Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gospel of Judas

Gospel of Judas
The Gospel Of Judas – Gnostic Gospel

The Gospel of Judas, the contents of which are a Gnostic gospel, comprises of the conversation between the Apostle Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ. All are aware of the story of Jesus Christ’s disciple, one of the 12 Apostles who betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver, with a kiss and later on filled with guilt and grief hanged himself. He was the ultimate symbol of treachery. The gospel is said to have been written by gnostic followers of Jesus and not by Judas.

 It contains the late 2nd century theology which probably dates not earlier than the 2nd century and the only copy of the Gospel of Judas known to exist is a Coptic language text which has been carbon dated to 280 AD. National Geographic society first published the translation of the text, in the early 2006.

When compared to the canonical gospels that portrays Judas as the betrayer of Christ and delivered him to be crucified in exchange for money, it indicate Judas’s actions followed according to the scriptures.

The Gospel of Judas does not indicated that the other apostles were aware of Jesus’s teachings but it claims that they had not learned the true gospel which Jesus had taught only to Judas Iscariot who seemed to be the sole follower of the `holy generati’.

Leather Bound Coptic Papyrus Documents

Towards 1970, leather bound Coptic language papyrus evidence came to light near Beni Masar, Egypt which was named the Codex Tchacos after Frieda Nussberger Tchacos an antiquities dealer who seemed to be concerned over the deteriorating condition of the manuscript. The codex text which appeared to be from the late 2nd century AD was first translated in the early 2000 and included the self-titled `Gospel of Judas’ which claimed to be the story of Jesus’s death connected to Judas.

The papyrus documents were radiocarbon by Timothy Jull, a carbon dating expert at the University of Arizona’s physics centre, which dated between the third and the fourth century. Presently the manuscript seems to be over a thousand pieces with several sections missing due to poor upkeep of the same.

 Some of the passages seem to be scattered words while others contained several lines and according to Rodolphe Kasser, the codex originally comprised of 31 pages which had writings on both sides though it came to the market with only 13 pages in 1999. It is presumed that the missing pages could have been removed or sold.

Comprises of 16 Chapters 

Based on textual analysis with regards to the features of dialect and Greek loan words, it is presumed that the Coptic text contained in the codexcould have been a translation from an older Greek manuscript at the time of around 130 – 180 AD.

The Gospel of Judas comprises of 16 chapters which tells about the teachings of Jesus, about spiritual matter and cosmology. Judas seems to be the only one of Jesus’s disciple who seems to understand the words of his master. The Gospel contains some narrative elements and records how Judas was taught the true meaning of the message of Jesus.

According to A. J. Levine, belonging to a team of scholars responsible in unveiling the work, indicates that the Gospel of Judas does not contain any new historical information related to Jesus or Judas though the text seems to be helpful in reconstructing the history of Gnosticism particularly in the Coptic areas.

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