What Is the “Gospel of Judas” and Did It ‘Change the History of Early Christianity’?

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02

Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All

$5.00

“THIS is big. A lot of people are going to be upset.” “This changes the history of early Christianity.” (Andrew Cockburn, “The Judas Gospel,” National Geographic, May 2006, p. 91) These overly dramatic in the extreme statements came from scholars who, with open arms, welcomed, the publication of the “Gospel of Judas.” Did these predictions come true? One could say a little, but on the whole, no!

National Geographic’s recent publication of the “Lost Gospel of Judas” made sensational headlines as a challenge to the Biblical Jesus story. Like Dan Brown’s, pulp fiction, The Da Vinci Code, this ancient text is used to paint a counter-Church view of Christianity. “This is big. A lot of people are going to be upset,” says UNC professor and author of Lost Scriptures, Dr. Bart Ehrman. Dr. Elaine Pagels of Princeton University, and Gnostic fame, writes, “For nearly 2,000 years, most people assumed that the only sources of tradition about Jesus and his disciples were the four gospels in the New Testament. But the unexpected discovery at Nag Hammadi in 1945 of more than 50 ancient Christian texts proved what church fathers said long ago: that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are only a small selection of gospels from among the dozens that circulated among early Christian groups. But now the Gospel of Judas — like the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and many others — opens up new perspectives on familiar gospel stories.” Nicholas Perrin provides a top-shelf talk on the Gospel of Judas, which is both expository and apologetic against the current climate of conspirators against orthodoxy. Dr. Perrin is a professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and has served for several years as a research fellow for Dr. N.T. Wright. – WordMp3.com.

The year was 2006, the worldwide media was set on fire by the shocking story that a new document was about to be released by a group of scholars, which was entitled “Gospel of Judas.” As is true with these stories hyperbole is the order of the day from the news media, for they boasted that the scholars working on this document were supposedly claiming that this text was going transforms our understanding of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Strangely, in these stories, Judas was not the villain but rather the hero. In this account, apostle Judas was the one who actually knew and understood Jesus better than all of the others, even better than John, Peter, and James, and he was simply carrying out Jesus’ request to betray him and deliver him up for execution. The other apostle and disciples had not learned the real Gospel, it was Judas Iscariot alone whom Jesu taught the truth.

Few scholars today would even suggest that this text is authentic but they would argue that makes known some secret knowledge regarding the historical Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ, as well as the early Christians. Should we take it seriously as an aid to our understanding of early Christianity? No.

The P52 PROJECT The P52 PROJECT The P52 PROJECT

THE BACKGROUND OF THE “GOSPEL OF JUDAS”

We do not have all of the facts on exactly how the “Gospel of Judas” was discovered. It was not discovered by a team of archaeologists, who then documented their find, rather a leather-bound Coptic (ancient Egyptian) language papyrus document suddenly and unexpectedly emerged on the antiquities market in the late 1970s or early 1980s, near Beni Masar, Egypt, in an abandoned tomb, perhaps within a cave. It was one of four separate texts contained in a codex (a type of ancient book) written in Coptic (a language derived from ancient Egyptian). First translated in the early 2000s, the codex contains text that appears to be from the late 2nd century,[1] and includes the self-titled “Gospel of Judas.” (Euangelion Ioudas)[2] which relates the story of Jesus’ death from the viewpoint of Judas.[3]

The manuscript was radiocarbon dated and described by the National Geographic as showing a likely date between AD 220-340.[4]

Today the manuscript is in over a thousand pieces. Numerous sections are missing as a result of poor handling and storage. Some passages are only scattered words; others contain many lines. According to Coptic scholar Rodolphe Kasser, the codex originally contained 31 pages, with writing on both sides; by the time it came to the market in 1999, only 13 pages survived. Individual pages may have been removed and sold.

It has also been speculated, on the basis of textual analysis concerning features of dialect and Greek loan words, that the Coptic text contained in the codex may be a translation from an older Greek manuscript dating, at the earliest, to circa AD 130–170.[5] Cited in support is the reference to a “Gospel of Judas” by the early Christian writer Irenaeus of Lyons, who, in arguing against Gnosticism, described the text as “fictitious history.”[6] However, it is uncertain whether the text mentioned by Irenaeus is in fact the same text as the Coptic “Gospel of Judas” found in the Codex Tchacos.[7]

THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

Content Overview

The Gospel of Judas consists of 16 chapters that document Jesus’ teaching about spiritual matters and cosmology. According to the text, Judas is the only one of Jesus’s disciples who accurately understands the words of his master. This Gospel contains few narrative elements; essentially, the Gospel records how Judas was taught by Jesus the true meaning of his message.

