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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 75 reviews
on March 31, 2017
Another view and interpretation of the life of Christ. I always enjoy reading Elaine Pagels. She is always well spoken and well thought out in her work. Be fast and sure in your faith. Be sure you BELIEVE what you believe.
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on March 28, 2008
In Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity, Pagels and King explore the "Gospel of Judas" and the context in which it was written, to create a framework for the translation of the gospel in the second half of the book. Rather than ignore the gospel as heresy, they ask readers to consider the political forces at work. They argue that the gospel presents Judas not as a betrayer of Jesus, but as his greatest disciple. This challenges readers to reconsider traditional views of Judas, Jesus and the Church, perhaps even to forgive Judas and open their eyes to a larger view of Christianity.

Pagels and King explain that through the "Gospel of Judas" we can see that it is not the suffering of Jesus and the persecution of Christians that brings holiness. Rather, Christians must come to understand that Jesus did not die as a blood sacrifice but as a leader showing the way. The physical life is something to be overcome, not mourned.

Essentially, Pagels and King strive to overcome the bias with which we may approach the "Gospel of Judas." We must understand the context to see that the author is not simply trying to be inflammatory but reacting to the religious wars of his time. The book is very approachable, written for those who are not biblical scholars with a heavily annotated translation to help the reader in digestion of the gospel. Pagels and King offer a thorough explanation of the events leading to the gospel's conception as they explore other Christian works which lend support to its radical statements in the second section.
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on June 7, 2015
I am fascinated by the unearthing of these "termas" and the brilliant translations and contexts for understanding that Elaine Pagels and Karen King (the "tertons") bring to them. This is a scholarly but highly approachable translation and discussion of a gospel that takes on the ultimate contradiction - the existence of evil, pain and human suffering in the presence of an all powerful deity. The writer wrestle's with Jesus' crucifixion, and comes to resolution of the dilemma not through resurrection, but by de-personifying the divine itself.

There is never an agenda in the work of these two women, other than to translate as reliably as is possible, in both the written word and the context for understanding the written word. I am very grateful to them both, and consider this work to be an important contribution to our understanding of the early Christians' world.
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on July 10, 2012
Pagels does a very good job on a difficult topic. What I enjoy most about reading her work is the way she sets the historic stage and presents how people might have viewed it at the time it was written. Too often today we read historic documents though modern perception and this is especially true of sacred texts. Pagels demonstrates how far this is from the reality of the ancient texts.
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on January 10, 2017
This book is about a lot more than the one non-canonical gospel. It aligns Judas with the canon. The author's analysis is that it was written to be an attack on the merits of martyrdom.
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Taking off where she has left off in her other books about the origins of Christianity, Pagels, with co-author King, has written a terse 150-page analysis accompanied by Judas' Gospel to argue that there are other books, gnostic included, that offer a diverse unorthodox view of the Christian faith. Her main point is that those in political power were motivated to assert control and unity over the land and that the Bible as we know it was formed by that motivation. Of course, this is not a traditional Christian view. Pagels asserts that Judas has a contrarian voice, that he is specifically, appalled by the apostles' betrayal of Jesus' teaching and that Judas, rejecting blood sacrifice, sees Christianity as based on spirit, not the body.

Pagels does an excellent job of showing the tumult that existed during Christianity's origins as splinter groups jockeyed for power and for their interpretation of Jesus to be the one true interpretation. A good companion to this book is Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman.
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on September 1, 2011
The Gospel of Judas is an excellent, profound commentary concerning the revelaton Judas was given. Elaine Pagels is a premeire historian on Gnostic text, she is featured in many gnostic books. This is a CD set which makes it easier to hear and repeat to better understand the depth of information provided. If you are seeking to understand and know deep spirtual kowledge, this cd set should be part of your library.
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on July 9, 2014
The authors with imminent scholarship present exciting explanations of unexpected beliefs of early Christians which I believe opens us to have a broader perspective in our own lives. They put Judas and the betrayal in context of intense martyr behaviors of the time.
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on February 24, 2016
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone willing to consider supposedly "heretical" finds from Nag Hammadi.
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on May 31, 2016
Great Seller, Product as Advertise, Fast Shipping, Will Buy From Again.
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