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The Gospel of Judas

Prologue

The secret message of the revelation which Jesus spoke to Judas Iscariot in the week leading up to the third day before he celebrated Passover.

Jesus' Public Ministry

When he appeared upon the earth, he performed signs and great wonders for the salvation of humanity. Since some were [walking] in the way of righteousness, and others were walking in their transgression, the twelve disciples were called. He began to speak to them the earthly mysteries, and the things to come to pass at the end. And a number of times he did not reveal himself to his disciples, but could be found as a child in their midst.

Part I: Polemic against the "Great Church"

Day 1: Jesus mocks the disciples' piety; Judas comes to the fore

And one day in Judaea he came to the disciples and he found them sitting gathered practising their piety. When he [met] his disciples -34- sitting gathered and giving thanks over the bread, he laughed. The disciples said to him, "Master, why do you laugh at [our] thanksgiving? We have done what is right." He answered, and said to them, "I am not laughing at you: you are not doing this by your own will, but because by it your god [receives] praise." They said, "Master, you ... are the son of our god." Jesus said to them, "How do you know me? Truly, [I] say to you, no generation among the men who are in your midst will know me." But when his disciples heard this, they began to be annoyed and ... angry, and to blaspheme against him in their hearts. But when Jesus saw their stupidity, [he said] to them, "Why this angry agitation? Your god who is within you and ... -35- annoyed your souls. Let whoever is strong among you men pass by the perfect man and stand in the presence of my face." And they all said, "We are strong enough." But their spirits were not bold enough to stand in his presence, except Judas Iscariot. While he was able to stand in his presence, he could not look into his eyes, but turned his face away. Judas [said] to him, "I know who you are and from where you have come." You have come from the immortal aeon of Barbelo and the one who sent you is the one whose name I am not worthy to speak." Jesus, knowing that Judas was also pondering other exalted things, said to him, "Separate yourself from them. I will speak to you the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is possible for you to enter it, but you will grieve greatly. -36- For another will come to your place so that the twelve [disciples] might again be complete in their god." And Judas said to him, "When will you tell me these things and when will the great day of the light of the generation dawn ... ... ?" But when he said these things, Jesus left him.

Day 2: Jesus speaks incomprehensible mysteries

When it was morning, he appeared to his disciples. And they said to him, "Master, where did you go? What did you do when you left us?" Jesus said to them, "I went to another great generation, which is holy." His disciples said to him, "Lord, what is the great generation which is more exalted than us and which is holy and not in these aeons?" And now when Jesus heard these things, he laughed. He said to them, "Why do you ponder in your hearts concerning the generation which is strong and holy? -37- Truly [I] say to you, [no-]one born [of] this aeon will see that [generation]. No army of star-angels will rule over that generation. Nor will anyone born of mortal man be able to accompany it. For that generation does not come forth ... ... which has come into being ... ... . The generation of men in your midst is from the generation of humanity (almost one line missing) power ... ... other powers ... ... as you are kings among [them]." When [his] disciples heard these things, they each were disturbed in their spirits and were not able to say anything.

Day 3: The Temple vision

Jesus came to them on another day and they said to him, "Master, we have seen you in a [vision]. For [last] night we saw great dreams which shone ... ." [He said,] "Why have ... ... you have hidden yourselves?" -38- And they [said], "We have seen a great house with a great altar in it, and twelve men (who, we think, are priests), and a name. There is a crowd waiting at that altar for the priests [to come] out [and conduct] the service. And we were also waiting." [Jesus said], "What were [the priests] like?" [They said], "Some ... ... two weeks. [Others] sacrifice their own children, others their wives as they bless and humiliate each other. Others sleep with men. Others do murderous deeds. Still others perform a multitude of sins and transgressions. But the men who stand at the altar call upon your [name] -39- and are in amongst all the deeds of their slaughter which the sacrifices fill up ... ... ." And after they said these things, they fell silent, as they were troubled. Jesus said to them, "Why have you become troubled? Truly, I say to you, all the priests who were standing at that altar call upon my name. Again I say to you, my name has been written upon this [house] for the generations of stars by the generations of men. But they have shamefully planted fruitless trees in my name." Jesus said to them, "You are those offering services at the altar which you saw. That is the god whom you serve, and the twelve men whom you saw are you yourselves. And the animals which are brought as the sacrifices which you saw, they are the multitude which you deceive -40- at that altar. ... will arise and this is how he will treat my name. And the generations of the "pious" will attend him. After him, another man, one of the adulterers, will stand by. And another, one of those who kill children, will stand by, and another, one of those who sleep with men, and from those who fast, and the rest of those of impurity, lawlessness and error. And those who say, 'we are like angels', they are stars which have completely died out. For they have said to the generations of men, 'behold, God accepts your sacrifices from the priest', who is the minister of error. But the Lord who commands is the one who is Lord over the all. On the last day they will be found guilty." -41- Jesus said to them, "Cease your sacrificing (2 lines mostly missing) ... upon the altar, since they are above your stars and your angels which have already died out there. So let them ... in your presence and go ... ."[Sections of very fragmentary text]

(approx. 16 lines missing) generations ... . A baker is not able to feed all creation -42- which is under [heaven]. And ... ... them ... ... and ... ... us and ... ... . Jesus said to them, "Cease your contention with me. Each one of you has his star and ... " (approx. 17 lines missing) -43- "In (most of line missing) he came to those ... ... of the spring of the tree of (most of line missing) of this aeon ... ... after time (most of line missing). But it came to water the paradise of God, and the generation which will endure, because ... will not defile the ... of that generation. But ... is from eternity to eternity."

Part II: The revelation to Judas

Dialogue on the hereafter

The holy generation and the rest

Judas said to [him], "Rabbi, what is the fruit which this generation has?" Jesus said, "The souls of every generation of man will die. But as for them (i.e. the holy generation), when the time of the kingdom is fulfilled and the spirit separates from them, their bodies will die, but their souls will be made alive and will be raised up." Judas said, "What then will become of the rest of the generations of men?" Jesus said, "It is impossible -44- to plant on a rock and then reap fruit. This is how ... ... of the generation ... with corrupt Sophia ... the hand which created mortal men whose souls go up to the higher aeons. Truly I say to you, "(almost whole line missing) angel ... power will be able to see those ... . These who ... ... the holy generation ... them." When Jesus had said these things, he went away.

Judas's Temple Vision

Judas said, "Master, just as you have listened to all of them, listen also to me. For I have seen a great vision." But when Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to him, "Why do you struggle so, o thirteenth spirit? But speak, and I will be patient with you." Judas said to him, "I saw myself in the vision, and the twelve disciples throwing stones at me. They were -45- pursuing [me] ... And I went again to the place ... ... after you. I saw [a house] ... and its measurements my eyes would not be able [to measure]. And some great men were surrounding it and that house had a roof of herbs. And in the middle of the house was (approx. two lines mostly missing). Master, receive me in with these men." [Jesus] answered and said, "Your star has deceived you, o Judas. No progeny of any mortal man is worthy to enter into the house which you saw, for that place is kept for the holy ones, the place where the Sun and the Moon will not have dominion, nor will the Evil One. But they will stand for all time in the aeon with the holy angels. Behold, I have spoken to you the mysteries of the Kingdom. -46- And I have taught you [about the] deception of the stars, and ... twelve ... (almost one line missing) over the twelve aeons."

Judas's Destiny

Judas said, "Master, surely my seed will never submit to the archons?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Come, and I will ... [you] (two lines almost completely missing) but you will grieve greatly as you see the kingdom with all its generation." When Judas had heard these things, he said to Jesus, "What is the benefit which I receive as a result of you setting me apart for that generation?" Jesus answered and said, "You will become the thirteenth. You will be cursed by the rest of the generations, but you will rule over them. In the last days, they will ... you and that you might not (?) ascend to the -47- holy generation."

Jesus' account of the creations

Jesus said, "[Come], and I will teach you about (almost one line missing) which no man has seen. For a great, limitless aeon exists, whose measure no generation of angels has seen. In it is [the] Great and Invisible Spirit, 'whom no angel's eye has seen; nor has the thought of a mind received it; nor has it been called by any name.'"

1. The Clouds, Autogenes and his Angels

And there appeared in that place a cloud of light. And he said, "Let there be an angel to attend me." And there came forth from the cloud a great angel, Autogenes the god of light. And another four angels came into being for his sake, from another cloud. And they came into being to attend Autogenes the angel.

2. Creation of the Aeons, Luminaries and Ministering Angels

And Autogenes said, -48- "Let ... come into being". And there came into being ... ... . And he made the first luminary to rule over him. And he said, "Let some angels come into being to minister to him." And tens of thousands without number came into being. And he said, "Let an aeon of light come into being." And he came into being, and Autogenes created the second luminary to rule over him, with tens of thousands of innumerable angels for his service. And thus he created the rest of the aeons of light, and he caused them (i.e. the luminaries) to rule over them, and he created for them tens of thousands of innumerable angels for their service.

3. Creation of the Generation of Seth

And Adamas was in that first cloud of light which no angel among all those who are called gods has seen. And he -49- {And} (almost whole line missing) that (almost whole line missing) the image (almost whole line missing) and according to the likeness of [this] angel. He revealed the incorruptible [generation] of Seth ... ... the twelve ... ... twenty four ... ... . He revealed seventy-two luminaries in the incorruptible generation in the will of the Spirit. And the seventy-two luminaries revealed 360 luminaries in the immortal generation in the will of the Spirit, so that their number might be five for each one. And their father is the twelve aeons of the twelve luminaries. And there are six heavens per aeon so that there might be seventy-two heavens for the seventy-two luminaries, and for each one -50- [of them, five] firmaments, [so that there might be] three hundred and sixty [firmaments.]

