The Lost Gospel Of Judas: Authentic or Fake?

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According to Stefan Lovgren of the National Geographic, and as part of the National Geographic Society, the Gospel of Judas is a lost Gospel. He and apparently National Geographic believes that it is one of the books intended for the New Testament. Never mind that Judas is one of the most reviled men in history and from the day he hanged himself, his name was hardly ever used as a first name again. In this “gospel”, Judas claims that he was instructed to betray Christ. Is it true that Judas was only obeying his master’s wishes when he betrayed Jesus with a kiss? Other problematic sections have Jesus’ married to Mary Magdalene, having children, and mentioning that women were not ordained for Heaven unless they first become a male lion, then become a man (prerequisites to entrance into the Kingdom, in other words, women are not, as is, fit for Heaven). This supposed gospel was found around 1970 and is Gnostic in construction. The early church fathers fought tenaciously against this movement of Gnosticism, one which allows salvation only through knowledge…truly a false gospel since Jesus is the only way.

Gene Veith, Academic Dean of Patrick Henry College in Virginia, points out that National Geographic has “…translated the text so that it reads the opposite of what it actually said [1.]. His biggest problem with the reliability of the book of Judas, was “…that the manuscript was dishonestly translated. What the National Geographic translated as ‘spirit’ (with Judas being described as the ‘13th spirit’) should be rendered as ‘demon’ (with Judas being the ‘13th demon’)” [1.]. National Geographic’s best sell also says “that Judas has be ‘set apart for the holy generation’. But the real text says “set apart from the holy generation’. Perhaps “…the most flagrant mistranslation was leaving out a negative, saying that Judas ‘would ascend to the holy generation’, ”when it should have read, “would not ascend to the holy generation” [1.].

That’s what is claimed in The Gospel of Judas. This “gospel” is a false one. It was never canonized by the early church, the very reason it didn’t make it into the Bible. God is sovereign and He could have ensured it’s place in the Bible, if He saw it as the truth. It has half pages missing, was in jig-saw puzzle form, and is incomplete. Not discovered until 1700 years after it had been written may be a clue as to God not intending it to be included in the Bible. However the four Gospels state that Judas committed suicide after the betrayal so how could he have written a book, incidentally, some 300 years after this suicide (28AD). Remember he killed himself after being filled with despair for his act of betrayal (Math 27:3-5, Acts1:16-20). With so many pieces missing, it is not even coherent in parts.

The Bible says the Devil was the one who was responsible for “having put into Judas’ mind“ the idea to betray Jesus. It was not Jesus idea but Satan‘s. Greed (the 30 pieces of silver) was certainly a factor as well as his portrayal of being covetous and dishonest (John 12:6). Even so, God had foreordained this long ago in the Psalms. It was not a collusion between Judas and Jesus. Why would the other four, canonized Gospels all disagree with this Judas‘ gospel? The Coptic, or Egyptian Christian, manuscripts were unveiled last year at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. (National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.)

Some biblical scholars are calling the Gospel of Judas the most significant archaeological discovery in 60 years. Most do not and recognize it as being false (not inspired by God or the Holy Spirit). The only known surviving copy of the gospel was found in a codex, or ancient book, that dates back to the third or fourth century A.D. The newly revealed gospel document, written in Coptic script, is believed to be a translation of the original, a Greek text written by an early Christian sect sometime before A.D. 180. Then why, if written by a sect, is Judas’ name on it? It lends credence. That is the only reason, for Judas had no teachings, no followers, no sects in all of recorded history.

The Gospel of Judas claims that Judas, acting at Jesus’ request, is following Jesus command to do so. Why does Jesus tell Judas, “…you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”! This lost gospel Judas Iscariot—considered for 20 centuries and by hundreds of millions of believers as an antichrist of the worst kind—bears witness to something completely different from what was said [about Judas]in the Bible,” said Rodolphe Kasser, a clergyman and former professor in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

“I expect this gospel to be important mainly for the deeper insight it will give scholars into the thoughts and beliefs of certain Christians in the second century of the Christian era, namely the Gnostics,” said Stephen Emmel, a Coptic studies professor at the University of Münster in Germany.

