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Christians accept four legitimate Gospels from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

My Question: Did the Catholic Church have evidence to discredit the Gospel of Judas?

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The same reason the books were chosen to be canonized or not. Not every denomination has canonized the same books. While it is true that the Gospel of Judas is in none of them (that I know of). –  The Freemason May 3 '13 at 17:08

2 Answers 2

This question is based on a faulty premise - namely that any individual "suppressed" any book in the canonization process. To say that a book was "discredited" or "suppressed" from the canon is akin to saying that "Fifty Shades of Grey" was "discredited" from the NY Times Best Seller List, or that the kid with an SAT in the 80th percentile was 'suppressed' from attending Harvard.

Canonization was a selective process in which the most widely circulated books and most widely quoted books were endorsed by Christian scholars. Anything less wasn't "evil" - it just wasn't as good. There were literally hundreds of books authored in the first four centuries that called themselves "Gospels." From the Gospel of Thomas to the Gospel of Peter to the Gospel of the Hebrews to Marcion's Gospel, there were all sorts of "Gospels" to choose from. Only those that were "most profitable" gained the widest circulation, eventually, over many centuries (Athanasius' Festal Letter in 357 is the earliest complete list!) were viewed as authoritative.

In the case of the Gospel of Judas, its just not very good. It's a Gnostic Gospel which concentrates on proving the evilness of matter and thus claiming that Jesus himself was a docetic God - he only appeared to be a man. Contemporary "Mainstream" Christianity from Paul's time onwards rejected that notion, and therefore didn't follow it.

THe Gnostics went their way and the Christians went theirs. The Gnostics lost and the "Catholics" (i.e. the rest of the "Universal" church) felt no need to preserve something they didn't find useful. End of Story.

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+1: This question is based on a faulty premise - namely that any individual "suppressed" any book in the canonization process. To say that a book was "discredited" or "suppressed" from the canon is... To be sure, I don't know if this is accurate (hint: I'd love a source), but this is still a great answer. –  Jim G. May 3 '13 at 18:36
I agree a source would be useful, but it will be difficult to do beyond saying, 'Canonization' is what it is. You're right, I can't prove there was never a campaign to discredit a book - but as I try to argue, that's not even the point. It just never made the 'These are the most profitable' list. –  Affable Geek May 3 '13 at 18:39
up vote -2 down vote accepted

In those days the Church decided for political reasons to include the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible. The other gospels were banned. It is highly logical that the Catholic Church would have kept a copy of the forbidden gospels. Sadly, the Vatican does not want to clarify further. Their policy has been the same for years – 'No further comment.'

From Wikipedia

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Please consider adding your own information to your answer. Copy and pasting is usually frowned upon. Your "answer" could be a comment, however. –  The Freemason May 3 '13 at 18:51

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