Sorting by


My Non-Disclosure Agreement and the Gospel of Judas

I broke off the thread on the Gospel of Judas and the non-disclosure agreement that I had to sign at … at the point where I had to sign the non-disclosure agreement!   Here I resume. So the deal was this:  in order to be allowed to see the manuscript, to examine it, to have access to a translation of it, to study the translation, and to write an essay based on it for the National Geographic’s intended book on the Gospel of Judas – all of this before anyone else in the universe (apart from Rodolphe Kasser who had access to the manuscript, and the people that he was working with to restore it) had a chance to see it – I had to agree not to tell anyone about it.   The choice was this:  I could agree not to tell anyone, and so be given access to the text and its translation; or I could decide not to agree and not be given access.   I didn’t like the choice, but it was really a [...]

2020-04-03T14:07:11-04:00February 10th, 2015|Bart’s Biography, Christian Apocrypha|

My UNC Seminar Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be doing an all-day seminar at UNC for the Program in the Humanities and Human Values.   This is a terrific organization on campus.  Among other things, it puts on weekend seminars -- usually Friday afternoon/evening; Saturday morning -- that involve four faculty lectures on a set topic.   Scheduling was such that we decided to put all four lectures on a Saturday this time.   I've done these things for 25 years, and love them.  *Most* of the time the program chooses a topic and has four different professors from UNC (and occasionally one from Duke or another school nearby) each giving a lecture, and then at the end the four doing a kind of brief panel discussion of each other's papers.  For some years now I've not done those, but have done a four-lecture seminar on some topic or other on my own.  That will be the case tomorrow. There will be about 130 people there, all adults, many of them senior citizens but younger folk (i.e., my age.  Or [...]

2017-12-09T11:07:21-05:00February 6th, 2015|Christian Apocrypha, Public Forum|

The Gospel of Judas: Discovery, Restoration, and (Non-)Disclosure

I’ve decided not to give a detailed summary of this thread each time I resume it.  To make sense of what I’m saying, you’ll need to go to the beginning a few days ago.  Short story, though:  it’s about how I came to learn about the discovery of the Gospel of Judas through a phone call from a representative of National Geographic who wanted me to be on the team that established its authenticity, back in the fall of 2004. Before I flew to Geneva, I learned a great deal more about the text and its discovery.  I give a fuller account in my book, The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot.  It is all a very interesting story indeed, and reads (not because of my writing but because of the facts of the case) more like a Dan Brown novel than a factual narrative of what actually happened in real time and space.   I won’t give all the ins and outs here, but will make just three points. The first is that the manuscript had [...]

2020-04-03T14:07:19-04:00February 5th, 2015|Christian Apocrypha, Religion in the News|

How I First Learned that the Gospel of Judas Had Been Discovered

I started this thread by mentioning a non-disclosure agreement I once had to sign, involving the Gospel of Judas.   To explain the situation, I have been discussing how I first came to know about the existence of the text.   After receiving an out-of-the-blue query about the Gospel of Judas I looked it up to refresh my memory: it was allegedly a book used by a group of Gnostics named the Cainites, a book that told the story of Jesus from the perspective of Judas Iscariot, his betrayer – not in order to malign Judas but, evidently, to celebrate his deed, since it was (somehow) to Jesus’ advantage. Soon after reading up on the Gospel (there was very little to read about it, since we didn’t have it; all we had were some comments in the writings of church fathers who opposed it, principally Irenaeus), I received a second phone call, this one from a person at National Geographic, asking what I knew about the Gospel of Judas.   I obviously realized that something was up. So [...]

2020-04-03T14:07:30-04:00February 4th, 2015|Bart’s Biography, Christian Apocrypha|

Finding Out about the Gospel of Judas

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 [...]

2020-04-03T14:07:39-04:00February 3rd, 2015|Christian Apocrypha|

Non-Disclosure Agreements and the Gospel of Judas Iscariot

A number of people have asked me about scholars and non-disclosure agreements.   This is tangentially related to the long thread I’ve just finished on the alleged first-centry copy of the Gospel of Mark.  Scholars have told us it exists and that they have had something to do with it.  We all *assumed* it was because they had actually seen it and probably studied it; turns out *that* was wrong.  They almost certainly haven’t studied it and evidently haven’t seen it. Why do I say “almost certainly and “evidently”?   Because they won’t tell us.  And why won’t they tell us?  Is it because they are mean-spirited?  Unreliable?  Boasters-but-not-doers? Liars?   No, not at all.  It’s because they’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement.   So, what does that mean, and what do I think about it? It turns out that I’ve been in that boat myself – of having signed a non-disclosure agreement --  and later took a lot of heat for it, a few years ago.  That had to do not with an alleged early manuscript of the New [...]

Ramtha Again: The Question-Answer Session

  Here is the second part of my talk at the Ramtha School of Enlightenment.   It is a question-answer session that I had with the attendees, and for my money, it was the best, most interesting part of the evening.   Since we had abundant time -- well over an hour -- I was able to give the questions full, drawn out answers, virtually mini-lectures in themselves, on an enormous range of issues that came up.   The questions dealt with intriguing topics on the whole.  Many of my answers are not what the questioner wanted to hear.   And it is interesting to see what the crowd reaction to my answers was (usually very positive -- effusive at times; but it is clear that I am the odd-person-out in this group as, well, you would surely expect!).   At some points I get very personal and talk not just about my scholarship but about my beliefs and understandings of the world. In any event, I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I enjoyed participating in [...]

2017-12-25T12:40:09-05:00January 22nd, 2014|Christian Apocrypha, Public Forum, Video Media|

Video: The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot Part 1

  This past November I flew to Yelm, Washington, outside of Seattle, to deliver a lecture on the Gospel of Judas Iscariot at the Ramtha School of Enlightenment.  When I had been invited to give the talk the year before, I frankly had never heard of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment.  In fact, when I was invited, I was told that the school was called The Gnostic School of America -- and so I naturally thought that it was some kind of college made up of west-coast-modern-day-Gnostics who saw themselves standing in line with the ancient Gnostics.  Such people do exist! But that is not what this school is.  The School of Enlightenment was founded by a woman named JZ Knight, and it is named, obviously, after Ramtha.  In case you don't remember who that was, let me tell you.  Ramtha was a philosopher-warrior who lived 35,000 years ago, who, with his 2.5 million soldier army, conquered most of the known world at the time, including the island of Atlantis.   JZ  channels him.  (In one of [...]

2017-12-25T12:40:54-05:00January 16th, 2014|Christian Apocrypha, Public Forum, Video Media|

Lost Gospels That Are Still Lost 1

QUESTION: Are there any lost gospels mentioned by early Christian authors that have not been discovered yet? RESPONSE: Ah, this is a great question. The answer is definitely yes. But I don’t think I know all of them, and it would be worth while compiling a list. Maybe someone has compiled one already. In fact, someone probably has! I just don’t recall ever seeing one. But there are indeed Gospels mentioned by Christian authors that we no longer have. I think I’ll spend a few posts talking about some of them, starting in this post with the best known instance – one that no longer applies since it has now been found. This of course is (not the Gospel of Jesus’ wife – which is never mentioned by any ancient source – but) the Gospel of Judas, mentioned by the church father Ireanaeus as used by the Gnostic sect known as the Cainites, but until just a few years ago, completely unknown. I was involved with the publication of the Gospel of Judas – National [...]

Go to Top