In 1983 Emmel was among the first three known scholars to view the Gospel of Judas, which had been discovered hidden in Egypt in the late 1970s. Gnostics belonged to pre-Christian and early Christian sects that believed that elusive spiritual knowledge could help them rise above what they saw as the corrupt physical world.

Biblical accounts suggest that Jesus foresaw and allowed Judas’s betrayal. As told in the New Testament Gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus for “30 pieces of silver,” identifying him with a kiss in front of Roman soldiers. Later the guilt-ridden Judas returns the bribe and commits suicide. The Gospel of Judas, however, gives a very different account.

The text begins by announcing that it is the “secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week, three days before he celebrated Passover.” It goes on to describe Judas as Jesus’ closest friend (what of John, the disciple Jesus loved?), someone who understands Christ’s true message and is singled out for special status among Jesus’ disciples. In the key passage Jesus tells Judas, “‘you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.'” Kasser, the translation-project leader, offers an interpretation: “Jesus says it is necessary for someone to free him finally from his human body, and he prefers that this liberation be done by a friend rather than by an enemy. “So he asks Judas, who is his friend, to sell him out, to betray him. It’s treason to the general public, but between Jesus and Judas it’s not treachery.” The newfound account challenges one of the most firmly rooted beliefs in Christian tradition. Bart Ehrman is chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “This gospel,” he said, “has a completely different understanding of God, the world, Christ, salvation, human existence—not to mention of Judas himself—than came to be embodied in the Christian creeds and canon.”

It is sheer nonsense to think that Jesus needed Judas’s help to “free him” from His human body. Only God alone can resurrect…no man has the power of life. And Judas was told that he will “exceed all of them [Apostles]”. In what way? By manner of suicide or hanging? Paul and John (I, II & III) warned many times about a false gospel, one that already existed in their day.

The book of Proverbs frequently repeats that what seems right to a man leads to death and so human knowledge is never enough. This is a warning about such secret or Gnostic gospels. Christian Gnostics believed that the way to salvation was through secret knowledge delivered by Jesus to his inner circle and not just for anyone. This knowledge, they believed, revealed how people could escape the prisons of their material bodies and return to the spiritual realm from which they came but only for a special privileged few This despite Jesus’ saying “all you who are heavy burdened, etc., come to me” and Paul saying “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved“. Gnostic sects looked to their gospels—among them the Gospel of Mary, newly famous for its role in the best-seller The Da Vinci Code—to authenticate their distinctive beliefs and practices. The gospel of Mary is also false. Contradicting the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, these texts were later denounced by orthodox Christian leaders and refused entry into the Bible. Scholars believe that followers of the texts hid copies of them for preservation.

Scholars knew of the existence of the Gospel of Judas because of references to it in other ancient texts as early as A.D. 180. To today’s biblical scholars, the Gospel of Judas illustrates the multitude of opinions and beliefs in the early Christian church. “This ancient text helps the modern world rediscover something that the early Christians knew firsthand,” said Reverend Donald Senior, president of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. “In the early centuries of the Christian era there were multiple sacred texts resulting from communities in various parts of the Mediterranean world trying to come to grips with the meaning of Jesus Christ for their lives.”

They can make any claim they want too. The current Bible is the only inspired Word of God. It was canonized (accepted by early church fathers and scholars) as authentic. Other’s were not for good reason. The gospel of Mary and Judas fall into this category. They are from the Father of Lies, Satan himself, a deceiver, liar and accuser of the brethren. Biblical scholars, PhD‘s, no Masters in Divinity, and many Christians have accepted it as the Gospel. It should have stayed lost because it is not factually from legitimately from the Word of God or biblical. It is not part of truth of Jesus Christ, Who is the Chief Cornerstone from which the foundation of the Apostles is built upon. All other ground is sinking sand. 

1. Ligonier Ministires Table Talk Magazine (Feb. 09, P. 82,83)


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