Official Review: Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
Eva Darrington
Posts: 1119
Joined: 18 Nov 2017, 11:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eva-darrington.html
Latest Review: Tofu From Scratch by Iris Blume

Official Review: Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler

Post by Eva Darrington » 01 Aug 2018, 17:39

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Misreading Judas" by Robert Wahler.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


What if someone provided proof that our long-held beliefs about Jesus of Nazareth were incorrect? Author Robert Wahler is attempting to do just that with his 2016 non-fiction book, Misreading Judas: How Biblical Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time. The author’s thesis offers a new interpretation of the relationship between Jesus and Judas. Wahler asserts the story of Judas was not a betrayal and sacrifice of Jesus at all but rather a self-sacrifice by Judas as part of the Gnostic tradition called mastership succession. The author’s research holds both Jesus and Judas in a very different light from that of orthodox religious teachings. Could Jesus really have been merely one in a succession of many spiritual Masters?

The Gnostic Gospel of Judas was likely composed by second-century Gnostic Christians. The surprisingly intact papyrus containing the text first surfaced publicly in 1970. It reveals conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. Wahler claims no one has correctly translated the Gospel of Judas until his research emerged. He faults the Christian scholars who initially interpreted the text, saying they were ignorant to the Gnostic orientation necessary to adequately understand the ancient writings. In Eastern spiritual traditions, mysticism is the practice of spiritual knowing (gnosis) through meditation and other vehicles for merging with Spirit. A longtime student of Eastern mysticism, Wahler insists the story of Judas and all of the Gnostic Gospels must be interpreted through the lens of mysticism.

In addition to Gnostic texts and the New Testament, Wahler’s comparative analysis draws from the work of Eastern spiritual teacher Maharaj Charan Singh. From this viewpoint, Wahler contends when Jesus tells Judas to “sacrifice the man who bears me,” he is referring to a mystical sacrifice, not the physical sacrifice of Jesus. In the mystical interpretation, Jesus is telling Judas that he (Judas) will sacrifice his individual self to become one with his spiritual Master. This form of self-sacrifice is a traditional practice by the Gnostics of that time. In addition, the author asserts that Judas is the same person as the lesser-known apostle, James the Just. If they are one in the same, according to Wahler, then the Judas-as-betrayer story was a cover for what really happened: James (Judas) succeeded Jesus as Master.

Robert Wahler maintains that the mystical self-sacrifice by Judas, and his subsequent mastership, was misinterpreted and “inverted” by biblical scholars to hide the uncomfortable truth that other great Masters preceded and succeeded Jesus. The simple existence of a succession of Masters through self-sacrifice challenges the conventional knowledge of Jesus’ role in history. Wahler is not saying that Jesus wasn’t a prophet and great spiritual Master. He is saying Jesus wasn’t the only one and that he didn’t die for anyone’s sins. Wahler challenges, “There is no reason to think that the New Testament canon is the original text of the story of the first-century Master, Jesus Christ.”

For a relatively short book, 102 pages, Misreading Judas delivers volumes worth of sound comparative analysis. It is packed with quotations and line-by-line examination. I thought I might tire of the density but found I was fascinated by Wahler’s methods and conclusions. Misreading Judas is not an easy read but is worth the effort. Some of the logic is complicated but at the same time convincing.

Wahler’s writing is clear and easy to follow. The book’s organization facilitates the reader’s understanding of the material. Divided into four sections, the book traverses The Gospel of Judas, The Nag Hammadi Library, The New Testament, and resources on mystic readings of scriptures. Considering the complex punctuation required for the dense quotations, parenthetical and bracketed insertions, I was surprised that there were so few errors. The editor gave impeccable attention to precision in grammar and punctuation. A summary at the end of the book reviews the passages of text that directly support the thesis. Both the summary and Wahler’s concluding remarks help to connect the dots. Note: In deference to Eastern mysticism, Robert Wahler capitalizes the word “Master” in his book. I have done the same for consistency.

