Translated by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst, in collaboration with François Gaudard. From "The
Gospel of Judas" edited by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst
In contrast to the canonical gospels which paint Judas as a betrayer of Christ who delivered him up to the authorities for crucifixion, the Gospel of Judas portrays Judas's actions as done in obedience to instructions given by Christ. The document also suggests that Christ planned the course of events which led to his death. The Gospel of Judas does not claim that the other disciples knew about Jesus's true teachings. On the contrary, it asserts that they had not learned the true Gospel, which Jesus taught only to Judas Iscariot, the sole follower belonging to the "holy generation" among the disciples.
The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week three days before he celebrated Passover.
When Jesus appeared on earth, he performed miracles and great wonders for the
salvation of humanity. And since some [walked] in the way of righteousness while
others walked in their transgressions, the twelve disciples were called. He began to
speak with them about the mysteries beyond the world and what would take place at the
end. Often he did not appear to his disciples as himself, but he was found among them
as a child.
One day he was with his disciples in Judea, and he found them gathered together and
seated in pious observance. When he [approached] his disciples,
 gathered together
and seated and offering a prayer of thanksgiving over the bread, [he] laughed. The
disciples said to [him], "Master, why are you laughing at [our] prayer of thanksgiving?
We have done what is right." He answered and said to them, "I am not laughing at you.
are not doing this because of your own will but because it is through this that
your god [will be] praised." 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 of the people
that are among you will know me."
When his disciples heard this, they started getting angry and infuriated and began
blaspheming against him in their hearts. When Jesus observed their lack of
[understanding, he said] to them, "Why has this agitation led you to anger? Your god
who is within you and [.]
 have provoked you to anger [within] your souls. [Let] any
one of you who is [strong enough] among human beings bring out the perfect human
and stand before my face." They all said, "We have the strength." But their spirits did not
dare to stand before [him], except for Judas Iscariot. He was able to stand before him,
but he could not look him in the eyes, and he turned his face away. Judas [said] to him,
"I know who you are and where you have come from. You are from the immortal realm
of Barbelo. And I am not worthy to utter the name of the one who has sent you."
Knowing that Judas was reflecting upon something that was exalted, Jesus said to him,
"Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is
possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal.
 For someone else will
replace you, in order that the twelve [disciples] may again come to completion with their
god." Judas said to him, "When will you tell me these things, and [when] will the great
day of light dawn for the generation?" But when he said this, Jesus left him.
The next morning, after this happened, Jesus [appeared] to his disciples again. They
said to him, "Master, where did you go and what did you do when you left us?" Jesus
said to them, "I went to another great and holy generation." His disciples said to him,
"Lord, what is the great generation that is superior to us and holier than us, that is not
now in these realms?" When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to them, "Why are
you thinking in your hearts about the strong and holy generation?
 Truly [I] say to
you, no one born [of] this aeon will see that [generation], and no host of angels of the
stars will rule over that generation, and no person of mortal birth can associate with it,
because that generation does not come from [.] which has become [.]. The
generation of people among [you] is from the generation of humanity [.] power, which
[. the] other powers [.] by [which] you rule." When [his] disciples heard this, they each
were troubled in spirit. They could not say a word. Another day Jesus came up to
[them]. They said to [him], "Master, we have seen you in a [vision], for we have had
great [dreams .] night [.]." [He said], "Why have [you . when]
have gone into
They [said, "We have seen] a great [house with a large] altar [in it, and] twelve men-
they are the priests, we would say-and a name; and a crowd of people is waiting at
that altar, [until] the priests [. and receive] the offerings. [But] we kept waiting." [Jesus
said], "What are [the priests] like?" They [said, "Some .] two weeks; [some] sacrifice
their own children, others their wives, in praise [and] humility with each other; some
sleep with men; some are involved in [slaughter]; some commit a multitude of sins and
deeds of lawlessness. And the men who stand [before] the altar invoke your [name],
 and in all the deeds of their deficiency, the sacrifices are brought to completion
[.]." After they said this, they were quiet, for they were troubled.
Jesus said to them, "Why are you troubled? Truly I say to you, all the priests who stand
before that altar invoke my name. Again I say to you, my name has been written on this
[.] of the generations of the stars through the human generations. [And they] have
planted trees without fruit, in my name, in a shameful manner." Jesus said to them,
"Those you have seen receiving the offerings at the altar-that is who you are. That is
the god you serve, and you are those twelve men you have seen. The cattle you have
seen brought for sacrifice are the many people you lead astray
 before that altar.
