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Et nytt gnostisk evangelium, kalt Judas-evangeliet, forteller historien sett fra Judas synspunkt: her blir han fremstilt som en som hjelper Jesus til å møte sin skjebne. Det 26 sider lange manuskripetet er 1.700 år gammelt, og ble presentert torsdag. Det bidrar til ytterligere en historisering av evangeliene. Det nye Testamentet ble som kjent til etter flere hundre års diskusjoner. De utstengte tekstene kommer nå for dagen, og viser at det var en annen tendens som ble utestengt: den gnostiske.

Terry Garcia, an executive vice president of the geographic society, said the manuscript, or codex, is considered by scholars and scientists to be the most significant ancient, nonbiblical text to be found in the past 60 years.

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The account goes on to relate that Jesus refers to the other disciples, telling Judas «you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.» By that, scholars familiar with Gnostic thinking said, Jesus meant that by helping him get rid of his physical flesh, Judas will act to liberate the true spiritual self or divine being within Jesus.

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Elaine Pagels, a professor of religion at Princeton who specializes in studies of the Gnostics, said in a statement, «These discoveries are exploding the myth of a monolithic religion, and demonstrating how diverse — and fascinating — the early Christian movement really was.»

The Gospel of Judas is only one of many texts discovered in the last 65 years, including the gospels of Thomas, Mary Magdalene and Philip, believed to be written by Gnostics.

The Gnostics’ beliefs were often viewed by bishops and early church leaders as unorthodox, and they were frequently denounced as heretics. The discoveries of Gnostic texts have shaken up Biblical scholarship by revealing the diversity of beliefs and practices among early followers of Jesus.

‘Gospel of Judas’ Surfaces After 1,700 Years