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The National Geographic: The Gospel of Judas


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The National Geographic: The Gospel of Judas + Banned From the Bible I + NOVA: The Bible's Buried Secrets
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: National Geographic Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FC2HRC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,271 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

What if an ancient gospel was rediscovered that offered a radically different perspective on a man that history has painted as the ultimate villain? What if this account turned Jesus' betrayal on its head, and in it the villain became a hero? National Geographic provides exclusive access to the documents and evidence that traces the incredible story of what has happened to the Gospel of Judas since it was found. Combining dramatic recreations and insightful analysis by the world's foremost experts, they ask and answer the question: Is the Gospel of Judas real?

DVD Features:
Featurette
Interviews

Customer Reviews

I think the reenactments are a good thing; they are almost necessary.
Christopher M. Fulton
This documentary is a good introduction to this material and would be especially recommended to anyone interested in the history of religion and early Christianity.
Matthew S. Schweitzer
They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and this movie proves it.
Randall Helzerman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Matthew S. Schweitzer on June 19, 2006
Format: DVD
National Geographic's "The Gospel of Judas" is the documentary companion to the books the Society has recently published concerning this recently rediscovered ancient text that purports to tell the story of Judas Iscariot, traditionally the Great Betrayer of the New Testament, from a decidedly different view. The story of the discovery of the text, its appearance and disappearance on the antiquities market, and its ultimate restoration and translation is itself quite fascinating.

The Gospel of Judas is believed to be a late 3rd century Coptic manuscript copy of an earlier Greek original that probably dates to around the middle of the 2nd century. The documentary chronicles the story of the text from its suppression by orthodox Christians to its rediscovery in the 1970s by grave robbers in southern Egypt. The papyrus manuscript, literally falling to pieces during years of poor handling and lack of preservation, finds its way into the hands of a Swiss antiquities dealer who, after several failed attempts to sell it for big bucks, made a deal with National Geographic to preserve, restore, and translate the codex.

The film also makes extensive and effective use of dramatizations that highlight some of the rather controversial subject matter contained in the Judas Gospel that suggests that Judas, far from being the evil betrayer depicted in the canonical gospels, was actually the greatest of Jesus' disciples. Here, Judas is told by Jesus himself to turn him over to the Romans for execution so as to fulfill his ultimate destiny as Messiah and savior. It is important to keep in mind that the Gospel of Judas was deliberately excluded from the orthodox Bible because of its Gnostic teachings, something that connects it to the Nag Hammadi texts discovered in Egypt in 1945.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Kara Russell VINE VOICE on November 26, 2006
Format: DVD
This is the usual well done, a little slow, Nat. Geog. piece about an arcane piece of antiquity which may or may not be relevant to modern Christians depending on their current beliefs.

Those who believe the current published Bible is the infallible, complete word of God will be understandably upset by the way this program basically sets the Gnostic gospels up as "missing parts" or edited parts. Controversy sells.

There was an obvious, missed opportunity to discuss some of Peter's letters where he tells early churches to stop doing many of the practices that the Gnostics continued. Practices which are referred to here as collateral information on different sects in the early church. These sects DID exist, but they were fringe groups even at that time, and Peter's letters said those practices were not of God. A missed opportunity for full information.

As with most Nat. Geog. specials, the focus here is on the scientific testing of the papyrus, the "ink"... all fascinating forensic stuff, if you like that. I do.

Where this fits or not into your religious viewpoint is what becomes contentious. There ARE multiple views expressed here, most of which think this "Judas Gospel" is irrelevant, except for the one woman who speaks in almost every "bible history" special because what she says is very fringe theology, and she makes people angry, which ramps up viewership.

If you believe Jesus was/is the omnipotent Lord, then it isn't a stretch to believe that he allready knew what Judas would do, and died for Judas' sins just as he did for everyone. So Judas alone is not that controversial (which is why they had to drop in the other Gnostic stuff).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Randy Silva on June 11, 2006
Format: DVD
I don't know where National Geographic gets these actors who do the dramatizations but they are really top notch. It brings a realism to the subject matter that you don't see with other documentaries.

Overall, I thought it was a great video. They focused on the facts, didn't stray too much from the actual research & background of the codex.

Good stuff.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Carter on March 6, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
When I watch documentaries covering the discovery of an ancient script or artifact, I prefer to know the facts of the discovery, what is known about authenticity and, in this case, what the script says. The creepy violin music and the highly dramatic reenactments are elements that I could have definitely done without. I realize that science and facts have no razzle dazzle and are difficult to sell, I just wish that not everything was geared toward entertainment. I found myself skipping through a lot of scenes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Johny Bottom on December 18, 2007
Format: DVD
Judas Iscariot has always fascinated me, even as a child. I never believed that he was possessed by Satan and betrayed Jesus. In my own innocent way, I believed that Judas was meant to betray Jesus as part of His divine plan. The scriptures, centuries before Christ was born, told that the messiah would be betrayed. Then this leads us to two ideas, either we are predetermined in what we do and have no say in the matter (even though we think we know what we are doing), or Judas was told to do this by Jesus so the crucifiction and the resurrection could occur. The most chilling of all Bible quotes is when Jesus says "Lo that the man would be better that he were never born, than to betray the Son of Man."

In the Book of John it is said that Judas was possessed by Satan and betrayed Jesus, later hanging himself, and is now in the lowest pits of hell. If this is so, then doesn't it make sense that Judas has indeed paid the ultimate price for human redemption? Yes Jesus was crucified and was raised on the thrid day, but if Judas has been burning in hell for over 2000 years and will burn for eternity, didn't he suffer more for mankind?

It is this line of thinking that makes this subject so fascinating to me. If Judas was possessed by Satan and betrayed Jesus, Jesus would have already known this thrre years prior and allowed it to happen by letting Judas become a disciple.

This DVD does not tell as much about the contents of The Gospel of Judas as it does the history and restoration of the document itself. The document dates plus of minus 50 years from the year 280 AD and is 85% intact. The document was found be a fortune seeking farmer. It was sold in Egypt and then stolen. After the owner got it back he tried to sell it, but could not get the price he asked for.
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The National Geographic: The Gospel of Judas
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