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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says
DeConick, April†D.

London: Continuum, 2007 pp. xxi + 202. $19.95


Description: The first book to challenge The National Geographic version of the Gospel of Judas, The Thirteenth Apostle is sure to inspire to fresh debate around this most infamous of biblical figures. In 2006 The National G eographic Society released the first English translation of the Gospel of Judas, a second-century text discovered in Egypt in the 1970s. The translation caused a sensation because it seemed to overturn the popular image of Judas the betrayer and instead presented a benevolent Judas who was a friend of Jesus. In The Thirteenth Apostle, April DeConick offers a new translation of the Gospel of Judas that seriously challenges The National Geographic interpretation. Inspired by The National Geographic Societyís efforts to piece together this ancient manuscript, DeConick sought out the original Coptic text and began her own translation: ďI didnít find the sublime Judas, at least not in Coptic. What I found were a series of English translation choices made by the National Geographic team, choices that permitted a different Judas to emerge in the English translation than in the Coptic original. Judas was not only not sublime, he was far more demonic than any Judas I know in any other piece of early Christian literature, Gnostic or otherwise.Ē

Subjects: Bible, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, New Testament Apocrypha, Gospels, Literature

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Review by Stephan Witetschek
Published 7/19/2008
Citation: Stephan Witetschek, review of April D. DeConick, The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


Review by Arie W. Zwiep
Published 7/26/2008
Citation: Arie W. Zwiep, review of April D. Deconick, The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


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