A Novel of Judas
In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—the promised Messiah and future king destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, Judas joins the disciples, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life.
But Judas’ vision of a nation free from Roman rule is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems in the end to turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.
Iscariot is the story of Judas—from his tumultuous childhood and tenuous family life as a devout Jew to a man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus Christ. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus himself, an intricate account that will cause you to ask: “Would I have done the same thing as Judas?”
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I was six years old the day we fled Jerusalem, and Caesar Augustus was emperor.
I had known nothing but Jerusalem all my life. It was the home of the Temple and navel of the world. Even infected with Roman soldiers and Herod’s stadium, God’s house was in Jerusalem, and no good man of Israel ever wanted to leave it.
And so I was stunned the day my father, a devout man, announced that we were leaving.
Especially now. Just that morning Father had come bursting into the house with the news that Herod, our king, was dead. I had thought it the happiest day of my life, if only because...see more
Hear an Excerpt
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Reading Group Guide
Judas Iscariot. The very name is synonymous with "betrayal." Perhaps no other person in history has been as despised as Judas, the betrayer of Jesus Christ. But few have ever bothered to wonder about Judas's background and seek to shed light on his motives...until now.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Before reading this book, what did you know about Judas Iscariot? How did you picture him in your mind's eye? Where did you get your information about him?
2. Had you ever thought about what Judas might have been like as a boy and a young man? Does picturing Judas as a child have any effect on your feelings toward him?
3. Name some personality traits that Judas exhibited as a child in the novel. How did these traits play into his story as he grew to adulthood and affect his actions as an adult?
4. What drove Judas to become a perfectionist about the Law…or to believe he could never perfectly keep it?
5. What observations did you make about his passion to overt see more