Tuesday, April 11, 2006
The Gospel of Judas?

Updates below.

With the Gospel of Judas being published in English, I wanted to post on it at my own blog.

The Gospel of Judas dates back to c. 130 - 170 AD and is anything but worthy of our respect. It was discovered around the 1950s written in Coptic, and it just recently translated in English and a handful of other languages. As Jimmy Akin wrote, this Gospel is Gnostic. St. Irenaeus attacked the heresy of Gnosticism in his work Against Heresies. Gnosticism basically taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge. Simply, if you were not part of the special club, then you could not be saved. It also denied the Incarnation of the Son of God thus claiming that Jesus Christ is not God. In doing so, they also stated that His death on the Cross served no purpose for our salvation. This is entirely wrong, and as such, I will not even be reading this "gospel"!

The Gospel of Judas also portrays Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Our Lord, in a new light. It claims that he was actually Jesus's closest disciple who betrayed Him to help Jesus!
"The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born" (Matthew 26:24)

At Mass today, I realized that the Gospel reading also directly contradicts the ridiculous claim that Judas betrayed Our Lord all for the benefit of Jesus:

When Jesus had said these things, he was troubled in spirit; and he testified, and said: Amen, amen I say to you, one of you shall betray me. The disciples therefore looked one upon another, doubting of whom he spoke. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him: Who is it of whom he speaketh? He therefore, leaning on the breast of Jesus, saith to him: Lord, who is it?

Jesus answered: He it is to whom I shall reach bread dipped. And when he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. And Jesus said to him: That which thou dost, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew to what purpose he said this unto him. For some thought, because Judas had the purse, that Jesus had said to him: Buy those things which we have need of for the festival day: or that he should give something to the poor. He therefore having received the morsel, went out immediately. And it was night. John 13:21-30

It is clear that Judas did this for his own benefit. He sold our Lord for thirty pieces of silver. While it is true that if Judas did not betray Jesus then the following events would have been different, it is also true that our salvation would have still came about. Jesus would have only had to shed one drop of blood for our salvation, but instead He gave up every drop of His blood to show us His love for us. The Gospel of Judas is making Judas out to be a hero for our salvation - Judas betrayed Our Lord; he is no hero!

Some ask "What's the difference between Judas and Peter? Didn't they both betray the Lord." Judas betrayed Our Lord and caused Him to suffer. St. Peter denied Him, but what is important is that St. Peter wept and repented for His sins. Judas did not repent and ask for forgiveness.

My recommendation: Take out your Bible and read the real Gospels. Leave the "Gospel" of Judas in the trash where it belongs.

Read more on Gnosticism from the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

Happy Catholic also has a good amount of information on this "gospel". Also, see the Catholic Community Forum for some quotations by the Fathers of the Church. Faith of the Fathers also has a wonderfully written and thought-provoking article.

7 comment(s):

del_button April 7, 2006 at 4:32 PM
Matthew said...

I completely agree with the tone of your comment. It is Gnostic trash. Let's just hope most people don't fall away from the Church over this garbage.

Thanks for your comment

del_button April 11, 2006 at 9:48 AM
Laura H. said...

I got my saint. Thank you.

del_button April 12, 2006 at 3:11 PM
Darrell said...

It seems like there are number of people who are drawn to Christianity... who believe personally that Christ is the savior... but who want to continue living non-Christian lives. So, I think, what happens is that they turn to the Gnostic "gospels" or other such texts, looking for a way to "customize" Christianity, to make it fit the lives they prefer to live. This crafting of Christianity into something different; into Christianity 2.0, if you will... has probably gone on for two thousand years and will probably never stop. Thankfully, the Church doesn't waver or back down from these kinds of attacks.

Good post. Good blog.

del_button April 12, 2006 at 3:14 PM
Matthew said...

I completely agree, Darrell. And, thanks for visiting my blog.

del_button April 15, 2006 at 12:08 AM
Steve Smith said...

I watched the National Geographic program about "the Gospel of Judas", and what got me boiling, was the way they tried to dismiss Saint Irenaeus as some kind of overbearing bishop who was bent on "control" of the Christians. I wrote a LONG piece on it on Church Under Attack at our Faith of the Fathers blog.

del_button April 15, 2006 at 1:29 AM
Matthew said...

St. Irenaeus was completely in his power and right to condemn this gnostic garbage. St. Paul said, "Test everything, retain what is good." I can tell you that the "Gospel" of Judas is anything but good.

del_button April 16, 2006 at 9:34 AM
goliah said...

Like the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi discoveries, this latest 'gospel' increases the amount of new scriptural material only available this century making the concept of 'canonical scriptures' and the traditions built upon them even less credible. How much more 'scripture' remains undiscovered?

What might 'Christianity' look like if all these resources were available from the beginning? Check this link: www.energon.uklinux.net

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