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The Gospel of Judas: A Novel
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The Gospel of Judas: A Novel

liked it 3.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  492 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
The Gospel of Judas is the story of an American priest brought to Rome to decipher an ancient scroll that appears to be a Gospel written by Judas - with a very different view of Christ's crucifixion from the ones handed down in the Bible. Already beset by a crisis of faith and on the brink of his first sexual affair, Father Leo Newman must tease out the meaning of this doc ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 8th 2002 by Back Bay Books (first published 2000)
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Aug 05, 2007 Abby rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This tells the story of two generations in the 20th century, centered around a Catholic priest and scholar, who is translating a scroll purporting to be the Gospel of Judas. It is not the gnostic gospel of Judas that has actually been found, but rather a scroll that may really date from Judas himself (which the gnostic one does not). It's fictional, well-researched, and rather dark in all time periods that are dealt with. It's really good, but intense and not the easiest read due to some difficu ...more
Aug 09, 2008 Carrie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Started this book a couple years ago and now am starting to remember why I never finished it.

I'm sorry, I just can't bring myself to finish it. A priest has an affair with what appears to be a flibbertygibbit, he gets an interesting scroll in the course of his research, and then as a fallen priest he takes up with a woman who doesn't speak English but models for porn and paints on the side. In both attempts to read this I have yet to get to anything to do with the Gospel of Judas in the manner
Jul 02, 2008 matt rated it did not like it
Shelves: won-t-read-again

I read this because I'm interested in Judas as dramatic character- think about it! Fascinating! There's nothing which adds up about him in the Biblical account. The more you think about it the more complex and dramatically profound it gets.

This is just goofy, pretentious, clammy-handed hogwash. I don't know anything about the author in question but he is trying SO HARD to be suave, sarcastic, erudite and worldly and he is just flailing badly throughout the story.

The title suggests that someone w
Jindriska Mendozová
Oct 30, 2014 Jindriska Mendozová rated it really liked it
Simon Mawer se stal pro české čtenáře známým především díky románu Skleněný pokoj. Kniha inspirovaná příběhem brněnské vily Tugendhat vyvolala nejrůznější reakce – od těch nadšených až po ty, které knihu téměř zavrhovaly. V každém případě snad každý, kdo román četl, zaujal nějaké stanovisko, nenechával své čtenáře lhostejnými...
To myslím platí pro všechny Mawerovy knihy, včetně pátého titulu, který v Nakladatelství Kniha Zlín vychází. Tím je právě Evangelium podle Jidáše. Stejně jako bylo zajíma
Jul 05, 2009 Stacy rated it did not like it
Didn't finish this book. It was awful. Gave up about halfway through & if you know me, you know that NEVER happens. I will normally finish any book I start. I never could get into this one, it really never made sense. So unless there is something huge that happens during the second half, this was a major bore.
Apr 06, 2008 Eryn rated it it was ok
Not a great read. Flipped back and forth through too many periods. A little confusing at first. Was never really drawn to any of the characters.
Aug 13, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mawer, Simon. THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS. (2001). ****. After reading the author’s previous novel, “Mendel’s Dwarf,” I decided to read more of his work. This novel was the next one he wrote. It was totally different. Once again, the author lets us know that he has done his research on his topic thoroughly, and proceeds to write in such a way as to draw us into his story. A new discovery of a scroll from the Dead Sea area is made. Although it certainly shows signs of age, it is still reasonably intact a ...more
May 18, 2015 Teresinha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: česky, moje
Asi jsem zklamaná. Nebyl to ten Mawer, kterého bych čekala. Příběh byl zajímavý jen z tak z poloviny, maličko se to tváří jako brownovina, ale vlastně ani trochu, když se začtete. Hlavní hrdina mi moc nepřirostl k srdci, jeho věčné potácení se kolem osobních problémů mě nebavilo a vlastně mi bylo jedno, co se mu odehrávalo v hlavě a životě. Potíže duchovního s přikázáními, hlavně s tím, které káže nesesmilníš, židovské jméno a pochybný původ vedoucí až do nacistického Německa, k tomu navrch podi ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Erica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A beautiful, intelligent, and moving novel.

It's important to remember that this book is a work of fiction. That should be an obvious statement, but I've read several ignorant reviews that indicate that some readers forget what "fiction" means.

