What is the Gospel of Judas?

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By BibleAsk Team


The Gospel of Judas

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The Gospel of Judas is a non-canonical Gnostic gospel. It includes late 2nd-century beliefs by Gnostic Christians, and not by the historic Judas himself. The only copy in existence is in the Coptic language. This has been carbon dated to around 280 AD. Some believe that the text comes from an earlier manuscript in Greek. An English translation for the gospel was first published by the National Geographic Society in 2006. Today, the manuscript is in over a thousand pieces with many sections missing due to poor handling and storage.

The Gospel of Judas consists of 16 chapters and claims to record Jesus’s teaching about spiritual topics and cosmology. It was written from Judas’ point of view and allegedly contains conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot.

This gospel contains teachings that clearly contradict the Bible in its basic beliefs, especially in the main theme of the substitution-death of Christ on behalf of humanity. Whereas the Biblical gospels teach that Jesus had to die in order to atone for the sins of humanity, the author of Judas teaches that substitutionary justice pleases only the lower gods and angels and that the true supreme God is too gracious and would not demand such a sacrifice nor punish sinners.

The canonical gospels present Judas as a betrayer who delivered Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders in exchange for 30 pieces of sliver (Matthew 26:15). But the gospel of Judas portrays Judas’ actions as being in obedience to the command of Jesus. And it adds that the rest of Christ’s disciples did not know the true meaning of Jesus’ teaching because He only taught Judas His message claiming that Judas belonged to the “holy generation.”

According to the Gospel of Judas, mankind can be divided into two groups. Those who are furnished with an immortal soul, like Judas. These can come to know the god within and enter the imperishable realm when they die. The other group consists of those who cannot enter the realm of God and will die both spiritually and physically at the end of their lives.

But the Bible teaches that Jesus Himself called Judas the “son of perdition” (John 17:12). Jesus Himself confirmed that the betrayer will not be saved (Matthew 26:24). And Jesus admitted the lost state of Judas in His prayer to the Father (John 17:12). Judas rightfully felt so guilty for betraying Jesus that it drove him to commit suicide (Matthew 27:5; Acts 1:18).

In conclusion, the Gospel of Judas is openly heretical to the Bible. Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Judas likewise betrays the essence of the Bible’s teachings. The Gospel of Judas is misleading and a false representation of God’s truth.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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