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The Gospel of Judas Hardcover – 30 Sep 2007

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society; Critical Ed edition (30 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426201915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426201912
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 3.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,259,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Introductions, Translations and Commentary by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, Gregor Wurst and Francois Gaudard.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is of course essential. But I would like to make several remarks that imply a wider opening of the perspective under which we consider these documents.

To say that these documents were written at the end of the second century or the beginning of the third century is correct but only formally? They were written then, at least 150 years after the events they speak of but from a long oral tradition from the very time when these events took place. They were transmitted orally from one generation to the next and they started from people who had been witnesses of the events and that could remember what the various characters did or said and first of all Jesus and of course Judas. The proof of this oral tradition is in the fact that there are differences between three of these documents who have other versions in the Nag Hammadi Library for example. And I find it rather easy to say it is only a question of varying translation from Greek. In fact originally all that started in Jerusalem meaning it started in a Semitic language, either Hebrew or rather Aramaic, the colloquial language of Jesus and his direct associates.

The proof is in the fact that the disciples address Jesus as “Rabbi” and not “Lord” or even “Master.” The term “Rabbi” is Jewish and from Hebrew or other directly connected Semitic languages. It is one way to differentiate the parallel verses of the New Testament: the original verses were in a Semitic language and call Jesus “Rabbi” whereas the added verses were in Greek and address Jesus as “Lord.” (Note Lord is used in the first document the Letter of Peter to Philip.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c8ce114) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d1eb69c) out of 5 stars Much remains to be said on this "gospel" 22 Feb. 2008
By Paul Stevenson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
We have just gone through this gospel in a graduate Coptic class, in which we have also consulted some of the scholarly literature that has been generated since National Geographic published its rather rushed initial translation in 2006. To say the least, the translation and interpretation of this work are very far from settled. The trend in the scholarly world is to look with considerable skepticism on the notion popularized by National Geographic, namely, that Judas is portrayed as good.

In order to arrive at an informed judgment about this work, one must understand both the Coptic language and a lot about Sethian Gnosticism. One must study the usage of many words, both Coptic and Greek, in other related Coptic texts. (Coptic liberally borrows Greek words, and often uses them in ways somewhat tangential to their usual Classical and even Koine uses.)

This so-called critical edition includes translations in both English and French. There are quite a few differences between the two, some of them quite significant. Rodolphe Kasser, the author of the French translation, has a number of translations that are closer to interpretations suggested by scholars in the two years since the initial publication of the English translation. He also includes many informative notes that are lacking in English. The English translation is but little changed from the original, and it thus retains some decidedly infelicitious renderings. However, any reader who wishes to be more fully informed must consult the scholarly literature. General readers, as well as scholars, can benefit from books such as April DeConick's The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says. It offers a very different perspective on the interpretation of the text, and also makes some important points about mistranslations in the original published version.

In spite of the cautions I am voicing here, if you are seriously interested in the Gospel of Judas, this "critical edition" is essential. It has photographs of the manuscript pages as will as transcriptions and translations. It is not the last word on the subject, but it is an indispensable part of the ongoing debate.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ce3318c) out of 5 stars Dry read but very authentic 21 Sept. 2010
By Crystal D. Kaulbars - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As would be expected with a literal translation it is dry reading and I think padded by having entire sections only in French, which unfortunately I don't understand, and I really don't understand if it's being sold in America why Nat Geo would make it that way, but no matter, the part that counts, the literal translation is interesting so thumbs up to that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ce505ac) out of 5 stars How could I not be delighted? Of course 31 July 2015
By S. Bollinger - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thorough commentary, hi-resolution color photographs of the manuscript on the facing pages across from the transcription and translation and critical apparatus, a very reasonable price as critical editions go, a very handsome and well-made volume. How could I not be delighted? Of course, the title of the volume, "the Gospel of Judas," refers to only one of four works plus fragments on the manuscript here, but I imagine that serious scholars will have noticed this, and understood the marketing logic behind the title, and sighed and rolled their eyes and muttered, "C'est la vie!"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cc950cc) out of 5 stars They did a good job 3 Oct. 2011
By Daniel de Caussin - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like how they presented the information with the actual pages being translated opposite the English language translation. They used modern English terms and grammar. Very readable!
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cdf6654) out of 5 stars Everything it's cracked up to be 8 Mar. 2008
By Alan J Wescoat - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is everything it's cracked up to be. It's good either for the scholar or the casual reader. Those who wish to read the entire extant manuscript will find it here. This is the best form of preservation for this rare manuscripts What is missing, however, is commentary about the contents of the text itself. The author apparently decided that all readers would be familiar with the meanings of obscure terms like aeons as they are used in the context this work. Whatever the reason for that presumption, I will need to look elsewhere for an explanation that should have been provided. However, otherwise this text is excellent.
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