Monday, May 22, 2006

The Gospel of Judas - Trash Before, Trash Now

Over the past few months, there's been a lot of news regarding the Gospel of Judas. There was a lot of speculation that it could change Christianity's point of view on Judas and of God. But in actuality, the Gospel of Judas is nothing more than a gnostic's integration of Jewish mysticism and Christianity. It's a heretical book and will always be a heretical book.

The history of this book
Contrary to what the U.S. media suggests, the Gospel of Judas has been known to exist for a very long time. It was not "found" -- it's been rejected and thrown away. There's a difference between a lost book and a rejected book. It seems like those that "found" this book was hoping people would forget about the book's history -- since it reduces its significance and market value.

The truth is, it was written after all of the gospels of the Bible has been written and nearly 160 years pass the time of Jesus. Judas was already dead by the time this book was written. It was rejected by the Christian church as heretical and will continued to be rejected.

Early church leader rejected this book
A Christian theologian and church elder by the name of Irenaeus (130-202 AD) wrote about the Gospel of Judas: "They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas."

Irenaeus clearly recognized the heretical problems of this supposed new gospel. He was a student of Polycarp, who was a student of the apostle John. He knew the Gospel of Judas did not meet the standard Christian faith.

Specific problems
There are some very specific problems with this book:

1. This book does not recognize Jesus as one with God. He is considered a "lesser" being. This does not match the faith of the apostles and the foundational belief of the Trinity.

"“The twelve rulers spoke with the twelve angels: ‘Let each of you [52] […] and let them […] generation [—one line lost—] angels’: The first is [S]eth, who is called Christ."

2. Gnostic beliefs usually pursue mysticism or "special knowledge" (gnosis) as the central goal of life. In the Gospel of Judas, the Cainites wrote that Judas alone received the "special knowledge" from Christ. This conflicts with the rest of the gospels that clearly show the Good News as transparent, open, and inviting to the world. Additionally, contrary to this book's ideas, there are no different spiritual realms.

Jesus said, “[Come], that I may teach you about [secrets] no person [has] ever seen. For there exists a great and boundless realm, whose extent no generation of angels has seen, [in which] there is [a] great invisible [Spirit],

3. The book conflicts with Old Testament's account on Creation. God created the world by Himself and not with angels.

“Then Saklas said to his angels, ‘Let us create a human being after the likeness and after
the image.’

4. The book talks about new realms, and rulers of spiritual levels. It also talks about twelve angels ruling over chaos and the underworld. All of which contradicts with Biblical accounts.

“The multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos— that is, perdition—by the
Father and the seventy-two luminaries who are with the Self-Generated and his seventytwo
aeons. In him the first human appeared with his incorruptible powers. And the aeon
that appeared with his generation, the aeon in whom are the cloud of knowledge and the
angel, is called [51] El. […] aeon […] after that […] said, ‘Let twelve angels come into
being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld].’ And look, from the cloud there
appeared an [angel] whose face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with
blood. His name was Nebro, which means ‘rebel’; others call him Yaldabaoth. Another
angel, Saklas, also came from the cloud. So Nebro created six angels—as well as
Saklas—to be assistants, and these produced twelve angels in the heavens, with each one
receiving a portion in the heavens.

Truth revealed

The Gospel of was trash before and still belongs to the trash today.

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