Lost Gospel of
Judas – National Geographic has it authenticated and Translated
April 7th, 2006
The Gospel of
Geographic Society headquartered in Washington D.C. announced that they
have pieced together and translated the Gospel of Judas which has been
lost for almost 1,700 years. Also called the codex, the National
Geographic Channel will premiere a television two hour event on April 9th
called "The Gospel of Judas.”
Geographic in Washington D.C. has opened a public exhibit opening
Friday, April 7th, which shows pages of the ancient papyrus
codex manuscript. If you miss the exhibit there are books available
along with an upcoming May issue of National Geographic magazine which
will be discussing their discoveries.
Geographic Society collaborated with Maecenas Foundation for Ancient Art
and Waitt Instititue for Historical Discovery. One of the world’s
leading Coptic scholar is Rodolphe Kasser from Switzerland participated
in the restoration and transcription of the documents.
There are a
total of 66 pages. In addition to the Gospel of Judas is text that was
titled James, which is also known as the First Apocalypse of James. It
also contained a Letter of peter to Philip and a part of another text
the scholars are temporarily calling Book of Allogenes. The pages and
fragments were extremely fragile and would fall apart with the slightest
touch. It took a lot of care during the restoration of this manuscript.
What does the
Gospel of Judas say? The Gospel of Judas which was written on 26 pages
with 13 sheets of papyrus with writing on both front and back, says that
Jesus requested Judas to act as a traitor. Judas is not portrayed as a
bad guy but more of a hero doing as Jesus asked of him. In the other
Gospels Judas is viewed as a traitor that betrays Jesus. There is also
a strong Gnostic perspective established in this text. Gnostic
Christians believe that salvation comes from a secret knowledge that
Jesus gave to his disciples.
Here is a passage
from the Gospel of Judas:
"Step away from
the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is
possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal," Jesus
says. He also tells Judas, "Look, you have been told everything. Lift up
your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars
surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star."
"The codex has
been authenticated as a genuine work of ancient Christian apocryphal
literature on five fronts: radiocarbon dating, ink analysis,
multispectral imaging, contextual evidence and paleographic evidence,"
said Terry Garcia who is the executive vice president for Mission
Programs for the National Geographic Society. "This dramatic discovery
of an ancient, non-biblical text — considered by some to be the most
significant of the past 60 years — enhances our knowledge of the history
and theological viewpoints of the early Christian period, and is worthy
of continued study by historians, scholars and theologians. This process
will take time and ongoing dialogue, which has just begun."
manuscript dates back to around 300 A.D. The Codex was then found in
the 1970’s in a desert near El Minya, Egypt. It was sold and traded
with antiquity dealers. It traveled from Egypt to Europe and finally
rested in the United States in a safe-deposit box in Long Island N.Y.
for 16 years. In 2000, it was purchased by Zürich-based antiquities
dealer Frieda Nussberger-Tchacos.
Tchacos had no
luck in reselling the item and noticed it was falling apart so he
conveyed it for the Maecenas Foundation for Ancient Art in Basel,
Switzerland in February of 2001 for the intention of restoration and
translation. The Codex will be moved to Egypt and be stored in Cairo’s
This discovery and
translation of this text is extremely important to further look at how
Christian beliefs and the separated from Gnostic beliefs.
Books about Judas at Amazon
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