Gospel of Judas Pages Endured Long, Strange Journey

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After 1,700 years, the Gospel of Judas is lost no more. And the twisting tale of the document itself is nearly as surprising as the story it tells.

"We can consider it a real miracle that [such an ancient literary work]—especially one threatened by the hatred of the great majority of its contemporary readers, who saw it as a shame and a scandal, destined to be lost … would suddenly appear and be brought to light," said scholar Rodolphe Kasser.

Kasser is an expert in Coptic, or Egyptian Christian, history and literature. He led the effort to piece together and translate the Gospel of Judas.

The surviving copy of the gospel was written in the third or fourth century A.D., but the text was known prior to A.D. 180.

In that year St. Irenaeus—then the bishop of what is now Lyon, France—published Against Heresies, a volume intended to help unify the Christian church.

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