Gospel of Judas: Scripture or Ancient Hoax?

Appearantly, an ancient script that was found in a cave in Egypt and Carbon dated to about 300-400 A.D. has been labeled as the Gospel of Judas and makes some rather extreme changes to the story of Jesus.

The manuscript claims that Jesus revealed “secret knowledge” to his disciple and instructed him to turn Jesus over to Roman authorities, says Coptic studies scholar Stephen Emmel of Germany’s University of Munster, one of the restoration team members.

Could this be a revelation in the Christian doctrine?  Does it really change anything?  Does the fact that Judas was told to “betray” Jesus make the story any less impressive?  The impressive part of the whole story is the resurrection and not the death.  The ways and means of the death are inconsequential.

Also, given the claims in the “gospel” and the fact that is was written after the fact make it possible that Judas wanted to make his story sound a little better?  A little rosier?  Wouldn’t be the first time that someone came out with a “this is my side of the story” story.  And after all, in the “gospel”, he claims that Jesus told him things that none of the other prophets knew, so isn’t it possible?

Don’t bet on it getting accepted by the Church anytime soon though.  At least not anytime soon.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. You are brave…taking on scripture and interpretation and all things holy not long before Easter, etc. I’ve read my bible – granted it has been a while – but I always considered it an ‘anthology’ of sorts. And like any anthology, stuff that should be included is left out, and stuff that is included should be left out. Damn Editors.

    When they find the lost writings of Mary, Mother of Christ, or when they include the lost New Testament “books” by Mary Magdalen or James the brother of Jesus…et al in the bible – then I might be able to take away a few grains of salt. (Check this out)

  2. You know, I saw an excellent 2 hour special about “the lost books” on the history channel a week ago. All of the books you are mentioning Northern Girl weren’t chosen for a good reason. The reason was that they could not be substantiated as original writings as they first appeared two to three hundred years after the events. Obviously in a case like that there is no longer any basis in direct fact, but rather distant legend which doesn’t make for an accurate manuscript.

    For instance they went over the book of Mary Magdalen and how the source for it was dubious at best considering there is no mention of it in other historical documents of the period until two-hundred years later, long after Mary Magdalens death.

    Despite what some people would have you believe when the church chose the books for the bible around 367 AD they put a great deal of effort into chosing the cream of the crop for accuracy, source, and content. If a book was left out it was often because the source was suspect or it disagreed with another book that had proven sources and accuracy. Ultimately the list of books was voted on by a group of religious scholars who probably had much better information than we do now (After all it was only 300 some years after Jesus death at that point).

    Much of what they relied on for source material and research has been long forgotten and lost in the 1700 years that have passed since than. I think its an interesting study in how documents survive and are copied and recopied for generations. Checkout this link for a timeline of the bible: http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/timeline_of_how_the_bible_where.htm

  3. At the risk of getting into a cold war over theology, I’m going to comment again. Brady – we may have to agree to disagree on this one and let ThatEdeGuy have his blog back!

    I saw the “lost books” program on the history channel, too. And while I don’t doubt that the sources for many of the lost books were unsubstantiated, I do have to wonder at the editor’s picks – and how they are interpreted through various languages and countless transcriptions.

    Granted, while the decisions for what was “in” or “out” of the cannon were made 300 or so years after the death of Jesus, scholars believe the Gospels were written between 70 and 90 AD – (give or take) 60 years after the death of Jesus. How many old men do you know can still tell the truth as it happened – or were some facts fictionalized, fogotten or exaggerated for the sake of the telling? It makes me wonder about the accuracy…but then I remember the bible is an anthology. A collection. And the collection of stories is just part of what creates the faith.

    Also, the decisions of what to keep and what to throw were made by church elders – who, whether we like to admit it or not, had an agenda (to promote their church/faith), and were men (patriarchal society), and were living in a different time – obviously – than we are now. And that is fine. But it still colors the text…included or not.

    So for now, I’ll keep my grain of salt…but I won’t sow any. 🙂


  4. Thatedeguy says

    Can I say you are both right without stoking the flames? NG – I completely agree that which books got into the bible was biased. I think we have to take the books of the bible with some degree of “salting”. Or, rather, we need to realize that it is not a literal account at all times.

