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Amongst the ancient papyri of the Dead Sea, a remarkable scroll is discovered. Written in the first century AD, it purports to be the true account of the life of Jesus, as told by Youdas the sicarios - Judas Iscariot: the missing Gospel of Judas. If authentic, it will be one of the most incendiary documents in the history of humankind. The task of proving - or disproving - its validity falls to Father Leo Newman, one of the world's leading experts in Koine, the demotic Greek of the Roman Empire, and a man the newspapers like to call a 'renegade priest'. But as Leo absorbs himself in Judas' testimony, the stories of his own life haunt him. The story of his forbidden yet irresistible love for a married woman. The story of his mother's passionate and tragic affair amidst the war-time ruins of Rome. They are stories of love and betrayal that may threaten his faith just as deeply as the Gospel of Judas...With a dramatic narrative that spans from the Europe of the Second World War to Jerusalem two thousand years after Jesus' birth, THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS is a compelling and erudite thriller.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349113586
ISBN-10: 0349113580
Format: Paperback
(151mm x 201mm x 23mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 7-Jul-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » 'This may be the greatest text discovery there has ever been. It could make the Dead Sea Scrolls look like a picnic in the Garden of Eden.' So says the Director for World Bible Studies in Jerusalem to Father Leo Newman, who has been flown in from Rome to check the authenticity of a new archaeological find - a scroll that purports to be the Gospel of Judas, which bears a message that could undermine a major tenet of Christian belief. How should Fr Newman treat it? As questions of faith are posed by the document, so the priest's personal life is confronting him. In love with a married woman, his vows of chastity are at risk. The press has already taken to calling him 'the Renegade Priest' so where does his career stand in a life that was meant to be a search for truth? Childhood memories of his mother's affair with his Italian tutor weave themselves in and out of his tormented mind as he searches for a solution. There are shades of Graham Greene in Mawer's compelling picture of the Catholic priest's guilt-ridden conscience struggling to resolve the problems of love, truth, responsibility and betrayal. This erudite, well-researched novel throws light on biblical language and history as well as the difficulties and practices of Middle Eastern archaeology. The author writes with sympathy for the human condition, and considerable understanding of the laws that govern its continued existence. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Simon Mawer

Simon Mawer was born in 1948 in England, and spent his childhood there, in Cyprus and in Malta. He has lived with his wife in Italy for more than 20 years, and he teaches at the English School in Rome.

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