'Gospel of Judas' causes worry





The forthcoming publication of the 'Gospel of Judas' has sparked fears among some Catholic theologians that it could give people wrong ideas about the man who is famous for betraying Jesus Christ .

The second century text, which was believed lost for over a thousand years, reportedly argues that Judas Iscariot was an essential part of God's design and, as such, almost a hero. Without his betrayal, Jesus would not have been crucified and so, the argument goes, God's plan to save mankind from its sins would not have been fulfilled .

This unorthodox account of Christ's life was written by an ancient Gnostic sect called the Cainites, which made a habit of giving a positive value to all the negative figures in Christian scriptures .

The Gospel of Judas, written in Coptic, is one of several accounts of Christ's life which are termed 'apocryphal', meaning they are seen as questionable in some way and so not recognised as part of the Bible .

But, according to several Church experts, this distinction could be lost on many people when the document is published at Easter. "The danger is clearly there, because some people will try to hide the truth and give undue importance to a document written in the 2nd century by people in open opposition to the early Christian Church," said a Rome-based theologian who is an expert on ancient texts .




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