    I think this lends itself to brady’s addition in that while there was some “leanings” towards a patriarchal society and a “promote the faith” ideal, however I am fairly certain that they also tried to weed out the not-so-trusty sources.

    See, the problem with religion as a whole, no matter which religion, is that it is almost entirely based on pure faith at this point. Sure at the beginning, it may have been based on fact, but after thousands of years some distortion is going to happen. At that point we must become “faithful” and take it on faith that we are doing the things that our religion demands of us.

  5. Yeah. That sounds like a reasonable assumption Shane. However I would like to add that the one thing I did see when doing a little quick research on the topic before I commented was this: The transcription of the bible was actually incredibly accurate and is in fact one of things that constantly amazes scientists. They can compare recovered manuscripts produced not long after Jesus death with recent versions and they are almost perfectly identical in all aspects.

    We have to realize that these documents were copied by professional scribes how dedicated their life to producing perhaps 20 copies of the bible as it was a laborious and tedious process with the materials they have available to them (quills, crummy paper, clotty ink, and poor light).

    I personally believe that inaccuracies and inconsistencies crept into the documents during translation out of their original armaic and hebrew to the english versions we read. I’ve seen several good examples of this including some my sister (who has a degree in religious studies and has taken hebrew) pointed out. Some words do not have a direct translation from Hebrew to English, or lose their original intent as the contex changes when you translate it.

    I also definately agree with Shane over some things being taken with a grain of salt. Specifically I do believe that the New Testament contains a more literal and factual telling where the old testament has a lot more “story telling” and alegory. Theres definately a reason why most church docterine and teachings are centered around the new testament. After all, how often do we actually put murders to death per the sixth commanment? Yeah, we still do sometimes, but we are also one of the only modern countries that still practices capital punishment which perhaps shows how connected we still are as a country to the christian faith.

    I also agree that some content may have been left out because its core character. As at that period men were likely the ones capable of reading the bible so its unlikely they would have put many stories about women achieving great things in the bible. However I think that randomly chosing what additional books you’ll believe as part of a christian faith is probably a bit fringe by most peoples standards. Its interesting to read these books and many of them are teaching the same values as the bible, but I’m just saying do some research on the origins before you take them too seriously.

    Anyways my intention was not to start a flame war at all. I just thought I would add some facts and my opinions to the discussion since that is what comments and blogging are all about. 🙂

  6. Thatedeguy says

    I don’t think that this was really about which books we should believe or not as christians. One of the best examples of this is the movie Stigmata. Taking everything with a grain of salt, even in faith is important sometimes. I don’t like being spoon fed anything, but show me evidence, like the bible and I’ll believe.

  7. Mark my words.. this is an attempt to reunite the Judea-Christian worlds in an attempt to “conquer” the nation of Islam by shear numbers… National Geographic holds the rights and they are the perfect goat to fool mass concensus into believing they are at a level of integrity in Holy proportions.. don’t be fooled

  8. Thatedeguy says

    I really don’t see how you came to that conclusion Cliff. In fact, if you’ve ever read the Bible, or taken the time to find out what it says about this subject, you would know that according to the Bible, the Judea and Christian “worlds” are never said to unite. At least not in any way shape or form until the end of days.
    While we are on the subject though… What makes the Islamic people so suspicious of the Christian people’s intent? Was it the crusades? Both religions have a claim to the holy lands. I’m not trying to justify the crusades. Don’t take me wrong here, but I’m just curious why it is that all extremist Islamics feel that the Christians are out to get them? If they would take a second to learn what the true Christian doctrine is, they would see that the Christians are a people of peace.

    I’m not fooled Cliff. Even if it were an attempt as you claim, it wouldn’t happen.

