Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
Elaine Pagels, Karen L. King, , read by Justine Eyre and Robertson Dean. . Penguin Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-14-314186-0
The Gospel of Judas represents the most baffling in a series of recently unearthed noncanonical manuscripts that bring to light divergent accounts of Christ’s life and ministry. Robertson Dean reads King’s translation of the ancient text with frequent pauses to note gaps of missing or untranslatable words and sentences. The main section of Pagels and King’s book, narrated by Justine Eyre with occasional support from Dean who gives voice to individual historical figures, offers compelling insights about why the Gospel of Judas threatened the burgeoning religious hierarchy of the second century A.D. and how this often unsettling narrative ultimately manages to provide a surprising vision of heavenly grace amid the ravages of flawed earthly spiritual leadership. Drawing from their extensive expertise regarding contemporary understandings of the Gnostic gospels, the analysis the authors present will no doubt generate valuable theological dialogue. Yet the enigmatic nature of the source material may remain a stumbling block for listeners, and general audiences hoping for Gnosticism 101 may need to search elsewhere.
Reviewed on: 05/28/2007