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Iscariot: A Novel of Judas

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4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  1,689 Ratings  ·  398 Reviews
Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brilliantly adapts the life of Judas Iscariot into a dazzling work of fiction—humanizing the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal.

Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brilliantly adapts the life of Judas Iscariot into a dazzling and award-winning work of fiction—humanizing the man whose very
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ebook, 352 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Howard Books
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(showing 1-30)
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David
Feb 21, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tosca Lee is one of the best novelists writing today. The short version of any review of her work is "buy it now." A warning about Iscariot: it is challenging. You will see more of yourself in Judas than is comfortable. Lee's characters are well-drawn with complex motives, and careful attention is rewarded. She writes compactly, with every word doing its work.

It's a three-dimensional story, with depth and characters you care about. The thorough research in preparation for this novel is marvelou
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Steve
From the epilogue (interestingly, at the beginning of the book):
A dog chokes by the side of the road in Capernaum. He is rabid and manged. He is foul and unloved. He is more worthy to live than I.
If only I had never left Jerusalem as a child. If only Herod had never died. If only I had never laid eyes on the gaunt man by the side of the Jordan.
The Nazarene.
They will say that I betrayed him, that I reduced his price to thirty silver shekels. That I turned against my master. They do not know me.
Th
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Amber
Nov 02, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Riveting….explosive…..revolutionary are just a few meager words that describe Tosca Lee’s latest literary masterpiece. She has immersed herself in the life and time of the well-known disciple of Jesus Christ known as Judas Iscariot. She brilliantly succeeded in humanizing this notorious traitor of Jesus Christ. She skillfully and intricately laid before our eyes an intimate, less traveled path of the motivations and desires that Judas passionately followed to the end of his life.

We are granted
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J.S. Bailey
Oct 04, 2012 J.S. Bailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[hurriedly wipes eyes] Did anybody see that? No? Good.

Iscariot is one of those rare and dangerous novels that makes you *think.* Told from Judas's point of view, Iscariot is basically a speculative look at the gospel accounts leading up to Judas's betrayal of Christ. Instead of treating the story as a historical account like the Bible, Tosca Lee delves deep into the emotions of those who have chosen to follow Jesus. Especially moving were the scenes where Jesus heals the leper and the paralytic.
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Michelle
Nobody puts skin on biblical figures and brings them to life as well as Tosca Lee. For some reason she also picks the toughest ones to portray in fiction. This novel, Iscariot, rang true to me. Her depiction of Judas Iscariot's belief system had a convincing historical basis. And unlike the stereotyped condemned man who personified betrayal, she made him human and someone who truly did love Jesus when he became one of the disciples. Even in the end, she showed his regrets and they made sense giv ...more
Shari Morehouse
Dec 10, 2012 Shari Morehouse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given an Advanced Reader’s copy of this book due to be published in February 2013 by Simon and Schuster Canada.

I don’t normally read Biblical fiction. It just seems so contrived to me and I’m never happy with the way characters are portrayed. So it was with some hesitation that I accepted this book to review. However, I hooked by the end of the first chapter.

I’ve always considered Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus as an imposter; someone that Jesus allowed among his disciples because
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Terri
My Jesus pickle..
I have gone and got myself into a GR rating pickle. I only read Iscariot: A Novel of Judas to approximately halfway and yet I feel it is okay to still give the book 3 stars out of 5. Usually I have a twinge of remorse when I rate a book I have not finished. In the case of Iscariot, however, I do not feel remorse at all. Because it was not the quality of the book itself that made me stop reading, it was the discovery that it was fantasy.

Calling it a fantasy may be a bit strong fo
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Cheryl Olson
Brave, passionate and fearless are three words that I would choose to describe both the author Tosca Lee and her new novel Iscariot, A Novel of Judas. I think it takes a true master and someone who is willing to take a major risk to write a novel like this. And take risks she did. But I think unequivocally the risk paid off as Iscariot is an amazing literary work that takes us on Judas’ journey with Jesus in a way that was so heartfelt and yes, heartbreaking, I mean, how can it not be? Personall ...more
Christian Fiction Addiction
I approached this book not knowing what to expect, thinking to myself "Is it actually possible to be entertained by a story from the Bible that I've heard over and over?" The answer is a resounding yes!

Iscariot is one of those novels that satisfies on every level, offering the pleasure of a beautifully told story, combined with an entertaining plot and a character that is sure to shatter every preconceived notion you have ever had about Judas Iscariot. Tosca Lee writes with exquisite prose, with
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Evangheline Farcas
One of the reviewers had stated that this book didn't feel real and that the disciples didn't feel real and couldn't see how they went on to start a church because they didn't have enough faith. I feel the exact opposite, yes this book does show the disciples as human beings who struggled with faith as much as we do in this present age, but to me this added to the believability of this book. We have each read the gospels and we know the story and therefore we think we would have acted differentl ...more
Kerry Nietz
Aug 23, 2014 Kerry Nietz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A week or so after starting this book, I realized I was reading it slowly. Then I had to analyze why I was reading it that way.

