Judas was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. He betrayed Christ and is often referred to as “the betrayer”.
Jesus loved Judas, but Judas had a different plan for his life. He loved money and power more than anything else.
The story of Judas is a powerful one, and it’s one that has been told in a variety of ways over the centuries. Judas isn’t just a character in one story—he’s been portrayed as the villain in everything from plays to movies to operas.
But the truth is, he wasn’t all bad. In fact, there are some people who believe that Judas was actually Jesus’ favorite disciple, and that he had no idea what he was doing when he betrayed him.
Judas was a disciple of Jesus. He was one of the twelve apostles and he betrayed Jesus before his crucifixion by identifying him to the Romans as a political threat.
There are many theories about why Judas betrayed Jesus, but there is no definitive answer. Some say Judas was promised money by the Romans, others that he had a mental illness which made him think that Jesus was going to be overthrown by the Roman government.
Judas in the bible
Judas Iscariot, (died c. AD 30), one of the Twelve Apostles, notorious for betraying Jesus. Judas’ surname is more probably a corruption of the Latin sicarius (“murderer” or “assassin”) than an indication of family origin, suggesting that he would have belonged to the Sicarii, the most radical Jewish group, some of whom were terrorists. Other than his apostleship, his betrayal, and his death, little else is revealed about Judas in the Gospels. Always the last on the list of the Apostles, he was their treasurer. John 12:6 introduces Judas’ thievery by saying, “. . . as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it.”
He disclosed Jesus’ whereabouts to the chief priests and elders for 30 pieces of silver. They provided the armed guard that he brought to the Garden of Gethsemane, near Jerusalem, where Jesus went to pray with the other 11 Apostles after the Last Supper. There he identified Jesus with a kiss, addressing him as “master.” Matt. 26:14–16 and John 12:6 designate Judas’ motive as avarice, but Luke 22:3–6 ascribes his action to the entrance of Satan into his body, paralleling John 13:27, where, after Judas took the bread at the Last Supper, “Satan entered into him.” Jesus then says, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” This is the culmination of John 6:70–71, which, after Jesus says, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve, and one of you is a devil?” discloses that he meant “Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was to betray him.”
There are variant traditions about Judas’ death. According to Matt. 27:3–10, he repented after seeing Jesus condemned to death, then returned the silver and hanged himself (traditionally from the Judas tree). In Acts 1:18, he “bought a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out,” implying that he threw himself down, rather than that he died accidentally. Apocryphal gospels developed the point in Acts that calls the spot of his death the place (field) of blood. The 1st/2nd-century Apostolic Father Papias is quoted to have given macabre details about Judas’ death, presumably to show that Gospel prophecies were literally fulfilled. His account appears in numerous legends, particularly in Coptic works, and in medieval literature. In Dante’s Inferno Judas appears in the deepest chasm of hell with Julius Caesar’s assassins, Brutus and Cassius.
Although his name subsequently became associated with traitor (a Judas) and treacherous kiss (a Judas kiss), not all depictions of Judas portrayed him as betraying Jesus. In Muslim polemic literature, Judas ceases to be a traitor; instead, he supposedly lied to the Jews in order to defend Jesus (who was not crucified). The 14th-century cosmographer al-Dimashqī maintains that Judas assumed Jesus’ likeness and was crucified in his place. The 2nd-century apocryphal Gospel of Judas, a Gnostic text written in Greek, depicts him as a collaborator and close confidant of Jesus. According to the gospel—a Coptic translation from c. 300 was discovered in the 1970s and published in 2006—Judas was the only apostle who understood Jesus’ message. In the account of the gospel, during the celebration of Passover, Jesus takes Judas aside and reveals secret knowledge about God and creation to him, declaring that Judas is greater than the other apostles. Jesus seems to instruct Judas to report him to the authorities, so that Jesus’ spiritual self may escape from the material body in which it is trapped. See also Gnosticism.
Gospel of Judas, apocryphal Christian scripture from the 2nd century AD attributed to the apostle Judas Iscariot. The gospel advances a Gnostic cosmology and portrays Judas in a positive light as the only apostle who fully understands Jesus’ teachings.
Although lost for centuries, the Gospel of Judas was known to have existed because it was mentioned by St. Irenaeus of Lyon, who condemned it as a fiction in AD 180. However, a Coptic translation (c. 300) of the original Greek text was discovered in a codex found in Egypt in the 1970s. In 1978 the codex was acquired by an Egyptian antiquities dealer, who placed it in a safe-deposit box in New York state, U.S., after his attempts to sell it failed. It remained there until 2000, when it was purchased by the Swiss-based Maecenas Foundation for Ancient Art. The reconstruction of the folios and a study of their contents were commissioned, and the text of the gospel and a translation were made public in 2006. Along with the Gospel of Judas, the codex contains the pseudepigraphal (noncanonical and unauthentic) First Apocalypse of James, a letter of the apostle Peter, and a section of a badly fragmented work provisionally identified as the Book of Allogenes or Book of the Stranger, a Gnostic text that was also among the codices found at Najʿ Hammadi in 1945.
The Gospel of Judas was likely compiled by an adherent of a Gnostic sect. (Gnostics emphasized the redemptive power of esoteric knowledge and taught that the material world is the creation of an inferior deity who is distinct from the transcendent God; see Gnosticism.) It is a unique depiction of Judas, traditionally denounced for his treachery and betrayal of Jesus. Portraying Judas as the favourite disciple of Jesus, the gospel records how Jesus revealed to him secret knowledge that was withheld from the other apostles; this special revelation concerns the nature of the cosmos and the transcendent God, the creation of angels and other celestial beings, and the creation of humankind. The gospel also includes an account of conversations between Jesus and Judas that took place, according to the opening passage, “during a week, three days before he celebrated Passover.” In these dialogues, Judas emerges as the close confidant of Jesus, who tells him: “You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” In this way, Jesus appears to ask Judas to help him liberate his spiritual self from his material body. Thus, the Judas of the gospel is not the betrayer of Jesus but his most important collaborator.