Judas and Jesus | Ray S. Anderson

Judas has become more of an expression than a person. To call someone a “Judas” is to name them a betrayer. No one in the Gospels plays a more villainous role than Judas. But, is he beyond God’s grace? Anderson answers with a resounding, “No”!

The book begins with a dialogue between Jesus and Judas after the resurrection and Judas’ suicide. It ends with Judas’ own “gospel” where he recounts receiving posthumous grace. In between are a number of short chapters which consider the various psychological aspects of betrayal and shame.

There are some penetrating insights here. For example, betrayal is always a sin of love—it’s not betrayal to set up an enemy! Another poignant observation was the need each social group has for a Judas. So long as there’s a Judas in the group, you can project your own heart onto their actions.

Unfortunately, I found Anderson’s style of writing melodramatic and surprisingly repetitive for such a short book. Some of the chapters covered similar ground, and logic at times bowed down to rhetorical flourish.

For all its flaws, this book has forced me to reconsider Judas. I tend to gloss over his repentance and too-little-too-late restitution and focus on his suicide. While I don’t fully buy Anderson’s theory of Judas’ ultimate redemption, I’m now completely on the fence. I’ll leave that decision in the hands of the only One fit to judge.

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