Gospel of JudasGospel of Judas, apocryphal Christian scripture from the 2nd century ad attributed to the apostle Judas Iscariot. The gospel advances a Gnostic cosmology and portrays Judas in a positive light as the only apostle who fully understands Jesus’ teachings.
Although lost for centuries, the Gospel of Judas was known to have existed because it was mentioned by St. Irenaeus of Lyon, who condemned it as a fiction in ad 180. However, a Coptic translation (c. 300) of the original Greek text was discovered in a codex found in Egypt in the 1970s. In 1978 the codex was acquired by an Egyptian antiquities dealer, who placed it in a safe-deposit box in New York state, U.S., after his attempts to sell it failed. It remained there until 2000, when it was purchased by the Swiss-based Maecenas Foundation for Ancient Art. The reconstruction of the folios and a study of their contents were commissioned, and the text of the gospel and a translation were made public in 2006. Along with the Gospel of Judas, the codex contains the pseudepigraphal (noncanonical and unauthentic) First Apocalypse of James, a letter of the apostle Peter, and a section of a badly fragmented work provisionally identified as the Book of Allogenes or Book of the Stranger, a Gnostic text that was also among the codices found at Najʿ Hammadi in 1945.
The Gospel of Judas was likely compiled by an adherent of a Gnostic sect. (Gnostics emphasized the redemptive power of esoteric knowledge and taught that the material world is the creation of an inferior deity who is distinct from the transcendent God; see Gnosticism.) It is a unique depiction of Judas, traditionally denounced for his treachery and betrayal of Jesus. Portraying Judas as the favourite disciple of Jesus, the gospel records how Jesus revealed to him secret knowledge that was withheld from the other apostles; this special revelation concerns the nature of the cosmos and the transcendent God, the creation of angels and other celestial beings, and the creation of humankind. The gospel also includes an account of conversations between Jesus and Judas that took place, according to the opening passage, “during a week, three days before he celebrated Passover.” In these dialogues, Judas emerges as the close confidant of Jesus, who tells him: “You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” In this way, Jesus appears to ask Judas to help him liberate his spiritual self from his material body. Thus, the Judas of the gospel is not the betrayer of Jesus but his most important collaborator.
INTRODUCTION: INCIPIT The secret account of the reflation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week three days before he celebrated Passover. THE EARTHLY MINISTRY OF JESUS When Jesus appeared on earth, he performed miracles and great wonders for the salvation of humanity. And since some [walked] in the way of righteousness while others walked in their transgressions, the twelve disciples were called. He began to speak with them about the mysteries beyond the world and what would take place at the end. Often he did not appear to his disciples as | himself, but he was found among them as a child. SCENE 1 : Jesus dialogues with his disciples: The prayer of thanksgiving or the eucharist. One day he was with his disciples in Judea, and he found them gathered together and seated in pious observance. When he [approached] his disciples,  gathered together and seated and offering a prayer of thanksgiving over the bread, [he] laughed. The disciples said to [him], "Master, why are you laughing at [our] prayer of thanksgiving? We have done what is right." He answered and said to them, "I am not laughing at you. <You> are not doing this because of your own will but because it is through this that your god [will be] praised." They said, "Master, you are [. . .] the son of our god." Jesus said to them, "How do you know me? Truly [I] say to you, no generation of the people that are among you will know me." THE DISCIPLES BECOME ANGRY When his disciples heard this, they started getting angry and infuriated and began blaspheming against him in their hearts. When Jesus observed their lack of [understanding, he said] to them, "Why has this agitation led you to anger? Your god who is within you and [. . .]  have provoked you to anger [within] your souls. [Let] any one of you who is [strong enough] among human beings bring out the perfect human and stand before my face." They all said, "We have the strength." But their spirits did not dare to stand before [him], except for Judas Iscariot . He was able to stand before him, but he could not look him in the eyes, and he turned his face away. The Lost Gospel of Judas - From the Codex Tchacos Judas [said] to him, "I know who you are and where you have come from. You are from the immortal realm of Barbelo. And I am not worthy to utter the name of the one who has sent you." JESUS SPEAKS TO JUDAS PRIVATELY Knowing that Judas was reflecting upon something that was exalted, Jesus said to him, "Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal.  