The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed

The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed

by Bart D. Ehrman

Hardcover(New Edition)

$22.00 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, January 28

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195314601
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 10/09/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bart D. Ehrman chairs the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One of the major public experts on early Christianity, Jesus, and the New Testament, he is very well known in his field and to a general audience through his books, including the New York Times bestseller Misquoting Jesus, Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene, Lost Christianities, Lost Scriptures, and Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code. He has appeared on NBC's Dateline, A&E, the History Channel, CNN, and a number of nationally syndicated NPR programs, and has taped several highly popular lecture series for "The Teaching Company."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
falstaff1962 More than 1 year ago
Ehrman takes on the recently re-discovered lost Gospel of Judas and what the real meaning is for this find. The story of how this ancient text came to light is almost as interesting as the text itself. Ehrman gives a brief overview of that find- secret dealings, shady antiquities dealers (and buyers), selling an ancient text in the black market and the like. Makes you wonder if some of Indiana Jones isn't that far off from the truth regarding the world of antiquities. The main study however, is Ehrman's view on what the Gospel of Judas really means. Any reader needs to remember that this is not an attack on the church or that Ehrman thinks this should be in the Bible (or even that the events are true). What is more important is the Gnostic views it presents, and how this text can give a greater understanding of how some peoples views greatly differed from the "orthodox" church of the time. Ehrman himself is a very accessible writer and the style is clear and concise. A fun read.
the_awesome_opossum on LibraryThing 6 months ago
The Gospel of Judas caused quite a stir a few years ago, when it got thoroughly translated (as best as the mishandled fragmentary pieces could be, anyway) and National Geographic made a documentary about it all. It's definitely the most important document for Christianity found in decades.Nobody is claiming that Judas Iscariot *actually* wrote this gospel; it was probably created in the second century. But it reveals the prominent strains of Gnostic thought in early Christianity, before our orthodox views became quite so dominant. The Gospel of Judas reveals that Judas alone was privileged enough to be "in" on Jesus' plan to die. None of the other disciples were strong or understanding enough to be a part of it, so Judas plays a crucial role in salvation.It's interesting to see how some early Christians were thinking about Judas, undoubtedly Christianity's most reviled figure (well, second to Satan). Even within the canonical gospels, going chronologically, Judas goes from being scared to greedy to possessed to Satan himself - and that's just within the space of 60 years, it gets worse through medieval times. So the Gospel of Judas shows that not everybody was vilifying him quite so thoroughly, and maybe Judas was given more of a chance by early Christians than we give him today.
ncnsstnt on LibraryThing 6 months ago
If you are a fan, and I am, I think you are going to like pretty much any book Ehrman writes.This was written shortly after Ehrman was one of the first 3 scholars to get a look at the Gospel of Judas when National Geographic was considering purchasing it in 2004. Ehrman starts by telling the interesting story of the Gospel's discovery and how it made its way into National Geographic's hands. He then goes on to examine how Judas was portrayed in each of the 4 canonized Gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John), what we knew about the Gospel of Judas before its discovery (thanks, Iraneaus), and how and why the "Gnostic" sect of early Christian's probably used it. He concludes by postulating his own theories about the historical Judas and how the myth of Judas that was crafted by the Orthodox church came to be.Very little is said about the actual text, instead Ehrman gives us the gist of its message. That's ok, because I believe you can still download it for free from National Geographic's website and make your own conclusions. (I downloaded it a couple years ago when the National Geographic TV special on the Gospel of Judas came out -- I highly recommend watching that, too!)
reannon on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Bart Ehrman is such a fascinating writer. His knowledge of early Christianity, and what we have found out about it with discoveries of previously lost texts, makes for interesting reading. In this book he talks about the Gospel of Judas Iscariot, which has been recently translated from its original Coptic. The text itself seems to have been written in the second century.It is not, of course, a document giving the facts of Judas' life, and certainly not written by him. It is a text that shares the secrets of Gnosticism, that the material world is evil, created by an inferior god, and that Jesus came to bring the secret of how some souls can escape the evil material plane and enter the purer realms. Judas, according to this text, was not Jesus' betrayer, but the only one of the disciples to understand Jesus and do what was necessary for Jesus to escape the material world.The importance of the work lies in a fuller understanding it gives of the history of the early Church, which had an astonishing variety of beliefs and sects. Ehrman talked more about this variety in his book Lost Christianities.One of Ehrman's more interesting points in the book is on the nature of oral cultures, which, given a literacy rate of about 10 percent, the ancient world was. "In oral culture there is not a concern for what we in written culture might call verbatim accuracy. In oral societies it is recognized that the telling of a story to a different audience or in a different context or for a different reason calls for a different version of the story. Stories are molded to the time and circumstance in which they are told....This is the case with the Gospels of the New Testament. Even when one of the authors used another of the authors as the source for his stories - for example, when Matthew copied some of his stories from Mark - he changed the stories. Why would he do that? Because he lived in an oral society where hardly anyone thought there was a problem with changing the stories. Of course the stories were to be changed when the audience, the occasion, or the situation had changed. The widespread notion that stories never should be changed but should be repeated without alteration every time is an innovation of modern written cultures. Before the creation of the printing press this was not a widely shared view." (p. 36). This seems important to me because I've felt for a while that the writers of much of the Bible never meant for the text to be taken literally, and Ehrman confirms that this was just not a major concern of oral cultures.Ehrman is an excellent writer in that he is a scholar able to write to a lay person's level of understanding. I've enjoyed all the books of his that I've read.
_Zoe_ on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I feel like I've been reading this book forever! I started it several months ago, when the Gospel of Judas was mentioned in a papyrology course I was taking, and I was really enjoying it at first. But it seemed to drag a bit in the middle (despite being a pretty short book), and I more or less put it down for a couple of months. Fortunately, it was easy to pick up again; Ehrman writes clearly and explains everything thoroughly, so I didn't feel lost at all. The flip side of this is that the book is pretty repetitive; he emphasizes things and makes sure his point is clear by saying the same thing over and over. This was effective in its way; I feel like I learned a lot from this book and am likely to retain that knowledge. It did make for a slower than necessary reading experience, though.On the whole, I'm glad I read this book; especially as someone with a limited knowledge of Christianity, I found it very informative. People who are more familiar with Christianity in general and early Christianity in particular might find it too simplistic and repetitive, but it worked for me. It's definitely very accessible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The shopper needs to be aware that while Bart Ehrman is a top notch christian scholar and writer, his personal beliefs are that of atheism. If that confuses you, don't feel bad; you are not alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago