2020 Book Review: The Gospel of Judas by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, Gregor Wurst, Bart D. Ehrman

Years ago, roughly six years in fact, I came across this book and bought it. I have always been honest with my religious studies and how they began when I was very young. Across my social media accounts or even throughout my appearances, you can hear me talk about my journey and how it began for me. This was a purchase I categorize as part of this lifelong pursuit of mine. So I recommend this for anyone similar, in a pursuit of religious studying or even curious on the subject matter. 

For 1,600 years its message lay hidden. When the bound papyrus pages of this lost gospel finally reached scholars who could unlock its meaning, they were astounded. Here was a gospel that had not been seen since the early days of Christianity, and which few experts had even thought existed? A gospel told from the perspective of Judas Iscariot, history’s ultimate traitor. And far from being a villain, the Judas that emerges in its pages is a hero. In this radical reinterpretation, Jesus asks Judas to betray him. In contrast to the New Testament Gospels, Judas Iscariot is presented as a role model for all those who wish to be disciples of Jesus. He is the one apostle who truly understands Jesus. This volume is the first publication of the remarkable gospel since it was condemned as heresy by early Church leaders, most notably by St. Irenaeus, in 180. Hidden away in a cavern in Middle Egypt, the codex (or book) containing the gospel was discovered by farmers in the 1970s. In the intervening years the papyrus codex was bought and sold by antiquities traders, hidden away, and carried across three continents, all the while suffering damage that reduced much of it to fragments. In 2001, it finally found its way into the hands of a team of experts who would painstakingly reassemble and restore it. The Gospel of Judas has been translated from its original Coptic in clear prose, and is accompanied by commentary that explains its fascinating history in the context of the early Church, offering a whole new way of understanding the message of Jesus Christ.

From the back page of the book.

As far as my personal thoughts for the review, it’s an interesting read and an eye-opener. I had read similar texts from the Codex and the Lost Sea Scrolls, but I always read them knowing something could’ve been misinterpreted and that many of the scrolls were badly damaged so things may not be exactly as they would be if they had been pristine. It still very interesting to me to get a glimpse and books like this one help me peer back into a time I am not currently alive for.

This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

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