For someone else will replace you, in order that the twelve [disciples] may again come to completion with their god." Judas said to him, "When will you tell me these things, and [when] will the great day of light dawn for the generation?" But when he said this, Jesus left him. SCENE 2 : Jesus appears to the disciples again. The next morning, after this happened, Jesus [appeared] to his disciples again. "TTiey said to him, "Master, where did you go and what did you do when you left us?" Jesus said to them, "I went to another great and holy generation." His disciples said to him, "Lord, what is the great generation that is superior to us and holier than us, that is not now in these realms?" When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to them, "Why are you thinking in your hearts about the strong and holy generation?  Truly [I] say to you, no one bom [of] this aeon will see that [generation], and no host of angels of the stars will rule over that generation, and no person of mortal birth can associate with it, because that generation does not come from [. . .] which has become [...]. "me generation of people among [you] is from the generation of humanity [. . .] power, which [. . . the] other powers [. . .] by [which] you rule." When [his] disciples heard this, they each were troubled in spirit. They could not say a word. Another day Jesus came up to [them]. They said to [him], "Master, we have seen you in a [vision], for we have had great [dreams . . .] night [...]." [He said], "Why have [you . . . when] <you> have gone into hiding?"  THE DISCIPLES SEE THE TEMPLE AND DISCUSS IT Ihey [said, "We have seen] a great [house with a large] altar [in it, and] twelve men — they are the priests, we would say — and a name; and a crowd of people is waiting at that altar, [until] the priests [. . . and receive] the offerings. [But] we kept waiting." [Jesus said], "What are [the priests] like?" Ihey [said, "Some ...] two weeks; [some] sacrifice their own children, others their wives, in praise [and] humility with each other; some sleep with men; some are involved in [slaughter]; some commit a multitude of sins and deeds of lawlessness. And the men who stand [before] the altar invoke your [name],  and in all the deeds of their deficiency, the sacrifices are brought to completion [. . .]." After they said this, they were quiet, for they were troubled. JESUS OFFERS AN ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION OF THE TEMPLE Jesus said to them, "Why are you troubled? Truly I say to you, all the priests who stand before that altar invoke my name. Again I say to you, my name has been written on this [. . .] of the generations of the stars through the human generations. [And they] have planted trees without fruit, in my name, in a shameful manner." Jesus said to them, "Those you have seen receiving the offerings at the altar-^hat is who you are. That is the god you serve, and you are those twelve men you have seen. The cattle you have seen brought for sacrifice are the many people you lead astray  before that altar. [. . .] will stand and make use of my name in this way, and generations of the pious will remain loyal to him. After him another man will stand there from [the fornicators], and another [will] stand there from the slayers of children, and another from those who sleep with men, and those who abstain, and the rest of the people of pollution and lawlessness and error, and those who say, 'We are like angels'; they are the stars that bring everything to its conclusion. For to the human generations it has been said, 'Look, God has received your sacrifice from the hands of a priest'— that is, a minister of error. But it is the Lord, the Lord of the universe, who commands, 'On the last day they will be put to shame.'"  The Lost Gospel of Judas - From the Codex Tchacos Jesus said [to them], "Stop sac[rificing . . .] which you have [. . .] o\^r the altar, since they are o\^r your stars and your angels and have already come to their conclusion there. So let them be [ensnared] before you, and let them go [ — about 15 lines missing — ] generations [. . .]. A baker cannot feed all creation  under [hea\^n]. And [. . .] to them [. . .] and [. . .] to us and [...]. Jesus said to them, "Stop struggling with me. Each of you has his own star, and e\oy[body — about 17 lines missing — ]  in [. . .] who has come [. . . spring] for the tree [. . .] of this aeon [. . .] for a time [. . .] but he has come to water God's paradise, and the [generation] that will last, because [he] will not defile the [walk of life of] that generation, but [. . .] for all eternity." JUDAS ASKS JESUS ABOUT THAT GENERATION AND HUMAN GENERATIONS Judas said to [him, "Rabb]i, what kind of fruit does this generation produce?" Jesus said, "The souls of e\ey human generation will die. When these people, howe\^r, have completed the time of the kingdom and the spirit lea\^s them, their bodies will die but their souls will be a\\ve, and they will be taken up." Judas said, "And what will the rest of the human generations do?" Jesus said, "It is impossible  to sow seed on [rock] and harvest its fruit. [This] is also the way [. . .] the [defiled] generation [. . .] and corruptible Sophia [. . .] the hand that has created mortal people, so that their souls go up to the eternal realms above. [Truly] I say to you, [. . .] angel [. . .] power will be able to see that [. . .] these to whom [. . .] holy generations [. . .]