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Judas Iscariot(יהודה איש־קריות, Yehuda) is the Biblical figure traditionally charged with betraying Jesus to the Roman soldiers for 30 pieces of silver. He is also the head of his own Gnostic Church. The word "Judas" has entered the English language as a perjorative term used to describe one who betrays a friend.
 The Biblical Tradition
Judas was one of the original twelve apostles of Jesus. Little is mentioned about Judas or his life in the Bible itself. But the picture that is created of Judas ranges from a man who was torn trying to protect the overall movement, to a benign mention of Judas simply "turning Jesus in", to the rather sharp image from John of a Judas that was an unrepentant thief within the tight group of apostles. Due to the vehemence of John's attack, and that there is nothing to support it in the other 3 Gospels, scholars  have argued that the "Judas" story was added to the Gospels long after they were written, in order to justify the growing anti-Semitism.
 Biblical inconsistencies describing his death
The ever-infallible Bible offers two explanations of how Judas met his final demise. The Book of Acts states that he purchased a field with his money, and while working the field, he fell and spilt his intestines out. A fully accidental act, often attributed to God himself as a punishment. Whereas Gospel of Matthew states that Judas hanged himself, a choice done out of fear or remorse.
In endless and common backbends to justify the idea that the bible is actually infallible and internally consistent, theories to harmonize the two death scenes include St. Augustine's idea that the hanging body fell from the tree, then split open upon the ground. Others, specifically in the Medieval times suggest that the two stories are two different moments from Judas' soon to be death, as first he fell, then having recovered from being split open, he later hung himself. Oh the lengths one will go to, to protect one's carefully constructed beliefs.
C.S. Lewis has been quoted as saying that this single inconsistency was the turning point in his journey from literalist to a more liberal reading of a bible that includes political agendas and human errors.
 Non Canonical Portrayal of Judas
After 1600 years of rumours of a Gospel attributed to Judas, one was found in the 1970s and revealed to the world in 2000. While Judas here still kisses Jesus on the cheek to turn him into the Romans, he's actually a good guy who was killed by the twelve whom Jesus actually disliked cause they were teaching the wrong thing.
Judas also has the best Kick Ass songs in Jesus Christ Superstar.[citation NOT needed]
There is a long held conundrum surrounding Judas, that the Church has officially ignored, though many scholars have attempted to address: If Jesus had to die in order to be Resurrected to fulfill the Law, then Judas must have been (by his own design, by Jesus' design, or God's design) "required" to turn him in, in some grand scheme of things. And, how is it justified to punish him for all of eternity if he was a necessary cog in the system?
Despite the claim that Jesus made the greatest sacrifice for all humankind, he knew all along that he would be resurrected after just a few days. Yet Judas, for being crucial in effecting the crucifixion - while Jesus was well aware of what he would do and allowed him to do it rather than simply surrender himself - suffers for all eternity. Judas may have got the rough end of the stick.
- ↑ including John Domininc Crossian, "Who Killed Jesus; Judas Iscariot and the myth of Jewish Evil, Maccoby
- ↑ Both claims are demonstrated in the book The place of Judas Iscariot in Christology, A. Cane
- ↑ The Gospel of Judas: Choose from a Badly-done HTML version or a PDF Version that you can actually read.