Synopses & Reviews
The two leading, bestselling experts on the Gnostic Gospels weigh in on the meaning of the controversial newly discovered Gospel of Judas
When the Gospel of Judas was published by the National Geographic Society in April 2006, it received extraordinary media attention and was immediately heralded as a major biblical discovery that rocked the world of scholars and laypeople alike. Elaine Pagels and Karen King are the first to reflect on this newfound text and its ramifications for telling the story of early Christianity. In Reading Judas, the two celebrated scholars illustrate how the newly discovered text provides a window onto understanding how Jesus' followers understood his death, why Judas betrayed Jesus, and why God allowed it.
Most contemporary readers will find passages in the ancient Gospel of Judas difficult to comprehend outside of its context in the ancient world. Reading Judas illuminates the intellectual assumptions behind Jesus' teaching to Judas and shows how conflict among the disciples was a tool frequently used by early Christian authors to explore matters of doubt and disagreement. Presented with the elegance, insight, and accessibility that has made Pagels and King the leading voices in this field, this is a book for academics and popular audience both. Pagels's five previous books, including the New York Times bestseller Beyond Belief, and King's The Gospel of Mary of Magdala prove that there is a considerable audience eager for this kind of informed and engaging writing.
"[T]his elegantly written book makes clear the relevance of a centuries-old text for a contemporary audience." Booklist (Starred Review)
The author of The Gnostic Gospels and the author of The Gospel of Mary of Magdala evaluate the meaning of the controversial newly discovered Gospel of Judas, illustrating how the text offers an understanding of Judas's betrayal, the apostles' understanding of Jesus's death, and God's role in the crucifixion. 250,000 first printing.
This author team, writing in an engaging, accessible style, is the first to reflect on the recent discovery of the Gospel of Judas and how that text provides insight into explaining how Jesus' followers understood his death, why Judas betrayed Jesus, and why God allowed it.
The instant New York Times bestseller interpreting the controversial long-lost gospel
The recently unearthed Gospel of Judas is a source of fascination for biblical scholars and lay Christians alike. Now two leading experts on the Gnostic gospels tackle the important questions posed by its discovery, including: How could any Christian imagine Judas to be Jesus' favorite? And what kind of vision of God does the author offer? Working from Karen L. King's brilliant new translation, Elaine Pagels and King provide the context necessary for considering its meaning. Reading Judas plunges into the heart of Christianity itself and will stand as the definitive look at the gospel for years to come.
About the Author
Karen L. King is Winn Professor of ecclesiastical history at Harvard Divinity School and the author of four books on Gnosticism.
Elaine Pagels is Harrington Spear Paine Professor of religion at Princeton University.