Gospel of Judas translation by National Geographic may be incorrect

AMID much publicity last year, the National Geographic Society announced that a lost 3rd-century religious text had been found, the Gospel of Judas Iscariot. The shocker: Judas didn’t betray Jesus. Instead, Jesus asked Judas, his most trusted and beloved disciple, to hand him over to be killed. Judas’s reward? Ascent to heaven and exaltation above the other disciples.

It was a great story. Unfortunately, after re-translating the society’s transcription of the Coptic text, I have found that the actual meaning is vastly different. While National Geographic’s translation supported the provocative interpretation of Judas as a hero, a more careful reading makes clear that Judas is not only no hero, he is a demon.


That said, I think the big problem is that National Geographic wanted an exclusive. So it required its scholars to sign nondisclosure statements, to not discuss the text with other experts before publication. The best scholarship is done when life-sized photos of each page of a new manuscript are published before a translation, allowing experts worldwide to share information as they independently work through the text.

Full Story: New York Times.

(via Hit and Run).


  1. Judas Priest! I am SHOCKED that a translation by humans of a myth made by humans was found to be incorrect! 😉
    Could it be the entire translation of the current Bible is “incorrect”?
    Next thing you know the fundies will be saying Judas was a “demon Atheist”…

  2. I agree, it is bullshit. And it is that kind of dangerous bullshit that the judeo-christians keep feeding us for 2k years.
    Jesus was an anarchist

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