The Gospel contains ideas that contradicted those circulating in the early Christian church. The author says that God is essentially a “luminous cloud of light” who exists in an imperishable realm.[8] Adamas, the spiritual father of all humanity, was created in God’s image and dwelled in the imperishable realm.

At the beginning of time, God created a group of angels and lower gods. Twelve angels were willed to “come into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld].”[9] The angels of creation were tasked with creating a physical body for Adamas, which became known as the first man Adam. Gradually, humanity began to forget its divine origins and some of Adam’s descendants (Cain and Abel) became embroiled in the world’s first murder. Many humans came to think that the imperfect physical universe was the totality of creation, losing their knowledge of God and the imperishable realm.

Jesus was sent as the Son of the true God, not of one of the lesser gods. His mission was to show that salvation lies in connecting with the God within the man. Through embracing the internal God, the man can then return to the imperishable realm.

Eleven of the disciples Jesus chose to spread his message misunderstood the central tenets of his teaching. They were obsessed with the physical world of the senses. The author says that they continued to practice religious animal sacrifice, which pleased the lower gods but did not help to foster a connection with the true God. They wrongly taught that those martyred in the name of Christ would be bodily resurrected.

4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS

In contrast, Jesus is able to teach Judas the true meaning of his life, ministry, and death. Mankind can be divided into two races, or groups. Those who are furnished with the immortal soul, like Judas, can come to know the God within and enter the imperishable realm when they die. Those who belong to the same generation of the other eleven disciples cannot enter the realm of God and will die both spiritually and physically at the end of their lives. As practices that are intertwined with the physical world, animal sacrifice, and a communion ceremony centered around “cannibalism” (the consumption of Jesus’ flesh and blood) are condemned as abhorrent. The other Gospels say that Jesus had to die in order to atone for the sins of humanity. The author of Judas expresses the view that this sort of substitutionary justice pleases the lower gods and angels. The true God is gracious and thus does not demand any sacrifice.

Gospel of Judas_023

As a Gnostic Text

Amy-Jill Levine, professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, was on the team of scholars responsible for unveiling the work. She said that the Gospel of Judas contains no new historical information concerning Jesus or Judas.[10]

Historians Elaine Pagels and Karen Leigh King argue that a more nuanced, contextualized understanding of alternative interpretations of the Christian tradition should inform discussions of Gnosticism. In the centuries following Jesus’s death, many differing views of the meaning of his life and death existed. Nicene Christianity (i.e. the views which came to be summarized in the doctrines contained in the Nicene Creed) existed alongside various cults (one of which was labeled ‘Gnosticism’) for centuries, until the Nicenian interpretation became accepted as “mainstream” Christianity.[11]

Before the discovery of Gnostic texts (such as the Nag Hammadi library), scholars had to rely solely on the reports of proto-Nicene church fathers for their understanding of alternative approaches to understanding Christianity. These reports some would say were necessarily biased since they were written by people opposed to non-Nicene churches. Furthermore, the study and analysis of original non-Nicene texts have shown that the church fathers were sometimes oversimplified when writing about their doctrinal opponents.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS APOSTOLIC FATHERS APOSTOLIC FATHERS

The Gospel of Judas was condemned by Irenaeus in his anti-Gnostic work Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies), written in about 180. Despite this, The Gospel of Judas differs from other non-Nicene Gospels in several ways. Far from arguing that the physical body is a prison which needs to be escaped from, the Gospel of Judas portrays Jesus as able to leave his body at will and take on other forms, appearing to be a child. In the text, Jesus is shown leaving his body, journeying to the imperishable realm, and returning to his body. Unlike other non-Nicene Gospels, the Gospel of Judas is Sethian in orientation in that Adam’s son Seth is seen as a spiritual ancestor. As in other Sethian documents, Jesus is equated with Seth: “The first is Seth, who is called Christ.”

Codex_Tchacos_p33 (1) Gospel of Judas
The first page of the Gospel of Judas (Page 33 of Codex Tchacos)

Modern Rediscovery

The initial translation of the Gospel of Judas was widely publicized but simply confirmed the account that was written in Irenaeus and known Gnostic beliefs, leading some scholars to simply summarize the discovery as nothing new. It is also argued that a closer reading of the existent text, as presented in October 2006, shows Christianity in a new light. According to Elaine Pagels, for instance, Judas is portrayed as having a mission to hand Jesus over to the soldiers. She says that Bible translators have mistranslated the Greek word for “handing over” to “betrayal.”[12]

Like many Gnostic works, the Gospel of Judas refers to itself as a secret account, specifically “The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot….”[13]

