Judas: Foe or Friend?

For centuries, Christian tradition has painted Judas Iscariot as the ultimate sellout. But a 1,700- year-old papyrus copy of a document called the Gospel of Judas, unveiled by the National Geographic Society last week and previewed in TIME (Feb. 27 issue), presents a radically different view. Authored no later than the 2nd century by Christians whose beliefs were later deemed heretical, the gospel portrays Judas as a favored disciple and says his role in "sacrificing" Jesus' physical being ("the man that clothes me") elevates him above other Apostles. Most scholars see Judas less as a competitor to the biblical canon today...

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