Yet another Gnostic “gospel” has surfaced and gained immediate praise from the media. I don’t want to spend much time on it, but for the “inquiring mind” I must address this, if ever so briefly.
In brief, the “Gospel of Judas” is a pseudopygraphal, Gnostic account of the life of Jesus in which the tables are turned on the authentic rendition of the teachings of Jesus. The good guys are the bad guys, and the bad guys are…well…you guessed it—good. It was originally composed some time around the end of the second century, and discovered in the early 70’s in the Egyptian desert. After several years of trying to be sold, it finally ended up in the hands of those who would be able to fund its restoration and translation. As of this year, the translation was completed, and the entire text (of what was not damaged beyond recognition) is publicly available from National Geographic.
This particular gospel begins by letting us know that it is giving us a “secret” account of Jesus that has previously never been told. The reader then learns that only Judas, of all of the disciples, really has intimate fellowship with the Master. He is the only one truly on the “inside” of Jesus’s agenda. As a matter of fact, at the onset of the narrative, he is told to remove himself from the others, because he alone is on the path to enlightenment. Several other amusing tales are told, such as Jesus often appearing to them in different form—a little child.
In conclusion, there are sure-fire ways to know whether this “gospel” has any credibility or not. The first of which is if it has the word “Gnostic” or “secret knowledge” tied to it in any shape, form or fashion, then it’s bogus. The Gnostic teachings that spread rampantly in the early second century forward ruthlessly attempt to strip Jesus from his Jewish context. If this were the case, he would definitely not be the Messiah. The second is its lateness in composition. The mere fact that it was composed so late, tells us that this could not be an eyewitness account, nor transmit accurate information from the time of Jesus. While the Gospel of Judas might be great for Hollywood, it’s only bird cage liner for true followers of the Master.
For further study, check out the following resources:
The Gospel of Judas and the Da Vinci Code
An audio teaching by Daniel Lancaster of Beth Immanuel (and FFOZ).
Read all of the details of the discovery, the timeline of the events related to the Gospel of Judas in conjunction to the events of Church history, and even download the text of the Gospel of Judas in PDF format.