Gospel of Judas: Survey of Early Reactions and Commentary
So here we are again, two thousand years later, and Judas is fulfilling his mission to bring light into darkness,
and the darkness still has not understood it.
Once again, we are rehearsing all the old strategies of marginalization and denial which structure the discourse of orthodoxy and heresy:
The history of the scholarly study of religion, and "Gnosticism" in particular, traces the surrender, in the face of new facts and knowledge, of one cherished belief or hypothesis after another, from the "historical Jesus" to the authorship of the Gospels to the use of Gnosticism as a polemical category to define and defend the borders of orthodox Christianity.
What we are left with, once most of the resistances have been overcome, is a much more complex picture of the historical environment, social structure and textual resources of early Christian communities, and a "Gnosticism" that cannot be separated from very early Christianity, or what Bart Ehrman calls "proto-orthodoxy" -- since there was no orthodoxy at the time. According to King, "Christoph Markschies suggest that we have lost 85% of Chrisitan literature from the first two centuries -- and that includes only the literature we know about." (The Gospel of Mary Magdala p.6).
The Gospel of Judas takes us to the late second century, if there existed a Greek original for the Coptic copy found in Egypt, presumably similar to the one described (but not seen) by Irenaeus in 180CE. We now find ourselves outside the bulwark of the first century, beyond which no taint of impurity to the true tradition is presumed to exist.
Keeping in mind the minimum 85% suppressed or neglected early texts, this boundary seems arbitrary and psychologically naive. The answer, judging from recent reaction, to the question "does the Gospel of Judas tell us anything about the historical Jesus (as if there were one) or very early Chrisitanity?" is a thunderous, near-unanimous "No." And what are our modern protectors of the faith protecting us from?
Tertullian, a Church Father and heresy hunter, said in AD160: "When we come to believe, we have no desire to believe anything else; for we begin by believing that there is nothing else which we have to believe." and "it is better for you to remain ignorant, for fear that you come to what you should not know." Just exactly what is it, that we "should not know?" Which is the same question as "what did the Gnostics (the knowers) know"?
Here we find ourselves again at the intersection of myth and history, and at the disjunction of religion, natural science and psychology, none of which seems capable of talking to one another. Daniel Dennett's concept of "belief in belief" explains the adaptive value of belief in itself, outside of specific articles of faith, but is scorned by the religionists as "scientism" and largely ignores a century of insight into psychological resistance and ego formation. Science and religion talk past each other, having no common ground, while psychology, which should have a role in their mediation, has come to a dead end with its schism between matter and mind, and is listened to by no one. Science sees nothing to know, since it cannot see a Spiritual domain. Religion, the container of Spirituality, doesn't believe in science, and would rather not know, either about its own developmental history or what it has been resisting for two thousand years.
The psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion calls the "selected fact" the fact that can't be selected because it will result in catastrophic change for the psyche or group. The selected fact is the fact that cannot be integrated into the current definatory hypothesis or basic belief system because its integration will cause the destruction of the container, the current definatory hypothesis maintained by mythical assumptions.
The selected fact in the current belief system of Biblical scholarship -- and mainstream Christianity -- is the probability that "Gnostic influences" reach into the pre-history of both orthodox Christianity and normative Judaism, that Jesus taught on many levels to reach the various levels of psycho-spirtual development of his audience and -- "Anyone with two ears should listen" -- had a not-so-secret teaching (for those who could hear) which developed into a wild variety of "gnosticisms" appropriate for the times. And that because human consciousness was not mature enough two thousand years ago to think scientifically, Jesus' teachings were encapsulated by the collective psyche in a defensive reaction opposite and equal to the power of his revelation, as he knew it would be, awaiting the second coming and the development of individualized psyches capable of understanding the Truth.
What they don't want you to know:
Perhaps, if our faith were more pure, we would imagine that God's plan included a component for the long-term education and evolution of human conscousness (considering its current pathetic state), and could see our arrogance and immaturity in presuming to understand the Word, as well as the meaning of Judas' reappearance at this time in history.
Which leaves the question: has the human race evolved or developed psychologically or spiritually -- at all -- in the past two thousand years?
