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.
Where can I buy a copy?
Is this the Gospel where Jesus warns against global warming, and denounces Bush?
Dan Rather stands by the authenticity of the non-authentic documents.
From what I hear, the Gospel of Judas has much the same story as Jesus Christ Superstar.
Gnosticism means belief in "secret knowledge." It is belief in New Age / Spiritualism / Divination. The adherents succumb to the temptation that they themselves are Christs (not merely "little Christs," or "Christians), and that they can "channel" the truth.
It would be perfectly consistent for one of them to channel a Gospel, and claim that Judas was - through spiritual connection - the true author.
Hence, the good bishop of the early church who denounced this particular gnostic cult and their Gospel, circa 180 AD, was probably reacting to a roughly contemporaneous event; i.e., a 2nd century event.
As to what this says about the canon, this document is further evidence that the books of the New Testament predate 180 AD, and therefore probably, as claimed, late 1st century or, at the very latest, early 2nd century in origin.
Now, just as this manuscript was in Coptic, circa 3 or 400 AD, but originally written in Greek, circa 200 AD, so too are our earliest versions of the canon, which date from about 300 AD, copies and perhaps even translations into the Greek of earlier documents. I would venture to say that if the original documents, lost to us, were not written, as claimed, by the disciples of Jesus (including Paul, who was called by Jesus in a vision), they were written by others who directly heard from these guys.
My own belief is that they were actually written by the claimed authors, although perhaps edited by others in the early 2nd century. But, I'm no real expert in these matters, so why should that matter to anybody else.
I just dug up a piece of papyrus in my backyard. It looks really old. I think it says I'm related to Queen Victoria.
Or maybe it says Queen Latifah. It's smudged.
This is about what my reaction was to the first mention of this "authentic" document. That it may be authentically old (though centuries later than the time of the apostles) but that there were heretics back then, even in the time of Jesus, just as there are heretics now.
So, this "gospel" was written by some early best-selling novelist like the guy who wrote The DaVinci Code.
This is worse than that whole Christ-was-walking-on-ice-on-the-Sea-of-Galilee thing!!
I'm so sick of this crap.