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The Lost Gospel: The Quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot Hardcover – April 6, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society; 1st edition (April 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426200412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426200410
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #771,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Nor'easter VINE VOICE on April 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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 By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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 By Su-Sham+ on 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 By Robert M. Kinosian on June 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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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