Judas. The Definitive Collection of Gospels and Legends about the Infamous Apostle of Jesus
This book presents the essential texts that deal with the figure of Judas, including New Testament writings, Gnostic documents, and other early and later Christian literature. These are the earliest known testimonies about Judas and include selections from the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, the Acts of the Apostles, and relevant passages from Paul. The centerpiece of the book is the Gospel of Judas, followed by excerpts from three other Gnostic texts—the Dialogue of the Savior, the Concept of Our Great Power, and the “Round Dance of the Cross”—which may shed new light on the figure of Judas. A series of additional writings on Judas produced over the centuries provide glimpses of the vilification of Judas and the emergence of anti-Semitic themes.
Meyer offers evidence of traitors before Judas—the Genesis story of Joseph’s brothers who sold him into slavery, the duplicitous friend of the poet in Psalm 41, and Melanthius the goatherd in Homer’s Odyssey—all of which raise the question of whether the story of Judas Iscariot could be simply a piece of religious fiction derived from earlier stories.
Judas provides a rich collection of original sources that tell the story of Christianity’s most infamous figure, offering the fullest understanding of Judas Iscariot’s undeniable importance in the climax of Jesus’s life.