The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot?

Judas - Jesus’s best friend?.

Pretty interesting stuff here - huh? This may throw a little wrinkle is biblical accounts.

Yeah, popped up in one of the other religous threads.

It won’t put a wringkle in anything. It is a mid 2nd century Sethian gnostic text, in the family of texts that include Secret John, e.g., and perhaps G Thomas, but with no historical relevance to Jesus or Judas; we’ve known that it once existed all along, from reports from Irenaeus in 180 C.E. On the other hand, it is a fascinating bit of 2nd century mythmaking, shows us once again just how incredibly diverse early Christianity was, and has lessons about tolerance for fundamentalists of all stripes. I think it is simply wrong that it has been marketed as if it raised some issue about Judas and Jesus and their actual, histroical relationship. Someone wants to make a lot of money. But the scholars involved, Marvin Meyer, Kasser, and Bart Ehrman, e.g., are really fabulouos - so look past the marketing and actually read what they have to say.

It is actually quite interesting that it is being marketed this way - says a lot about how real historical and theological scholarship gets distorted by money interests, not just church interests. But get the book Meyer edited, and read it - it’s about a 2 hour read.

Tom - are you sure? That’s not what I’ve read.

I am sure.

What did you read?

Well - start with the link I provided. Did you read that?

Yes, I also read G Judas itself, and Meyer’s book on it, and Robinson’s book on it, and Irenaeus’ comments on it, and have spent a lot of time with gnosticism in general, and saw the Nat. Geographic special on G Judas twice. :)

Seriously, go read the book. the interesting thing here is how it is being marketed, in a way that totally misrepresents its importance. one might think that someone is trying to cash in on Da Vinci Code, or sort of poking fun at fundies.

edit: oh, I started the NG companion volume last night. Fun read, by the film maker.

At the end of the day the Gnostics “lost” so really any of their literature is non-consequential now. If they dug this up and Paul wrote it… then there would be wrinkle. The natural theologists won (Aquinas et al.)… the gnostics/mystics lost. (Fart fact, Islam had this same sort of division, but their mystic sect, Sufism, is still around.) Had the Gnostics won the war of words, than this may have much more significance. Remember my comments of the early Christian church essentially changing this stuff to suit themselves and their political pursuits in many ways? This is one of those examples of one of the losers. This is why there is so much argument from theological circles over fundamentalism as things like this show how “by comittee” and from man the Bible really is and TomS’s comments of poking fun at fundamentalists. Religion does not carry the same burden of proof as science. It it did, then potentially, maybe, this would hold more sway like saying Einstein was wrong and now I have the proof.

I disagree in part - the gnostic stuff is important in lots of ways. E.g., G Thomas, which is perhaps described best as proto gnostic, but in any case has strong gnostic tendencies, is absolutely crucial in getting at the historical Jesus. It is also the case that gnostic ideas not only percolated through the centuries, they were central in many religious developments. Part of the mistake is to think of gnostic Christianity = gnosticism. Gnosticism is found in Judaism and Islam as well, and there is in fact a gnostic Christian church (or perhaps it should be called “neo-gnostic”) in - where else - California. The ideas are powerful, and relevant today. Plus, it is historically interesting. to me the literature is of great consequence, and I suspect will be of greater now that so much of it is being recovered.

This is perhaps only a disagreement as to emphasis, however. I really enjoy the gnostic stuff. :) Anyway, I’m going to found a Chuch of Judas, I think. :D

oops! :)

I agree with you in the historical aspect of the finding… but it is quite obvious to me that the historical aspect is ignored by most outside of the scholarly community. Most folks know very little about the early church and take for granted what they are taught now as how it always was. Lately I have been really into the history of the late Roman to medieval period and it is quite interesting how all this stuff unfolded as where we are today is such a product of the fall of Rome. We think our meddling in foregn countries causes years of after math… We’re still dealing with crap left from the Romans. Constantine and his mother with the whole “True Cross” junk still has its effects today. THe Roman conquest of Plaestine and rearranging everything so even more peopl ethought they had claim to the land. Amazing how things in a political and societal realm can last for so long.

Don’t forget the influence of Roman law - not just in civil law systems, but even in common law, through Bracton, e.g.

Re: gnostics ignored outside the scholarly community - there is this interesting thing going on in Christianity right now - the fundies get all the press, but there are a lot of churches led by people who are into the historical Jesus thing - I figure about 500-1000 in the US - which is not a lot in comparison to the spread of the Southern Baptists, but still a lot. In a sense, there is a battle for the soul of Christianity: will it be taken by the SBC, or will there be a pendulum swing the other way? Given the history of this sort of thing, I’m betting on the latter in about 20 years. So I think the historical scholarship is really being felt, and will continue to be a liberalizing and rationalizing force. Guess we’ll see. :) Anyway, it’s the best hope for the future of Christianity, at least that’s what most of the folks involved in this think.

Gospel Of Judas

Just in case anyone was looking for it.

Hrm - wonder if that violates copyright? Anyway, good to have it in pdf, thank you Bill!

Too bad they didn’t include Meyer’s notes to the translation, they are really helpful.