What Is the Book of Judas?


Quick Answer

The book of Judas, also known as the "Gospel of Judas," was discovered in the 1970s in a cave in Egypt as a piece of papyrus. The "lost" text portrays Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus to Pontius Pilate for 30 pieces of silver, as a hero who was fulfilling the will of God before the crucifixion of Jesus.

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What Is the Book of Judas?
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Full Answer

The key to the Gospel of Judas is that the betrayer supposedly acted on the orders of Jesus so his spirit could be released to heaven, which led to the mystery of the resurrection. Jesus reportedly makes Judas his favorite disciple. Whereas the four canonical Gospels subtly imply Jesus tells Judas to betray him, the Gospel of Judas explicitly states that Jesus instructed Judas to turn him over to the Romans. There is no mention whatsoever of Jesus' resurrection in the Gospel of Judas.

The 66-page codex is on display at the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Egypt. The text is written in Coptic, a form of Greek used to write Egyptian words. The papyrus is dated to around 300 A.D., and it was deemed authentic in 2006 by scientists who studied similar documents already in museums that contained the same type of ink. Scientists took nearly 30 years to determine that the codex contained new writings associated with Jesus and the Bible.

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