This codex–one of the greatest discoveries in Judeo-Christian archaeology–did not head straight to a museum, or even to the library of a rich collector. The gospel’s removal from its burial place was just the beginning of a bizarre cloak-and-dagger journey. The Gospel of Judas, treated like a piece of merchandise, would be shopped around on three continents over the course of the next twenty-five years, its contents glimpsed only a few times between long periods of inactivity in far from ideal storage conditions. Every step of the way the precious document would deteriorate, until much of it was reduced to fragments of papyrus fibers.
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