It normally said that whenever anyone gets some theological doubts he should read the religious scripts which would, they say, enlighten them; give them the clarity and all that. But in my case things had so far gone the other way round. I had little doubts. Tried to get answers. People said read the bible. I obliged a little. But I also started not only reading but also analyzing. I went one other "wrong step" too! I started reading the history of religion(s) also. That almost put an end to all my questions. Got the enlightenment. Got my eyes fully opened. Finally, I came back to my earlier conclusion - religion(s) cannot stand against rationality.
Moreover, when we start knowing the religions and their origin and history (especially the Abrahamic religions) they simply lose their grounds to sensible questions.
In Christianity this comes very much true. Its earlier period it was so competitive with so many different groups and Paul had been on the steering wheel in his hand and he manipulated the religion to his direction so well. What we have now as an institutional religion, we come to know, has come through so many trials and changes. Whether it was converting Jesus a god to the whole humankind or fixing the date for Christmas … all these were made by a group of men.
The following essay is one such thing. Judas, always considered as an obnoxious villain changes to a different person who was so close with Jesus. This essay also mentions about the various groups in Christianity and how a stronger team writes the history of the religion. We are taught from childhood that the gospels are words of god. But in reality it is not so. Not even the names of the authors are true! They were written far later than the lifetime and death of Jesus. And they were written by somebody and named after some disciple later. It makes the statement - SUCCESSFUL MEN WRITE THE HISTORY - completely TRUE!
In the earliest period of Christianity, many gospels were written and there were many competing groups among them. The group headed by Irenaeus became the largest. In this group during the second and third centuries. There were martyrs like Justin Martyr, and Tertullian in this group. This group was known as Orthodox. When this group became dominant, a new Christian history was written. (History, as we know, is written always by the winners.) Only the gospels they selected became the approved canonical gospels. Old books when unearthed now show a different story proving that there were many groups in early period. Gospel of Judas is one such book that gives a very different content and it can even change it very much.
GOSPEL OF JUDAS
Judas is one of the most reviled men in history. But was Judas only obeying his master's wishes when he betrayed Jesus with a kiss?
That's what a newly revealed ancient Christian text says.
After being lost for nearly 1,700 years, the Gospel of Judas was restored, authenticated, and translated. A leather-bound Coptic language papyrus document that surfaced during the 1970s, near Beni Masar, Egypt, was named the Codex Tchacos and was first translated in the early 2000. The only copy of it known to exist is a Coptic language text that has been carbon dated to 280 AD, plus or minus 60 years. This research work on it was done by Barabe and his colleagues for the National Geographic Society. Given that it includes late 2nd century theology, it is thought to have been composed in the 2nd century by Gnostic Christians. It asserts that the other disciples had not learned the true Gospel, which Jesus taught only to Judas Iscariot, the sole follower belonging to the "holy generation" among the disciples. The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel. The content consists of conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot.
Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst,
in collaboration with François Gaudard
The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during three days before he celebrated Passover.
SCENE 1: Jesus dialogues with his disciples: The prayer of thanksgiving or the eucharist:
They said, “Master, you are […] the son of our god.” Jesus said to them, “How do you know me? Truly [I] say to you, no generation of the people that are among you will know me.” THE DISCIPLES BECOME ANGRY When his disciples heard this, they started getting angry and infuriated and began blaspheming against him in their hearts.(35)
But their (disciples) spirits did not dare to stand before [him], except for Judas Iscariot. He was able to stand before him, but he could not look him in the eyes, and he turned his face away.
Judas [said] to him, “I know who you are and where you have come from. You are from the immortal realm of Barbelo. And I am not worthy to utter the name of the one who has sent you."
Barbelo: Barbēlō (Greek) refers to the first emanation of God in several forms of Gnostic cosmogony. Barbēlō is often depicted as a supreme female principle.)
JESUS SPEAKS TO JUDAS PRIVATELY Knowing that Judas was reflecting upon something that was exalted, Jesus said to him, “Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal.(36)
SCENE 2: Jesus appears to the disciples again The next morning, after this happened, Jesus [appeared] to his disciples again. They said to him, “Master, where did you go and what did you do when you left us?” Jesus said to them, “I went to another great and holy generation.”
His disciples said to him, “Lord, what is the great generation that is superior to us and holier than us, that is not now in these realms?” When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to them, “Why are you thinking in your hearts about the strong and holy generation? 
