Judas: Betrayer or Confidant?
Skeptics and atheists have unleashed yet another assault on Christianity. Just days after proclaiming that maybe Jesus walked on ice instead of water, we are now asked to believe that the betrayer of Jesus was a good guy. This latest charge stems around thirteen papyrus sheets bound in a leather covering that were found in a cave in Egypt. This ancient text is being referred to as “the gospel of Judas.” And so once again we find the media more than willing to plant seeds of doubt—insinuating that the Bible is incomplete and misrepresents the man who betrayed Jesus.
The controversy stems around part of the manuscript in which Judas allegedly is given private instruction by Jesus, and is granted a vision into what the future holds for Jesus. One key passage has Jesus telling Judas: “you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” Thus, rather than acting out of greed or malevolence, he was simply following the “plan” that he and Jesus had prearranged—a plan that could be viewed as deceptive, a label Jesus would never wear.
Undoubtedly, this front page news story will have many questioning the authenticity and accuracy of the Bible. Did Jesus really walk on ice rather than water? Was Judas really in cahoots with Jesus? Many will second guess whether the gospel accounts they have learned are indeed accurate—placing more faith in this “front page” story than the infallible Word of God. Satan must be thrilled to have the popular media on his side.
If nothing else is gleaned from this latest round of attacks on God’s Word, we Christians should rest assured the Bible is complete. God in His infinite wisdom through inspired men was able to get His Word into our hands. We can know that the Bible we are holding today is exactly what He intended for us to hold.
Yes, the Judas codex may be authentic. And yes, it may have well been written between the suspected dates of 300-400 A.D. But this no way indicates that the Bible is incomplete or alters who Judas truly was. In responding to Jesus’ question as to who the angry mob was seeking, John 18:5 states: “They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas, who betrayed Him also stood with them.” God’s Word describes Judas as a thief (John 12:6), a betrayer on multiple occasions (e.g., Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18) and we are told that Satan entered him (Luke 22:3). Would this confidant hang himself after throwing down those thirty pieces of silver—if he and Jesus were really just carrying out a plan? Does this sound like someone who would become the closest confidant to Jesus?
Given the amount of fiction writing today—it is not hard to speculate that this writing may well have been “fiction” or could have been written by someone who was seeking fame through controversy. No matter what others speculate, Christians can know that this “gospel” is not a part of God’s Word. We have been given everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).