"The unveiling of the long-lost Gospel of Judas has stirred controversy not just among biblical scholars but also among all those brought up on the story of Judas as the ultimate betrayer. Now two leading experts on the Gnostic gospels tackle the important questions this exciting discovery poses: How could any Christian imagine Judas to be Jesus's favorite, as this gospel proposes? Why is the author of this gospel filled with rage at the other disciples? What are his insights into Jesus's brilliant teaching about the spiritual life? And most important, what vision of God does the author offer? The answers to these questions lead deep into the agonizing disputes and exultant visions of God that ultimately came to shape Christianity. Working from Karen King's brilliant new translation of the fragmentary gospel, Elaine Pagels and King recount the evolution of the gospels as a group, showing how some of them fed into the biggest ideas in Christianity: the complex natures of good and evil and the roles of suffering and redemption. They also show how the portrait of Jesus evolved from that of the victim to that of the triumphant master of his own fate. The Gospel of Judas reveals how history has obscured the vibrant and tumultuous early history of Christianity--a time of intense reflection, experimentation, and struggle involving every fundamental issue of human life. Reading Judas raises deep and compelling themes as important today as they were nineteen hundred years ago. This eloquent, passionate book plunges us into the heart of Christiantity itself."--Container.