The Gospel Of Judas: Part II

“The Gospel of Judas” was given major national exposure by the “National Geographical Society” the week before Easter. It was given major national exposure in a TV special, two books, features in major magazines, an exhibit, and a special web site. The Society paid $1,000,000 for the right to publish it and made great profit.

The Gospel of Judas portrays him as a noble individual seeking to help Christ. Gnostic writing popped up everywhere between the second and fourth centuries. This aberrant “Christian” group believed an evil god created the world of the flesh. They held that secret knowledge could allow a person to escape the evil prison of the body and enjoy an elevated spiritual state. This heretical writing contends Judas was doing Christ’s bidding in betraying Him to the authorities to be put to death in order that He might enjoy this heightened state. Judas is represented as the “thirteenth spirit” appointed by God to free Jesus from His mortal body imposed on Him by His incarnation.

What do scholars say of this and other Gnostic writing found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt?

Dr. James Robinson, the distinguished editor of the Nag Hammadi codices that include several Gnostic gospels calls it a “dud.”
The scholarly “Biblical Archaeological Review” magazine concluded: “The fact is that it will be a rare scholar who will argue that this Gnostic gospel is historically trustworthy in its description of Judas’s motivation in betraying Jesus.”

The early Christian church denounced the bogus gospel as heretical for one reason, the same reason it is dismissed toady, it simply was heretical. It was not and is not considered authentic and authoritative. It was written hundreds of years after the death of Judas yet bears his name as author. That alone discredits it. Most Gnostic writing scholars agree were originally written in Greek and later translated into Coptic. It is the Coptic version that exists.

Irenaeus, one of the early church fathers, writing around 180 AD called the work heretical. Indeed it is in that it not only omits reference to Christ’s redemptive work spoken of in the New Testament gospels. Instead it emphasizes a distortion of the spiritual world.

Why then did The National Geographical Society engage in such disreputable sensationalism? Even they noted, “Scholars disagreed on whether the gospel shed and new light on the historical Jesus and Judas Iscariot.” Be real!

Perhaps it was not their intent but it is yet another attempt at discrediting the Bible and diminishing the deity of Christ.

There are current movements within churches as alien to Christianity as were the Gnostic writings. Hopefully this generation will be as vigilant as the church of the era that produced such writings. Discernment has never been more needed.