"Judas and Jesus does offer some interesting insights into the role of Judas as essential to the mission of Jesus, and as such, within each of us, our own redemption." (Mark Stavish, Institute for Hermetic Studies, March 2007
"Overall it is quite informative and thought provoking, and I would recommend it for Christian and non-Christian readers alike." (D. Tigermoon, The Pagan Review, Nov 2007
From the Back Cover
RELIGION / CHRISTIAN STUDIES
The familiar story of Judas, betrayer of Jesus, is striking because of its incomprehensibility. Why would one of Christ’s disciples and companions of the heart deliver him up to his enemies and a barbarous, ignominious, and certain death for thirty pieces of silver? Jean-Yves Leloup’s careful investigation of the gospels, various apocryphal texts, and most importantly the Coptic codex known as the Gospel of Judas leads him to conclude that there is more to the familiar story of Judas than a simple demonstration, viewed through one man, of humanity’s inherent failings.
In this reconstruction, based on these classic texts, Leloup offers an alternative explanation for Judas’s actions, complete with illustrative dialogue. The betrayal of Jesus to the Romans was Jesus’s idea, explains Leloup. Jesus persuaded Judas to play the role of “evil” in humankind by telling him that this enactment was crucial to God’s plan and would set Judas by Jesus’s side in eternity: “There where I am,” spoke Jesus to Judas, “is where I wish you, too, to be.”
But to get there, Judas--a metaphorical representation of the darker side present in all human beings and the “shadow” counterpart to his Messiah dying on the cross--must first shed all his human qualities. His failings of greed, deceit, and cowardice--and even his faith and hope--are washed away in the despair that engulfs him. A parallel moment occurs for Jesus on the cross, when he comes to know the despair of separation from God. The moment Judas “loses” his life and all that gave it meaning--his God, his law, his justice, his Messiah--is the very moment he finds that which cannot be discarded--life eternal. Thus, in the moment of his ultimate extremity, Judas receives Jesus’s true message and his intended gift.
JEAN-YVES LELOUP is a theologian and founder of the Institute of Other Civilization Studies and the International College of Therapists. His other books include The Sacred Embrace of Jesus and Mary
, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
, The Gospel of Philip
, and The Gospel of Thomas
. He lives in France.