Reading Judas: The Controversial Message of the Ancient Gospel of Judas

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Penguin Books Limited, Mar 27, 2008 - Religion - 224 pages
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Discover the true meaning of the lost Gospel of Judas ...

Lost for 1,600 years, the Gospel of Judas has only now had its meaning unlocked for readers today. Its startling text included the claim that not only was Judas the favoured disciple of Jesus, but also that Judas was killed by the other disciples.

Was Judas a betrayer or a loyal disciple? Did he write this shocking document? And what does it mean for us today? In Reading Judas Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King, world-renowned experts in religious texts, explore the meanings of this contentious gospel in detail. Here they reveal a gospel that, far from seeing Jesus’ death as a sacrifice for humanity’s sins, opposes the idea that God desires martyrdom and instead points towards a faith that is based on inner spiritual life.

Containing a new translation of the Gospel of Judas from the original Coptic, Reading Judas radically challenges our notions of the Christian faith.

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About the author (2008)

Karen L. King is the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard University in the Divinity School. Trained in comparative religion and historical studies, her teaching and research specialities in the history of Christianity lie in women’s studies, orthodoxy and heresy, and the Coptic Gnostic literature. Her publications include The Secret Revelation of John and The Gospel of Mary Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman. She is the recipient of awards for excellence in teaching and research, and has received grants from numerous organizations including the Ford Foundation. Her professional associations include membership in the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Association for Coptic Studies and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.



Elaine Pagels is Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University and the author of six previous books, including The Gnostic Gospels (winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award) and the New York Times bestseller Beyond Belief. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey

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