Iscariot: A Novel of Judas

Iscariot: A Novel of Judas

by Tosca Lee
4.2 43


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Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee

Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brilliantly adapts the life of Judas Iscariot into a dazzling work of fiction—humanizing the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal.

Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brilliantly adapts the life of Judas Iscariot into a dazzling and award-winning work of fiction—humanizing the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal.

History has called him many things: Thief. Liar. Traitor. Reviled throughout history and infamous for his suicide, he is the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal . . .

And he is the only disciple that Jesus called “friend.”

From the acclaimed bestselling author of Havah: The Story of Eve, Iscariot is a compelling portrait of biblical history’s most maligned character—from his tumul­tuous childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is an extraordinary view into the life of Jesus that forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about one of the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451683981
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 507,319
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Progeny, Firstborn, Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series (Forbidden, Mortal, and Sovereign) with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker. She received her BA in English and International Relations from Smith College. A lifelong adventure traveler, Tosca makes her home in the Midwest with her husband and children. To learn more please visit:

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Iscariot: A Novel of Judas 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Citijax More than 1 year ago
Tosca Lee has done an extraordinary amount of research and woven it into her very credible story. Judas' 1st person narrative of his relationship with and subsequent betrayal of Jesus makes the reader view Judas, Jesus and John the Baptist in a new light. Her portrayal of Jesus' humanity and divinity made me go back and re-read the gospels--this time with a new perspective (which did not conflict with my Christian beliefs)
Joanie2016 More than 1 year ago
When I picked this book up I was really searching something refreshing and new in a novel, a story that would leave me with a sense of awe and discovery. I was tired of PNR after reading so many in a two month stretch and needed a reprieve. “Iscariot” was more than a revelation, a sublime reading experience. I actually felt as though I had slipped into “the skin of Judas Iscariot” and felt as if I were walking his footsteps in the first century. As one who has visited the Holy land and stood on the Temple Mount, walked up the steps to the entrance of the Temple, and stood in the Jordan River, and stared in awe at Gethsemane, in this book I felt as though I was experiencing the villages of Magdala, Bethany, Galilee, Capernaum, and the city of Jerusalem through the eyes and emotions of Judas bar Simon. The author, Tosca Lee, is an extraordinary researcher and storyteller. I was intrigued by her stating that historical and biblical characters are often “thought in terms of two-dimensional clichés.” She poignantly points out that “we vilify without investigating why someone may have done what they did.” That was a profound statement for me. Too often I have found that people are so absolute in judging historical figures simply upon visceral reactions rather than stopping to consider how they themselves would have acted. Tosca Lee showed the reader that there was and is always more to the story. In Iscariot, Tosca Lee creates a plausible backstory for Judas as a devout follower of Jesus portrays him as a passionate follower of Jesus as their people’s hoped-for liberator from Rome. I came to understand the conflicts Judas’ experience as he came to the realization of Jesus’ true purpose: not as a liberating conqueror of Roman oppression. But a man who stands for oppressed as they continue to live under Roman rule. I felt such empathy for Judas’ struggle to reconcile the idea of Jesus as the Messiah and his teacher’s true purpose. I could relate to longing the Jewish people for national freedom from their Roman oppressor. Oftentimes oppressed people are coaxed to bear their ill treatment and sufferings with meek dignity because there be the promise of glory in the afterlife wherein the oppressor will eventually “get their just due.” This axiom has always and still remains a source of theological discord for me. Tosca Lee has written a well-researched, well-written imagining of a historical Jesus and his followers. At the ending scene, I felt compassion and empathy for Judas and the author made me think…what decisions would I made had I walked Judas’ journey? I highly recommend this book and looked forward to reading Havah: The Story of Eve.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, like others Ms Lee has written, brings a human touch to a vilified person. I ask myself what would I do if I became disillusioned with my hopes, dreams and bases for my whole life. Jesus wanted to follow His fathers plan. Judas had a different plan and eventually they clashed. Judas, like so many of us, then tried to do it his way. Wrong thing to do. We believe we are right and God's way needs tweaking. Judas tried to interject and tweak God. Not the best thing to do! I have read this book twice and both times gleaned new insight into Jesus, Judas and myself!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just like her other books Tosca really makes you rethink your perceptions of well known characters. Beautifully written and thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very interesting insight into the possibility of a totally different Judas than proclaimed before.
