    Jesus’ ministry was entirely public, so he could have been arrested at any time the authorities desired. The betrayal of Judas was entirely unnecessary — it didn’t “help him do what he had to do” as you put it. It’s clear that the religious establishment felt threatened by Jesus’ popularity and were planning to arrest him, with Judas’ help or not.

    The crucifixion of Christ was inevitable because of the weaknesses of human nature. Jealousy and the lust for power blinded the religious authorities, a greater trust in politics than in God blinded the public, the riches of imperialism blinded the Roman leaders, perhaps arrogance blinded Judas. In the end, it was the combined effects of all of this sin that brought Jesus to his death.

    Which only underlines the message of his ministry: all of us are blinded by sin and in need of God’s forgiveness and renewal.