Today on the front page of the Toronto Star, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail is the "news" about the "Gospel of Judas" and how it describes a hidden side to Judas that has been covered up for centuries.
I realize that everybody loves a conspiracy theory, hence the popularity of things like the X-Files and The Da Vinci Code. But just because something written at least 1,700 years ago was rejected by the experts of the day does not mean there is or was a conspiracy at work.
In the article in the Toronto Star, Francine Kopun quotes expert Bart Ehrman that "There is no doubt it is genuine."
A genuine what? Yes, this manuscript dates back to the 3rd century. It is genuinely a 3rd century manuscript. But is it genuinely the "Gospel of Judas"? Does it have anything historically accurate to say about Jesus or Judas?
Nope. This is not the first time this "gospel" has popped up. St. Irenaeus of Lyons refers to a "Gospel of Judas" in his work "Against the Heresies," written around 180 AD, more than a century from the date of the manuscript being discussed in the news.
Kopun quotes Ehrman again: "I think what this gospel does is show us that Christians in the early centuries believed an extremely wide range of things."
If Kopun or Ehrman had done their research, they would have found that these writings were recognized as frauds at the time they were written, and had no basis in truth.
I guess there's a lesson to be found here. You can write whatever garbage you want, and if nobody buys into it now, just wait a few millennia and people will trip over themselves to show how it was covered up by the established belief system, and write books and make TV shows and movies about it!