In this bold, captivating and controversial book, the author combines his own intensely moving personal accounts with incisive scriptural analysis, and challenges the reader to reassess what they think they know about Judas Iscariot and suicide.
Drawing on the memory of his own brother's action in taking his own life, Aaron Saari examines Judas Iscariot as the definitive figure of God's abhorrence for suicide and a powerful symbol of the cultural taboo originating from Christian doctrine. Instead, he argues, this ancient condemnation of Judas' death is unfounded: Judas is instead a literary invention of the Markan community meant to undercut the authority of the Twelve, entering the Christian story c.70 CE through the Gospel of Mark.
Written with passion and clarity and consistently relevant to today's moral issues, this book is as much an ideal introduction to biblical studies for the general reader as it is essential reading for students, scholars, and anyone with an interest in Biblical studies, ancient scripture and theology.
Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Part 1: Life Prologue 1. The Legacy of Augustine 2. The Earliest Levels of the Written Christian Tradition: Paul and Q 3. Mark: The Beginning of the Judas Myth Part 2: Death 4.Whether `Tis Nobler 5. The Growth of a Myth: Judas in Matthew 6. Luke-Acts: Judas as Satan Part 3: Resurrection? 7. Conclusions. Epilogue. Appendices: Excursus One: Judas Iscariot: What's in a Name? Excursus Two: Judas as an Historical Figure. Notes. Bibliography. Index