Here’s what went down. Back in 2006, the Gospel of Judas publicly surfaced after being locked in a safe deposit box since 2000. The box and manuscript was owned by Frieda Nussberger-Tchacos. Before Tchacos bought it, it went through the hands of several antiquities dealers, after it was found in a cavern sometime around 1970. As soon as scholars found out about it, everybody and their mother jumped on the band wagon. How could this thing not be a get-rich-quick ticket? The National Geographic Society, funded by over a million bucks from the Waitt Institute for Historical Discovery, got on board. They grabbed Mr. Controversy, Bart Ehrman, and several real Coptic scholars (Erhman isn’t one of them, by the way) and pumped a translation with accompanying essays out right away. Everyone knew their work was produced way too fast to be good scholarship, but National Geographic did a good job of keeping that hush-hush.
Then an amazing back lash from nearly every major early Christian scholar was felt around the globe. The swiftest and harshest critique came from N.T. (Tom) Wright. Ehrman and his buddies fought for a bit, but they couldn't get around the fact that first century Jesus would not have had third century flavored conversations. The Gospel of Judas was clearly written much later and did not reflect the historical Jesus or the historical Judas.
But there's more. Ehrman and his buddies had to cower down in their holes after nearly every Coptic scholar condemned not just their interpretations and conclusions, but their translation. At the risk of National Geographic sacrificing their reputation, they were forced to produce a new translation (the link above is to the new translation, by the way—it's hard to get your hands on the original these days). Why? Because their old one sucked—it was flat out wrong in way too many places. The New Yorker’s August 3rd article by Joan Acocella points this out:
I looked into this and The New Yorker is correct. To be honest, it makes me a chuckle a bit. Not because I have an axe to grind, but because scholars who do sloppy work, claiming it destroys basic beliefs of Christianity, deserve to be smacked around.
Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will be paid if you purchase something through them. Nonetheless, if you wish to research this topic, these are some of the titles I think you should consider purchasing (with my critiques in mind, of course).