4 out of 4 stars
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In Misreading Judas, Wahler examines the early gnostic Gospel of Judas. This particular gospel is reported to have been lost for 1,700 years. It was discovered, in a preserved state, in an Egyptian cave. This gospel was first translated by the National Geographic Society in 2006. The Gospel of Judas challenges the previous thought, as described in the New Testament, that Judas actually betrayed Jesus. Instead, Wahler asserts that Judas was carrying out the orders of Jesus. By doing this, Judas achieved the ultimate gnostic goal of self-sacrifice.
Additionally, Wahler concludes that “Judas was fictional, Jesus didn’t die for anyone, and that James was the real savior”. He also claims that James was “one of a long line of saviors which didn’t begin or end with him”. These assertions are only the beginning. Readers will be surprised to learn of other examples between what is stated in The Bible and what Wahler states actually occurred.
This book poses a fascinating premise and introduces the reader to terms such as Gnosticism and Mysticism. Wahler defines each of these terms for the reader; therefore, no dictionary is required. His tone is authoritative, defensive and, at times, bordering on arrogant. Wahler is immensely frustrated with the writings in the New Testament (“orthodox corruption”) and the massive “cover-up” of what he, and other scholars, sees as the truth. He calls out a few biblical scholars by name and urges them to abandon their continued views of biblical works of fiction and see the truth. Wahler actually pleads with readers to “read the Gospel of Judas as the Gnostic text that it is. Stop importing a New Testament bias into it”.
Wahler is meticulous in his research. The reader will readily see that the author has done a very thorough job in explaining the comparisons between different scriptures. Additionally, I appreciate that he lists resources for further study. Fortunately, the book appears to have been well edited. Also, at just over 100 pages, it is a fairly short read. Wahler’s thoughts are well organized and he divides his book into four basic areas of study.
My only dislike about this book is the difficulty that I encountered in reading it. There were often pages of scripture quoted and then short breaks of explanations. Even though I am familiar with scripture in The Bible, I found myself having to reread Wahler’s quotes from the Gospel of Judas and his comparisons several times. However, this is a personal preference and not enough to detract from the rating of the book.
Based on the reasons stated, I award Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler 4 out of 4 stars. This guide will undoubtedly appeal to historians, theologians and Gnostics. Biblical scholars may also wish to read this book and weigh in on Wahler’s theories. Conversely, Christians, or anyone, offended by the author presenting a new interpretation of the relationship between Jesus and Judas may want to avoid this publication. I recommend this read to those with an open mind and a curious nature.
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