  9. The Judas Scripture may have not come from Judas as the author but from another apostle about Judas and what is taken as Thomas’ notes may be the scripture Judas wrote due to Di Vinci believes which has nothing to do with the Di Vinci movie for Di Vinci describes alternate and extensions of the Bible. There is a lost gospel of Judas meeting Jesus as a child and biting Jesus and the Mother Mary telling Jesus not to have any thing to do with Judas because she had trouble stopping the bleeding from the bite but Jesus went on to say for his mother not to be so shallow and went out to befriend Judas. The wound being the scab a Roman soldier removed with a spear and why the wound existed from childhood would be the same reason Jesus was tortured on the same day crucified of the Di Vinci believe Jesus was a hemophiliac. Thomas’ notes are fitting how someone that was mentally retarded would see the world and fits into the lost gospels that include Judas and those within the Holy Bible and while all apostles can be seen arriving the only apostle that just among the apostles but doesn’t arrive is Judas Iscariot and that is from another Di Vinci thought that Judas doesn’t arrive because he never left Jesus as a child and was a ward of Jesus. The two apostles who died in Egypt were sentenced to death for being heretics and the Judas scripture shows the heresy was on Judas for the apostles were divided about if Judas was guilty or not which Thomas was one that said Judas was innocent. The two apostles murdered in Egypt were John Mark and Simoen the Zealot. The Judas scripture being in Egypt also confirms some Di Vinci beliefs on Simeon the Zealot that he was the Pharisee Simeon the head negotiator to the Zealots for King Herod which historically had two sons murdered by the Zealots and where the historic Pharisee Simeon history ends the apostle Simeon the Zealot begins and would be the Pharisee Simeon with Jesus when Jesus was left at the temple for in the lost gospels Jesus tutors Simeon the child after Simeon is saved from a snake bit and would be the same Simeon who condemns Mary Magdalene for what kind of woman she is but takes it back when Jesus condemns Simeon that he did less for Jesus than Magdalene did. This Judas Scripture would be a scripture written by apostle Simeon the Zealot about Judas. Some passages may apply to Simeon the Zealot than Judas such as the mysteries while Judas being a puppet than through malice betrayed Jesus which this also explains why Jesus had to tell Judas what was occurring because Judas didn’t understand what was occurring. In Hebrew tradition it takes three witnesses to authenticate and there is a Di Vinci belief that John and Mark were both written by John Mark one when he wanted Judas to be guilty and one with a comment of the conversation of the Last Supper where John Mark is saying that they were talking about him but is taken as a great eternal blessing from Jesus may be saying that it is not Judas that betrayed Jesus but John Mark and had originally blamed Judas because if Judas was innocent then he himself had gotten someone he cared about killed for it shows something of John Mark’s character that he stayed and witnessed the crucifixion no matter how awful it got and shows he didn’t abandon Judas either that two people he cared for died not one and the puppet betrayed Jesus for the sake of belonging because Judas knew the names of apostles he liked and knew John Mark but some apostles were know as only those other apostles from Thomas’ notes which may be the scripture Judas wrote and Simeon the Zealot also wrote of it back by the apostle who originally condemned Judas murdered for heresy by saying Judas wasn’t as guilty as others were lead to believe. The greed that John Mark had was not for wealth but glory, to make Jesus the person that Israel would throw out their Roman overlords by and himself among the heroes but Jesus had other ideas. The three testimonies being two testimonies Luke was made to authenticate Jesus because they were short a testimony by Di Vinci beliefs. And to keep the belief the two testimonies were three the body of Simeon the Zealot was stolen and buried in Venice in Italy as Mark and John Mark was allowed to be buried in Turkey as John Mark. It makes sense that John Mark betrayed Jesus for he was the only apostle to have an emotional breakdown after the crucifixion and was there through thick and thin, good and bad times, and support even when others were disgraced like he gave Thomas when Thomas was a slave in India to remember the faith they loved. It shows why Egypt historically put John Mark and Simeon the Zealot to death: the Judas Scripture.

  10. The Conspiracy Eliminator says

    The problem with authentication arises firstly when you chose to change/translate the words, teachings and especially names JESUS (latin) JOHN , MARK, MARY….etc. Those were not their names in the first place so if you want to keep things factual and believeable then keep it in its original state unless there is a alterior motive for that religion for personal gain etc (Vatican and spread of modern day “Roman” Empire comes to mind to name but one motive). I go with the conception that any religious doctrine if followed correctly is good, the rectorick and adlibs are irrelevant “Jesus” spoke peace, Mohammed spoke peace, Budha meditated peace etc, so whether Judas betrayed Jesus or Mary was Jesus’s boyfriend or Jesus feed 5000 is true or not its neither here nor there. In the case of the latter i make the assumption that what that story tells is that if you have a big meal why eat all of it and be greedy? when you can give your neighbour some and both be fed!!! If only it were that simple hey!! One thing i do believe in is an Higher Being who gave us the ability to even have this conversations.