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 Article: The Gospel of Judas? Posted on 4-25-2006
WOTR News Article What are your thoughts on "The Gospel of Judas"?

I just watched a National Geographic documentary on this topic and now I have a better idea of what exactly is going on with this. I have to say that Anne and I think that it is not a good thing. It seems to directly contradict the other Gospels and actually portrays Judas as a hero. No where else does the Bible depict Judas as the "favored" disciple, or that he would "exceed" the other apostles.

The so-called "gospel" appears to written by the Gnostic sect who cherished some suspicious teachings that deviate with the other Scriptures. With that said, it seems that Irenaeus, an early church leader, did well to denounce this document as heresy.

The "gospel" suggests that the reason Christ died was because He needed to be set free from His physical body so that His spirit could be loosened from the prison of his earthly flesh and blood. (Note: This is NOT why Christ died. Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for our sins - 1 Cor 15:3 - and to set us free from the penalty of those transgressions - Romans 5 - as well as to put to strike a death blow to Satan himself - Hebrews 2:14) If Jesus needed to be set free from His physical body, then why would He even come to this earth as a man in the first place? So you can see the Gnostic ideas here, since they believed that we all have a spark of divinity within us, but we are trapped by the physical body. Then, they say, that we just need to find "ourselves" to find God (Also, interestingly enough, a very "New Age" way of thinking). So in their eyes, Jesus was almost more of a cultic leader than the actual God of the universe. In addition, they also didn't believe that the same God who created this world is the God we are to worship. So you can see the dangers of embracing a "gospel" that has its roots in Gnosticism. I think the early church did the right thing by rejecting this text known as the "Gospel of Judas".

Even though the actual codex has been scientifically proven to be authentic as far as the age of the paper itself, that doesn't mean that it is "authentic" as far as being inspired by God with the intention of being included in the Scriptures as we know them today. Just because the document comes from the time of the early church does not mean that it is "God's Word". On the contrary, it seems clear that it is mainly fiction which may pull bits from the other Gospels, but this makes it all the more dangerous: when you find a mixture of familiar Gospel and erroneous teachings, mainly the elevation of Judas as some "higher" apostle and the only one who actually understood the teachings of Christ.

I can see how the devil would use something like this to discredit the other Gospels as contradictory. Satan himself would love to be thought of as a hero, which is what this gospel does for Judas. The "scholars" in the documentary expressed a sympathetic attitude towards Judas and suggested that the other Gospels were too harsh on him. The documentary also suggested that the process of selecting the New Testament as we know it was not the best process and that other gospels should have been included. This is not a good a thing, because some would think that we should now pick and choose what is inspired and what should be in and what shouldn't be. God has the power to protect His Word and I strongly believe that what we have now in the New Testament is what He wants us to have. If He wanted the Gospel of Judas to be a part of it, then why has it been non-existent for 1800 years, and still to this day, 15% of it was beyond the point of restoration and has crumbled into the dust of time. Does God want us to gain an entirely new book of the Bible from a crumbling papyrus that isn't even completely intact and that strays drastically from the harmony of the other four Gospels? Certainly not, my friends.

We can rest assured that the Bible as we know it today is the Scripture that God intended for us to have and be blessed by on a daily basis "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you." 1 Peter 1:23-24

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