The "Gospel of Judas" revisited

In today's NY Times,April D. Deconick has an op-ed piece in which she makes serious scholarly criticisms of the translation of the so-called "Gospel of Judas" that made such a splash last year. According to Deconick, Judas is not the hero of the story, but a demon who is told by Jesus that he cannot join the holy generation. At one point, she says, in transcribing the Coptic text, the National Geographic Societys scholars altered the text by eliminating a negativerather a significant change in every instance, I should think! (The NGS has acknowledged this mistake.)

Deconick is gentle even while reporting on such significant mistakes, and the closest she comes to suspecting motives is when she asks: "How could these serious mistakes have been made? Were they genuine errors or was something more deliberate going on? This is the question of the hour, and I do not have a satisfactory answer."

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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