Truly [I] say to you, no one born [of] this aeon will see that [generation], and no host of angels of the stars will rule over that generation, and no person of mortal birth can associate with it, because that generation does not come from […] which has become […]. The generation of people among [you] is from the generation of humanity […] power, which [… the] other powers […] by [which] you rule.” When [his] disciples heard this, they each were troubled in spirit. They could not say a word. Another day Jesus came up to [them]. They said to [him], “Master, we have seen you in a [vision], for we have had great [dreams …] night […].” [He said], “Why have [you … when] have gone into hiding?” 
THE DISCIPLES SEE THE TEMPLE AND DISCUSS IT
They [said, “We have seen] a great [house with a large] altar [in it, and] twelve men— they are the priests, we would say—and a name; and a crowd of people is waiting at that altar, [until] the priests [… and receive] the offerings. [But] we kept waiting.”
JESUS OFFERS AN ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION OF THE TEMPLE
Jesus said to them, “Why are you troubled? Truly I say to you, all the priests who stand before that altar invoke my name. Again I say to you, my name has been written on this […] of the generations of the stars through the human generations. [And they] have planted trees without fruit, in my name, in a shameful manner.”(45)
JUDAS ASKS JESUS ABOUT THAT GENERATION AND HUMAN GENERATIONS
Judas said to [him, “Rabb]i, what kind of fruit does this generation produce?” Jesus said, “The souls of every human generation will die. When these people, however, have completed the time of the kingdom and the spirit leaves them, their bodies will die but their souls will be alive, and they will be taken up.” Judas said, “And what will the rest of the human generations do?” Jesus said, “It is impossible  to sow seed on [rock] and harvest its fruit. [This] is also the way […] the [defiled] generation […] and corruptible Sophia […] the hand that has created mortal people, so that their souls go up to the eternal realms above. [Truly] I say to you, […] angel […] power will be able to see that […] these to whom […] holy generations […].” After Jesus said this, he departed.
SCENE 3: Judas recounts a vision and Jesus responds
Judas said, “Master, as you have listened to all of them, now also listen to me. For I have seen a great vision.” When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to him, “You thirteenth spirit, why do you try so hard? But speak up, and I shall bear with you.” Judas said to him, “In the vision I saw myself as the twelve disciples were stoning me and  persecuting [me severely]. And I also came to the place where […] after you. I saw [a house …], and my eyes could not [comprehend] its size. Great people were surrounding it, and that house a roof of greenery, and in the middle of the house was [a crowd—two lines missing—], saying, ‘Master, take me in along with these people.’”
JUDAS ASKS ABOUT HIS OWN FATE Judas said, “Master, could it be that my seed is under the control of the rulers?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Come, that I [—two lines missing—], but that you will grieve much when you see the kingdom and all its generation.” When he heard this, Judas said to him, “What good is it that I have received it? For you have set me apart for that generation.” Jesus answered and said, “You will become the thirteenth, and you will be cursed by the other generations—and you will come to rule over them. In the last days they will curse your ascent  to the holy [generation].”
JESUS TEACHES JUDAS ABOUT COSMOLOGY: THE SPIRIT AND THE SELF-GENERATED Jesus said, “[Come], that I may teach you about [secrets] no person [has] ever seen. For there exists a great and boundless realm, whose extent no generation of angels has seen, [in which] there is [a] great invisible [Spirit],
THE COSMOS, CHAOS, AND THE UNDERWORLD “The multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos— that is, perdition—by the Father and the seventy-two luminaries who are with the Self-Generated and his seventytwo aeons. In him the first human appeared with his incorruptible powers. (51)
THE CREATION OF HUMANITY
“Then Saklas said to his angels, ‘Let us create a human being after the likeness and after the image.’ They fashioned Adam and his wife Eve, who is called, in the cloud, Zoe. (53)
JUDAS ASKS ABOUT THE DESTINY OF ADAM AND HUMANITY
Judas said to Jesus, “Does the human spirit die?”
the Great One ordered Gabriel to grant spirits to the great generation with no ruler over it—that is, the spirit and the soul. Therefore, the [rest] of the souls  [—one line missing—].
CONCLUSION: JUDAS BETRAYS JESUS
They approached Judas and said to him, “What are you doing here? You are Jesus’ disciple.” Judas answered them as they wished. And he received some money and handed him over to them.
