The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
by Elaine Pagels and Karen King

In 2006 the Gospel of Judas, dating to the second century, was discovered in Egypt.  It received lots of attention in the scholarly world.  The authors reflect on this newfound discovery and how it helps us understand the story of the early Christians.  This gospel related how some of Jesus’ followers understood Jesus’ death, why Judas betrayed Jesus and why God allowed it.   For example, the concept of God demanding Jesus’ sacrificial death for our salvation is vehemently challenged in this non-canonical gospel. Reading The Gospel of Judas highlights the assumptions behind Jesus’ supposed teaching to Judas and shows how conflict among Jesus’ earliest followers contained doubt and disagreement.  Thus conflict, argument and lively discussion are essential components of faith, then and now.

Submitted by Pastor Steve