The Gospel of Judas states that Jesus told Judas “You shall be cursed for generations” and then added, “You will come to rule over them” and “You will exceed all of them, for you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.”[14]

Unlike the four canonical gospels, which employ narrative accounts of the last year of Jesus’s life (in the case of John, three years) and of his birth (in the case of Luke and Matthew), the Judas gospel takes the form of dialogues between Jesus and Judas, and Jesus and the twelve disciples, without being embedded in any narrative. Such “dialogue gospels” were popular during the early decades of Christianity and the New Testament Apocrypha contains several examples, such as the Gospel of Mary.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot

Like the canonical gospels, the Gospel of Judas portrays the scribes as approaching Judas with the intention of arresting him, and Judas receiving money from them after handing Jesus over to them. But unlike Judas in the canonical gospels, who is portrayed as a villain, and excoriated by Jesus (“Alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born,” trans. The New English Bible) Mark 14:21; Matthew 26:24, the Judas gospel portrays Judas as a divinely appointed instrument of a grand and predetermined purpose. “In the last days they will curse your ascent to the holy (generation).”[15]

Elsewhere in the manuscript, Jesus favors Judas above other disciples by saying, “Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom,” and “Look, you have been told everything. Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star.”[16]

The Kiss of Judas
“The Kiss of Judas” is a traditional depiction of Judas by Giotto di Bondone, c. 1306. Fresco in the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua.

Rediscovery

The content of the gospel had been unknown until a Coptic Gospel of Judas turned up on the antiquities “grey market,” in Geneva in May 1983, when it was found among a mixed group of Greek and Coptic manuscripts offered to Stephen Emmel, a Yale Ph.D. candidate commissioned by Southern Methodist University to inspect the manuscripts. How the manuscript, Codex Tchacos, was found, maybe in the late 1970s, has not been clearly documented. It’s believed that a now-deceased Egyptian “treasure-hunter” or prospector discovered the codex near El Minya, Egypt, in the neighborhood of the village Beni Masar, and sold it to one Hanna, a dealer in antiquities resident in Cairo.[17]

In the 1970s, the manuscript and most of the dealer’s other artifacts were stolen by a Greek trader named Nikolas Koutoulakis and smuggled into Geneva. Hanna, along with Swiss antiquity traders, paid Koutoulakis a sum rumored to be between $3 million to $10 million, recovered the manuscript, and introduced it to experts who recognized its significance.

I AM John 8.58 I AM John 8.58 I AM John 8.58

Sale and Study

During the following two decades the manuscript was quietly offered to prospective buyers, but no major library or Egypt felt ready to purchase a manuscript that had such questionable provenance. In 2003 Michel van Rijn started to publish material about these dubious negotiations, and eventually, the 62-page leather-bound codex was donated to the Maecenas Foundation in Basel. The previous owners now reported that it had been uncovered at Muhafazat al Minya in Egypt during the 1950s or 1960s and that its significance had not been appreciated until recently. It is worth noting that various other locations had been alleged during previous negotiations.

The existence of the text was made public by a former professor at the University of Geneva Rodolphe Kasser at a conference of Coptic specialists in Paris, July 2004. In a statement issued March 30, 2005, a spokesman for the Maecenas Foundation announced plans for edited translations into English, French, German, and Polish once the fragile papyrus had undergone conservation by a team of specialists in Coptic history to be led by Kasser, and that their work would be published in about a year. A. J. Tim Jull, director of the National Science Foundation Arizona AMS laboratory, and Gregory Hodgins, assistant research scientist, announced that a radiocarbon dating procedure had dated five samples from the papyrus manuscript from 220 to 340 in January 2005 at the University of Arizona. This puts the Coptic manuscript in the 3rd or 4th centuries, a century earlier than had originally been thought from analysis of the script. In January 2006, Gene A. Ware of the Papyrological Imaging Lab of Brigham Young University conducted a multi-spectral imaging process on the texts in Switzerland and confirmed their authenticity. Joseph Barabe presented the behind-the-scenes story of the role an analysis of the ink played in authenticating the book at an American Chemical Society meeting.

Over the decades, the manuscript had been handled with less than sympathetic care: some single pages may be loose on the antiquities market (parts of two pages turned up in January 2006, in New York City);[20] the text is now in over a thousand pieces and fragments and is believed to be less than three-quarters complete. “After concluding the research, everything will be returned to Egypt. The work belongs there and they will be conserved in the best way,” Roberty has stated.[21]

In April 2006, an Ohio bankruptcy lawyer said that he possesses several small, brown bits of papyrus from the Gospel of Judas, but he refuses to have the fragments authenticated and his report is being viewed with skepticism by experts.[22]

In 2007, The National Geographic Society published the “Critical Edition” of the manuscript,[23] which includes images of all the fragments, the reconstructed Coptic text, and English and French translations.[24]

English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II

Responses and Reactions

Scholarly Debates

Kasser revealed a few details about the text in 2004, the Dutch paper Het Parool reported. Its language is the same Sahidic dialect of Coptic in which Coptic texts of the Nag Hammadi Library are written. The codex has four parts:

  • The Letter of Peter to Philip, already known from the Nag Hammadi Library.
  • The First Apocalypse of James, also known from the Nag Hammadi Library.
  • The first few pages of a work related to, but not the same as, the Nag Hammadi work Allogenes.
  • The Gospel of Judas.

Up to a third of the codex is currently illegible.

A scientific paper was to be published in 2005 but was delayed. The completion of the restoration and translation was announced by the National Geographic Society at a news conference in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 2006, and the manuscript itself was unveiled then at the National Geographic Society headquarters, accompanied by a television special entitled The Gospel of Judas on April 9, 2006, which was aired on the National Geographic Channel. Terry Garcia, an executive vice president for Mission Programs of the National Geographic Society, asserted that the codex is considered by scholars and scientists to be the most significant ancient, non-biblical text to be found since the 1940s. Conversely, James M. Robinson, general editor of the Nag Hammadi Library, predicted the new book would offer no historical insights into the disciple who betrayed Jesus since the 2nd-century manuscript seems to derive from an older document. Robinson suggested that the text would provide insights into the religious situation during the 2nd century, rather than into the biblical narrative itself.[25]

THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1 Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

One scholar on the National Geographic project believes the document shows that Judas was “fooled” into believing he was helping Jesus.[26]

Another scholar, April D. DeConick, a professor of Biblical studies at Rice University, opines in an op-ed in The New York Times that the National Geographic translation was critically faulty in many substantial respects, and that based on a corrected translation, Judas was actually a demon, truly betraying Jesus, rather than following his orders.[27] DeConick, after re-translating the text, published The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says to assert that Judas was not a daimon in the Greek sense, but that “the universally accepted word for ‘spirit’ is ‘pneuma’ — in Gnostic literature ‘daimon’ is always taken to mean ‘demon.’”[28] She further stated that “Judas is not set apart ‘for’ the holy generation, as the National Geographic translation says, he is separated ‘from’ it.”[29] DeConick went on to ask, “Were they genuine errors or was something more deliberate going on?”[30] The National Geographic Society responded that “virtually all issues April D. DeConick raises about translation choices are addressed in footnotes in both the popular and critical editions.”[31]

André Gagné, Professor at Concordia University in Montreal, also questioned how the experts of the National Geographic Society understood the role of Judas Iscariot in the Gospel of Judas.[32] His argument rests on the translation of the Greco-Coptic term apophasis as “denial”. According to Gagné, the opening lines of the Judas Gospel should not be translated as “the secret word of declaration by which Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot” but rather as “the secret word of the denial by which Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot” (Gospel of Judas 33:1).[33] Gagné’s conclusion is that this gospel is the story of the denial of true salvation for Judas.

In 2006 Géza Vermes commented the gospel was “a typical product of Greek (Platonic)-Christian speculation” representing Judas “assisting the Jewish authorities’ arrest of Jesus and bringing about his liberation from the prison of his body.”[34] This view is exemplified by a passage where Jesus says to Judas, “For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” (Gospel of Judas 56.18-20)[35]

Scholars are divided on the interpretation of the text. The first modern publication of the gospel contended that the text portrays Judas in a positive light,[36] while other scholars have asserted that Judas is presented negatively.[37] There is no consensus on how Judas is characterized in this gospel.[38]

There may be additional fragments of the gospel yet to be released.[39]

CNN TV series entitled “Finding Jesus – Faith, Fact, Forgery” featured The Gospel of Judas in its 3rd episode which was aired on March 15, 2015.[40]

The Epistle to the Hebrews The Epistle to the Hebrews The Epistle to the Hebrews

Religious Responses

In his 2006 Easter address, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, strongly denied the historical credibility of the gospel, saying,

This is a demonstrably late text which simply parallels a large number of quite well-known works from the more eccentric fringes of the early century Church.[41]

He went on to suggest that the book’s publicity derives from a desire for conspiracy theories.

The Uniqueness of the Codex

The president of the Maecenas Foundation, Mario Roberty, suggested the possibility that the Maecenas Foundation had acquired not the only extant copy of the Gospel, but rather the only known copy. Roberty went on to suggest that the Vatican probably had another copy locked away, saying:

In those days the Church decided for political reasons to include the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible. The other gospels were banned. It is highly logical that the Catholic Church would have kept a copy of the forbidden gospels. Sadly, the Vatican does not want to clarify further. Their policy has been the same for years; “no further comment.”

Roberty provided no evidence to suggest that the Vatican does, in fact, possess any additional copy. While the contents of one part of the Vatican library have been cataloged and have long been available to researchers and scholars, the remainder of the library is without a public catalog, and though researchers may view any work within, they must first name the text they require, a serious problem for those who do not know what is contained by the library. The Pope responded on April 13, 2006:

The Vatican, by word of Pope Benedict XVI, grants the recently surfaced Judas’ Gospel no credit with regards to its apocryphal claims that Judas betrayed Jesus in compliance with the latter’s own requests. According to the Pope, Judas freely chose to betray Jesus: “an open rejection of God’s love.” Judas, according to Pope Benedict XVI “viewed Jesus in terms of power and success: his only real interests lay in his power and success, there was no love involved. He was a greedy man: money was more important than communing with Jesus; money came before God and his love.” According to the Pope it was due to these traits that led Judas to “turn liar, two-faced, indifferent to the truth”, “losing any sense of God”, “turning hard, incapable of converting, of being the prodigal son, hence throwing away a spent existence.”[42]

Spokespersons say the Vatican does not wish to suppress the Gospel of Judas; rather, according to Monsignor Walter Brandmüller, president of the Vatican’s Committee for Historical Science, “We welcome the [manuscript] like we welcome the critical study of any text of ancient literature.”[43]

Even more explicitly, Father Thomas D. Williams, Dean of Theology at the Regina Apostolorum university in Rome, when asked, “Is it true that the Catholic Church has tried to cover up this text and other apocryphal texts?” answered, “These are myths circulated by Dan Brown and numerous conspiracy theorists. You can go to any Catholic bookstore and pick up a copy of the Gnostic gospels. Christians may not believe them to be true, but there is no attempt to hide them.”[44]

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES BIBLE DIFFICULTIES BIBLE DIFFICULTIES

Works with Similar Themes

Prior to the modern discovery of the Gospel of Judas, a number of other works had independently conceived of the idea of Jesus having foreknowingly submitted himself to crucifixion. The Passover Plot (1965), a nonfiction book by the biblical scholar Hugh J. Schonfield presents the theory that Jesus had set out to ensure his execution in advance, enlisting the help of his apostles, including Judas.

Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson (1950), a long work by the mystic G. I. Gurdjieff, which covers a wide range of topics, presents Judas in accordance with his depiction in the Gospel of Judas.

“Tres versiones de Judas” (1944), a short story by Jorge Luis Borges (from the collection Ficciones) in which a fictional Swedish theologian proposes that Judas is the actual savior of mankind. The Last Temptation of Christ (1955), a novel by Nikos Kazantzakis (and 1988 film by Martin Scorsese) that depicts Judas in a similar vein to the Gospel of Judas. The plot of A Time for Judas (1983), a novel by Morley Callaghan also has a plot similar to that of the Gospel of Judas.

Mosaic Authorship Mosaic Authorship Mosaic Authorship

CAN ANYTHING BE LEARNED FROM THE “GOSPEL OF JUDAS”?

Regardless of whether they viewed the Judas found in this gospel as a hero or a demon, it does not matter because none of the scholars who examined this text make the claim that it includes accurate historical information. Bart Ehrman explains: “It is not a Gospel written by Judas, or one that even claims to be. It is a Gospel about Judas (and, of course, Jesus). It is not a Gospel written in Judas’s own time by someone who actually knew him or who had inside information concerning his inner motivations. It is not a historically accurate report about the man Judas himself. It is not as old as the four Gospels that made it into the New Testament. It is not even older than all of the other noncanonical gospels: The Gospel of Thomas and Peter are probably earlier by at least a couple of decades (although neither of these mentions Judas). The Gospel of Judas was written at least 100 or, more likely, 125 years after Judas’ death, by someone that did not have independent access to historical records about the events he was narrating. It is not a book, therefore, that will provide us with additional informatifon about what actually happened in Jesus’ lifetime, or even in his last days leading up to his death.” – The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed (Grand Rapids, MI: Oxford University Press; Oxford, 2006), 172.

The “Gospel of Judas” is a Gnostic text from the late second-third centuries C.E., originally written in Greek. “Carbon 14 dates the codex to A.D. 220-340. At the present time most of the members of the team incline to a date between 300 and 320 (but Emmel thinks a bit later).” (Craig A. Evans. Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels, p. 241) We do not know for certain if the Gospel of Judas” is identical to the text that Irenaeus referred to, so that will have to continue as a debate among the scholars.

From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts

Still, the Gospel of Judas” surely offers important testimony only regarding a period wherein “Christianity” had become broken up and divided by numerous competing sects and doctrines. Craig Evans writes, “The Gospel of Judas makes a meaningful contribution to our understanding ing of second-century Christianity, especially with regard to the question of diversity. We have here what may be an early exemplar of Sethian Gnosticism, a form of Gnosticism that may have roots in Jewish pessimism that emerged in the aftermath of the disastrous wars in A.D. 66-70 and 115-117.” (Craig A. Evans. Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels, p. 244) What we do know is that the Gospel of Judas gives us nothing in the way of adding to our knowledge of Jesus Christ or the real Judas Iscariot. Yes, many anti-Christian liberal, atheistic sources (CNN, Newsweek, Time) have given us fanciful stories, but these are to be ignored because they are of absolutely no value. Even James Robinson who is not a conservative evangelical Christian tells us that the Gospel of Judas has no value in understanding the historical Judas, and Bart D. Ehrman, an Agnostic textual and early Christianity scholar who rails against the Word of God and God, openly admits, “It is not a Gospel written by Judas, or one that even claims to be. . . . It is not a Gospel written in Judas’s own time by someone who actually knew him . . . It is not a book, therefore, that will provide us with additional information about what actually happened in Jesus’ lifetime.” Actually, the Gospel of Judas does not, in any way undermine the Scripture, but rather the “Gospel of Judas” truly validates apostolic warnings, such as that given to us by Paul at Acts 20:29-30: “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you . . . from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

See: THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS – PDF

Recommended Reading

April D. DeConick (2009) [2007]. The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says (2nd ed.). London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1847065681.

Craig A. Evans, (2006). Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels. Downers Grove: IVP Books. ISBN 0-8308-3318-8.

Peter M. Head (2007). “The Gospel of Judas and the Qarara Codices: Some Preliminary Observations.” Tyndale Bulletin. 58: 1–23.

Stanley E. Porter; Gordon L. Heath, (2007). The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0802824561.

Abraam D.  Sleman. “Refuting the Gospel of Judas” (PDF). CopticChurch.net. Jersey City, NJ: Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

N. T. Wright (2006). Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have we Missed the Truth about Christianity?. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. ISBN 978-0801012945.

by Edward D. Andrews and Wikipedia

Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All

$5.00

SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW

BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM

4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2
The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02
The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS
APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS I AM John 8.58
English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II
9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM THE NEW TESTAMENT how-to-study-your-bible1
How to Interpret the Bible-1 INTERPRETING THE BIBLE how-to-study-your-bible1
israel against all odds ISRAEL AGAINST ALL ODDS - Vol. II AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01

EARLY CHRISTIANITY

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1 The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02 THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1
The Epistle to the Hebrews EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES
THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1 Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS BIBLE DIFFICULTIES
The Epistle to the Hebrews Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL
REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS CONVERSATION EVANGELISM
Young Christians AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01 EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1
INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Jesus Paul THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK
REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS APOLOGETICS
REASONABLE FAITH Why Me_ FEARLESS-1
Satan BLESSED IN SATAN'S WORLD_02 HEROES OF FAITH - ABEL
is-the-quran-the-word-of-god UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM THE GUIDE TO ANSWERING ISLAM.png
DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP Agabus Cover BIBLICAL CRITICISM
Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE
The Holy Spirit_02 THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

TECHNOLOGY

9798623463753 Machinehead KILLER COMPUTERS
INTO THE VOID

CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

The Holy Spirit_02 Explaining the Doctrine of the Last Things Understaning Creation Account
Homosexuality and the Christian second coming Cover Where Are the Dead
The Holy Spirit_02 THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. II CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. III
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. IV CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. V MIRACLES
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE Human Imperfection HUMILITY

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

READ ALONG WITH ME READ ALONG WITH ME READ ALONG WITH ME

PRAYER

Powerful Weapon of Prayer Power Through Prayer How to Pray_Torrey_Half Cover-1

TEENS-YOUTH-ADOLESCENCE-JUVENILE

THERE IS A REBEL IN THE HOUSE thirteen-reasons-to-keep-living_021 Waging War - Heather Freeman
Young Christians DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1)
Homosexuality and the Christian THE OUTSIDER RENEW YOUR MIND

CHRISTIAN LIVING

GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS Wives_02 HUSBANDS - Love Your Wives
ADULTERY 9781949586053 PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE
WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD THE BATTLE FOR THE CHRISTIAN MIND (1)-1 WAITING ON GOD
ADULTERY 9781949586053 PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE
APPLYING GODS WORD-1 For As I Think In My Heart_2nd Edition Put Off the Old Person
Abortion Booklet Dying to Kill The Pilgrim’s Progress
WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE WAITING ON GOD WORKING FOR GOD
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Let God Use You to Solve Your PROBLEMS THE POWER OF GOD
HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR BAD HABITS-1 GOD WILL GET YOU THROUGH THIS A Dangerous Journey
ARTS, MEDIA, AND CULTURE Christians and Government Christians and Economics

CHRISTIAN COMMENTARIES

Book of Philippians Book of James Book of Proverbs Book of Esther
CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONALS
40 day devotional (1) Daily Devotional_NT_TM Daily_OT
DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDY
DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1) daily-devotional_darker

CHURCH ISSUES, GROWTH, AND HISTORY

LEARN TO DISCERN Deception In the Church FLEECING THE FLOCK_03
The Church Community_02 THE CHURCH CURE Developing Healthy Churches
FIRST TIMOTHY 2.12 THE NEW TESTAMENT EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1

Apocalyptic-Eschatology [End Times]

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last Things Identifying the AntiChrist second coming Cover
ANGELS AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY_ ezekiel, daniel, & revelation

CHRISTIAN FICTION

Oren Natas_JPEG Sentient-Front Seekers and Deceivers
Judas Diary 02 Journey PNG The Rapture

[1] “Time Line of Early Christianity: The Lost Gospel of Judas”. NationalGeographic.com. National Geographic Society. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[2] During the 2nd and 3rd centuries, various Christian sects composed texts which are loosely labeled New Testament Apocrypha; these texts, like those in the New Testament, are usually but not always “pseudeponymous,” i.e. falsely attributed to a notable figure, such as an apostle, of an earlier era. (Gospel of Thomas” and the “Gospel of Mary Magdalene.”) There have been about 30 such ancient writings that have been identified.

[3] Jenott, Lance (2011). The Gospel of Judas: Coptic Text, Translation, and Historical Interpretation of ‘the Betrayer’s Gospel’. Mohr Siebeck. p. 23. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[4] Favorite, Crowd (6 April 2006). “Ancient Text Titled ‘Gospel Of Judas” Is Authenticated, Translated.” Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[5] Schneemelcher, Wilhelm; Wilson, Robert McLachlan, eds. (2005). New Testament Apocrypha. 1. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 387

[6] Irenaeus, Refutation of Gnosticism, 1.

[7] Witherington, Ben III (2006). What Have They Done with Jesus?: Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History—Why We Can Trust the Bible. San Francisco: Harper Collins. pp. 7–8

[8] Pagels, Elaine; King, Karen L. (2007). Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity. New York: Viking Adult, p. 78.

[9] Kasser, Rodolphe; Meyer, Marvin Meyer; Wurst, Gregor, eds. (2006). The Gospel of Judas. Commentary by Bart D. Ehrman. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society. p. 1, 4, 5, 7, 43.

[10] Witherington, Ben III (2006). What Have They Done with Jesus?: Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History—Why We Can Trust the Bible. San Francisco: Harper Collins. pp. 7–8

[11] Pagels & King (2007).

[12] Miller, David Ian (April 2, 2007). “Finding My Religion / Religious scholar Elaine Pagels on how the newly discovered Gospel of Judas sheds new light on the dawn of Christianity”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[13] Kasser, Rodolphe; Meyer, Marvin Meyer; Wurst, Gregor, eds. (2006). The Gospel of Judas. Commentary by Bart D. Ehrman. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society. p. 1, 4, 5, 7, 43.

[14] “Text might be hidden ‘Gospel of Judas.'” CNN. April 6, 2006. From the original on 2006-04-08.

[15] Kasser, Rodolphe; Meyer, Marvin Meyer; Wurst, Gregor, eds. (2006). The Gospel of Judas. Commentary by Bart D. Ehrman. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society. p. 1, 4, 5, 7, 43.

[16] Kasser, Rodolphe; Meyer, Marvin Meyer; Wurst, Gregor, eds. (2006). The Gospel of Judas. Commentary by Bart D. Ehrman. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society. p. 1, 4, 5, 7, 43.

[17] Handwerk, Brian (April 6, 2006). “Gospel of Judas Pages Endured Long, Strange Journey”. National Geographic News. National Geographic Society. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[18] Allen, Paul L. (April 7, 2006). “UA team verifies age of Gospel of Judas”. Tucson Citizen. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[19] Pappas, Stephanie (April 8, 2013). “Truth Behind Gospel of Judas Revealed in Ancient Inks”. LiveScience.com. LiveScience. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[20] Churton, Tobias (2008). Kiss of Death: The True History of the Gospel of Judas. London: Watkins.

[21] Schutten, Henk. “The hunt for the Gospel of Judas”. Tertullian.org. Roger Pearse. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[22] “Lawyer Says He’s Got ‘Gospel of Judas’ Papyrus Fragments”. FoxNews.com. Associated Press. April 20, 2006. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[23] Kasser, Rodolphe; Meyer, Marvin Meyer; Wurst, Gregor; François Gaudard, eds. (2007). The Gospel of Judas, Critical Edition: Together with the Letter of Peter to Philip, James, and a Book of Allogenes from Codex Tchacos (in Coptic, English, and French). Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Books.

[24] “Press release: Gospel of Judas, Critical Edition”. The National Geographic Society. June 4, 2007. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[25] Robinson, James M. (2006). The Secrets of Judas: The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel. San Francisco: Harper, p. 183.

[26] CBC News (December 4, 2006). “Judas no hero, scholars say”. CBC News. From the original on 2007-01-05.

[27] DeConick, April D. (December 1, 2007). “Gospel Truth”. The New York Times. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[28] IBID.

[29] IBID.

[30] IBID.

[31] “Statement from National Geographic in Response to April DeConick’s New York Times Op-Ed ‘Gospel Truth’ (Dec. 1, 2007)”. NationalGeographic.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[32] Belkov, Tamara (May 11, 2006). “Religion Professor Disputes Translation of Judas Gospel”. Northern Life. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[33] Gagné, André (June 2007). “A Critical Note on the Meaning of APOPHASIS in Gospel of Judas 33:1”. Laval Théologique et Philosophique. 63 (2): 377–383.

[34]  Vermes, Géza (May 6, 2006), “The great Da Vinci Code distraction”, The Times, republished in Vermes, Géza (2009). Searching For The Real Jesus: Jesus, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Religious Themes. SCM Press. ISBN 978-0-334-04358-4.. For a similar view, see James Martin “Why Did Judas Do It?” America: The National Catholic Review 194.19 (29 May 2006)

<http://americamagazine.org/issue/574/article/why-did-judas-do-it>

[35] Kasser, Rodolphe; Meyer, Marvin Meyer; Wurst, Gregor, eds. (2006). The Gospel of Judas. Commentary by Bart D. Ehrman. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society. p. 1, 4, 5, 7, 43.

[36] IBID.

[37] DeConiek, A.D. 2009. The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says. Revised Edition. New York: Continuum.; Painchaud, L. 2008. Polemical Aspects of the Gospel of Judas. Pages 171-86 in Scopello (ed.), The Gospel of Judas in Context.; Pearson, P.A. 2009. Judas Iscariot in the Gospel of Judas. Pages 137-152 in DeConick (ed.), The Codex Judas Papers.; Rubio, F.B. Laughing at Judas: Conflicting Integrations of a New Gnostic Gospel. Pages 153-80 in DeConick (ed.), The Codex Judas Papers.; Sullivan, K. 2009. “You will become the Thirteenth”: The Identity of Judas in the Gospel of Judas. Pages 181-99 in DeConick (ed.), The Codex Judas Papers.

[38] DeConick, A.D., ed. 2009. The Codex Judas Papers: Proceedings of the International Congress on the Tchacos Codex held at Rice University, Houston, Texas, March 13–16, 2008. Leiden: Brill [NHMS 71], page xxvii; Scopello, M., ed. 2008. The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas. Paris, Sorbonne, October 27th-28th Leiden: Brill [NHMS 62] 2008, page xiii)

[39] Krosney, H. 2009. The Tchacos Fragment in Court. Paper Presented at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. New Orleans, November.

[40]  “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2015-05-03. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

“FInding Jesus: Faith, fact and forgery”CNN.

[41] Archbishop of Canterbury (April 16, 2006). “Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon”. BBC News. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[42] “Vatican: Pope Banishes Judas’ Gospel”. Agenzia Giornalistica Italia. April 13, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-04-15. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[43] Meichtry, Stacy (February 25, 2006). “Another Take on Gospel Truth About Judas”. The Washington Post. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

[44] “The “Gospel of Judas” Interview With Father Thomas Williams, Theology Dean”Zenit News Agency. Innovative Media Inc. April 5, 2006. Archived from the original on November 9, 2006. Retrieved Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: