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The Lost Gospel: The Quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot [Kindle Edition]

Herbert Krosney , Bart D. Ehrman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Judas Iscariot.

He’s been hated and reviled through the ages as Jesus Christ’s betrayer– the close friend who sells him out for 30 pieces of silver.

But history also records other information about Judas Iscariot. One such reference was written in 180 by an influential Church Father named St. Irenaeus who railed against the Gospel of Judas for depicting the last days of Jesus from the perspective of the disgraced apostle. In its pages, Judas is Christ’s favorite.

It’s a startlingly different story than the one handed down through the ages. Once it was denounced as heresy, the Gospel of Judas faded from sight. It became one of history’s forgotten manuscripts.

Until now.

In this compelling and exhaustively researched account, Herbert Krosney unravels how the Gospel of Judas was found and its meaning painstakingly teased from the ancient Coptic script that had hid its message for centuries. With all the skills of an investigative journalist and master storyteller, Krosney traces the forgotten gospel’s improbable journey across three continents, a trek that would take it through the netherworld of the international antiquities trade, until the crumbling papyrus is finally made to give up its secrets. The race to discover the Gospel of Judas will go down as one of the great detective stories of biblical archaeology.

Editorial Reviews


“The story of the gospel’s rediscovery and salvation [The Lost Gospel by Herbert Krosney] reads like a Hollywood mystery.” –The Boston Globe

Jesus said to Judas: “You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” –The Gospel of Judas

“Riveting....With the tenacity of a top-flight investigative reporter, Krosney pursued every facet of the discovery and reclamation of the text. With an uncanny knack for piecing together isolated data, he has provided us with scores of details that, were it not for his efforts, would have been lost forever.” –Bart D. Ehrman

“A dramatic story of the discovery of one of the most provocative gospels from the early Church.” –Marvin Meyer, editor of The Gospel of Judas

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Herbert Krosney is an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker specializing in investigative and historical projects. He has worked for BBC, PBS, and The History Channel as well as National Geographic. He is the author of Beyond Welfare: Poverty in the Supercity; Deadly Business: Legal Deals and Outlaw Weapons; and the co-author of The Islamic Bomb: The Nuclear Threat to Israel and the Middle East. A Harvard graduate, he began his career in newspaper reporting. Married with three children and five grandchildren, he divides his time between homes in New York and Jerusalem.

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is an expert on the history of early Christianity. He is the author of 19 books, including the bestselling Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.

Product Details

  • File Size: 799 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic; 1st edition (July 4, 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HYHA26
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story of a Race Against Time April 10, 2006
If you are looking for a book that gives the complete translation of the Gospel of Judas you would do better to read other books available on this topic. However, if you would like to read an incredible story of how this incredibly precious document passed around the world for over 20 years going from buyer to buyer while coming precariously close to degrading beyond any hope of usefullness, this is quite a story. This book is written from the National Geographic's viewpoint of their involvement with the procurement, last attempts at preservation of this astonishing document and ultimate translation of the Gospel of Judas. This book does contain discussions of the big picture of the importance of the Gospel of Judas and what its message is but there are those who will be better suited for an in depth translation of the Gospel without any of the legwork behind it's discovery, travels and the race to beat the clock before the gospel physically disintegrated. For those of us who want to understand what is contained in the Gospel of Judas without getting too deep from a religious standpoint and want to read a story of intrigue about this document and how it was almost never brought to translation and dissemination, this is a terrific read.
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69 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once was lost, now is found... April 6, 2006
This new book by the National Geographic Society is bound to be of interest. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the outline of the lost gospel being highlighted here, it still presents an intriguing look into the early mind of Christians, who were a very diverse group.

There were originally more than four gospels, and literally hundreds of apostolic letters and manuscripts floating around the ancient world. These were of variable quality literarily and theologically, but it took hundreds of years for the Christian community to come to a consensus about what should be included and what should be excluded. Generally, Gnostic texts were excluded, and this lost gospel of Judas is most likely a Gnostic production, according to the authors. It was referenced by early church leaders such as Irenaeus, who argued strongly for the now-standard vision of four canonical gospels.

What is the issue with this gospel? The central idea that places this text as odds with the canonical gospels is that it paints Judas is a very different light - Judas is no longer the villain who betrays Jesus for his own personal gain, or because of his own spiritual confusion, but rather an obedient servant who, when turning Jesus in to the authorities, is simply following Jesus' own direction as a necessary step for God's plan to come to fulfillment. Judas is portrayed as the closest of the apostles to Jesus, a leader among the apostles, and thus perhaps the object of jealousy.

To be sure, these ideas are not new. Varying images of Judas and confusion about his role have been present throughout much of Christian history, with no single definitive vision of his personality nor his action superseding all others. (See the book on Judas by scholar Kim Paffenroth, published recently).
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Which "Gospel of Judas" book to buy? August 8, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When I first looked to buy a book on the Gospel of Judas, I wasn't sure if I should buy this one, or the one entitled "The Lost Gospel: The Quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot". In reading the reviews of the two books, both with the National Geographic Society's backing, it was hinted that these two are companioon books, and that's exactly right: This book--"The Gospel of Judas"--focuses on how the Gospel of Judas was brought "to light", so to speak, from its discovery in Egypt to the restoration and publication of an almost completely disintegrated manuscript a few decades later. The second, much smaller book provides the translation of the gospel, and several essays on its meaning and role in early Christianity.

I gave "The Gospel of Judas" four stars rounding up from 3-1/2 stars. It's a fascinating story, but because there is so much "action" going on, it is sometimes difficult to follow the timeline and who's doing what to whom.

My recommendation is to purchase "The Gospel of Judas" if you're interested in archaeology along the lines of a spine-tingling Indiana Jones story. Read "The Lost Gospel: The Quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot" to see the translation of the Coptic document for yourself and understand how modern scholars believe it fits in with early Christian beliefs before the formation of the Orthodox / Catholic canon in the late fourth century.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This book was certainly rushed out the door, but I actually think that turned out to be a blessing rather than a curse. It is a fairly straightforward account of the events which occured between the time the Gospel of Judas was pulled out of the ground to the point when it landed in the safe hands of Rodolphe Kasser, Frieda Tchacos Nussberger, et al. There simply wasn't enough time alotted to the project to do much sensationalizing of the events which passed between the two covers, and this makes the story much more interesting because it is actually a very truthful account which seems to stick fairly to the facts gleaned from interviews with the people who were involved.

It is an intriguing story which reveals some of the darker underbelly of the world antiquities market, and is an interesting survey of human nature in general when large sums of money are involved and there is a profit to be made. It is definitely worth the time it takes to read it, and it manages to work in some of the history of the Gospel of Judas itself in occassional chapters which alternate with the main story.

If you are looking for the English translation of the gospel itself and commentary on its contents, there is another book which was published at the same time entitled, "The Gospel of Judas" which you should certainly check out as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The quest is not important and not interesting. What ...
The quest is not important and not interesting. What is imortant andissing is the verbatim version of the gospel and a learned detailed scholarly comparison to the 4 canonical... Read more
Published 24 days ago by etzion ran
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very interesting reading
Published 5 months ago by dds
3.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue among the Early Christianity scholars
A lot of time is spent on the sad mishandling of the ancient manuscripts, as they deteriorate to brittle condition. But the scholars' excitement over the documents is contagious.
Published 6 months ago by Dickie's Girl
4.0 out of 5 stars The finding of the Gospel of Judas, is now part of the Gnostic...
8 CD's, explaining the history behind finding parts of the Gospel of Judas Iscariot.
Produced by The National Geographic, this series gives you background of probably one of... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jackie M. Sthilaire
3.0 out of 5 stars lots of rhetoric
the author takes waaay to long to get into the meat of the subject. it's written like a treatise and not a non-fiction book.
Published 19 months ago by Linda
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading for Bible scholars
Author Krosney lays the ground work for a better understanding of how the books of the New Testament were selected by the authorities of the Church at that time. Read more
Published 23 months ago by William A. Bloomer
5.0 out of 5 stars Need to know more
I found The Lost Gospel to be quite a story. I had no idea that the under world of artifact smuggling was so interesting. Read more
Published on October 6, 2011 by Christopher Obert
3.0 out of 5 stars Mystery Novel
In an era of archeological findings binging the exclusivity and accuracy of the canonical gospels into question, this book seemed to have it all - another account of a historical... Read more
Published on July 16, 2009 by Avid Reader
1.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing
The book is very poorly written, and properly edited, it would really be 50% thinner. You will learn very little about the content of the Gospel of Judas, but you won't be spared... Read more
Published on January 29, 2009 by Un francais en angleterre
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting and alternative
we all are to believe what is told to us, and yet the same way about santa and the fairy god mothers, except we are then to grow up and be told the reality. Read more
Published on January 3, 2009 by Allison Mcclean
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