Action Alert!

Judas betrayed

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Apr 08, 2006

When the Dallas Morning News dove headlong into the publicity pool to tout "The Gospel of Judas," old friend Tom Pauken did some homework, and uncovered the dismissive comments that have already been made by serious scholars.

"It is a rewriting of history by a heretical group," said one professor. And "completely fiction," observed another. There's plenty more in Pauken's critique.

What's even more interesting about this thorough debunking is that it occurred a while ago-- before the National Geographic Society unveiled the "Gospel of Judas." How could scholars form an opinion before the document was made public?

There's another interesting note. This "Gospel" is not a new discovery. It's been around since the 1970s. Serious scholars took note, shrugged, and moved on. But others, with a better knack for publicity, realized that just before Holy Week you can always get a rise from some media outlets-- apparently like the Dallas Morning News...

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Apr. 10, 2006 8:39 AM ET USA

    Looks like Phil made a typo and put a "9" in a sentence. The article should read: "It's been around since the 170s." That was a time when "serious scholars" were real "serious scholars" and new hereticical ideas were real new hereticical ideas.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Apr. 09, 2006 1:31 PM ET USA

    Its "been around" for longer than that Phil. I heard over the radio, on a PROTESTANT teaching program of all things, that the ancient Church was well aware of this Gnostic gospel and it was roundly condemned by an early Saint, St. Irenaeus specifically, a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of St John the Beloved. This was a calculated and mean-spirited attack by our friends the pagans... Happy Easter... I guess JP