Wahler is not entirely alone in his progressive positions. Some cursory research on my part revealed that there is growing consensus among religious scholars for Wahler’s view of Judas as beloved and obedient disciple, rather than betrayer. The author’s belief in the succession of Masters is, however, another story. This is where he is out on a limb. Save non-Christians and very progressive theologians, support for this conclusion is less enthusiastic, to be sure.

I rate Misreading Judas: How Biblical Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time 4 out of 4 stars. If you are open-minded and are interested in biblical history or Eastern mysticism, I think you will be fast captivated by this book. If you are outraged by Wahler’s conclusions, you might enjoy being engaged in what can only be described as the debate of the millennia.

******
Misreading Judas
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Eva Darrington's review? Post a comment saying so!
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

User avatar
crediblereading2
Posts: 995
Joined: 19 Jan 2018, 13:32
Currently Reading: Bitroux
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-crediblereading2.html
Latest Review: SSN Seadragon by J P Ronald

Post by crediblereading2 » 03 Aug 2018, 10:14

There are so many different views and theories on different subject-matters that anything could be possible. I choose to remain objective on many of them unless substantial proofs surface. Thank you for an excellent review.

User avatar
Eva Darrington
Posts: 1119
Joined: 18 Nov 2017, 11:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eva-darrington.html
Latest Review: Tofu From Scratch by Iris Blume

Post by Eva Darrington » 03 Aug 2018, 11:21

crediblereading2 wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 10:14
There are so many different views and theories on different subject-matters that anything could be possible. I choose to remain objective on many of them unless substantial proofs surface. Thank you for an excellent review.
Yes, I am also very open to varying analyses of religious texts. This author at least has done very impressive research and is making a good case for his findings. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1482
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading: TIME'S UP
Bookshelf Size: 125
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: New York Linked Up Part 1 Manhattan by Colleen Katz

Post by Cecilia_L » 03 Aug 2018, 15:01

Wahler asserts the story of Judas was not a betrayal and sacrifice of Jesus at all but rather a self-sacrifice by Judas as part of the Gnostic tradition called mastership succession. The author’s research holds both Jesus and Judas in a very different light from that of orthodox religious teachings. Could Jesus really have been merely one in a succession of many spiritual Masters?


I've never heard of this type of teaching about Judas. That part of the book sounds interesting. I know it's a controversial subject, but I don't believe Jesus Christ was merely one of many spiritual masters. However, I also respect others' beliefs. Thank you for your in-depth review.

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 681
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: The Story of Arthur Truluv
Bookshelf Size: 53
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me) by Les Clark
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 03 Aug 2018, 15:17

An interesting review. I am not completely familiar with the gnostic mystic theology, but I am one of those who believe that Judas's role in gospel stories has, perhaps, been misinterpreted. The guy gets a bad rap that he doesn't really deserve! I don't know if I'll jump tor had this one just yet, since I'm looking for some lighter fare. But this is a compelling review.

User avatar
Eva Darrington
Posts: 1119
Joined: 18 Nov 2017, 11:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eva-darrington.html
Latest Review: Tofu From Scratch by Iris Blume

Post by Eva Darrington » 03 Aug 2018, 16:58

Cecilia_L wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 15:01
I've never heard of this type of teaching about Judas. That part of the book sounds interesting. I know it's a controversial subject, but I don't believe Jesus Christ was merely one of many spiritual masters. However, I also respect others' beliefs. Thank you for your in-depth review.
I was challenged by aspects of this book but, like you, I am interested in diverse viewpoints. Whether true or not, it was an impressive comparative analysis. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

User avatar
Eva Darrington
Posts: 1119
Joined: 18 Nov 2017, 11:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eva-darrington.html
Latest Review: Tofu From Scratch by Iris Blume

Post by Eva Darrington » 03 Aug 2018, 17:01

Dael Reader wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 15:17
An interesting review. I am not completely familiar with the gnostic mystic theology, but I am one of those who believe that Judas's role in gospel stories has, perhaps, been misinterpreted. The guy gets a bad rap that he doesn't really deserve! I don't know if I'll jump tor had this one just yet, since I'm looking for some lighter fare. But this is a compelling review.
Yes, I recommend something else for lighter reading. :D But if you are interested in the story of Judas, I think you would enjoy this, when you are in the mood for religious academia. Thanks so much for taking the time to read the review and comment.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