Carlo Suares: Judas, or Jesus Accepted
Carlo Suares: Lexicon: Qahaeen/Hevel Cain and Abel
Jesus Myth / Historical Jesus
Gnosticism / Gnostic Material
New Testament Resources
Background on the struggle between belief and knowledge:
|National Geographic links and resources:|
|More primary sources, manuscript history and links:|
|Heresy hunters and myths of gnosticism:|
Start with a review informed by modern scholarship and views on Gnosticism and its relationship to early Christianity. Relatively in depth consideration of the structure and themes of the GoJ. At least one of the contributors (Lance Jennott) is a Coptic scholar and translates several key words differently from the Nat Geo translation: "seed" for "divine spark" and "race" or "people" for "generation."
Scholars have commonly approached such noncanonical texts as the Nag Hammadi writings by assuming that they presuppose a particular worldview known as Gnosticism. In the newly published edition of the Gospel of Judas, Marvin Meyer and Bart Ehrman both use this approach to interpret the text. Summing up one of the basic tenets of Gnosticism, as he understands it, Ehrman writes: "This world is a cesspool of pain, misery, and suffering, and our only hope of salvation is to forsake it." The cosmos, in this view, is the evil creation of a malevolent lower being, who created humans by trapping sparks of divinity in material bodies; but not everyone has this "divine spark," and only those predestined few who do can be saved. Salvation is not a matter of faith or of ethics, however, but of acquiring spiritual knowledge—gnosis. Finally, according to this interpretation of the Gnostic gospels, Jesus' death has no part in the salvation of humanity, except as an example of how death releases the true self from the body: "In the Gospel of Judas, as in other gnostic gospels, Jesus is primarily a teacher and revealer of wisdom and knowledge, not a savior who dies for the sins of the world."
NT Gateway Weblog: Gospel of Judas documentary
NT Gateway Weblog: Mark Goodacre: Gospel of Judas megapost
The canonization of the New Testament was a long process that began well before Constantine and ended decisively decades after him. As early as Irenaeus in the 180s, the direct precursors of the 4th cen. orthodox Christianity (whom Bart Ehrman calls the "proto-Orthodox") had already limited the gospels they recognized to the four we know today: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Constantine's political doctrines had nothing to do with the selection of the four or the exclusion of the others (many of which did not circulate widely and were not even known to the proto-Orthodox).Hypotyposeis: Gospel of Judas in the News (4/7/06)
Accordingly, the Gospel of Judas’s explanation for Judas’s act of betrayal is more like asking a travel agent to book a flight back home than an attempt to wrestle with a puzzle of orthodox Christian theology.Hypotyposeis: The Gospel of Judas on the Betrayal of Judas (4/10/06)
Hypotyposeis: What the Gospel of Judas Tells Us
Hypotyposeis: Detering on the Gospel of Judas
Again, no scholars are arguing that it was written by Judas. Some think that it may have been composed in Greek as early as the second century. I have my doubts even about that.PaleoJudaica: Judas (1/13/06)
In fact, I know of no biblical scholar who takes the view that the Gospel of Judas is a legitimate historical source for the first century. If any did, the rest of us would laugh them off the stage. The Gospel of Judas is, of course, a very important new source for Gnostic legends and theology of the second century. There were some half-hearted attempts in the media (to their credit, not very many) to try to stir up worry that the Gospel of Judas somehow affected first-century history, but scholars, theologians, and lay people declined to take the bait and insisted on appreciating the text for what it is. I would expect a professor of history to be better informed.PaleoJudaica: Judas and pseudepigrapha (4/29/06)
I have little other to add that hasn't already been said: "publicity stunt," "we have known about the text ever since Irenaeus" (A.H. I.31), "this particular manuscript has been discussed since Rudolph Kasser delivered a paper on the manuscript in 2004," "Michael van Rijn has followed this story for ages," and "a guy named Roger Pearse has had a site on the manuscript (with images and transcriptions!) for quite some time." All right, a few of those may be new to you. I had actually poked through the images on that last site a week or two before the National Geographic site was launched.Ekthesis: GJudas: Obligatory Gospel of Judas Nod... (4/10/06)
Ekthesis: GJudas: The Unsettling Conclusion (The Robinson Contribution) (4/17/06)
Ekthesis: GJudas: The Michel van Rijn Angle (4/13/06)
Justin Jenkins provides a nice summary with commentary of Scenes 1 and 2.
