John Shelby Spong - Tuesday Night Talk: Judas Iscariot: Did He Exist?

July 17, 2012

Judas Iscariot: Did He Really Exist?  Was He a Person or a Symbol?  Why Anti-Semitism roots in this Character. The person of Judas, called Iscariot, is normally portrayed as the anti-hero of the Christian movement.  He is painted in dark, sinister colors and his name has become a synonym for betrayal.  When does he enter the Christian story?  Is it possible that he is a literary character and not a real person?  In this lecture I will examine this character biblically and historically.  I will note his entry into the Christian story, trace the growth of the Judas tradition and examine the role he has played in the history of Anti-Semitism.  Finally, I will discuss why I do not think he ever existed.