Its text is extant in only one manuscript, known as Tchacos, an early fourth-century manuscript that surfaced in the 1970s. It is reported that the was discovered during an illegal search for treasures in a burial cave near the village of Qarrara north of al-Minya in Middle Egypt. The manuscript was badly mistreated and partly damaged before its restoration.

The text has been released to the public in 2006 after its purchase from the antiquities market and conservation. It is one of the most important contributions to early since the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices in 1945. Around 180, Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, some Christians, who produced a fabricated work that they entitled the Gospel of Judas. The Coptic text, a Gnostic gospel, is a of an earlier version that is probably from the second century.

Unlike the canonical gospels, the gospel of Judas portrays Judas Iscariot as a divinely appointed instrument of a predetermined purpose. The text is identified on the first page as “The secret account of the revelation that spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week three days before he celebrated Passover.”