The Gospel of Judas is the story of a Roman priest, Leo Newman, who experiences a crisis of faith at the same time he meets and eventually falls in love with an intriguing yet unstable married woman, Madeleine. Leo is also a scholar who is called to investi
May 17, 2007 Lou rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of intellectual, fact-driven fiction
A fantastic, three-tiered novel about the conflict between duty and passion -- all this unfolding amidst the discovery of the oldest text in christian history that may just make the entire religion irrelevant. Although Mawer would most likely cringe at hearing this, think of it as The Da Vinci Code for the more invested fiction-reader and with much more grandiose socio-political implications (if it were true, which it is not).
Teresa Xuereb
Mar 24, 2014 Teresa Xuereb rated it it was amazing
This novel is extraordinary in the way it combines different themes and different time periods together. A scroll written by the biblical Judas is discovered near the Dead Sea, while on the other hand, Leo Newman, a Catholic priest, is going through the greatest dilemma in his life. He needs to choose between having faith in God and falling in love with a married woman, Madeleine. What will he eventually choose and in whom will he seek comfort? Will his decision be the end of him or the end of h ...more
Apr 11, 2014 Steve rated it liked it
This book is fairly uneven. There is enough going on with the book before the author introduces a parallel story surrounding the protagonist's mother. I see the point of the side story, but it is weak. The real point of the side story was to make the book bigger. Without it, the Gospel of Judas is a novella.

The writing too is uneven. Mostly it is good. I like high brow language, but this author seems to go way out of his way to use words in outdated forms or words that no one ever uses.

Maybe m
Ludmila Kovaříková
Kniha o knězi, který se stává "jidášem" ve dvojím smyslu: zamiluje se do ženy a přeloží nové evangelium, které popírá zmrtvýchvstání. Příběh se proplétá s příběhem jeho matky a zemřelého syna. Zpočátku kniha hůře čitelná, ale lákalo mě, o čem je Mawerovo Jidášovo evangelium, což autor natahoval až do konce. Myslím, že se tu nejedná ani tak o morálku, jak spíš o ztroskotání člověka, jehož víra je nahlodávána neustále. Jeho zmrtvýchvstání je ve skutečnosti pro čtenáře kruté. Někdy se mi zdálo, že ...more
Lisabet Sarai
May 14, 2013 Lisabet Sarai rated it liked it
A doubt-ridden priest reluctantly pursuing an affair with a diplomat's wife in Rome - a parchment scroll apparently written by Judas immediately after the execution of Christ, suggesting that the resurrection was staged for political reasons - a family history of illicit passion and betrayal - THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS weaves these threads into a compelling but not entirely satisfactory whole that I enjoyed even as its faults became more and more apparent.

On the plus side, Simon Mawer does a magnifice
Jun 10, 2010 Joanna rated it liked it
Shelves: 100-books-2010
If there were an option for 3.5 stars, I would use it for this book.

It was a very well-written story woven through multiple levels of time and character development. The theme of betrayal was returned to again and again, in ways that seemed simultaneously inevitable but also deeply unexpected.

