In my previous post, which started out talking about non-disclosure agreements, I began to explain a time when I myself had to sign one, in reference to the Gospel of Judas Iscariot. To make sense of that, I decided I needed to give the fuller story about how I got involved with the Gospel to begin with. That takes a bit of telling. It all started with an odd phone call, recounted yesterday, in which a distant friend asked me about a Gospel of Judas in fall of 2004, before we had (or knew we had) any such thing.
After that call I decided to see what we *did* know about the Gospel of Judas. I looked up what Irenaeus, the late-second-century heresiologist (= heresy hunter) had to say about it. He refers to it in his discussion of the Cainites, a group of Gnostics that revered Cain, the son of Adam and Eve.
So, OK, why would any group of Christians revere the first bad guy of the Bible, who committed fratricide, murdering his brother Abel in cold blood simply out of jealousy? For Irenaeus, it was all because of their overarching theology. As Gnostics, the Cainites believed….
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