." After Jesus said this, he departed. SCENE 3 : Judas recounts a vision and Jesus responds. Judas said, "Master, as you have listened to all of them, now also listen to me. For I have seen a great vision." When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to him, 'You thirteenth spirit, why do you try so hard? But speak up, and I shall bear with you." Judas said to him, "In the vision I saw myself as the twelve disciples were stoning me and  persecuting [me se\e-ely]. And I also came to the place where [. . .] after you. I saw [a house . . .], and my eyes could not [comprehend] its size. Great people were surrounding it, and that house <had> a roof of greenery, and in the middle of the house was [a crowd — two lines missing — ], saying, 'Master, take me in along with these people.'" [Jesus] answered and said, "Judas, your star has led you astray." He continued, "No person of mortal birth is worthy to enter the house you have seen, for that place is reser\^d for the holy. Neither the sun nor the moon will rule there, nor the day, but the holy will abide there always, in the eternal realm with the holy angels. Look, I have explained to you the mysteries of the kingdom  and I have taught you about the error of the stars; and [. . .] send it [. . .] on the twelve aeons." JUDAS ASKS ABOUT HIS OWN FATE Judas said, "Master, could it be that my seed is under the control of the rulers?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Come, that I [—two lines missing—], but that you will grieve much when you see the kingdom and all its generation." When he heard this, Judas said to him, "What good is it that I have recei\ed it? For you have set me apart for that generation." Jesus answered and said, 'You will become the thirteenth, and you will be cursed by the other generations— and you will come to rule o\^r them. In the last days they will curse your ascent  to the holy [generation]." JESUS TEACHES JUDAS ABOUT COSMOLOGY: THE SPIRIT AND THE SELF-GENERATED Jesus said, The Lost Gospel of Judas - From the Codex Tchacos "[Come], that I may teach you about [secrets] no person [has] e\e"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], which no eye of an angel has ever seen, no thought of the heart has ever comprehended, and it was never called by any name. "And a luminous cloud appeared there. He said, 'Let an angel come into being as my attendant.' "A great angel, the enlightened divine Self-Generated, emerged from the cloud. Because of him, four other angels came into being from another cloud, and they became attendants for the angelic Self-Generated. The Self-Generated said,  'Let [. . .] come into being [. . .],' and it came into being [. . .]. And he [created] the first luminary to reign o\^r him. He said, 'Let angels come into being to serve [him],' and myriads without number came into being. He said, '[Let] an enlightened aeon come into being,' and he came into being. He created the second luminary [to] reign o\^r him, together with myriads of angels without number, to offer service. That is how he created the rest of the enlightened aeons. He made them reign o\^r them, and he created for them myriads of angels without number, to assist them. ADAMAS AND THE LUMINARIES "Adamas was in the first luminous cloud that no angel has e\^r seen among all those called 'God.' He  [. . .] that [. . .] the image [. . .] and after the likeness of [this] angel. He made the incorruptible [generation] of Seth appear [. . .] the twelve [. . .] the twenty-four [...]. He made se\eity-two luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit. The se\eity-two luminaries themsel\£s made three hundred sixty luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit, that their number should be fi\£ for each. "Trie twelve aeons of the twelve luminaries constitute their father, with six hea\^ns for each aeon, so that there are se\^nty-two hea\^ns for the se\^nty-two luminaries, and for each  [of them fi\^] firmaments, [for a total of] three hundred sixty [firmaments ...]