The main character, Father Leo Newman, comes from a lineage of betrayal. We see his mother betray her husband with her lover, her lover to the Nazis, and her own identity in order to obtain a new life. The
Dec 10, 2013 Kamilla rated it did not like it
What a horrible book! What a load of crock! I'm surprised that I persevered and finished it. The story is fictional - not even based on real historical elements, the writing is so bad, that during the first 100 pages I either kept falling asleep or didn't even know what the hell I was reading, what on earth was the purpose
of it all, whpere the hell I was, given that the timeline kept changing. I think the first 100 pages could have easily been left out, it still would have made more sense. The
Mar 21, 2016 Cody rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of the worst books I have ever read. Although it shouldn't be a surprise since I bought it in the bargain bin at barns and noble. A priest is called in to help translate a dead sea scroll believed to have been written by Judas. He falls in love with an art student that is about half his age and forsakes his religion and everything he once believed. This is a work of fiction with no historical content at all.
Evangelium podle Jidáše je velmi zdařilým dílem, ale nic menšího bychom ani od Simona Mawera nečekali. Ovšem ani tak kniha přeci jen není úplně pro každého. I když jde o honbu za přeložením svitku a o ověřování pravosti artefaktů, Simon Manwer se zaměřuje převážně na etickou část. Co dělat s tajemstvím, které jeden člověk sám neunese. Rozhodně se tedy nejedná o dobrodružnou četbu, kterou by si pod románem Evangelium podle Jidáše mohl leckdo představit.
Jan 25, 2010 Marvin rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
A marvelously written book about a Catholic priest and early Christianity scholar who gets called in to translate a newly discovered Qumran scroll, a first-century account of the life of Jesus attributed to Judas that undermines crucial aspects of the gospels. The book is informative without being didactic, searchingly devoted to questions of faith without being pious. In dealing at the same time with the main character's own personal crisis of faith and life, it's also an account of the destruc ...more
Sep 09, 2014 Jeanne rated it really liked it
I love that all of Mawer's novels are "stand-alone" and totally different from each other, no easy formula or #1,2,3 from this author. Whether or not the subject matter resonates with readers, one thing is certain, they are meticulously researched and beautifully crafted with intelligent prose. Many have psychological nuances, certainly this one, leaving the reader with much to think about, long after the last page.
Phyllis Fredericksen
Feb 29, 2016 Phyllis Fredericksen rated it really liked it
Intriguing story of a priest who falls in love with a married woman while he is in Italy/Jerusalem working on scrolls that have recently been discovered. I wish the woman's character had been more fully explored in the novel. But, it was an interesting read.
Penny Cipolone
Sep 04, 2014 Penny Cipolone rated it liked it
I picked this up because I so enjoyed Mawer's The Glass Room and I have always been interested in fiction involving Biblical texts. I liked this book, but I didn't love it. In fact, I am not quite sure that I actually got the point of it.
Edward Alvarez
May 29, 2014 Edward Alvarez rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My wife bought me this book about 2yrs ago and I'm only in chapter 6. I want to read the lost gospel of Judas not an account about a priest. Horrible book!!!!!!
Jan 31, 2015 Kaylol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I expected more of an exciting story regarding the discovery of a scroll, rather than a quite mundane story of a priest experiencing a crisis of faith.
Jan 22, 2015 Jonathan rated it did not like it
Bloomin awful - read it to the end hoping it would get better, it never did ! Wasted my time on this one !
Nov 03, 2008 Megan rated it it was ok
Eh, this is more like a two out of ten star. Or I guess that translates to a 1.5 here. This book took an entire month to get through. I kept falling asleep while reading it. It was a great insomnia helper, I'll give it that. Actually, the middle of the book moved at a reasonable pace and the plot was close to interesting. One thing that really struck me was how much the author must hate women. Some of his descriptions of the female characters were brutal, not to mention the fact that they're all ...more
Jan 20, 2011 Leah rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
To say i read this book is wrong, but goodreads doesn't offer the option for put it down because I found myself skipping full pages to get it "overwith" I don't often not finish books, but if oun d i didn't care about the characters, i was 90 pages in and i realized, i was getting nothing out of this book. I didn't remember the characters names, and all i was getting so far was that german catholics had mad issues during wwII and a priest was havign an affair, or thinking about it, or wanted to, ...more
Aug 21, 2016 Terry rated it did not like it
Glad that's over with.
Aug 12, 2010 Carlotta rated it it was ok
Recommended to Carlotta by: No one
Shelves: dark-fiction
This book was at times fascinating, but it left you without closure on so many issues. There are probably people out there who love to imagine for themselves what is going to happen to the characters, but I kind of like to have some answers to my questions. The whole book seemed to be shrouded in mystery that would have been a lot more interesting if the author would just come out every once in a while to unshroud something.
This book could have had three or four stars if it didn't constantly lea
Nov 12, 2012 sisterimapoet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-2012
Some really poor reviews of this which had me worried but I don't know what they are on! Perhaps they were hoping for a Da Vinci Code - which of course this is not.

To me this was great - combining a pacy and thrilling adventure with plenty of depth and well-handled reflection. And nice to see some of Mawer's preoccupations getting attention. He can do no wrong for me, I shall track down the other titles I haven't yet read.
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Simon Mawer (born 1948, England) is a British author. He currently lives in Italy.

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