Ah, the irony of the media. Last night I was watching Extreme Home Makeover: After the Storm on ABC where they fully restored a church (of course sending the most effeminate guy in the cast to lead the charge), and an hour later on Primetime they had a story promoting the Gospel of Judas.
For those not familiar, the Gospel of Judas is a text that was referenced long ago in an 180 AD letter by Irenaeus of Lyon, but had not been found in print until 1983 in a Coptic language. It makes the accusation that Jesus asked Judas to betray him and that Jesus treated Judas as the greatest of his disciples.
Recently it has been getting a lot of press thanks to a feature by National Geographic. They even have a PDF copy of the translation thus far. However, little useful information has been coming from it’s study.
Researchers have authenticated the document so that we know it does date back to around the fourth century AD, and we can then verify from the writings of Irenaeus that it was written prior to 180 AD. However, the content of the writings are highly questionable (Irenaeus denounced them in his writings as being from a Coptic cult background and therefore unreliable) and can probably most closely be related to the Gospel of Thomas, which attempted to describe the years between Jesus’ birth and his last days as documented in the cannonized gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There’s nothing in either text to confirm their statements, and that is why they were left out of the biblical cannon.
In essence, it would be as if I wrote a news article about how Dick Cheney was a robot created by the Christian Right to manipulate George W. Bush and push their adgenda, and then the article was discovered in 2000 years. That article would most likely be quickly dismissed, but since the Gospel of Judas focuses on the key figure of Christianity, Jesus Christ, you will have non-Christian scientists trying to debunk the religion based on a single finding.
Basically, it’s bunk.