Was it boring? No. Was it poorly written? No. Did the subject not interest me? No again.

Then I figured it out. I was reading slowly for three interconnected reasons:

1) Because there was a depth and earnestness to it that I probably hadn’t run into since I read Tosca’s “Havah” a few years back. The situations are plausible, and the characters refreshingly real.

2) Becau
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Craig
Mar 21, 2013 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, very well done and I should have given an extra star just for the ambition to write such a challenging novel, but I've been reading Patrick O'Brian's books for the last several months and it's hard to give an historical novel high marks with a baseline like O'Brian for comparison. Still, Lee is a good writer, she did actually say the book was supposed to be focused on the relationship of Jesus and Judas and she does re-create a strongly imagined, tangible world in which the story of the ...more
Tina
Aug 24, 2012 Tina rated it it was amazing
Original post from One More Page

Ever since Tosca announced that she was writing this book in 2010, I have been eagerly waiting for this to come out. I loved her first two books, Demon and Havah: The Story of Eve , and a novel about Judas Iscariot is something that I know only Tosca can write with the same heart-wrenching clarity and sensitivity that she did in her first two books. When it came up available in Netgalley, I immediately got it and saved it in my Kindle. Of course, it took me age
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Kathleen (Kat) Smith
I love it when great writers take the time to completely research a project if they are going to write a historical fiction novel. It's even better for me as a reader when I can get my hands on a greatly researched and well-thought out biblical historical fiction. When they can take me by the hand and transport me back into history and allow me to walk side by side with a character, it truly helps me understand them better and what may have motivated them to make the decisions they did. Such is ...more
Beth
Iscariot is a provocative, intimate portrayal of the life of Judas Iscariot & his relationship with Jesus.

Judas is labeled as a thief and betrayer, and he is both of those things. But every person is more than what their actions make them, and before Judas made the decision to betray Jesus, he was called His friend. This friendship between the two of them and between Judas and the rest of the disciples was compelling. I applaud Tosca Lee for making a mysterious, hated figure into a real pers
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Ian
Nov 14, 2012 Ian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lost for words when I finished this beautifully written novel. And I'm still struggling to find the best words to describe the power of this story.

But the incredible thing about this story is it's part biographical, part fiction and I'm left wondering how much of it was fiction.

Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, the one that Luke described "Satan entered" moments before he committed his betrayal. The gospels never tell us exactly what the discussion between Judas and the Chief Priests amounted
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Heather
Being someone that isn’t very religious, I find I am still drawn to the stories from the Bible. That being said, I typically prefer my stories to be from the Old Testament. However, this story of Judas – the perpetual antagonist in any New Testament story of Jesus gets a new treatment by Tosca Lee and that drew me into this novel.

Iscariot follows Judas from his youth to his death and fills in many of the gaps in his life left by the Bible. We learn about what his life might have been like leadin
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Matt
Nov 03, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tosca Lee tackles the daunting, and perhaps controversial, task of creating a backstory for the most infamous disciple, Judas Iscariot. The reader can expect a great deal of history and backstory, presumably fictitious, which paints an interesting story, in the early chapters. As the story unfolds, Judas matures and suffers much at the hands of the Roman occupiers. Lee does an excellent job in showing the pre-Jesus years of Judas’ life and examines many of the nuances of Jesus’ ministry; includi ...more
Ginny B
Feb 06, 2013 Ginny B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Judas has always been an enigma to me. A man who walked with Jesus, witnessed miracles, was privy to his inner circle, private teachings and thoughts who for some reason set into motion the death of the man he called master. I have read many theories but this one seems to ring truest to me. Judas was a man looking for a warrior king, a messiah who would rescue them now. Jesus confused him.

Tosca Lee manages to bring Judas to life, to give us a peek into what his thoughts might have been, why he
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John Kachuba
Feb 07, 2013 John Kachuba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The name Judas has become synonymous with “traitor” as a result of one of the most heinous acts of betrayal ever—Judas Iscariot selling Jesus to the Jewish authorities for thirty pieces of silver. History has been quick to condemn Judas who, through his own belated sense of guilt, condemned himself and committed suicide. What horrible twistings existed in his mind to make him commit such despicable acts?
That is exactly the question author Lee attempts to answer in this engrossing study of Jesus
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Kat Heckenbach
Feb 21, 2013 Kat Heckenbach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm starting this review with a quote from the book:

"I don't like it," Simon murmured the second evening. "What teacher teaches with stories like these? How does one truth with fiction? It's a dangerous thing to toy with scriptures, to chance changing even one jot or tittle of the law!"

(end quote)

I have a feeling Tosca really understands that. Writing a book that takes so much conjecture even with the massive amount of research she did had to have her wondering how many readers would say exactly
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Margaret Fisk
Feb 13, 2013 Margaret Fisk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is powerful tale that follows the life of one man both before and alongside the Biblical tales of Jesus Christ, a man known to Christians and others alike as the betrayer. Judas Iscariot’s well-known tale lacks context, and that’s what Iscariot offers. Historical and fictional context for why a devote follower would turn on his master.

