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Elizabeth Olsen wrote:

To whom this may concern:

As a Catholic wife and mother, I enjoy your web site very much and think highly of your important work.

  • Do you have an official statement regarding the Judas Gospel that I could use for distribution in the back of the church?

I think it might help clarify this old, but newly rediscovered text.

Thank you,

Elizabeth

  { Is there an official statement on the Judas Gospel that I can distribute in my parish? }

Eric replied:

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for the question.

Wow, what a great idea.

First, for those unfamiliar with the term, the Judas Gospel: The text of the Gospel of Judas was recently published in translation, prompting several news articles. The Gospel of Judas has been known for many years due to its reference in St. Irenaeus' writings, and was discovered about a dozen years ago, but was never translated. It portrays Judas as someone who was instructed by Jesus to betray him in secret conversations between the two — and as the only disciple who truly understood Jesus and his mission.

The work is clearly of Gnostic origin, with its emphasis on secret doctrines and salvation through knowledge. Gnostics, who plagued the second and even first century of the Church, were the New Agers of the time, combining different beliefs from different religions, and adapting their own doctrines of salvation through knowledge (rather than through faith) to various religions. Christianity was no exception — they exploited its popularity to propagate their doctrine and corrupted its message. Consequently, the Gospel of Judas cannot be taken seriously as a reliable source of information about Jesus.

Per your request, here is an article written by a Fr. Wooten on the Gospel of Judas, explaining its background and why it is not acceptable to Catholics.

I hope it meets your needs.

Thanks for the question.

Eric

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