4. The Emergence of the Cosmos

[They] were given authority and a [great] army of [innumerable] angels, for glorification and service, and then virgin spirits for the glorification and [service] of all the aeons and the heavens and their firmaments. But the host of those immortals is called "Cosmos", that is, "corruption", by the Father and the seventy-two luminaries who are with Autogenes and his seventy-two aeons. In it (i.e. "Cosmos"), the first man appeared with his incorruptible powers. The aeon who appeared with his generation is that which contained the cloud of knowledge and the angel called -51- El (almost whole line missing) with (almost whole line missing) aeon (almost whole line missing).

5. Creation of the Rulers of the Underworld

After these things, ... said, "Let twelve angels come into being, [to] rule over chaos and Hades." And behold, an [angel] appeared out of the cloud with his face pouring forth fire. His appearance was polluted with blood, and his name was "Nebro", which interpreted means "apostate"; others say, "Yaldabaoth". And again, another angel came forth from the cloud, Saklas. Therefore Nebro created six angels for assistance, as did Saklas. And so they begat the twelve angels in the heavens, and took a portion in the heavens for each one. And the twelve archons said to the twelve angels, "Let each one of you -52- (almost whole line missing) and they (almost whole line missing) generation (almost whole line missing) ... angel. The first is ..., who is called "Christ". The [second] is Harmathoth, who (almost whole line missing). The third is Galila. The fourth is Yobel. The fifth is Adonaios. These are the five who ruled over the underworld, and formerly over chaos.

6. The creation of Adam and Eve

Then Saklas said to his angels, "Let us make man according to the likeness and according to the image." And they created Adam and his wife Eve, who in the cloud is called Zoe. For by this name, all the generations inquire about Adam. And each person calls the woman by either of these names. And Sakla did not -53- command ... ... except (almost whole line missing) generations (almost whole line missing) this one (almost whole line missing). And ... said to him, "Your life and the lives of your children are for a time."

Concluding dialogue

And Judas said to Jesus, "What is the benefit for the man who will live?" Jesus said to him, "Why are you amazed that Adam with his generation received his allotted time where he received his allotted kingdom with his archon?" Judas said to Jesus, "Does the spirit of a man die?" Jesus said, "This is how God commanded Michael to loan the spirits of men to them so that they might serve. But the Great One commanded Gabriel to give the spirits - the spirits and the souls - to the great indomitable generation. For this reason, the rest of the souls - 54 - (almost two lines missing) light (almost two lines missing) to return ... ... spirit within you ... to dwell in this [flesh] in the generations of the angels. But God had them give knowledge to Adam and to those with him, so that the rulers of Chaos and Hades might not have dominion over them."

Dialogue on the Hereafter

The Destiny of the Cosmos

Judas said to Jesus, "Therefore what will become of those generations?" Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, when the stars over them all have completed their courses, and when Saklas has completed the times which have been appointed for him, their leading star will come with the generations, and the things which have been spoken of will be fulfilled. Then they will commit adultery in my name and they will kill their children -55- and (almost whole line missing) and (almost 8 lines missing) in my name and {and} he will ... your star over the thirteenth aeon." Afterwards, Jesus laughed. Judas said, "Master, (almost one line missing)." [Jesus] replied [and said], "I am not laughing [at you], but at the error of the stars, because these six stars were deceived with these five warriors, and all these will perish with their creations."

Judas's Destiny

Judas said to Jesus, "What will become of those who have been baptized in your name?" Jesus said, "Truly, I say [to you], this baptism -56- (almost whole line missing) my name (almost one line missing) not (almost 8 lines missing) ... to me. Truly, [I] say to you, Judas, [those who] offer up sacrifice to Saklas ... god (almost 3 lines missing) everything which is evil. But you will be greater than them all. For you will sacrifice the man who carries me about. Already your horn has become exalted, your anger has burned, your star has passed overhead and your mind has [understood]." -57- "Truly [I say to you that] your (sing.) final [days] (almost two lines missing) become (almost three lines missing) grieve (almost two lines missing) the [archon] will be destroyed, [and] then the image of the great generation of Adam will be exalted, for that generation from the aeons exists before heaven and earth and the angels. Behold, everything has been told to you. Lift up your eyes and behold the cloud and the light which is in it, and the stars which surround it. The star which is the leader, that is your star." And Judas lifted up his eyes and saw the cloud of light and leapt into it. Those who stood underneath heard a voice coming from the cloud, which said: -58- (most of line missing) great generation (most of line missing) image... (most of line missing) and ...

Epilogue: The "betrayal"

(5 lines mostly missing) ... . Their chief priests were angry that he had gone to his lodging place to pray. Some of the scribes were there looking out so that they might arrest him at prayer. For they feared the people, because they all held him as a prophet. And they advanced to Judas and they said to him, "Why are you here? You are the disciple of Jesus." He answered them according to their wish. Judas took some money, and he handed [him] over to them.

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The Gospel of Judas


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