Friday, April 21, 2006

The Gospel of Judas: More Heretical Trash From Egypt

Originally posted Fundamental Baptist Information Service.

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The Gospel of Judas: More Heretical Trash From Egypt [Excerpts]

The Gospel of Judas is all over the news. It has been hugely promoted by the National Geographic Society, which funded its reconstruction and translation, and has been trumpeted by practically every major news publication in the world. USA Today's front-page headline is
typical: "Long-lost gospel of Judas casts 'traitor' in new light."

Until recently this gnostic gospel was thought to have been lost and was known only through Irenaeus' late second century condemnation thereof in his Refutation of All Heresies, but a copy from the third or fourth century that was found in Egypt a few decades ago was purchased and restored. The translation of the fragmentary writing was published on April 6.

The Gospel of Judas presents Judas in a positive light as the only disciple who truly understood Jesus and who betrayed Him only because he was asked to do so.

According to Irenaeus, it was produced by the Egyptian Cainite Gnostics who claimed that Cain, Esau, the Sodomites, Korah, Judas, and other villains of biblical history were actually enlightened heroes who valiantly kept the gnosis or knowledge of the truth alive.
According to this cult, a god named Hystera created the world and another deity called "Sophia" allegedly assisted the aforementioned people (Refutation of All Heresies, book I, chapter 31, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.ii.xxxii.html).

The Gnostic Jesus described in the Gospel of Judas is not Almighty God or the Creator of the world, does not die for man's sin, and does not rise bodily from the dead. It is no gospel at all.

Egypt was a hotbed of heresy and fanaticism in the early centuries after Christ. Many other strange "gospels" originated there, including the Gospel of Thomas that purports to give details of Christ's childhood (such as giving life to a dried fish and causing the death of one of his playmates).

Egypt also gave us the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus codexes and the handful of similar New Testament manuscripts that contain an Alexandrian type of text preferred by modern textual critics and the translators of the modern Bible versions (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, Port Huron, MI 48061, April 8, 2006, fbns@wayoflife.org).