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The true reason for the publicity behind the Gnostic “Gospel of Judas”

Why all the hype over the so-called

“Gospel of Judas”?

Re-published, from  http://www.ecclesia.gr

We are posting this commentary of the Church of Greece as a “first taste” of the other articles that we intend to post, on the self-styled “Gospel of Judas”.   Later on, we will have the opportunity to examine other “latent” indications of its anti-Christian and spurious content, along with an in-depth look at the reasons that led the mass media to raise such a storm over such a vacuous subject.

On the 11th of April 2006, in the Greek edition of the magazine NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, another one of the Apocrypha texts was put into circulation, in our own language. It was the so-called “Gospel of Judas”.

The turbulence that broke out overseas –during our Easter Week, no less– also spread throughout our land, in an exaggerated way as is the custom.  Countless “experts” of the mass media grabbed the opportunity to smear and to cast doubt on the veracity of the Christian Orthodox Faith.

Given the above, the Radio Station of the Church of Greece in its regular program “Morning Rhythm”, initiated a live discussion on the subject, with the participation of specialized professors of theology as well as hierarchs of the Church. This discussion will be continued tomorrow also.

Mr. George Galitis, Professor Emeritus of Theology at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, stressed the following:

 “So much fuss, over a purely scientific event, since all of the Apocrypha Texts belong to the realm of the New Testament specialists. Certain cunning individuals from the mass media have been exploiting the opportunity, in an attempt to injure the Church and the Christian Faith.  Everyone is familiar with the four Gospels. But only very few are familiar with the Apocrypha “Gospels” that had been written either by pious Christians who made their own imaginary additions, or by heretics, who resorted to pseudepigraph (falsely titled) and forged “Gospels”, in order to propagate their own ideas. These were chiefly composed by Gnostics, a formidable heresy, which, through its own methods, had written around 48 such “Gospels”!!  Even as far back as 180 A.D., a Holy Father of the Church –Ireneos of Lugdunum (Lyons)– had written against these “Gospels”.  For the Church, Gnosticism was a danger that surpassed even the persecutions, since it counterfeited the Truth of the Faith. Saint Ireneos had written an extensive treatise opposed to these heresies. In it, he also mentioned the so-called “Gospel of Judas”. This text has provoked the same reaction that was observed during the relatively recent discovery of the “Dead Sea Scrolls”; and the same reaction was observed with the notorious novel of the «Da Vinci Code. Naturally, these were all proven to be obsolete, and they most certainly did not overthrow Christianity, as some would have wanted.  They are the “old wives’ tales” that the Apostle Paul had referred to.”

Mr. Christos Voulgaris, Professor Emeritus of the Athens University’s School of Theology pointed out:

“First of all, I would like to say that the overall attempt to project the “Gospel” of Judas nowadays, and the polemics that Christianity is submitted to –and especially the Orthodox Christian Church– is regulated by certain centers. I do not want to believe that it is controlled and directed by political centers or by heretic ones. That would be overstretching the imagination. What I do believe, however, is that it is being regulated by the publishers of this text. This is just one of the Apocrypha texts; it is a pseudepigraph, and it is heretic. The first one to mention this document was Saint Ireneos of Lyon,(a second Saint Epiphanios), who was the Bishop of Salamis in Cyprus. The document was discovered in Egypt, as were many other such documents. And the Church has been speaking out against this text, ever since the 2nd century.  This text belongs to the texts of Gnosticism, all of which have a mythological character. The so-called “Gospel of Judas” was written by certain Gnostic heretics, and, as was the case in many other such texts, it was simply a product of their imagination. The name of Judas may have been used, but we all know that after he betrayed Christ, Judas «departed, and hanged himself». In other words, he put an end to his life. Therefore this text can only be of scientific interest, inasmuch as it provides information for research on the first heresies.  The body of the Church should not allow itself to be scandalized.”

The Rev. Metropolitan of Caesariani, Byron and Hymettus, underlined the following:

“It is my opinion that Christians are forever experiencing that which Simeon the God-Receiver had said: “This man is the resurrection and the fall of many, and a point of contradiction”. Christ is a point of contradiction. There are those who stand before Him and worship Him, and others who blaspheme Him. From the moment that He was born, three Magi had gone there to worship Him, and shepherds were singing hymns, whereas Herod on the other hand was seething. Even while on the Cross, Christ had a repentant robber at His right, and a blaspheming robber at His left. Therefore, these phenomena are not unfamiliar in our Ecclesiastic life and Tradition - we live with them constantly. The important thing though, is not what we observe around us; what is important, is where we have placed ourselves. In other words, if you and I are on the same side as those who worship the Lord; with those who know Him.  In fact, the Holy Bible –chiefly the Old Testament– makes no mention of the term “betrayal”.  With the exception of a slight innuendo by Jeremiah, there is no other mention elsewhere. And the reason that there is no other mention, is precisely so that the traitor cannot claim that:

 “I went ahead with the betrayal, because the Scripture itself says that I am an instrument in God’s plan.”


From the Radio Station

Translation by A. N.

Greek Text

Article published in English on: 8-5-2006.

Last update: 19-6-2006.