. They were gi\ei authority and a [great] host of angels [without number], for glory and adoration, [and after that also] virgin spirits, for glory and [adoration] of all the aeons and the hea\eis and their firmaments. THE COSMOS, CHAOS, AND THE UNDERWORLD "Trie multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos — that is, perdition — by the Father and the se\eity-two luminaries who are with the Self-Generated and his se\^nty-two 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  El. [. . .] aeon [. . .] after that [. . .] said, 'Let twelve angels come into being [to] rule o\^r 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 hea\^ns, with each one receiving a portion in the hea\^ns. THE RULERS AND ANGELS "Trie twelve rulers spoke with the twelve angels: 'Let each of you  [. . .] and let them [. . .] generation [ — one line lost—] angels': Trie first is [S]eth, who is called Christ. Trie [second] is Harmathoth, who is [...]. Trie [third] is Galila. Trie fourth is Yobel. Trie fifth [is] Adonaios. These are the five who ruled over the underworld, and first of all over chaos. THE CREATION OF HUMANITY "Then Saklas said to his angels, 'Let us create a human being after the likeness and after the image.' They fashioned Adam and his wife Eve, who is called, in the cloud, Zoe. For by this name all the generations seek the man, and each of them calls the woman by these names. Now, Sakla did not  com[mand . . .] except [. . .] the generations . . .] this [...]. And the [ruler] said to Adam, 'You shall live long, with your children.'" JUDAS ASKS ABOUT THE DESTINY OF ADAM AND HUMANITY Judas said to Jesus, "[What] is the long duration of time that the human being will live?" Jesus said, "Why are you wondering about this, that Adam, with his generation, has lived his span of life in the place where he has received his kingdom, with longevity with his ruler?" Judas said to Jesus, "Does the human spirit die?" Jesus said, "This is why God ordered Michael to give the spirits of people to them as a loan, so that they might offer service, but the Great One ordered Gabriel to grant spirits to the great generation with no ruler o\^r it— that is, the spirit and the soul. Therefore, the [rest] of the souls  [ — one line missing — ]. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/mistic/gospelJudas.htm The Lost Gospel of Judas - From the Codex Tchacos JESUS DISCUSSES THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WICKED WITH JUDAS AND OTHERS "[. . .] light [ — nearly two lines missing—] around [. . .] let [. . .] spirit [that is] within you dwell in this [flesh] among the generations of angels. But God caused knowledge to be [gi\^n] to Adam and those with him, so that the kings of chaos and the underworld might not lord it o\e-them." Judas said to Jesus, "So what will those generations do?" Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, for all of them the stars bring matters to completion. When Saklas completes the span of time assigned for him, their first star will appear with the generations, and they will finish what they said they would do. Then they will fornicate in my name and slay their children  and they will [. . .] and [—about six and a half lines missing—] my name, and he will [. . .] your star o\^r the [thirteenth aeon." After that Jesus [laughed]. [Judas said], "Master, [why are you laughing at us]?" [Jesus] answered [and said], "I am not laughing [at you] but at the error of the stars, because these six stars wander about with these fi\^ combatants, and they all will be destroyed along with their creatures." JESUS SPEAKS OF THOSE WHO ARE BAPTIZED, AND JUDAS'S BETRAYAL Judas said to Jesus, "Look, what will those who have been baptized in your name do?" Jesus said, "Truly I say [to you], this baptism  [. . .] my name [ — about nine lines missing—] to me. Truly [I] say to you, Judas, [those who] offer sacrifices to Saklas [...] God [—three lines missing—] e\oything that is ev\\. "But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me. Already your horn has been raised, your wrath has been kindled, your star has shown brightly, and your heart has [. . .].  "Truly [. . .] your last [. . .] become [ — about two and a half lines missing — ], grieve [ — about two lines missing — ] the ruler, since he will be destroyed. And then the image of the great generation of Adam will be exalted, for prior to hea\^n, earth, and the angels, that generation, which is from the eternal realms, exists. Look, you have been told e\eything. Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star." Judas lifted up his eyes and saw the luminous cloud, and he entered it. Those standing on the ground heard a \dce coming from the cloud, saying,  [...] great generation [...] ... image [...] [—about fi\^ lines missing—]. CONCLUSION: JUDAS BETRAYS JESUS [. . .] Their high priests murmured because [he] had gone into the guest room for his prayer. But some scribes were there watching carefully in order to arrest him during the prayer, for they were afraid of the people, since he was regarded by all as a prophet. They approached Judas and said to him, "What are you doing here? You are Jesus' disciple." Judas answered them as they wished. And he recei\^d some money and handed him o\^r to them. CODEX IMAGES ■ THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/mistic/gospelJudas.htm