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HomeMirada semanalJudas and the Gospel of Judas, II

Judas and the Gospel of Judas, II

The situation is complicated by the appearance of the complete text of the Gospel of Judas, of which Irenaeus only quoted a fragment. It differs totally from the canonical gospels. Judas' betrayal is justified by Jesus because it is not betrayal but something necessary that he claims. Furthermore, Judas is described as his favorite disciple, the only one to whom he communicates his message and with whom he shares the secret of his wisdom. And the main thing is that it is an original text, almost contemporary with the canonical gospels that condemn Judas. It is a Christian Gnostic gospel, part of a central current of early Christianity close to its origins, about which only the Irenaeus fragment was known. And it was considered lost because Irenaeus and the other fathers of the Church imposed their dogma that qualified them as heretical.

The mystery of that text begins with its discovery in the 70s of the last century. Traces of Egyptian antiquity and early Christianity continue to be discovered in Egypt: statuettes and various objects, especially in the central part of the country, desert and sparsely inhabited, except by peasants. Important archaeological finds have been made, including early Christian texts accused of heretics by the official Church, hidden and protected by that dry or desert climate until recently discovered. They are always discovered by peasants who explore the caves, looking for those antiquities that they sell to neighboring merchants without explaining their origin well to avoid competition. They are paid little, but for them it is enough. Dealers then sell those finds in Luxor, Cairo, or Alexandria; or in Europe if they are considered very valuable. The manuscript of the Gospel of Judas found in one of those caves was part of a codex with 3 other texts that are of no interest now. The codex went through various incidents and suffered serious damage until the archaeologist Frieda Nussberg Tchacos rescued it in 2000 and handed it over to the Egyptian organization art patron. This summoned archaeologists who made the necessary adjustments, met in Paris showing the Gospel of Judas and in 2006 the Nnational Geographic he spread the codex and made editions of the Gospel.

The text must be located before 180, the date on which Irenaeus quotes it. Today it is located between 120 and 130, a contemporary date of the canonical gospels to which the Church seeks to regress the dates of origin to make them contemporary with the time in which she herself locates the life of Jesus. He belongs to the Christian Gnostic current, which openly contradicts the relationship that the gospels describe between Judas and Jesus. Because it is a Gnostic text, to understand it well it is necessary to have an idea of ​​what the Christian Gnostic current was, which in this short article has no place. Without forgetting that Irenaeus makes a wrong reading of the fragment that he quotes, describing the Gospel of Judas as Cainite, of venerating Cain. This is false. What's more, there was no Christian Gnostic current that could be described as Cainite. The text of the Gospel of Judas is a Setian, that is to say, an admirer of Set, the third son of Adam and Eve, whom he often identifies with Jesus as well as this one with Set.

The Gospel of Judas is a short text of about 26 pages from the Tchacos codex without forgetting that the damage suffered by the document means that paragraphs and fragments are missing, some of which are important for understanding the text. Furthermore, in strict terms it is not really a gospel if by that we understand a story that claims to be historical as the canonical gospels do, which are only kerygmatic texts because what they narrate about Jesus lacks any historical basis. In reality, they build a life of Jesus, each moment of which occurs for the fulfillment of a supposed Jewish prophecy, which is also fragmented and manipulated. Thus they want to show that Jesus is the son of God and Messiah, that is, a being more divine than human, forgetting that the gods have no biography. The Gospel of Judas does not claim any of that. It is not an invented biography of Jesus nor does it have to do with prophecies. It is only a secret dialogue of wisdom between Jesus and Judas that takes place in successive moments and shows a Jesus of divine origin who does not need a biography and a human Judas described as his favorite disciple, the only one worthy of listening to his message and the only one who understands it. . Despite its brevity, it says interesting things and is defined as a secret chronicle of the revelation that Jesus makes to Judas through a week-long conversation between them, 3 days before celebrating Easter.

Jesus, who has come down to earth to save humanity, gathers his 12 disciples and tells them about the otherworldly mysteries and the end. But these understand nothing because they worship the Jewish god Jahveh, who is nothing but the inferior demiurge. Jesus laughs at them and they blaspheme against him. He challenges them to recognize him and meet his gaze and they all fail except Judas who tells him that he knows who he is and where he comes from: that he belongs to the immortal kingdom of Barbelo. But he can't hold her gaze either. Jesus understands that Judas is a chosen one and that with his help he can embark on the path of salvation. He tells her to stay away from the others and that he will explain the mysteries of the kingdom to her, but it will cost her great suffering. And thus begins the special relationship between the two and the teaching that Jesus, as a teacher, transmits to him, apart from the other disciples whom he considers subject to the Old Testament religion and incapable of receiving his message and of being saved. . Only Judas sees beyond those limitations and each time he asks him questions that Jesus answers by showing him that not everyone can be saved, that most, including the other disciples, will perish when they die because their souls will not survive, unlike Judas who is the one with the divine spark.

  Jesus calls Judas to teach him secrets that no one has seen and to tell him about the infinite kingdom that is the kingdom of the One and Only and true God. And he speaks to him of Adam and Eve and of the Autogenerated or Allogenes, who is Set, son of both and heir to the wisdom of his father. Judas asks if the human spirit dies and Jesus answers that humans have a vital spirit and also a soul, but that many have perishable souls that end with their death, while others, the elect, those who preserve the divine spark that passed to some human beings Created by the breath of the demiurge, they possess immortal souls. Those are the ones that will survive. And Judas is one of them. He also tells her that every human being has a star but that those with perishable souls will go out with it. Your star -he tells Judas- will not go out and it is the one that marks the way. And it is then, already at the end of the text, that he speaks to her about the subject of surrender and the Passion. He tells Judas: You will surpass all of them, who sacrifice to the false god of the Old Testament, because you will sacrifice the body in which I live. That is to say, that Jesus, who is a divine being come from on high, from Barbelo, also has his soul imprisoned in a material body that he must leave to flee from this world and return to the spiritual and luminous world from which he came, to integrate with the One. And he has chosen Judas to deliver him, to release him from the body by that delivery.

The star that marks the way is your star, he tells Judas. He sees a luminous cloud and enters it. And the text concludes without drama by showing the high Jewish priests who come to arrest Jesus, and Judas, who receives some money from them and gives them to his master, thus fulfilling his will and carrying out the mission entrusted to him. .

Rare to be able to read this, and it's an old Christian text.

Vladimir Acosta

May 2023

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