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Kerry_Nietz More than 1 year ago
A week or so after starting this book, I realized I was reading it slowly. Then I had to analyze why I was reading it that way. Was it boring? No. Was it poorly written? No. Did the subject not interest me? No again. Then I figured it out. I was reading slowly for three interconnected reasons: 1) Because there was a depth and earnestness to it that I probably hadn’t run into since I read Tosca’s “Havah” a few years back. The situations are plausible, and the characters refreshingly real. 2) Because it was troubling and convicting. It is difficult to think that someone as reviled as Judas wasn’t really that different from everyone else. That, given the right circumstances and surroundings, any of us might find ourselves betraying someone we love. 3) Because I was savoring it! This is something that only happens to me on rare occasions. There are some books I love and blast through, and others (a smaller subset) that I love and savor, hoping to delay the end as long as possible. Iscariot was the later for me. I’ve read three of Tosca’s books so far and I think this is probably the best. Very well done and hits all the right notes. I highly recommend it!
PTPA62 More than 1 year ago
A fabulous retelling of the Gospel story from the perspective of Judas. Does a great job of explaining why Jesus was feared by both the Romans and Jewish religious leaders. I found it much better than Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly.
sharelove More than 1 year ago
I think the story told of the real life of Judas and showed what he had to endure and the things that caused him to do what he thought was best. Strange how Judas was trying to protect Jesus all the time yet he was unsure whether the method was best. Very thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Taylor Caldwell wrote a book called "I, Judas" - I read it over 30 years ago; and like this book, it gave me a completely different perspective on the role Judas played in Christian history.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The subject matter and themes seem to be for the 16+ audience but the writing style is more appropriate for ages 10-13. At first i thought perhaps she was writing that way because her narrator was 7 years old, so I leafed ahead to a chapter 3/4 of the way through and found the writing was the same. Had to stop reading there. Life is too short. The hyperbole in the book description (dazzling, vivid, etc) is, to be aas kind a possible, wishful thinking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was almost great the ending just lost me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting take.
PapermakerJK More than 1 year ago
I have always been interested in Judas and the big WHY. This book fallows the politics of the time and lays out a 'POSSIBLE" WHY. I enjoyed learning more about what the times were and how a person there could see the things Jesus did and said.
fantasyjoy More than 1 year ago
The book was a wonderful depiction of a person that people usually speak of in heinous terms. Judas was a human with human failings. Rome was a very real threat. Tosca Lee portrayed Judas as a person with a past that was not very pleasant which affected his future. I really liked and recommend the book, especially her comments at the end.
Put-Val_Lady More than 1 year ago
As the product of twelve years of Catholic schools, I've only heard the Church's view of Judas. Now this author has given me a lot to think about - if only a tiny portion of this story could be true, it sheds a whole new light on Judas, as well as Jesus. I've always felt that Judas was too harshly condemned by the Church as the betrayer of Jesus. After all, if Jesus' fate was preordained, then didn't there have to be a "Judas" to fulfill His destiny? Even though I knew the ending, I couldn't put this book down!
jbirdJK More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. We (Christians) wonder why Judas acted as he did. This fictional account gives insight into the times and tenor of his days with Jesus and weaves a tale of love and longing. Remembering that it is, indeed, fiction one can at least wonder is this a plausable explanation for his actions?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the book Iscariot because it explores Judas’ early life as well as some of the possible motivations for his decision to follow Jesus as well as to betray him later. It makes us think about this man differently, that maybe his motivation was not what we think. Judas was a man who loved Jesus, just like us. The book is a great picture into the “behind the scenes,” that is to say, the possible motives that may have led Judas to his final decision. I appreciate the character development in this book and how we get to see Judas' life from childhood to his death. He is a very well-developed and relatable character. And last of all, my favorite thing about this novel is how it reveals Jesus in such a personal way. Judas, of course, was one of the disciples, who were Jesus' closest followers. I love how Tosca portrays the intimate friendship the disciples shared with Jesus. It made me feel closer to him as well, just to see how real and human Jesus was to his friends.
gmalilac More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. Kept to the known history but offered a reasonable background for Judas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful portrail of Judas Finnaly someone has shown the human side of this poor man Wonderful story