There were some comments from the translators. Some excerpts from their essays are given:
1. THE STORY OF CODEX TCHACOS AND
THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS
EXCERPTS FROM THE ESSAY OF RUDOLPHE KASSER
What I could see from this initial perusal of the text showed it was written in a Sahidic supralocal dilect of the Coptic language.(64)
The papyrus had become so weakened that it didn't tolerate the last touching, nearly all contact, as light as it was, threatened to leave it in dust. (65)
All the folios of the manuscript had, alas, been broken brutally at (about) two-thirds of their height by the deep fold previously mentioned. This rupture had divided every page into two parts of unequal area.(68)
In a satisfying manner, the "packet" of about thirty folios appeared to conclude with the final title - titles then normally appearing at the end - "GOSPEL OF JUDAS". (70)
…a priceless document that was nearly lost to us has at last been saved.(75)
CHRISTIANITY TURNED ON ITS HEAD
THE ALTERNATIVE VISIONOF THE
GOSPEL OF JUDAS
EXCERPTS FROM THE ESSAY OF BART D. EHRMAN
The Dead Scrolls discovered in 1947 play a role in our collective popular imagination still today.
The scrolls do not contain any gospels about Jesus or indeed any reference at all to early Christianity.(77)
Writings of Nag Hammadi allegedly record teachings of Jesus himself, in words quite different from those of the New Testament.(78)
The Gospel of Judas is centered on a figure who is widely known, much maligned, and broadly speculated about.(79)
Judas is not the devil, corrupt, devil-inspired follower of Jesus; but instead he is Jesus' closest intimate and friend, who understood Jesus better than anyone else, who turned Jesus over to the authorities because Jesus wanted him to do so.
This gospel has a completely different understanding of God, the world, Christ, salvation and human existence.(80)
Most of the these alternate gospels were eventually destroyed as heretical - that is, for reaching the "wrong ideas" - or were lost in antiquity. Finding them and learning what they have to say has become the obsession of numerous scholars. (81)
This surviving copy was targeted by one of the great authors of the early Christian Church - Bishop Irenaeus, of modern France. In his work he named a number of heretical groups and attacked them. One of the false writings he names was Gospel of Judas. (82)
THE GNOSTIC RELIGIONS
Irenaeus was one of our chief sources of information about the various Gnostic groups of the second century.(83)
For Gnostics, a person is saved not by having faith in Christ or by doing good works. Rather, a person is saved by knowing the truth- the truth about the world we live in, about who the true God is, and especially about who are ourselves are. (84)
Traditional Christianity has taught, of course, that our world is the good creation of the one true God. But that is not the view of Gnostics. How can anyone look at this world and call it good?(85)
.. the ultimate divine being is completely removed from the world. This divine being generated lots of offspring known as aeons who like him were spiritual entities.(85)
Irenaeus' five-volume refutation of Gnostics maligned their beliefs for being hopelessly contradictory, ridiculously detailed and contrary to the teachings of Jesus' own apostles.(88)
JUDAS IN THE GOSPELS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Mark and John don't say anything about Judas' demise, nor does the Gospel of Luke. But in the book of Acts - written by the author of Luke, as a kind of sequel to his gospel - we learn another version of Judas' death. Judas bursts forth in the midst and he spills his intestines on the ground, creating a bloody mess.(96)
JUDAS IN THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS
Jesus reveals the secret to Judas Iscariot alone, his most intimate companion and the only one in this gospel who understands the real truth of Jesus.(97)
Jesus takes him aside, away from the ignorant others, to teach him "the mysteries of the kingdom". Judas alone will receive the secret knowledge necessary for salvation.(98)
Jesus says, "You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me".(101)
UNUSUAL THEOLOGICAL VIEWS OF THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS
The creator of the world is not the one true God; this world is an evil place to be escaped; Christ is not the son of the creator; salvation comes not through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but through the revelation of secret knowledge that he provides. (102)
There was theological wars of the second and third centuries, when different Christian groups maintained different systems of belief and doctrine. (103)
THE VIEW OF GOD IN THE GOSPEL
God of Jesus is not the creator god of the Jews. After their meals the disciples start thanks giving ; but Jesus begins to laugh. The disciples don’t see what is so funny. For this Jesus replies that they don’t know what they are really doing. By giving thanks for their food, they are praising their god - that is, not the God of Jesus. Now the disciples are befuddled: "Master, you are … the son of our god". Jesus responds that no one of their "generation" will know who he really is.(104)
Jesus proceeds to upbraid them and speaks again about "your god who is within you". (Is it the concept of " AHAM BRAHMASMI"!!??)
Judas, the only one who truly understands, declares that Jesus has come from "the immortal realm of Barbelo," that is, from the realm of the true immortal living beings, not from the lower realm of the creator god of the Jews. (105) A number of Christian writings outside the new testament portray Jesus as “docetic” being - that is, as one who looked human only because it was an appearance.(107)
The souls of every human generation will die. When these people have completed the time of the kingdom and the spirit leaves them, their bodies will die but their souls will be alive and they will be taken up. (111)
THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS AND THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE
Why some few Christian writings made it into the Canon but most others like the Gospel of Judas were excluded? (116)
What happened to all the other books, the ones that told a different version of the story and so had been left out of the proto-orthodox canon? Some of them were destroyed but most were simply last or crumbled with age.
