Skip to comments.'Gospel of Judas' Called An Authentic Fabrication
Posted on 04/07/2006 6:38:55 AM PDT by presidio9
The National Geographic Society released the manuscript of what is called "The Gospel of Judas" yesterday. By National Geographic's own account, a team first assembled by the Maecenas Foundation has been working on the text since 2001. As a result of press releases tied to publication of the text, widespread coverage has repeated the claim that this is an authentic and unique representation of the historical relationship between Jesus and Judas, and that Jesus encouraged Judas to betray him.
Despite the careful work by scholars that has gone into a document of obvious interest, I have to express disappointment when I see National Geographic stoop so low into hyperbole as to distort the significance of this discovery.
In its release, National Geographic repeatedly states that it has "authenticated" the document. Several press outlets have simply repeated those claims. But "authentic" turns out to be a slippery term as used by the National Geographic Society. No scholar associated with the find argues this is a first century document, or that it derives from Judas. The release says the document was "copied down in Coptic probably around A.D. 300," although later that is changed to "let's say around the year 400." This amounts to saying that "The Gospel of Judas" is an authentic fabrication produced by a group of Gnostics in Egypt. Gnostics believed that their direct knowledge of heaven permitted them to understand what no one else knew, or could know by historical knowledge. For ancient Gnostics to believe in their own powers of divination is charming; for their flights of imagination to be passed off as historical knowledge in our time is dishonest or self-deceived.
During the second century, a theologian of the Catholic Church named Irenaeus referred to a writing named "The Gospel of Judas." Was that
(Excerpt) Read more at nysun.com ...
From another forum:
Around 180 A.D., Irenaeus of Lyon, in 'Against the Heretics,' I,31,1, warned about an apocryphal 'gospel of Judas' which was then circulating. Later, Epiphanius and a pseudo-Tertullian spoke of it.
According to these sources, the apocryphal gospel of Judas was a Greek text of Gnostic origin, written by the Cainites' sect, in the middle of the second century.
The Gnostic sect of the Caininites attributed a positive value to all the negative figures of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, such as the tempter serpent, Cain (where Caininites get their name )-- Esau and Judas.
See also post 61.
Not in the way you're claiming.
While it is true that people who have done intensive work on the NT some time in the past (Bultmann, etc.) have disputed these dates - serious contemporary scholarship no longer accepts that late-dating system.
Additionally, the contemporary scholars who gravitate toward the today's later date ranges (which are substantially earlier than the later dates assigned a generation ago) generally admit that the core document dates from the 1st century and that they are only arguing that the present text was later emended, not that it was composed from scratch in the 2nd century.
For example, someone who dates the Gospel of Luke to 130 will concede that 90% of Luke or more dates to the 1st century and that they are only arguing that certain short passages date to 130.
No contemporary scholar of any reputation claims that more than 3-5% of the canonical NT text dates from after 100 AD.
He killed himself in a different fashion in Acts 1:18. But your point is still well taken.
Nobody believes that the disciple Matthew wrote the gospel of his name, either.
A legitimate comparison.
Of course, this is from someone (me) that accepted the truth of gospels according to the Watergate principle.
I read this story in this morning's paper, and it seems to be an item of historical interest, but not necessarily historical significance.
The article I read said that it appeared to be a hand-written copy of "an original", and may be of more use as a tool for decyphering ancient Coptic, but there was nothing about this document redefining, confirming, or disproving anything in the Holy Gospels.
Sad thing is -- Couric probably doesn't understand that.
I'm not sure she is capable of understanding that.
That's a pipe dream.
Even your source admits that the Passion Narrative of the canonical Gospels dates from 30-60 AD and that narrative account gives the lie to this Judas text.
The very first mention of the Judas text is from 180 AD. That's a 100 year differential at best, if we assume that Irenaeus was not responding to a very current cult.
Bingo. If we were Muslims, we'd be screaming in the streets for heads to roll, literally. But, by God's grace, Christians don't need or want to react that way. Praying for those who persecute us is more our style.
Where can I buy a copy?
Do you claim the pastoral epistles date to the first century?
If you're saying that few people believe that Matthew actually sat down and physically wrote out the text of Matthew in Greek, then sure.
But there is no reason to doubt that the Gospel of Matthew was originally composed by amanuenses of the disciple Matthew.
Indicating it existed well before 180, since Ireneaus was inveighing against a text which had some currency among the Gnostics.
There were many, many early Christian writings in existence. Many of them were contradictory.
The ones we find in the New Testament didn't magically appear one day at the end of a copy of the Old Testament.
It wasn't until much later that a committee met and decided which of the early writings would get that special honor.
I agree, this is much ado about nothing.
I recently read Anne Rice's "Christ the Lord," and while the eminent novelist is not herself a biblical scholar, in the afterward she details her extensive research - which supports your post. I'm reading NT Wright's "The Resurrection of the Son of God" right now...
My point is, regardless of date, the simple fact that this is a known writing from a known Gnostic Cainites' sect --- who thought the tempter serpent was good guy --- completely discredits this fake "gospel."
An old lie is still a lie.
Sounds like Scientology, doesn't it? New Age = Old Lies.
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