Gospel of Judas

By now most of you have heard of this mysterious "Gospel of Judas" that has recently surfaced. This document was discovered in the 1970's but it wasn't until recently that it wound up in the hands of experts who could restore it and translate it. The National Geographic Channel recently aired a documentary on the "Gospel of Judas" and I just had to watch it in order to see what their perspective would be.

It turns out that many scholars are very excited about this "lost gospel." They say that it adds insight to the true nature of Judas Iscariot and that, after reading this "gospel" account, they no longer see Judas as such a bad guy. Basically, the "Gospel of Judas" credits Judas Iscariot with collaborating with Jesus in order to fulfill God's will. Jesus saw that Judas was much more spiritually astute than the other 11 disciples and He asked Judas to betray Him, promising that he would be blessed more than all the other disciples for doing so. Of course, this contradicts what the 4 gospels of the New Testament have to say, but that doesn't seem to matter in light of these "new and exciting revelations."

From this documentary, I was able to grasp a couple of key ideas that explain a lot about this newly discovered "gospel." First, it was written in the style of the Gnostics, those in the first century who claimed to be more enlightened than all others and who tended to drift toward heretical teachings and beliefs. For instance, the Gnostics believed that matter was evil, so some of the them reasoned that Jesus actually didn't come to earth physically but rather as a spirit, since a physical body would tarnish who He was. All of the Gnostic writings were rejected by the early church fathers as being either heretical or inconsistent to the teachings of the books we find in our Bibles today. Another thing that struck me about this documentary is that, while there were plenty of scholars interviewed who were excited and supportive of this "Gospel of Judas," there was maybe one scholar interviewed who was skeptical. Call me crazy, but I can think of lots of scholars who could have been interviewed who would have given strong arguments against this new "gospel." The producers did interview a pastor - Dr. Robert Schuller of the famed Crystal Cathdral - but, no offense to Dr. Schuller, he isn't exactly a scholar. All of the other scholars interviewed gave only a one-sided assessment of this new document, and that of course will lead to the viewer's assumption that what these scholars believe has to be true, especially if there is no one to argue against them.

In a nutshell, the "Gospel of Judas" is nothing more than just another ancient document that adds nothing that the accuracy, relevancy, or validity of the Bible. In fact, much of what it contains is contrary to New Testament teaching and should therefore be rejected. If you are a Christian, you owe it to yourself to be aware of the difficulties that arise with new archeological discoveries such as the "Gospel of Judas" and you should also be well-acquainted with the truth that is contained in God's Word.

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