Overall rating and opinion of "Misreading Judas" by Robert Wahler

Use this forum to discuss the May 2019 Book of the month, "Misreading Judas" by Robert Wahler
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Aniza Butt
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Re: Overall rating and opinion of "Misreading Judas" by Robert Wahler

Post by Aniza Butt » 20 May 2019, 03:16

M not a Christian and have no idea what or who is Judas. Haven't even read the sample yet.
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Post by Sahansdal » 20 May 2019, 10:29

bauer_ve wrote:
19 May 2019, 14:23
One word the perfectly sums up Misreading Judas...wow. I’m sure that the conclusions discussed are extremely controversial. Not only the fact that Judas was not a betrayer of Jesus, but that there were other successors after Jesus. I am not all to familiar with the ins and outs of the Bible so I like that Robert Wahler clearly explains his points and provides ample examples and quotations. I think this would be very interesting for the religious audience but I don’t know if they would necessarily like to read this book! It is well deserving of its 4 out of 4 star ratings
Thanks. Yes, I focused on getting the NEW information out to everyone. Other reading is required. Dr. Robert Eisenman is especially recommended, to the religious and not so, alike.

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Post by lilykhamm » 20 May 2019, 11:19

As someone who is not very religious, I enjoyed reading this from more of an academic viewpoint. I like when someone is able to challenge beliefs that have long been held as the norm. I feel as if it creates a dialogue for a healthy debate on religion and the interpretation of the Bible. I agree with others on here that background knowledge on Gnosticism would be helpful seeing as I did some research on my own to better understand it. I ended up giving this reading 3 out of 4 stars.

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Post by nooregano » 21 May 2019, 01:35

gali wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 22:44
This is a discussion topic for the May 2019 Book of the Month, Misreading Judas: How Biblical Scholars Missed the Biggest Story of All Time by Robert Wahler

What is your overall opinion of the book? What do you like most about it? What do you like least? Will you recommend the book to other people? Why or why not?

Please remember to add your actual rating using the book's page on: Bookshelves.
This is a book I want to read, but the fact that its title has a bit of a sensationalised flavour to it puts me off. Also,everyone claims that their reading is the right one, and claims that the others have misread "important points," so it's good to take these books with a grain of salt, I think.
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Post by Jlprince26 » 21 May 2019, 13:18

This is not a book that interests me at all. I have my beliefs and I just have no interest in the study of any religion honestly. But from what I have read the author did a great job at putting this book together and it does peak my interest, as I wold like to know exactly how the author came about to say that Judas did not in fact betray Jesus. I doubt that I will pick this book up, but it does sound like a great read for anyone who does take an interest in religious studies.
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Post by chelhack » 21 May 2019, 23:09

My overall opinion is that it is an interesting theory. There are always so many discoveries or so many different claims to what people think may of happen it's hard to just believe in one. Yet, the author did make some good points and he produced what he feels is proof behind or to those points. I did not like how fast pace it was. It seemed everything was coming at me like a whirlwind.
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Post by Sweetp120 » 23 May 2019, 11:42

Didnt read this and dont think i will. Sorry bu just personal beliefs of mine are stopping me. While i respect others opinions and thoughts i feel its between me and my God and them and thier higher power and for the sake of peace thats where i leave it.

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Post by BunnySTx » 23 May 2019, 15:00

I am not a reader of religious novels, so I don't think that this book is one that I will pick up. I do find it interesting that the author chose this subject to write about considering how Judas has been portrayed and believed to be a traitor of Jesus for years. I think that the author wants the reader to question the validity of what so many of us have been taught all of our lives. I feel, personally, that it would be hard for me to believe that Judas is anything more than what he has been declared, simply because that is how I was raised.
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Post by B Creech » 24 May 2019, 07:15

Sahansdal wrote:
07 May 2019, 19:54
B Creech wrote:
07 May 2019, 18:53
I don't plan to finish reading this book! It is too contradiictory to what I have always, and still believe! I wanted to read it to be able to continue discussing it on this forum but I'm just not into finishing! :hand:
If you believe Jesus is your savior, you owe it to yourself (not me) to finish reading it.You need to learn a lot more about your Bible.
I know a lot about my Bible. I fully believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and His word is not for me to challenge. That is in no way a reflection on this book, it is just my firm belief.
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Post by esp1975 » 24 May 2019, 11:04

I just finished the book. I am still working on gathering/organizing my thoughts well enough to write a thoughtful full review.
What I will say is that I felt like I should have been the target audience for this book - I am someone who has studied not only multiple different religions/mythologies, but also religion as a concept and organized religion as a social construct. I watched (more than once) the National Geographic special on the Gospel of Judas. I've watched specials on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I can't stand Dan Brown, but did read Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the work he based The DaVinci Code on. So this subject matter is right up my alley.
And yet, reading it, it didn't feel like I was the author's target audience. It felt like it was aimed very specifically at religious academics, which I am not. I work in academia, but am not myself any kind of academic.
As I read the book however, I found I had to fight myself from wanting a write an academic critique of the author's arguments. In most cases it was not to refute the arguments, but I wanted to see more supporting evidence, I wanted clearer lines drawn. I had all sorts of questions about why certain things were presented in the way they were, and would have liked to see some careful critique of the other interpretations of these scriptures, instead of simply dismissing them out of hand.