Orthodox understanding of religion was not the only one in the second century of Christianity. (119)
IRENAEUS OF LYON AND THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS
EXCERPTS FROM THE ESSAY OF GREGOR WURST
IRENAEUS AND PSEUDO-TERTULLIAN
The existence of a gospel of Judas is first attested by the second century Bishop
Irenaeus of Lyon.(122)
According to Irenaeus this group of gnostics argues for reevaluation of the Jewish and orthodox Christian ideas of divine salvation.(123)
From the beginning of the third century on, this group of gnostics was called ‘Cainites’ (followers of Cain) by Christian writers such as Clement of Alexandria.(124)
In the newly discovered text there is no mention of Cain or the other antiheroes from the Jewish scriptures mentioned by Irenaeus. As a result we would have to assume the existence of more than one Gospel of Judas circulating within gnostic communities in antiquity.(127)
COMPARISON OF THE COPTIC GOSPEL OF JUDAS WITH IRENAEUS ACCOUNT
Judas Iscariot is portrayed as having a special knowledge about Jesus’ true identity. He appears for the first time on page 35, where he is presented as the only disciple who is able to allow his inner spiritual personality to come to expression before Jesus.(128)
To Judas alone Jesus discloses that knowledge of the ‘great and boundless realm, whose extent no generation of Angels has seen.
At the end, Judas is a perfect gnostic, worthy to be in a sense ‘transfigured’ by ascending into the luminous cloud where he will receive his vision of the divine.(129)
Judas’ task is to sacrifice the body of Jesus.(130)
Gospel of Judas is referred in the book of Acts from the New Testament. On page 36, Jesus says to Judas: “For someone else will replace you in order that the 12 disciples may again come to completion with their God” - a clear allusion to the selection of Matthias to replace Judas in the circle of the twelve disciples. (Acts 1:15-26)
JUDAS AND THE GNOSTIC CONNECTION
EXCERPTS FROM THE ESSAY OF MARVIN MEYER
There is no historical evidence that any group of people within the early Christianity call themselves Cainites; that name seems to be a nickname invented by heresy hunters.(137)
Irenaeus says that in fact certain religious groups refer to themselves as “gnostics”. The knowledge claimed by these people is not worldly knowledge but mystical knowledge, knowledge of God and self and the relationship between God and self. In the Gospel of Judas the word ‘gnosis’ is used twice.(50,54)
As Bart Ehrman also points out in his essay, the Gospel of Judas and Jesus himself in this Gospel thus proclaim salvation through knowledge, the self-knowledge of the divine light within.(139)
The phrase ‘the Immortal realm (or aeon) of Barbelo” is a familiar phrase in Sethian texts.
The origin of Barbelo and her name remains obscure, but it may come from the ineffable four letter name of god, YHWH or YAHWEH - JEHOVAH - used in Jewish scriptures and within Judaism. The Hebrew word for “four”, - arba - may designate the holy name and the name of Barbelo may derive from Hebrew for an expression like “God”.(140)
THE GREAT ONE, BARBELO AND
AUTOGENES THE SELF-GENERATED
The transcendence of the Great One is emphasized in the Gospel of Judas.(144)
Autogenes, the self generated, is discussed in Gospel of Judas 47-50 when Jesus reveals the glorious manner in which the divine extends itself and comes to full expression.
Autogenes is a term commonly used in Sethian texts to characterize the offspring of Barbelo.(146)
Sethian texts speak of divine wisdom personified as Sophia, whose shares traits with Eve and falls into an error that would have grave consequences.
There is only a single reference to Sophia in a fragmentary part of the text where with little explanation she is called “corruptible Sophia”.(150)
SETH AND THE CREATION OF ADAM AND EVE
The figure of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, is a significant figure in the Gospel of Judas. The Gospel of Judas lists Seth (also called Christ) as an angelic ruler of the world.(157)
THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS AS A CHRISTIAN SETHIAN TEXT
In this essay, the Gospel of Judas appears to be an early Christian Sethian Gospel with teachings of Jesus presented to Judas Iscariot to announce a way of Salvation and Enlightenment based upon knowledge of self and the divine.(166)
Jesus says to Judas in Gospel of Judas 57, “Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star. (169)