Gnosticism and the Gospel of Judas
Dr. Michael L. Ford
26 April 2006

	At the outset, let me make it clear that certain
spurious ancient works such as the Gospel of Judas and
the Gospel of Thomas, you may have been hearing much
about of late, are the works of Gnostics. They were
not written by the persons who the unknown authors in
the works claim to be. They were written long after
the people in question died. This is a practice that
has not passed away either. There is good reason to
believe certain books that today exist defending
modern translations also come not the way attributed,
but that is a subject for another day.
	Gnosticism is a term for “various mystical initiatory
religions” and hidden and special “knowledge schools”
with gnosis “ãíþóéò” enlightenment being the main goal
in life. They depict creation as a mythic struggle
between the forces of light and darkness. It might
help understanding, for those who saw Star Wars, when
they realize that “The Force” pictured in those movies
was drawn from the Gnostic concept.
	For the Gnostic, the “Fall of Man” was a thing within
divinity itself and less a matter of human failure. So
you can see this alone would put them in conflict with
the Jews who believed the Genesis account of Creation.
Today this attack on the truthfulness of the first
twelve chapters of Genesis continues, and its folly is
founded in Gnostic belief and Greek philosophies. You
probably have heard of the word “demiurge” referred to
at some time and wondered what it was. The word comes
from the Greek demiurgos, äçìéïõñãüò , and is in the
Gnostic system their creator god, not the God of the
Bible. When you follow the entemology of this word and
give it due thought you find in it a strong
resemblance between the pagan “light bringer” myths
and Lucifer in the Bible. My conclusion is that the
Gnostic creation belief is directly inspired by Satan,
just as the false gospels are.
	I must make one point though it will no doubt offend
some of my readers. If you were to read the
Nestle-Aland Greek text, which undergirds many modern
bible versions, you would find this version is
supportive of gnosticism. It implies in Romans 11:36,
for instance, that all was made out of the very
substance of God rather than being made from nothing
which is taught by genuine texts, the belief of
ancient Judaism and true Christianity. The inescapable
conclusion, from this and other passages, is that this
particular Greek text was heavily influenced by the
gnostics of Alexandrian Egypt. My conclusion is that
some of those “scholars” who spoke favorably of the
Gospel of Judas on the National Geographic televison
show need at the very least to learn which Greek text
to read and believe.
	One of the interesting things about the study of
gnosticism is a character we meet in Scripture called
Simon Magus. (Acts 8) He is also known as Simon the
Sorcerer and Simon of Gitta. (Gitta is an ancient
Christian name used to identify someone who is a
Samaritan.) Simon was a Gnostic and when we first
encounter him in the Scripture he is busily engaged
gathering his own following. The description by his
followers is very interesting because of what we learn
happens to him later from ancient records. They
exclaimed “This man is the great power of God.” (Acts
8:10) Evidently he ultimately believed his own press
and fell to his death trying to fly before the Emporer
Claudius. He was doing what our Lord would not do for
Satan, cast himself down from a high place. (Many
years ago a movie was made loosely based on ancient
records about this man.)
	The reason he is important to our study here is
because Simon was a writer and several fragments of
works that claim to be by him exist. Most of what he
wrote is lost in the dustbin of time as I wish the
Gospel of Judas had been. But my point is that by his
character as a deceiver, a writer, and founder of a
school of moral freedom, he could well have served to
inspire some of those who wrote spurious gospels later
on. (Some thought he was demonically possessed.) In
any case Justin Martyr and Irenaeus both thought
enough of his influence to write about him in their
works denouncing heresies. Some even consider that he
may well have been the first heretic.
	There never was a time when Gnosticism, and its many
conflicting beliefs was acceptable to the true faith.
But it seems that shortly from its beginnings it was
seeking to intrude itself into first the Jewish faith
and then Christianity. It is my belief that struggle
continues to this day, which is why I have spent so
much energy denouncing it.

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