“What is the gospel of Judas?”

Sometime in the 1970s, in a cave in Egypt, a copy of the “gospel of Judas” was discovered. The circumstances of the discovery have been described as shady, with those who possessed the copy asking for exorbitant amounts of money for the codex. For decades, no institution was willing to pay for the purchase due to its dubious origins. Eventually the codex of the gospel of Judas was purchased by a foundation in Switzerland. The existence of the gospel of Judas codex was made public in 2004, but the actual release of the content of the codex has been repeatedly delayed, finally being released in April, 2006. The dating of the gospel of Judas codex is likely the 5th century A.D. According to various accounts, up to one third of the codex is missing or illegible.

Prior to this discovery, the only reference to the gospel of Judas was in the writings of a 2nd century Christian named Irenaeus. Irenaeus essentially wrote that the gospel of Judas was the “invented history” of a long line of heretics and rebels against God. The essential message of the gospel of Judas is that Jesus wanted Judas to betray Him because it was necessary to fulfill Jesus’ plan. If it was Jesus’ plan for Judas to betray Him, why would Jesus label Judas the “son of perdition” (John  17:12) and state that it would have been better if Judas had never been born (Matthew 26:24). If Judas were simply following Jesus’ instructions, why would he commit suicide once he saw that Jesus was condemned (Matthew 27:5)?

The gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel, espousing a Gnostic viewpoint of Christianity. The gospel of Judas is simply a heretical forgery, much the same as the gospel of Thomas, the gospel of Mary, and the gospel of Philip. Just as Judas Iscariot rejected Jesus and betrayed Him with a kiss, the gospel of Judas rejects the true Gospel and truth of God with a fraudulent appearance of validity.

About Dr. Mike Harmon

Dr. Harmon began preaching at the age of 15 while living in southern California. He has conducted over 600 revivals and evangelistic campaigns nationwide, and has served as Senior Pastor at seven churches. Dr. Harmon has degrees from Central Baptist College, the University of Central Arkansas, and a Ph.D. From the Christian Bible College and Seminary. He has served as trustee for Southeastern Baptist College and Chairman of the trustees for the BMA Theological Seminary. He also served as Chaplain for the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas State Senate. His many sermons and articles on Christian Apologetics are widely published. He is married to one wife of 43 years; has two sons, and seven grandchildren. He considers the simple pleasures of cooking, dining with family and friends, and liesurely rides on his Harley through the Texas Hill Country to be some of the most enjoyable blessings from the Lord.
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