User avatar
daydreaming reader
Posts: 282
Joined: 02 Jan 2016, 19:38
2018 Reading Goal: 24
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 91
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 28
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-daydreaming-reader.html
Latest Review: The Face of Fear by R. J. Torbert

Post by daydreaming reader » 03 Aug 2018, 18:09

Sounds very interesting, I have never actually read anything like this, there is always a first time for everything though! Thank you for the review.
"Without chaos, there can be no order"
- Heath D. Alberts
"You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star."
― Friedrich Nietzsche

User avatar
Eva Darrington
Posts: 1119
Joined: 18 Nov 2017, 11:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eva-darrington.html
Latest Review: Tofu From Scratch by Iris Blume

Post by Eva Darrington » 03 Aug 2018, 20:17

daydreaming reader wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 18:09
Sounds very interesting, I have never actually read anything like this, there is always a first time for everything though! Thank you for the review.
It is a very well-executed book. Worth a read. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

User avatar
teacherjh
Posts: 1262
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 23:16
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 97
Currently Reading: The 7 Experiment
Bookshelf Size: 294
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-teacherjh.html
Latest Review: Raptor by B.A. Bostick

Post by teacherjh » 04 Aug 2018, 00:48

Wow. This is definately counter to anything else I’ve ever read. It would be interesting to read a different perspective.
Latest Review: Raptor by B.A. Bostick

User avatar
Eva Darrington
Posts: 1119
Joined: 18 Nov 2017, 11:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eva-darrington.html
Latest Review: Tofu From Scratch by Iris Blume

Post by Eva Darrington » 04 Aug 2018, 08:55

teacherjh wrote: ↑
04 Aug 2018, 00:48
Wow. This is definately counter to anything else I’ve ever read. It would be interesting to read a different perspective.
Yes, these positions are radical, but quite interesting. I hope you check the book out. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my review.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

User avatar
Kibetious
Posts: 1102
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 45
Currently Reading: The Dream Keepers
Bookshelf Size: 494
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kibetious.html
Latest Review: Daisies and Dragon Slayers In The Equator by Penny Singham

Post by Kibetious » 06 Aug 2018, 10:33

This is an interesting subject. I do not much information on this teaching and on the scrolls that were found. However, given that there are a lot of teachings being pedaled currently, I will not concur with the author for now. I would love to read this book and hear more on this subject. Thanks for the nice review.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
Eva Darrington
Posts: 1119
Joined: 18 Nov 2017, 11:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eva-darrington.html
Latest Review: Tofu From Scratch by Iris Blume

Post by Eva Darrington » 06 Aug 2018, 10:38

Kibetious wrote: ↑
06 Aug 2018, 10:33
This is an interesting subject. I do not much information on this teaching and on the scrolls that were found. However, given that there are a lot of teachings being pedaled currently, I will not concur with the author for now. I would love to read this book and hear more on this subject. Thanks for the nice review.
Yes, many of the Gnostic Gospels are now being interpreted by religious scholars. It is a fascinating field of study that could contribute important information to history. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

User avatar
AmySmiles
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1268
Joined: 21 Mar 2018, 10:43
Favorite Author: Dana Peters
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 149
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amysmiles.html
Latest Review: Letters From The War by Amanda Bryant
fav_author_id: 154082

Post by AmySmiles » 06 Aug 2018, 15:29

Interesting, I like reading different perspectives. I'm going to have to look into this a little further. Thanks for the review.
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.
–Author Unknown

User avatar
Eva Darrington
Posts: 1119
Joined: 18 Nov 2017, 11:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eva-darrington.html
Latest Review: Tofu From Scratch by Iris Blume

Post by Eva Darrington » 06 Aug 2018, 17:14

I'm so glad you stopped by. I was a little mind-blown by this book. I am familiar with Eastern mysticism, so the concepts weren't unfamiliar to me, but some of the conclusions are really intriguing. I hope you are able to check it out. Thanks!
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”