For the lay reader, I think this book would have been better served to have some information about the Second Council of Nicea, which basically put together the current Bible as standard, from the very many versions that were around at the time. That council chose to include some things and exclude others, so kind of a reminder that that our modern Bible has always been a political work, in addition to being a literary and religious one.
I have seen comments on this thread about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John being "first hand accounts" compared to the others, which they were not. (This is not actually a fact that is in dispute, even among Christian scholars. We can date these accounts and the other accounts we have. And those dates were occasionally referenced in the book, but not made explicit.) Throughout, there were similar bits of history and context of which I am aware that I would have liked to have seen referenced, that I think would not only have made the arguments stronger, but also made the book accessible to many more readers.
This also means that in sections where I didn't myself have knowledge like that, I think there might be, and I really would have liked it.

Like others, and I believe as the author intended, since there was much reference to Eastern Mysticism, I got a strong impression of Buddhism. There were moments that deeply brought to mind Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, and the story of the Buddha in the garden.
I was actually more fascinated by the ideas of Jesus as a cover James and the concept that Jesus himself was never a real person, than I was of Judas as a cover for James, though that did lead me to wondering who the author thought James's Master was (maybe John the Baptist?). Or was James more like Buddha in the way he came to enlightenment/Master status?

In the end, I thought there were some strong arguments and some weak arguments in the book, but in all cases, I really would have liked to have seen more of the supporting evidence, especially to make this book more accessible to the lay reader. I find the purpose of the book, to make us think critically about our religious institutions and writings, and to be open to new information, extremely important, and I really wish it had been more accessible.

For myself, I would give this book three out of four stars. The subject matter is one I find fascinating, and as I don't have time to read the Gnostic texts or the Hebrew ones (or at least the ones that might be available to me), I really enjoyed the full passages pulled from them. I have enough of a background and understanding of the subject matter that while I was frustrated by the lack of more supporting evidence and clear lines, I was still able to follow the arguments and understand where they were coming from.
However, I would be very careful who I recommended this book to. I have a few friends who would be able to access it on the level that I did, but know many others who might find the arguments presented compelling, or at least incredibly interesting, who would get lost fairly early on because they do not have the background necessary to follow the book without the additional information.
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Post by Washboard » 24 May 2019, 23:21

bigscarythingy wrote:
01 May 2019, 20:39
I was raised a Christian and spent a lot of time researching the scriptures in depth. Anytime someone has a fresh take on things, I'm usually open and ready. This book has some very unique ideas and I like the idea that Judas has been harshly misjudged all this time. Many non-Christian religions posit the belief that Jesus was just another holy man, and I think it's a conceit worthy of some consideration. The fact that Judas was purportedly accelerating the succession of religious figureheads is fascinating and I think the book has some real value in the theological arena.
As someone with very little exposure to Christianity or the Bible prior to reading this book, I appreciated reading your perspective! I was very unsure of how "ground-breaking" the ideas the author presented actually were.
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” ― George Orwell, 1984.

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Post by preethakum » 25 May 2019, 06:04

Ever since I read the Dan Brown Novels, I have been intrigued by Religion and Christianity in particular. Although, non-fiction is not a genre I would be interested in, I would love to give it a read to know more about Judas and the history. It is quite interesting that the author has chosen a topic that presents such a drastic viewpoint to the one that is currently being followed. Kudos to the author for believing in his viewpoint.

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Post by Juliesaraporter217 » 25 May 2019, 09:23

The ideas were interesting, but I really couldn't get into it. I appreciate that Wahler was trying to make the readers think things differently about Judas and the story of Jesus' crucifixion. I like the idea that technically Judas was acting according to God's plan as well. But after awhile the sources got repetitive and I didn't think he used enough outside sources beyond the Bible and Apocryphal Bible to make his point clear that James the Just and Judas Iscariot were the same person.

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Post by SorcPenz » 26 May 2019, 14:56

Just finished reading it. Gave it a 2 out of 4. I didn't hate it but it was frustrating at times. The writing style just irked me at times. I like line by line analysis but I feel like his brain was going somewhere and I was being left behind to do the thinking myself. A lot of, "so you sees" I just reacted with, no I still don't see. There were jumps in conclusions that just overreached, but I guess that symbolism stuff that the author didn't feel a need to explain is part of the Gnostic thought.

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Post by TalonFox » 26 May 2019, 22:17

Vscholz wrote:
01 May 2019, 20:15
I started this book a while ago. I love the idea behind it, but I wasn't able to fully understand what was being said. That isn't to speak poorly of the author--he certainly did his research, but I think the target audience is very specific. A basic understanding of Gnostic beliefs is definitely a must.
Oh! That's good to know. I'm definitely someone interested in religious history but I'm not particularly well versed in it either. I was having the hope that this book gave a better understanding, than just jumping into the topic with no prequel. Thank you for the comment! I think I will still attempt to read it.

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