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Book Review: The Gospel of Judas

Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner

[5 stars]

The Gospel of Judas     Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
Simon Mawer
Class/Genre:   Fantasy   Christianity   Religious Fiction
Little, Brown; Jun 2001; $24.95; 330 pp.

Near the Dead Sea, a new scroll from the time of Jesus has been discovered. The church sends Rome teacher-scholar Father Leo Newman to investigate and translate the newest find. Leo is going through a difficult period as he has doubts about his chosen avocation ever since he met and sinned by having an affair with Madeline Brewer. Still, Leo immediately travels to Jerusalem to join an international team inspecting the rich find, but his assignment is to concentrate on one particular papyrus.

Leo quickly realizes that the document the Church sent him to inspect apparently contains the Gospel accordance to Judas Iscariot. Instead of supporting the other Gospels, this scroll denies much of what has been claimed. Leo begins to comprehend how Judas felt when he condemned his best friend to death.

THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS is an insightful look at the Judas betrayal but in a modern text and through Leo’s break in faith. The story line is fast-paced especially in an allegorical manner that compares Leo to Judas. The flashbacks to World War II are cleverly written, but the story belongs to the Leo-Judas relationship that, in turn, proves how talented Simon Mawer truly is.

Harriet Klausner

Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner

Please Note: Books reviewed are usually provided by the publisher, author, or an agent. Reviewers usually get to keep the book.

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