Judas is not the best of men–-he is no saint-–but he tries to find truth and faith amid horror and doubt.

There are few who don’t know the end to this story al
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Erin
Apr 26, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Awesome! Fantastic! The most memorable book I have read thus far in 2014.I could scream it from the rooftops but will just write a review instead.

In "Iscariot" author Tosca Lee brings us the story behind the most reviled man in biblical history. The man whose name through the centuries has become synonymous with betrayal. The man who is considered one of the biggest bad guys in the gospels. But what led this man that Jesus called friend to turn traitor?

Tosca Lee presents readers with the "
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Adam Collings
Tosca Lee has a real knack for taking characters and situations from the Bible and taking them beyond the one-dimensional cardboard cut-out that they often become in our minds. She has outdone herself with Iscariot. Taking Judas, someone that we are quick to judge and look down on and showing us an example of what his life might have been.
We often look at the disciples of Jesus and laugh, thinking ‘how thick could they be? Didn’t they have any faith? Didn’t they get it?’ Seeing Jesus through the
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Angie Arndt
Feb 08, 2013 Angie Arndt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblical-fiction
This book is amazing. What a writer and what a book. It's taken me a while to read it because I can only read a few chapters of it at a time. In most books, that's a bad thing, but not this one. I can only read a bit at a time because this book breaks my heart every time I read it. 

Suppose -- just suppose mind you -- that Judas Iscariot wasn't the wolf in sheep's clothing that we always thought he was. Suppose he was someone who loved Jesus as much as any of us or perhaps even more? What if his
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Dineen Miller
Apr 22, 2013 Dineen Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a big fan of Tosca Lee, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I did wonder what I would find, yet knowing that Lee does extensive research for all her biblical fiction gave a trust factor that allowed me to walk into this book with an open mind and heart.

It is intriguing to think that there could be more to the story of history's greatest betrayer and to do so in fiction seems a safe enough place to do it. Lee did an amazing job portraying Judas' possible emotional motivations for wh
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MAP
I was pretty disappointed in Tosca Lee's "Demon," because I thought she tried too hard to (and was ultimately unsuccessful at) answering the age old unanswerable questions.

However, getting into the mind of people considered "villains" is one of my favorite past-times, and I thought she did it rather well. As she said and I've always thought, everyone does things because it makes sense to them. Nobody makes a decision while cackling like a movie-villain, enjoying the evil nastiness of it all. And
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Larry
Aug 29, 2014 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bravo, bravo! Tosca Lee has captured my imagination and soul with this fabulous book of biblical fiction. I've been a Christian minister for nearly 40 years, yet found myself learning from every chapter. Her command of language and metaphor makes the book sparkle. Do you think you know the story of Judas? Readers will see this despised man of the Bible in a new light, and Jesus is his startling ministry that shattered the beliefs of the times. This would be a great book to read for Lent. I will ...more
Cecelia
May 24, 2014 Cecelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book! I loved reading about Jesus performing miracles - healings and such! It also gives insight as to why Judas' may have betrayed Jesus. If you like biblical fiction, then, you should give this book a try!
Deon
A bit of a slow start, but author took a perspective that is not popular but still thought provoking.
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Christian Fiction...: July Additional Group Read Discussion 27 59 Aug 14, 2013 08:08PM  
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  • Love in a Broken Vessel (Treasure of His Love)
  • Mortal (The Books of Mortals, #2)
  • Rebekah (Wives of the Patriarchs, #2)
  • The Well (The Living Water, #1)
  • Madman
  • Daughter of Jerusalem
  • So Shines the Night (Seven Wonders #5)
  • Dark Hour
  • Rearview (7 Hours #1)
  • Harvest of Rubies (Harvest of Rubies, #1)
  • The 13th Tribe  (Immortal Files #1)
  • Ruth, Mother of Kings
  • Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife
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“Superior storytelling.”
—Publishers Weekly

Tosca's new thriller, THE PROGENY, is out now!

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of ISCARIOT; THE LEGEND OF SHEBA; DEMON: A MEMOIR; HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE; and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (FORBIDDEN, MORTAL, SOVEREIGN). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, pla
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More about Tosca Lee...

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“Più di tutto, avrei voluto dirgli che volevo restare, perché non avevo altro luogo in cui andare, né persona o cosa a cui rivolgermi in questo mondo, né altre risposte se non quelle che lui poteva darmi; che avevo pregato perché mi offrisse le risposte che cercavo, perché se non lo avesse fatto lui, non avrei saputo dove altro cercarle” 0 likes
“«Vieni con me, Giuda», ripeté. «Troverai ciò che stai cercando».

In quel momento, gli credetti. Gli credetti con tutto il cuore”
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