The Lost Gospel
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Profiles

Craig A. Evans

Craig A. Evans is the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. Prior to his appointment at Acadia, he was visiting assistant professor of religious studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and for 21 years was professor of biblical studies at Trinity Western University, in Langley, British Columbia. He also was a visiting fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary. Evans is author and editor of more than 50 books. Among his titles are Ancient Texts for the New Testament Studies (Hendrickson, 2005), Jesus and the Ossuaries (Baylor University Press, 2003), The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew-Luke (Cook Communications Ministries, 2003), and Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation (Hendrickson, 1992). He is currently writing "Matthew" for the New Cambridge Bible Commentary series and a book on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian faith. He is a member of the several editorial boards, including the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplements; Dead Sea Discoveries; and Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus. He is former editor-in-chief of the Bulletin for Biblical Research. Evans earned his bachelor's degree from Claremont McKenna College, master's degrees from Western Baptist Seminary and Claremont Graduate University, and his doctorate in biblical studies at Claremont Graduate University.

"The Gospel of Judas appears to confirm the testimony of Irenaeus, writing at the end of the second century. Thus, this discovery provides important insight into the nature of the Gnosticism discussed and opposed by early Christian leaders and thinkers. The Gospel of Judas may also preserve early speculation concerning what motives the apostle Judas had for betraying his master. The New Testament Gospels are surprisingly silent with regard to this important question. Although placed in a Gnostic setting that reflects the second century, the assertion that Judas acted on Jesus' directions opens up an intriguing line of inquiry. Do we have in this second-century writing, supplemented and edited so as to advance second-century Gnostic ideas, a reminiscence of an earlier tradition, in which it was remembered that Judas' actions were in some way in response to Jesus' instructions? The idea may initially strike us as farfetched, but at the same time it must be admitted that the Gospel of Judas may well preserve for us the earliest explanation of why the apostle Judas did what he did."

—Craig A. Evans

Follow this link to National Geographic magazine online to hear what this scholar has to say about the discovery.