April DeConick on Gospel of Judas

April DeConick’s new book The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas really says is now available for pre-order on Amazon in the UK, Canada and the US and she has posted a synopsis of the chapters on her blog. While I was at Rice earlier this year, I was able to read a very late draft of the book itself and see the appendices in development. I would highly recommend the book to anyone who is interested in Gospel of Judas and how it fits into the Gnostic spectrum.

The text itself is very readable and I think it will be accessible to a general readership while providing enough “meat” to engage those with more expertise in the area. She lays out her case for disagreeing with the National Geographic team clearly and presents very convincing alternatives to those sections of the text that the National Geographic team use to present Judas as a hero, together with an overall understanding of the nature of the text that makes a great deal of sense.

The appendices also provide a fantastic set of resources for anyone who wants to delve further into Gospel of Judas, second-century Christianity, the New Testament Apocrypha, Gnosis and the Gnostics and Sethian Gnosticism. She presents lists of references in a very convenient form that will save newcomers to the field (and probably also more experienced scholars) a huge amount of time and work. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the final version.

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