by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)
are strongly recommended to add to your library the excellent revised edition
of Harper's Bible Dictionary titled, The Harper Collins Bible
Dictionary, Revised Edition [book
review], edited by Paul J. Achtemeier, with
the Society of Biblical Literature (NY: Harper Collins, 1996). It is currently
the best one-volume Bible dictionary in English, and it is available at Border's
Books, Christian Science Reading Rooms, http://www.borders.com,
Judas (Gk. for the
- Judas, the son of Jacob
- Judas, an ancestor of
Jesus (Luke 3:30).
- Judas Maccabeus, the
third of the five sons of Mattathias. After Antiochus IV Epiphanes polluted
the Temple in 167 b.c. (the abomination that makes desolate) Mattathias
moved with his family to Modein (1 Macc. 2:1-14). When officers of Antiochus
sought to force Mattathias and his family to apostasize, Mattathias rose up
in defense of the law and the covenant, killed an officer, and led his sons
into the wilderness in revolt (1 Macc. 2:15-48). