Gospel Of Judas

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Gospel of Judas - What Is It?
The Gospel of Judas was discovered in the 1970s in an Egyptian cave. Until recently, no institutions were willing to pay the exorbitant fee to get the manuscript due to its dubious origin. A foundation in Switzerland eventually purchased the codex to release its content.

In 2006, National Geographic announced that the manuscript has been authenticated by carbon dating, studied, and translated by biblical scholars. However, up to one-third of the gospel according to Judas is missing or illegible.

This manuscript held by National Geographic is likely dated to the 5th century AD.

Gospel of Judas - Who Wrote It and What Does it Say?
It is unknown who wrote the Gospel of Judas. Our biggest clue comes from Irenaeus (a second century Christian) who referenced the Gospel of Judas as invented history of heretics and rebels. In about 180 AD, Irenaeus wrote:

    “They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas.” (Adversus Haereses I.31.1; Roberts-Donaldson translation.)
The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic Gospel and is consistent with Gnostic viewpoints. The Gnostics believed that the road to salvation was through secret knowledge given by Jesus to his inner circle. The biggest controversy in this text revolves around the theory that Jesus wanted Judas to betray Him in order to fulfill Jesus’ plan. This is contrary to the New Testament, which presents Judas as a traitor.

The Gospel of Judas begins with these words: "the secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week three days before the celebrated Passover." Later, the text says that Jesus tells Judas, “you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothed me.” (The Gospel of Judas, Published by the National Geographic Society, 2006.)

This is contrary to the New Testament account. If it was Jesus’ plan for Judas to betray Him, why would Jesus call Judas the “one headed for destruction” in John 17:12? Jesus also stated that it would have been better if Judas had never been born: “For I, the Son of Man, must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer. Far better for him if he had never been born!"

The Bible reports that Judas committed suicide when he saw that Jesus was condemned. Why would Judas do this if He was following Jesus’ instructions? Matthew 27:5 says, “Then Judas threw the money onto the floor of the Temple and went out and hanged himself.”

Gospel of Judas - Why Isn't It Accurate?
The Gospel of Judas is considered "Gnostic" in origin. Generally, Gnostics hold that salvation of the soul comes from a quasi-intuitive knowledge of the mysteries of the universe and of secret formulae indicative of that knowledge. The gospel according to Judas is simply a heretical forgery like the Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Philip.

We now have over 25,000 ancient texts and fragments confirming the legitimate biblical accounts. Maybe there’s a reason we’ve only found one copy of the Gospel of Judas laying in an ancient trash heap in the back of a solitary cave. Just as Judas betrayed Jesus Christ, this gospel has betrayed the truth of God.

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