Testing the Gospel of Judas
Author: Keith King
Publish date:
Summary: The validity of Gospel of Judas is scrutinized. Do its teaching fall in line with Scripture?
 
This article is part of a series. We recommend that you first read: The Lost Books of the Bible, How did the Early Church Choose the Books of the Bible? .
 

As we did for the Gospel of Thomas, let’s test the Gospel of Judas with five questions used to validate books of Scripture:

1. Does the book have a “thus saith the Lord”?

This book claims to be an account of secret conversations between Judas and Jesus, but does not align with the character of Jesus we see in the true Gospels. 

2. Was it written by a prophet or apostle (or those who claimed to be inspired)?

The book claims to have been written by Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Jesus. However, the contents of the book is consistent with Gnostic thinking. It portrays Judas as having secret knowledge and instructions from Jesus and becoming a heroic martyr. 

The Gospel of Judas begins with these words: "The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week three days before the celebrated Passover." We see here the Gnostic belief in secrets. 

Irenaeus (130-202 AD), a second-century Greek Christian who served as a pastor in the early Church, mentions the book of Judas in his work Against Heresies:

Others again declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to themselves. On this account, they add, they have been assailed by the Creator, yet no one of them has suffered injury. For Sophia was in the habit of carrying off that which belonged to her from them to herself. They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas.i

Because nothing in the book of Judas coincides with the content of the rest of the Bible, it can be considered a heretical forgery, and part of the spurious writings that circulated in the late second century.

3. Was it accepted and used extensively by the Church fellowship?


The Gospel of Judas was unearthed in Egypt during the 1950s or 1960s. Prior to this time it was unknown. National Geographic promoted it as a great historic find. Read the New York Times article “How the Gospel of Judas Emerged” from April 13, 2006

4. Did it transform people’s lives, bringing them to know Christ and salvation?


The salvation spoken of by this "gospel" is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the false gospel of the Gnostics. Here is an example of the confusing and twisted gospel presented in this document:

The next morning, after this happened, Jesus [appeared] to his disciples again. They said to him, “Master, where did you go and what did you do when you left us?” Jesus said to them, “I went to another great and holy generation.” His disciples said to him, “Lord, what is the great generation that is superior to us and holier than us, that is not now in these realms?” When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to them, “Why are you thinking in your hearts about the strong and holy generation? Truly [I] say to you, no one born [of] this aeon will see that [generation], and no host of angels of the stars will rule over that generation, and no person of mortal birth can associate with it, because that generation does not come from […] which has become […]. The generation of people among [you] is from the generation of humanity […] power, which [… the] other powers […] by [which] you rule.” When [his] disciples heard this, they each were troubled in spirit. They could not say a word (Judas 36-38, from National Geographic).

The Gospel of Judas confuses readers and makes the truth more difficult to discern rather than bringing them closer to God. The Bible on the other hand has helped millions find salvation and peace in Jesus.

5. Did it agree with the other established Scriptures in doctrine?

The Gospel of Judas disagrees with Scripture in several places. Here is an example of the falsifying of Creation. It tells us that there are two creations: one with luminary beings and one with chaos and a god of rebellion: 

The multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos— that is, perdition—by the Father and the seventy-two luminaries who are with the Self-Generated and his seventytwo aeons. In him the first human appeared with his incorruptible powers. And the aeon that appeared with his generation, the aeon in whom are the cloud of knowledge and the angel, is called El. […] aeon […] after that […] said, ‘Let twelve angels come into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld].’ And look, from the cloud there appeared an [angel] whose face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with blood. His name was Nebro, which means ‘rebel’; others call him Yaldabaoth. Another angel, Saklas, also came from the cloud. So Nebro created six angels—as well as Saklas—to be assistants, and these produced twelve angels in the heavens, with each one receiving a portion in the heavens (Judas 50-51, from National Geographic).

This book counters Scripture, and therefore cannot be considered a part of it. Ahead to Are the Lost Books Really Lost?
Back to The Lost Books

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i. Irenaeus, Against Heresies: 31.

 

This article is provided by a third-party source. Providing a third-party article on amazingdiscoveries.org indicates that we stand behind the content of that particular article, but it is not an endorsement by Amazing Discoveries of the author's opinion, lifestyle or work published elsewhere.

The contents of this article and website are not intended to accuse individuals. There are many priests and faithful believers in Roman Catholicism who serve God to the best of their ability and are seen by God as His children. The information contained herein is directed only towards the Roman Catholic religio-political system that has reigned in varying degrees of power for nearly two millennia. It is our sincere desire to lay the clear Word of God before you, the truth-seeking reader, so you may decide for yourself what is truth and what is error. If you find herein anything contrary to the Word of God, you need not accept it. But if you desire to seek for Truth as for hidden treasure, and find herein something of that quality, we encourage you to make all haste to accept that Truth which is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.

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