Isn't it strange that snippets of the Gospel of Judas were made public just as the Christian community was celebrating Easter? It certainly wasn't because it was "news!"
The early Christian writer St. Irenaeus condemned the text as early as 180 A.D. - thus the existence of a heretical account of the Passion Week has been known and discredited for 1,800 years. The manuscript from which the release was translated has been known since 1970. It was offered for sale in Geneva in May 1983. Prof. Rodolphe Kasser revealed a few details of the text in 2004. Simon Mawer wrote a novel based on the text in 2000.
The truth is that Judas committed suicide hours before the crucifixion. He had no time to write anything about the period between Palm Sunday and Easter. Moreover, the manuscript has been carbon-dated between 220-340 A.D. The text is consistent with other Gnostic "Gospels," such as the Apocalypse of Peter, which claims that Jesus was laughing on the cross. The manuscript was written for the Cainites, a sect of Gnostics who worshipped Cain as a hero.
The timing of the recent release seems to be associated with either skeptics or Gnostics bent on discrediting or casting doubt on the sacrificial death of Christ for a fallen human race.
Tom Zwemer, Augusta
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