Overview

For 1,600 years its message lay hidden. When the bound papyrus pages of this lost gospel finally reached scholars who could unlock its meaning, they were astounded. Here was a gospel that had not been seen since the early days of Christianity, and which few experts had even thought existed–a gospel told from the perspective of Judas Iscariot, history’s ultimate traitor. And far from being a villain, the Judas that emerges in its pages is a ...
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Gospel of Judas

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Overview

For 1,600 years its message lay hidden. When the bound papyrus pages of this lost gospel finally reached scholars who could unlock its meaning, they were astounded. Here was a gospel that had not been seen since the early days of Christianity, and which few experts had even thought existed–a gospel told from the perspective of Judas Iscariot, history’s ultimate traitor. And far from being a villain, the Judas that emerges in its pages is a hero.

In this radical reinterpretation, Jesus asks Judas to betray him. In contrast to the New Testament Gospels, Judas Iscariot is presented as a role model for all those who wish to be disciples of Jesus and is the one apostle who truly understands Jesus.

Discovered by farmers in the 1970s in Middle Egypt, the codex containing the gospel was bought and sold by antiquities traders, secreted away, and carried across three continents, all the while suffering damage that reduced much of it to fragments. In 2001, it finally found its way into the hands of a team of experts who would painstakingly reassemble and restore it. The Gospel of Judas has been translated from its original Coptic to clear prose, and is accompanied by commentary that explains its fascinating history in the context of the early Church, offering a whole new way of understanding the message of Jesus Christ.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In one sense, this document is huge news...it provides a touchstone for what certain people believed 150 or 200 years after Christ’s death."—Knight/Ridder Tribune News Service
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426204159
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 6/17/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 198,559
  • File size: 674 KB

Meet the Author

Rodolphe Kasser, Ph.D., a professor emeritus on the Faculty of Arts at the University of Geneva, is one of the world’s leading Coptologists. He has organized the restoration and prepared the editio princeps of codex Tchacos, containing the Gospel of Judas and three other Coptic Gnostic texts.

Marvin Maeyer, Ph.D., Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies at Chapman University Albert Schweitzer Institute, is one of the foremost scholars on Gnoticism, the Nag Hammadi Library and texts about Jesus outside the New Testament.

Gregor Wurst, Ph.D., is professor of Ecclesiastical History and Patristics at the University of Augsburg, Germany.

Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D., is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an expert on early Christianity.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Gospel of Judas 17
Commentary
The Story of Codex Tchacos and the Gospel of Judas 47
Christianity Turned on Its Head: The Alternative Vision of the Gospel of Judas 77
Irenaeus of Lyon and the Gospel of Judas 121
Judas and the Gnostic Connection 137
Endnotes 171
Selected Bibliography 175
Publisher's Note 179
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

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1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    In My Opinion

    This book was a Christmas present from my wife in 2006. I have read it twice and refer back to it on occasion.

    As a fan of Ehrman and Meyer, I was delighted to see both embedded in this singular work. While as a conservative believer, I often find myself at odds with both writers, I really enjoy their intellectual approach to critical thinking and the resulting theories. I wish I was a smidgeon as knowledgeable as these two.

    This book is akin to reading a tome where Hannibal Lecter turns out to be an undercover officer for the FBI. Quite a different turn of events. The Gospel of Judas is of the same ilk. While the traditional Judas is the betrayer of Jesus, this Judas is in on the inside loop from the beginning. And while this disturbs many, a close reading of the canonical NT reveals to me the same story. I have since early days, considered Judas's role as one of necessity and pre-formed prior to the arrest.

    Many today dismiss the so-called Gnostic gospels as being a small fringe in the early church. Before we denote this fringe title to them we must bear in mind that a large percentage of modern archeological finds are of the Gnostic theme. Thereby it is quite possible they were more wide-spread than the Orthodox Church would have us believe. This is not to say they are right or wrong. It is just another one of those messy facts that we should include in our thinking.

    Additional excellent reading is:

    Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus),

    The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon,

    Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them),

    Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture's Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ,

    God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer

    Greater Than You Think: A Theologian Answers the Atheists About God.

    I hope you find this review helpful.

    Michael L. Gooch

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2006

    More knowledge equals more faith

    I am truly excited that the translation is out in print for all who choose to read it. You have to remember that the Bible was put together by a group of men who went over and over what should be in it and what shouldn't. The 'shouldn't' pile was hidden because there was something in those books that contradicted the Bible or had views that didn't parallel the views in the Bible. None of the books in that made it in the Bible or didn't make it in were written during the actual events. They were all written afterwards and the majority of the books were not written by whom they're named after. In creating the Bible the men created censorship and with the finding of these other books we are opening are minds and gathering new information on a time in history. Knowledge is not bad. It will make you think and keep you in the direction your headed or maybe take you down a path you never thought to explore.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2006