[.] will stand and make use of my name in this way, and generations of the pious will
remain loyal to him. After hi another man will stand there from [the fornicators], and
another [will] stand there from the slayers of children, and another from those who sleep
with men, and those who abstain, and the rest of the people of pollution and
lawlessness and error, and those who say, 'We are like angels'; they are the stars that
bring everything to its conclusion. For to the human generations it has been said, 'Look,
God has received your sacrifice from the hands of a priest'-that is, a minister of error.
But it is the Lord, the Lord of the universe, who commands, 'On the last day they will be
put to shame.'"
 Jesus said [to them], "Stop sac[rificing .] which you have [.] over
the altar, since they are over your stars and your angels and have already come to their
conclusion there. So let them be [ensnared] before you, and let them go [-about 15
lines missing-] generations [.]. A baker cannot feed all creation
 under [heaven].
And [.] to them [.] and [.] to us and [.]. Jesus said to them, "Stop struggling with
me. Each of you has his own star, and every[body-about 17 lines missing-]
[.] who has come [. spring] for the tree [.] of this aeon [.] for a time [.] but he has
come to water God's paradise, and the [generation] that will last, because [he] will not
defile the [walk of life of] that generation, but [.] for all eternity."
Judas said to [him, "Rabb]i, what kind of fruit does this generation produce?" Jesus
said, "The souls of every human generation will die. When these people, however, have
completed the time of the kingdom and the spirit leaves them, their bodies will die but
their souls will be alive, and they will be taken up." Judas said, "And what will the rest of
the human generations do?" Jesus said, "It is impossible
 to sow seed on [rock] and
harvest its fruit. [This] is also the way [.] the [defiled] generation [.] and corruptible
Sophia [.] the hand that has created mortal people, so that their souls go up to the
eternal realms above. [Truly] I say to you, [.] angel [.] power will be able to see that
[.] these to whom [.] holy generations [.]." After Jesus said this, he departed.
Judas said, "Master, as you have listened to all of them, now also listen to me. For I
have seen a great vision." When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to him, "You
thirteenth spirit, why do you try so hard? But speak up, and I shall bear with you." Judas
said to him, "In the vision I saw myself as the twelve disciples were stoning me and
persecuting [me severely]. And I also came to the place where [.] after you. I saw [a
house .], and my eyes could not [comprehend] its size. Great people were surrounding
it, and that house
a roof of greenery, and in the middle of the house was [a
crowd-two lines missing-], saying, 'Master, take me in along with these people.'"
[Jesus] answered and said, "Judas, your star has led you astray." He continued, "No
person of mortal birth is worthy to enter the house you have seen, for that place is
reserved for the holy. Neither the sun nor the moon will rule there, nor the day, but the
holy will abide there always, in the eternal realm with the holy angels. Look, I have
explained to you the mysteries of the kingdom
 and I have taught you about the
error of the stars; and [.] send it [.] on the twelve aeons."
Judas said, "Master, could it be that my seed is under the control of the rulers?" Jesus
answered and said to him, "Come, that I [-two lines missing-], but that you will grieve
much when you see the kingdom and all its generation." When he heard this, Judas
said to him, "What good is it that I have received it? For you have set me apart for that
generation." Jesus answered and said, "You will become the thirteenth, and you will be
cursed by the other generations-and you will come to rule over them. In the last days
they will curse your ascent
 to the holy [generation]."
Jesus said, "[Come], that I may teach you about [secrets] no person [has] ever seen.
For there exists a great and boundless realm, whose extent no generation of angels has
seen, [in which] there is [a] great invisible [Spirit], which no eye of an angel has ever
seen, no thought of the heart has ever comprehended, and it was never called by any
name. "And a luminous cloud appeared there. He said, 'Let an angel come into being as
my attendant.' "A great angel, the enlightened divine Self-Generated, emerged from the
cloud. Because of him, four other angels came into being from another cloud, and they
became attendants for the angelic Self-Generated. The Self-Generated said,
[.] come into being [.],' and it came into being [.]. And he [created] the first luminary
to reign over him. He said, 'Let angels come into being to serve [him],' and myriads
without number came into being. He said, '[Let] an enlightened aeon come into being,'
and he came into being. He created the second luminary [to] reign over him, together
with myriads of angels without number, to offer service. That is how he created the rest
of the enlightened aeons. He made them reign over them, and he created for them
myriads of angels without number, to assist them.
"Adamas was in the first luminous cloud that no angel has ever seen among all those
called 'God.' He
 [.] that [.] the image [.] and after the likeness of [this] angel.
