Interesting things have been transpiring in the world of the Gospel of Judas. Some of them are relevant to our discipline as they involve textual criticism and a new reading. This new reading is especially interesting given the initial hype concerning Judas. National Geographic's site still tells us that this Gospel "portrays Judas as acting at Jesus' request when he hands Jesus over to the authorities." Shocking -- Judas is the good guy! The disciples are the baddies!
Two new critical editions have now been published. One by Kasser, Wurst, etal. and one by Brankaer and Gebhard-Bethge. Below I have placed the first National Geographic translation/transcription on the top and the new National Geographic transcription/translation below (both by Kasser, Wurst, etal.). Coptic font available, here.
Judas 46:24-47:1 (images)
"In the last days they will curse your ascent to the holy [generation]."
ⲛϩⲁⲉⲟⲩ ⲛⲛⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲥⲉⲛⲁⲕ'ⲁⲩⲱ <ⲛ>ⲛⲉⲕⲕ̣ⲧ̣ⲏ̣ ⲉⲡϣⲱⲓ̈ ⲉⲧⲅⲉ̣[ⲛⲉⲁ ⲉⲧ]ⲟ̣ⲩ̣ⲁⲁⲃ:
ⲛϩⲁⲉⲟⲩ ⲛⲛⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲥⲉ<ⲛⲁ- > ⲛⲁⲕ' ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲉⲕⲃ̣ⲱ̣ⲕ̣ ⲉⲡϣⲱⲓ̈ ⲉⲧⲅⲉ̣[ⲛⲉⲁ ⲉⲧ]ⲟ̣ⲩ̣ⲁⲁⲃ:
"In the last days they [will ???] to you, and you will not ascend on high to the holy [generation]."
With our new reading, Judas no longer makes it to the holy generation. He is not a good guy, after all. In fact, Jesus is explicit in saying that Judas will not go to the eternal generation. I am not an expert here, but I will point out a few issues concerning the original transcription. First, the word which is translated "curse", ⲥⲉⲛⲁⲕ'ⲁⲩⲱ, does not resemble the typical word 'curse,' ⲥⲁϩⲟⲩ. In fact, the scribe has inserted a stroke after the kappa which usually indicates that a high frequency word has just been completed (here, ⲛⲁⲕ, "to you"). This is not the only stretch. The word <ⲛ︦>ⲛⲉⲕⲕ̣ⲧ̣ⲏ̣ is based (1) upon a series of reconstructed letters and (2) the editorial addition of the direct object marker. According to the new critical edition (p. 211), the reading ⲃ̣ⲱ̣ⲕ̣, "go," is certain when looked at under infrared light. From this comes the reading above.
This is not the only place where the translation of Judas has come under renewed discussion. When Judas was told that he would be the 13th, was this good or bad (GJudas 44:21, 46:20)? Was this an anti-apostolic number or was this a number related to the evil entity Saklas? The former was good if you were a Sethian Gnostic, the latter was bad. Was Judas a god (Ehrman) or a demon (Coptic: ⲇⲁⲓⲙⲱⲛ, GJudas 44:21)? Even in Gnostic cosmologies, demons are not appreciated. April DeConick, of Rice University (blog), has been the chief challenger of the old consensus, and has nearly produced a new consensus on Judas. In doing so she has challenged the integrity of the scholars who produced the original transcriptions, translations, and the hype which surrounded them under a shroud of secrecy. You can read her New York times piece, here. She also has a new book out titled, The Thirteenth Apostle. Among other things, she rejects the label proto-Orthodox to refer to the early Christians who would later win out, write history and start an ETC blog -- DeConick prefers the term Apostolic. The new consensus now rejects the idea that Judas is a witness to the historical Jesus.
I think that there is still work to be done here; the new reading still does not make sense without editorial emendation. It may be that there was parablepsis, but I would guess that there may be other answers to this quandary. I expect to see more reconstructions of this verse as scholarship struggles to understand better GJudas.