While it seems that everyone and their mom are talking about the Gospel of Judas, I’d like to examine some of the text in a rather relaxed style. This isn’t meant to be any sort of in-depth textual analysis, just some passing thoughts as I read over the translation.Pisteuo: Justin Jenkins’ Weblog » Commentary: Gospel of Judas, Scene 1
Pisteuo: Justin Jenkins’ Weblog » Commentary: Gospel of Judas, Scene 2
Gospel of Judas: Question of authorship (Detering) and Ireneaus on the Cainites : inTerjeCted (6/14/2005)
The Gospel of Judas Redux- a news release+more : inTerjeCted (6/13/2005)
A little more on the Gospel of Judas +diverse reflections : inTerjeCted (6/12/2005
BW doubts the existence of earlier Greek version: loan words in Coptic text not convincing. GJ does not mitigate anti-Semitism because
"various passages reflect anti-Semitic views of various sorts." "Taken on face value the Gospel of Judas does not promote the
feminist agendas of Professor King or the tolerance agendas of Professor Meyer."
When all the hype dies down, what we will be left with is further evidence of an interesting split off movement from early Christianity which began in the second century A.D. and was tolerated for two centuries by the church until the church fathers and mothers had heard quite enough of these fairy tales. In short, it helps us understand post apostolic and Nicene church history better, it tells us nothing about the origins of Christianity or the historical Jesus.Ben Witherington: The Gospel of Judas-- the NPR Discussion (4/10/06)
. My greater concern is the revisionist history being tauted by Elaine Pagels, Karen King, Bart Ehrman, Marvin Meyer and others, on the basis of such Gnostic documents, wanting to suggest that somehow, someway these documents reflect Christianity at its very point of origin--- the first century A.D.Ben Witherington: The Gospel of Judas et al.--- Part One (4/7/06)
GoJ may not be the original Cainite Gnostic document that Irenaeus refers to.
A.J. was also in agreement with me that this document has no material which could or should shake the faith of Christians in what is said in the NT about Jesus and Judas for the very good reason that it comes from a much later source, and one that not even its advocates are really suggesting is written by the historical Judas. In fact it is just another example of the phenomenon known as pseudonymity--- documents with falsely attributed authors--- other such examples are the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, The Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Philip and so on.Ben Witherington: The Gospel of Judas--- Part Two (4/9/06)
Other blog reactions:
...Benedict Arnold ...Volokh Conspiracy: The Judas Gospel
The text, one of several ancient documents found in the Egyptian desert in 1970, was preserved and translated by a team of scholars. It was made public in an English translation by the National Geographic Society.Wood Chips and Text Musings: The Gospel of Judas: Another Gnostic Gospel, Part 1
The Gospel of Judas itself has nothing to offer to ordinary Christians, except that it fills in a tiny blank on the map of Christian history. But it offers no new insights into the historical Jesus, nothing for people of orthodox Christian faith. The furor of the Gospel of Judas will be hot and heavy for a few days, and then it will die out.The Da Vinci Opportunity: Excursus: The Gospel of Judas -- A Special Report
Excursus: Why is Gnosticism Popular Today
I suppose it bears repeating: (1) none of the Gnostic gospels, which date from at least a century after the time of Christ, have any credible claim to provide evidence about the historical Jesus; (2) none of the early New Testament canons ever included any gnostic Gospels, therefore those Gospels could not have been "edited out"; (2) any theological perspective held by grown-ups on the formation of the canon should be able to accommodate both the governing hand of God and the presence of "historical and political forces."Ralph the Sacred River: Is the Gospel of Judas "Troubling"? (4/06/06)
Gnosticism's intense rejection of Judaism seems to have been overlooked in the modern revisionist rush to anoint the Gnostics as a "healthy corrective" to orthodox Christianity. If the Gnostic version of Christianity had prevailed, Judaism might not have survived.Ralph the Sacred River: Gnosticism and the Jews (4/17/06)
What the documentary successfully shows is that the early Christian faith is rich and diverse and not "one" with a set of beliefs as we do now. There are some, like me, who would like to read more on what was NOT included and see if these do make me question or even leave my faith. I would like to be able to think for myself, believing that if my faith is strong enough to withstand questioning ("assault" is a term that others often use), then it is a faith worth "keeping."Redefining Me: Designs of Betrayal and the Sign of Faith