He made the incorruptible [generation] of Seth appear [.] the twelve [.] the twentyfour
[.]. He made seventy-two luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in
accordance with the will of the Spirit. The seventy-two luminaries themselves made
three hundred sixty luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance
with the will of the Spirit, that their number should be five for each. "The twelve aeons of
the twelve luminaries constitute their father, with six heavens for each aeon, so that
there are seventy-two heavens for the seventy-two luminaries, and for each
them five] firmaments, [for a total of] three hundred sixty [firmaments .]. They were
given authority and a [great] host of angels [without number], for glory and adoration,
[and after that also] virgin spirits, for glory and [adoration] of all the aeons and the
heavens and their firmaments.
"The multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos- that is, perdition-by the
Father and the seventy-two luminaries who are with the Self-Generated and his
seventytwo aeons. In him the first human appeared with his incorruptible powers. And
the aeon that appeared with his generation, the aeon in whom are the cloud of
knowledge and the angel, is called
 El. [.] aeon [.] after that [.] said, 'Let twelve
angels come into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld].' And look, from the
cloud there appeared an [angel] whose face flashed with fire and whose appearance
was defiled with blood. His name was Nebro, which means 'rebel'; others call him
Yaldabaoth. Another angel, Saklas, also came from the cloud. So Nebro created six
angels-as well as Saklas-to be assistants, and these produced twelve angels in the
heavens, with each one receiving a portion in the heavens.
"The twelve rulers spoke with the twelve angels: 'Let each of you
 [.] and let them
[.] generation [-one line lost-] angels': The first is [S]eth, who is called Christ. The
[second] is Harmathoth, who is [.]. The [third] is Galila. The fourth is Yobel. The fifth
[is] Adonaios. These are the five who ruled over the underworld, and first of all over
"Then Saklas said to his angels, 'Let us create a human being after the likeness and
after the image.' They fashioned Adam and his wife Eve, who is called, in the cloud,
Zoe. For by this name all the generations seek the man, and each of them calls the
woman by these names. Now, Sakla did not
 com[mand .] except [.] the
gene[rations .] this [.]. And the [ruler] said to Adam, 'You shall live long, with your
Judas said to Jesus, "[What] is the long duration of time that the human being will live?"
Jesus said, "Why are you wondering about this, that Adam, with his generation, has
lived his span of life in the place where he has received his kingdom, with longevity with
his ruler?" Judas said to Jesus, "Does the human spirit die?" Jesus said, "This is why
God ordered Michael to give the spirits of people to them as a loan, so that they might
offer service, but the Great One ordered Gabriel to grant spirits to the great generation
with no ruler over it-that is, the spirit and the soul. Therefore, the [rest] of the souls
[-one line missing-].
"[.] light [-nearly two lines missing-] around [.] let [.] spirit [that is] within you dwell
in this [flesh] among the generations of angels. But God caused knowledge to be [given]
to Adam and those with him, so that the kings of chaos and the underworld might not
lord it over them." Judas said to Jesus, "So what will those generations do?" Jesus said,
"Truly I say to you, for all of them the stars bring matters to completion. When Saklas
completes the span of time assigned for him, their first star will appear with the
generations, and they will finish what they said they would do. Then they will fornicate in
my name and slay their children
 and they will [.] and [-about six and a half lines
missing-] my name, and he will [.] your star over the [thir]teenth aeon." After that
Jesus [laughed]. [Judas said], "Master, [why are you laughing at us]?" [Jesus] answered
[and said], "I am not laughing [at you] but at the error of the stars, because these six
stars wander about with these five combatants, and they all will be destroyed along with
Judas said to Jesus, "Look, what will those who have been baptized in your name do?"
Jesus said, "Truly I say [to you], this baptism
 [.] my name [-about nine lines
missing-] to me. Truly [I] say to you, Judas, [those who] offer sacrifices to Saklas [.]
God [-three lines missing-] everything that is evil. "But you will exceed all of them.
For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me. Already your horn has been raised,
your wrath has been kindled, your star has shown brightly, and your heart has [.].
"Truly [.] your last [.] become [-about two and a half lines missing-], grieve
[-about two lines missing-] the ruler, since he will be destroyed. And then the image
of the great generation of Adam will be exalted, for prior to heaven, earth, and the
angels, that generation, which is from the eternal realms, exists. Look, you have been
told everything. Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the
stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star." Judas lifted up his eyes
and saw the luminous cloud, and he entered it. Those standing on the ground heard a
voice coming from the cloud, saying,
 [.] great generation [.] . image [.] [-
about five lines missing-].
[.] Their high priests murmured because [he] had gone into the guest room for his
prayer. But some scribes were there watching carefully in order to arrest him during the
prayer, for they were afraid of the people, since he was regarded by all as a prophet.
THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS