Saturday night as I was traveling back to PA, I heard an Ad on the radio for "the latest video that could rock the foundations of Christianity." I immediately assumed that it was another Ad for The DaVinci Code and wanted to throw my Starbucks coffee out the window at a passing car (neither Starbucks or the passing car had anything to do with my rage), but continued to listen, finding out that it was an Ad for the Gospel of Judas. "Interesting" I thought.
Sunday evening I prepared to watch The Gospel of Judas with some friends who were also interested in hearing what it had to say. From what I saw, there was nothing that we haven’t already heard before. The codex paints this picture of Judas being somewhat of a biblical hero; that Jesus pulled him aside and begged Judas to turn him over to the Roman authorities. Which okay, fine, I’ll give Judas that…he did have a role to play, he turned Jesus over to be crucified. AND he got 30 pieces of silver for it! (Matthew 26:15)
While much of the original writings have been destroyed (they are almost 2000 years old!), it is interesting to see what some of Judas’ supporters thought or heard of the situation. The codex of Judas appears to take a more Gnostic view suggesting that Jesus needed to escape His body for His work to be complete and Judas provided an opportunity for that to happen. I have to wonder that if Judas was intended to be a great hero, his exit from the scene (Matthew 27:5) didn’t leave much for a second act.
I’ll stick with Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
Christianity Today has an interested article on "The Judas we never knew"
Shawn, Rowam Williams has a good take on the Gospel of Judas; I’ve posted his article on my blog. His Easter sermon also alludes to it and is very good; I’ve put up a link to it.