So, we’re seeing the rather fallacious conclusion that Gnosticism = Gospel of Judas. Now, a good number of individuals have been bending over backwards trying to prove that Gnosticism, and by proxy the Gospel of Judas, is somehow anti-semitic. I often wonder whether these individuals red the same Gospel of Judas I did, which doesn’t really come across as anti-semitic whatsoever without some interesting hermeneutic acrobatics which probably say more about the person doing the reading than the content of the Gospel. Nonetheless, this is a terribly common misconception about the Gnostics, who, on the whole, were far less anti-semitic than their canonical brethren. Lest we forget, a substantial portion of the surviving Gnostic texts were composed by Jewish Gnostics. That they were included within collections along with Christian Gnostic texts indicates an openness among at least some Gnostic groups to Judaism. In some cases, it may be a possibility that the ostensibly Judaic Gnostics were even *too Jewish* for Gentile Christian orthodoxy of the time!fantastic planet » Gospel of Judas: Judas, Gnosticism and Anti-semitism
Hang around here long enough, and I’ll bring up fantasist and poet Jorge Luis Borges, one of my favorite short story authors. Recent discussions on the Gnostic apocryphal Gospel of Judas reminded me of a story Borges published in 1944: “Three Versions of Judas.”Balls and Walnuts - dig the frog » Life imitates art: Borges on Judas
There will always be perversions of the Gospel by those who would proclaim another gospel and another way to salvation except through the narrow door of Jesus’ death and resurrection. That’s why we have to be on our toes. Heresies are like viruses. They never really go away. They only go into remission, waiting for an opportune time to flare up again. In these grey and latter days, we can expect the gnostic virus to flare up with a vengeance, along with every other way people have invented to deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and to scandalize the little ones of faith. Have no fear. Jesus has overcome the world and its religion. And that’s no secret.Rev. Cwirla's Blogosphere - The Gospel of Judas?
Yawn.Hanging the Gospel of Judas
The Cosmic Drama of Christ would be impossible to represent without the role of Judas; this apostle is then the most exalted Adept, the most elevated amongst all of the apostles of the Christ Jesus. - Samael Aun Weor (1973)Gnosis - The Practical Gnosticism of Samael Aun Weor - The Gospel of Judas
The Gospel of Judas, as I've said above, probably contains no new information about the historical Jesus and his disciples. Nonetheless it is of great importance in the ongoing Christian debate because, in a roundabout way, it reminds us that the gospel stories in the New Testament are themselves not monolithic. But also this gospel will likely prod many otherwise incurious Christians to go and read something about Gnosticism. And when they read about the strange new Gnostic doctrine, only new in that they haven't encountered it before, maybe some small minority of them will realize that much in their accepted orthodox doctrine is strange also, and maybe this will lead them to begin the work of questioning where the truth may lie in all this. They will ask the great question at the base of all serious interpretation: What does it (all) mean?Eric Mader: Contrarian Thoughts on the Gospel of Judas (4/06)
The public release of The Gospel of Judas is creating waves across the world, making major news headlines and causing a storm of controversy. The long-held view of Judas as a villain is already crumbling away despite the Church’s embarrassed attempts to downplay the discovery, as new sayings of Jesus come to light – sayings in which Judas’ real character is revealed …Gnosticjudas: Discovery of Ancient Gospel Shatters Long-held View of Judas: So who is the real villain?“You will become the apostle cursed by all others, Judas, you will sacrifice this body of man which clothes me.” “You will become the 13th, and you will be cursed by the other generations – and you will come to rule over them.” “It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal.”These incredible sayings are finally revealing that Judas actually had a divine mission – he took the role of the villain, appointed to him by Jesus himself, in an epic drama that would captivate an audience of billions. Along with the other disciples, who each played their part, they enacted a magnificent teaching in living flesh – a teaching that demonstrates the real path to salvation.
While orthodoxy is trying to preserve the purity of Christianity from contamination by Gnosticism, John Lash defends Gnosticism from assimilation to early Christianity and Judiasm. Lash places the roots of Gnosticism in the Pagan Mysteries, especially Sophian illuminism, and questions the "Gnostic" character of the GoJ precisely because of its "body-prison-escape model."
I will merely point out that the body-prison-escape model cannot be identified as a genuine Gnostic teaching. (The refutation of this model, which I rigorously uphold, has been extensively developed by Gnostic scholar Michael Allen Williams in Rethinking 'Gnosticism'). Insofar as the Gospel of Judas underscores this model, as it seems to do, it may not be genuinely Gnostic at all.Metahistory.org: John Lash: The Faith That Betrays (4/8/2006)
MetaHistory - Approaching Gnosticism
A Reading Plan for the Nag Hammadi Library
The Message of Judas: Gnostic Angles in the Gospel of Judas
Gurdjeiff, Fourth Way:
In Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson, Gurdjieff repeats this and takes it a little further, transforming the figure of Judas into a loyal disciple who sacrificed himself to save Christ’s mission.An Anthology of Material on Esoteric Christianity from Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Nicoll, Collin, Pogson, Mouravieff et al
Esoteric understanding, psychohistorical/developmental perspective (note point about Anthropos):
Yes, some will hold on to the hope that the surfacing of the 'Gospel of Judas', will in no way undermine business as usual on planet Earth. But nevertheless, one would have to be fairly dis-associated from reality to not see this as a triumph in the progressive undermining of the religious mind, the egoic mind and of all the organizations based on our very limited mental capacities. It is clearly a sound-byte of the Apocalypse (an uncovering of the Light). Apparently these scholars think that our current limited understanding of God and the Bible is not one of the structures marked for absolute destruction in the Apocalypse. We might do well to consider that our ongoing Apocalypse is rather bent on destroying everything about us that is organized around the absolute ignorance of our 'own star' (or soul) as Jesus put it. That should be good news right? After all the word 'Gospel' does mean 'good news'.The Gospel of Judas from the Perspective of Integral Yoga
Zodiac References in the Gospel of Judas
Letter to the NYT
Judas, Scorpio and the Last Supper
General News links:
The chronological progression of the allegations is crucial. St Paul, the earliest Christian writer, never mentions Judas. The Gospel of St Mark (finished in about AD79) devotes just 169 words to him; St John’s Gospel, however, written at the end of the first century, when Christianity and Judaism were at bitter loggerheads, portrays him as a demonic criminal, in 489 damning words. Christianity needed a Jewish hate figure, a symbolic Jew rejecting Christianity, on which to hang the crime of crimes: Judas fitted the bill, and was duly fitted up.Blamed, framed and defamed. Three good reasons to free the Judas One - Comment - Times Online (1/13/06)
Yet by 150, most experts agree, a "Gospel" said more about the group that produced it than about the facts of Jesus' life and death or even the understandings of his earliest followers. Beyond marveling at the variety of Christian belief prior to doctrinal housecleaning by the early church, an average believer should not find Judas faith shaking.TIME.com: A Kiss for Judas -- Feb. 27, 2006
An expert on ancient Egyptian texts is predicting that the "Gospel of Judas" — a manuscript from early Christian times that's nearing release amid widespread interest from scholars — will be a dud in terms of learning anything new about Judas.‘Gospel of Judas’ stirs scholarly spat - Science - MSNBC.com (3/3/06)
So far, only a handful of inner-circle scholars are familiar with the contents of the Gospel of Judas. Despite the enticing name, experts say it was written at least a century after Judas Iscariot died, so it's apt to be most interesting to academics who concentrate on second-century gnosticism, Robinson says. Gnosticism is a belief system, deemed heretical by early Christian leaders, that preaches salvation via self-knowledge. Some of its followers lionized biblical figures of disrepute.A gospel's rocky path from Egypt's desert to print | csmonitor.com (3/7/06)
An ancient manuscript written in Egypt in 300AD purports to show that Judas Iscariot was not the betrayer who sold Jesus to his enemies for 30 pieces of silver, as the bible says.Judas did not betray Jesus, lost gospel claims - Times Online (4/6/06)
Some religious experts, like Bart Ehran (sic), believe that this discovery may show that Judas's treachery is all a misunderstanding. "This gospel portrays the act as far from nefarious, but as, in fact, the greatest thing that Judas could do for Jesus," Ehran (sic), a religious scholar at North Carolina Chapel Hill, told CTV.CTV.ca | Gospel of Judas casts doubt on traditional beliefs (04/06/06)
Huskisson said the Christian world is being bombarded with theories "that are intent on veering us off orthodox teachings." "It's to get us to argue and miss what the message ought to be — on Christ."Ozark News-Leader.com Judas text: gospel or spin? (4/27/06)
Archbishop Aguer noted that the contents of the “gospel of Judas” “have been known for at least 1800 years” and the text has always been considered part of the apocryphal writings of “a Gnostic sect where Christian truths, philosophical doctrines and, most especially, oriental mysteries were all mixed together, and the Church condemned it rapidly.Indian Catholic: Gospel of Judas’: an ideological attack against the Church (05/03/06)
Then Craig Evans, a Bible expert from Canada, said, "I don't think it tells us anything about the historical Judas, the historical Jesus or the factors at work in the first century that led to Jesus' death."Does 'Gospel of Judas' really tell us anything? (04/29/06)
Without question, the canon is closed and all the information needed to know God and live as He requires is contained therein. Those who either promote or embrace some extra-biblical revelation such as the Gospel of Judas betray the truth, even as the real Judas Himself did, and crucify the Son of God afresh.The Gospel of Judas: A betrayal of the truth (4/20/06)
God the Father loves you and desires to have a relationship with you so much that he sent His only Son, Jesus who lived a perfect life, died and rose again for you so that you can have eternal life if you accept Him. This relationship is given as a free gift, not by your good works or secret Gnostic knowledge, but by simply believing in Jesus (John 3:16).Royal Gazette Another look at the 'Gospel of Judas' (4/28/06)
There is, of course, a third possibility: Neither the Gospel of Judas nor the New Testament account concerning Judas is historically reliable. That is the position of many critical New Testament scholars. And, indeed, there are good reasons to doubt the historicity of the varying accounts of Judas' acts as described in the New Testament gospels ...Jerusalem Post | Hershel Franks: No salvation in Judas (5/1/06)
The central thrust of the gospel is that it's from Judas' perspective and reflects a gnostic view. Here, Judas is transformed from history's most famous traitor to Jesus' best-loved disciple and friend, a hero who helps Jesus return to the realm of the divine, by fingering him for arrest and crucifixion. He does so because Jesus asks him to.JS Online:Transfixed by story of Judas gospel (4/28/06)
This subject shouldn't be easily dismissed, but it's not something we should dwell on. An unproven claim is no basis for discounting the authority of Scripture.Baylor University: Gospel of Judas discovery doesn't discredit Christianity (4/20/06)
The biblical Jesus and the biblical Gospels stand heads and shoulders above all counterfeits and cheap copies and distortions of the original. The media feeding frenzy notwithstanding, Bible-believing Christians can be grateful that the publication of the Gospel of Judas has made this even clearer than it was before.Biblical Foundations » The Gospel of Judas: A Villain Rehabilitated? (4/10/06)
Does this gospel put in jeopardy the credibility of our four canonical Gospels? The answer is an emphatic “No!”The B.C. Catholic Newspaper - Editorial: The Gospel of Judas ‘Much ado about nothing’ (5/1/06)
Whatever comes of the gospel of Judas, things may be looking up for the traitorous disciple ... according to a story in the Times, the Vatican is making moves to clear his name ...Perspective: The Gospel of Judas (3/15/06)
The Christian Church limited the recognised gospels to the four in 325, under the guidance of the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine. Thirty other texts - some of which have been uncovered - were sidelined because "they were difficult to reconcile with what Constantine wanted as a political doctrine," according to Roberty. The foundation's director said the Judas Iscariot text called into question some of the political principles of Christian doctrine. It could also to some extent rehabilitate Judas, whose name has often come to symbolise the accusation of deicide - God-killing - levelled by some Christian teachings against the Jewish people, he added.Middle East Online Gospel of Judas back in spotlight after 20 centuries (3/30/06)
One of the ways in which we now celebrate the great Christian festivals in our society is by a little flurry of newspaper articles and television programmes raking over the coals of controversies about the historical basis of faith. So it was no huge surprise to see a fair bit of coverage given a couple of weeks ago to the discovery of a ‘Gospel of Judas’, which was (naturally) going to shake the foundations of traditional belief by giving an alternative version of the story of the passion and resurrection. Never mind that this is a demonstrably late text which simply parallels a large number of quite well-known works from the more eccentric fringes of the early century Church; this is a scoop, the real, ‘now it can be told’ version of the origins of Christian faith.Global South Anglican: Archbishop Rowan Williams: Sermon for Easter Day: Gospel of Judas demonstrably late text
In the end, Judas wanted a God of his own making, an avenging God who would serve justice by tossing out the hated occupiers and restoring the fortunes of the people of Israel. What Judas got was very different: a suffering God who accepted a shameful death on a cross. Tragically, Judas didn't stick around to see what happened on Easter morning.No revelations in Gospel of Judas - Boston Globe (4/11/06)
The Gospel of Judas is linked to a group called the Gnostics, who believed that the way to salvation was through secret knowledge given by Jesus to his inner circle.‘Gospel of Judas’ offers contrarian view of Jesus - Science - MSNBC.com (4/7/06)
In anti-Roman Judaea such an act was betrayal and its perpetrator was a despicable collaborator. When Luke (vi, 16) refers to Judas as a prodotês or “traitor”, instead of using the more subtle “he who handed him over” (Matthew x, 4; Mark iii, 19), he simply calls a spade a spade. It is a red herring to maintain that “betraying” is a mistranslation. In the story of Judas “handing over” always carries a pejorative overtone.Iscariot and the dark path to the Field of Blood - Geza Vermes - Times Online (04/08/06)
James M. Robinson, America's leading expert on such ancient religious texts from Egypt, predicts in a new book that the text won't offer any insights into the disciple who betrayed Jesus. His reason: While it's old, it's not old enough. "Does it go back to Judas? No," Robinson told The Associated Press on Thursday.ABC News: Expert Doubts 'Gospel of Judas' Revelation: Won't Reveal Anything About Jesus' Infamous Disciple (3/2/06)
Pope Benedict XVI is trying to combat efforts to rehabilitate Christianity's most hated villain after the presentation this month of a newly discovered "gospel according to Judas".Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Pope denounces 'greedy liar' Judas (4/15/06)
Nashville, Tenn. (BP)--The gospel of Judas is helpful in understanding early church heresy but should be viewed as false writings and not comparable to the biblical Gospels, conservative scholars say.Orthodox scholars: gospel of Judas not a Christian document - (BP) (4/13/06)
Bart Ehrman, chairman of the religious studies department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, theorized that maybe all Judas was guilty of was "spilling the beans" about Jesus' true intentions. "Jesus ends up being put on trial and condemned to death for calling himself the king of the Jews," an act of treason, Ehrman said. "That's interesting because Jesus never actually called himself that. Is it possible that Judas actually gave some insider information to the authorities so they can have a reason to kill him?"beliefnet: Kevin Eckstrom: Did Judas Get a Bum Rap?
In short, the "Gospel of Judas" tells us nothing about the historical Jesus or Judas; it adds next to nothing to our knowledge of early Gnosticism or of sectarian Christianity; and it actually adds very little indeed that was not already known from texts published a century or more ago. And this is "one of the greatest historical discoveries of the twentieth century"?beliefnet: Philip Jenkins: All Gospels Are Not Created Equal (3/06/06)
Gnostics also upheld a notion imported from Greek philosophy, one in which Hindus believe today. They disdained the physical body and thought that we needed to be liberated from it. But when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He was resurrected in bodily form. He even invited Thomas to touch the wounds on His hands, feet, and side. The Gospel of Judas has Jesus telling Judas to betray Him, thus more quickly liberating Him from His body. Orthodox Christian faith, consistent with Old Testament teaching, has never disdained the human body, seeing it as part of God's good creation. Furthermore, we believe that one day all believers in Christ will be resurrected in bodily form under the power of the One Who made heaven and earth.Better Living: Thoughts from Mark Daniels: What About the 'Gospel of Judas'?: A First, Brief Consideration (3/06/06)
Indeed, logic & common sense, serious and objective comparative document scholarship, and academic integrity are quickly thrown out the window in favor of sensationalism, an unsubstantiated and academically abject attack on Judeo-Christian orthodoxy, and an abandonment of factual reality in a world that as Jesus said is a world that is truly “in the power of the wicked one “. This is particularly true in cases where there is a quick buck to me made even at the expense of reality.The Gospel of Judas - Moriel Ministries
Rome: The Gospel of Judas was unimportant to most Christians when it was written hundreds of years ago and it is unimportant today, said a Jesuit scholar, who has convoked a series of ecumenical studies of the historical Jesus.Gospel of Judas does not deserve name ‘gospel,’ Jesuit scholar says - Catholic Online (4/7/06)
The NGS special gave the impression that there were a variety of competing Christianities in the first century? Is that true?Talbot School of Theology: Talbot News: Biola Responds to The Gospel of Judas
Rodolphe Kasser, who translated the 1,700-year-old Gospel of Judas, tells swissinfo that the Church's rejection of the manuscript smacks of "intellectual laziness".swissinfo - Expert damns Church response to Judas gospel (4/22/06)
The dark background of the manuscript, Van Rijn, Ferrini:
Ohio.com | 04/18/06 | Worn pages tell a tale (Bruce Ferrini)