You are on page 1of 1

"Judas is one of the most misunderstood characters in Jesus' life".

Nowadays, numerous Christians consider Judas as a traitor, and it is indeed true that the term Judas
has entered many languages as a synonym for betrayer. This is largely due to his rather disrespectful
action in the Gospel, which has partly led to Christs death. While a significant number of people do
admit his action was wrong, there are some scholars who have embraced the alternative notions.
Some scholars believe that Judas has remained as a faithful disciple, despite what he may have done.
Similarly, some scholars believe that Judas Iscariot or the betrayal story of Judas Iscariot was the
literary invention of the Markan community. Their belief has come from the fact that Judas does
not appear in the Epistles of Paul nor in the Q Gospel, considerably the most reliable form of a
Gospel. Furthermore, they argue that no exceptional behaviour was done to Judas, even though
Jesus was aware of his imminent, disgraceful act. In Mark and John, Jesus reveals to his disciples that
they will sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, which effectively includes
Judas as well. The fact that Q Gospel predates the other gospels also supports the idea that the later
version of Gospels (i.e John and Mark) could have created the betrayal story themselves. This has
also led to the idea that Mark has created the character in order to highlight the human weakness,
which indeed makes the Gospel more related and shared by us.
While these scholars argue that Judas may have been a fictional character created by Mark, or that
Mark was a faithful character but with human weakness just like other characters, there are many
who still believe that Judas was a traitor. This seems to be the case because of the fact that the role
and the actions of Judas effectively contrasts with the rest of the disciples. Their action lacks faith
and trust because they are humans. This is rather clear in the scene at Caesarea Philippi, where the
disciples fail to understand who Jesus is, and even Peter, who at first seemed to have understood,
disappoints Jesus. However, Judas action is rather blatant and deliberate. Even Mark calls him the
betrayer (Mark 14:44) and his action of kissing Jesus as the usual act of trust and affection between
rabbi and pupil shows his disgrace.
All in all, there is still a confusion based on the character, Judas the Iscariot. While I believe that it is
extremely difficult to find out the answer for this confusion, I also trust that whether or not this
story is created by Mark, it contains a very humane and significant message, and that this message is
what we should be concerning about, rather than its source.