    Fascinating and Necessary

    Before you claim that 'This book cannot be taken seriously. If it were left out of the Bible, it was left out for a divine reason,' think for a moment. The Bible as we know it today was assembled by Constantine, the first Pope of The Holy Roman Catholic Church. It was for political purposes, not religious, that certain books were declared unworthy of inclusion in the Bible. Those books were any that encouraged the inner knowing of God. Inner-knowing, meant people thought for themselves, something that any political force does not want. Why, that with all the outright hatred that many fundamentalist Christians display towards Catholics and The Pope, they choose to believe the first Pope was guided by divine hand, and yet no others have been, is perplexing to say the least. Moreover, any thinking person should be able to deduce that without Judas, there would be no Christ. Judas was born to betray Jesus, that was predestined. If God is really omnipotent, Judas was doomed from the dawn of time. Not much of a fair shake from an all-loving God, is it? My point is this, before you decry an ancient text, consider that God's divine hand also protected it for 2000 years. And maybe, just maybe, those who assembled the first bible, decided they should put in a line or two about 'false gospels' just in case some copies of banned books survived. This is a remarkable book, and I thank God it has survived.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2006

    Ridiculous fabrication

    After reading this book I have found that it is, in its entirety, not true. It is allegedly a 'Hidden Gospel of the Holy Bible'. But to put it blankly, how can it be book of the Bible, when in Revelation it clearly says it is the last book and there are to be NO others added or anything taken away from it. The Bible is the true account of God and his Son Jesus, there is no other. For the Bible was written by God himself, not by man.

    4 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2006

    Excellent

    While most Christiaans are going to rave this as heretical, that doesn't bother me because I'm not a Christian. Your god gave you a mind for a reason, if you don't use it and blindly follow you are going against 'him'. This book second guesses nearly everything about interactions of Jesus and his disciples. If you are open to reading something new and aren't a sheep blindly following hypocritical hate-mongering shepards I highly recommend this book. If you read carefully it tells you that Jesus was a monotheist as well.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2006

    Wow

    To think that so many gospels were weeded out of the mix by the early church is frightening. I would love to get my hands on all of these works, and then make sense of it all.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2006

    Good stuff

    The beauty of christianity is you get to choose how to believe in God. And I believe in the these gospels and know exactly what kind of christian i am.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2006

    Give this gospel a fair chance

    What people dont realize, especially the religous fanatics who are trying to slander this gospel, is that they are confirming what they know from the bible with the bible, their faith and the information passed down to them from their family, friends and, of course, the christian church, while i hold nothing against those of you doing this i do have to tell you to follow your own advice and be more open minded to new things, just because its new doesnt make it wrong, and just because you grew up with the bible doesnt make it completely accurate or complete.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Interesting

    You must take time to read it to absorb the information. Really enjoyed the comments and essays from the scholars. Loved it

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2007

    Calm down religious zealots.

    Give the book a chance. Read it cover to cover and see what you think. I personally liked the fact you could read about Jesus smiling and laughing! I love both God and Jesus. The Holy Bible is a good book, but realisticly, it is'nt complete! There were twelve deciples people, and only four books from deciples! I would say there are a great deal of missing biblical writtings from the current version of the Holy Bible. The Roman curch is far from laudable. They were the ones that assembled the Holy Bible since they held the monopoly on education back then. If you like a change of pace and have an open mind then this is a good book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2006

    Some people need to wake up

    The finding of the Gospel of Judas is very interesting, and what it has to say is interesting as well. But what I found more relevant than the actual Gospel is the explanations as to why this Gospel was suppressed from knowledge. To me, that is the more relevant discovery. The bible did arrive by fax machine from God, it was put together by PEOPLE. Whoever says anything differently is living in a dream world. It has been known for a long time that the four Gospels are not the only ones that existed. This book helps shed some light on to why the other gospels are not known. It is an interesting read for anybody, and for those who truly have faith this book should not matter to them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2006

    OPEN YOUR MINDS

    It is good to read, but pray as you do, and God will guide you. It is hard to translate from an old language/culture to a new language/culture. Remember this was written when the world was different and not all the old words have new word meaning. They had this same problem when translating the original Bible, and some things got changed. Reference on how David conquered Jerusalem is a good example. Also, who really wrote it? and when? The original books of the Bible were verbal and some were written down long after the fact.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2006

    Essential reading for Christians

    Words cannot convey the full impact of this.-- If only the word `Christian¿ today meant a crusader for love, rather than tending to mean a fighter for theological dominion. ¿Love thy neighbour as thyself, and thine enemy likewise.¿ Do we wish such an idea to prevail? Are we more concerned to make it the reality of our Being? Were Christ in the public arena now, in person in this day, it would seem that most nominal Christians would be against that which love was standing for, among the first to call for crucifixion. In our own way like our traditional Judas, we would sell our souls for gold ¿ if not for cruder personal profit, for the fool¿s gold of religion in distinction to the living Spirit which generates it, forms it, re-forms it and ultimately burns through it. The role of the real Judas has been known of and understood by some down the generations. Until times are ripe, some things are naturally hidden - certain things consciously so.-- The Gospel of Judas is a `missing piece¿ of inestimable proportions. The fact of its being missing in the public domain till this time goes entirely with the web of realities behind its content.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    The DaVinci Code all over again...

