Lance Jenott

The Gospel of Judas

Coptic Text, Translation, and Historical Interpretation of 'the Betrayer's Gospel'

[Das Judasevangelium. Koptischer Text, Übersetzung und Interpretation des »Evangeliums des Verräters".]

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ISBN 978-3-16-150978-0
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Published in English.
This volume includes a new edition, translation, and commentary on the Gospel of Judas. Lance Jenott investigates its author's historical setting in the second century, its bitter criticism of the Twelve Apostles as wicked priests, and its potential appeal to later generations of Christians in Egypt who copied the text.
Lance Jenott presents a new critical edition, annotated translation, and interpretation of the Gospel of Judas which, for the first time, includes all extant fragments of the manuscript. Departing from the scholarly debate over how this second-century Gospel portrays the character of Judas Iscariot, he investigates the text's preoccupation with Jesus' Twelve Disciples, and why its author slanders them as immoral priests who unwittingly offer sacrifice to a false god. Jenott challenges previous interpretations of Judas as a Gnostic text that criticizes the sacrificial theology, Christology, and ritual practices of the orthodox church, including Eucharist and baptism. Instead, he emphasizes how its Christian author voices a political critique of the emerging clergy who established their ecclesiological authority through doctrines of apostolic succession and the exclusive right to administer the Eucharist. In the final chapter, Jenott leaves questions about the author's second-century Sitz im Leben behind to consider how Judas may have appealed to the fourth-century Coptic Christians who produced our only known copy.

Lance Jenott Born 1980; studied History, Classics, and Religion at the University of Washington (Seattle) and Princeton University; PhD in the Religions of Late Antiquity from Princeton University; currently Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Program in Religious Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.


The following reviews are known:

In: Zeitschr. f. Kirchengeschichte — 124 (2014), S. 92–94 (Bernd Witte)
In: Apocrypha — 24 (2013), S. 314–318 (Anna van den Kerchove)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 56 (2012), S. 439–440
In: Vigiliae Christianae — 67 (2013), S. 230–231
In: Verkündigung u. Forschung — 61 (2016), S. 33–47 (Ursula Ulrike Kaiser)