    Yes, this is ancient. Yes, it WAS apparently written by Judas. No, it probably isn't all that relevant. I'm not questioning the time period, but merely the accuracy of it. Judas betrayed Jesus, so obviously the septuagint wouldn't have added it. But then again, he betrayed the son of God. He sold him for the price of a slave. HOW, then, would it be so easily apparent that this record is 100% true? Also, many of the Lost Books were not included because of the credibility and relevance. 'Belle and the Dragon' is a great example. Also, a common misconception is that the Catholics 'hid' this information. The apocrypha was not only translated, but canonized by the Catholic church centuries ago. They just don't use it because there is still some debate on its spiritual value. Also, to those that quote Revelations 22:18, stop it. It is referring to that BOOK. The Bible wasn't bound as one full record until quite some time later, possibly while Peter was a bishop, or maybe even when Constantine established order to the church afterwards. On top of this, an earlier comment mentioned that the gospels weren't recorded until much later. This isn't true at all. John the Revelator began writing Revelations immediately after his exile, and I believe (if I remember correctly) that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all wrote their gospels within three to five years of Christ's crucifixion. Peter, obviously, wrote his epistles while serving his mission, so that was probably even sooner. In short, the point I'm trying to make of all this is that most people don't understand the Bible itself. I STILL haven't figured even 1/100 of it out yet. People are jumping on this as if it's doctrine. Understand what's already written first before jumping on new records. At the very least, though, I'd recommend reading these sorts of things with a highly analytical eye.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    ..And Why Not?

    We read to learn. We read to confirm or dispell suspicions or thoughts or opinions. Those of us who picked up this book did so because we were compelled to do so.... Didn't we always know that there was something else, another side to the story, another perception of reality or truth as it may have been? Every era has it's climate of politic and government that is compelled to rule and controll through exposure or lack there of literature, art, science... The Gospel of Judas was never lost, it was always there, but perhaps we just were not able to see it, to know it. We see it now because we need to. It provides a much needed balance. I urge all to read it, and to be of open mind about all that is out there. There could be a message in it for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2007

    I would rate it 0-Baloney

    Men would rather believe a lie than God. People prefer to be descendents of monkeys than to believe that God created man. Read the bible and ask God to make you understand and forget about believing what somebody else says.

    1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2006

    Gods true believer

    Jesus does not have to ask no one to betray him its not even in the bible were Jesus ask him that, all things are preordained so it was just meant to be. Judas was not a villan nor a hero he was just an instrument in Gods plan. so what was the meaning of him hanging himself upside down if he was doing the Fathers work come on people lets not fall for every word and document, and thats Gods word

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2006

    While it is nice...

    That people of the Christian faith are commenting, it is all a bit silly... they use the Bible to confirm the Bible, which is only confirmed by their faith...why they make wild claims that are suppose to make a non-believer not believe what this book has to say is irrational.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2006

    Let us not be so easily fooled

    This book cannot be taken seriously. If it were left out of the Bible, it was left out for a divine reason. The Bible tells us in Revelation that there were no books left out. If the Bible is God's word, this is the truth. Furthermore, if you feel like the bible was constructed and edited based purely on the decisions of man, then you must have a poor idea of the Power and Omnipotence of God. Of course if He were making a book to tell us about Himself and instruct us in our lives he would have complete control over ever single word down to the very last charecter in the book! Christians do not be fooled, read the book if you want to but read carefully. And keep in mind that if you accept that this book is legitimate and ought to have been in the Bible, then you do not believe in the God described in that Bible, and you really have no idea what God you are serving.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2006

    Essential reading for Christians

    Words cannot convey the full impact of this.-- If only the word `Christian¿ today meant a crusader for love, rather than tending to mean a fighter for theological dominion. ¿Love thy neighbour as thyself, and thine enemy likewise.¿ Do we wish such an idea to prevail? Are we more concerned to make it the reality of our Being? Were Christ in the public arena now, in person in this day, it would seem that most nominal Christians would be against that which love was standing for, among the first to call for crucifixion. In our own way like our traditional Judas, we would sell our souls for gold ¿ if not for cruder personal profit, for the fool¿s gold of religion in distinction to the living Spirit which generates it, forms it, re-forms it and ultimately burns through it. The role of the real Judas has been known of and understood by some down the generations. Until times are ripe, some things are naturally hidden - certain things consciously so.-- The Gospel of Judas is a `missing piece¿ of inestimable proportions. The fact of its being missing in the public domain till this time goes entirely with the web of realities behind its content.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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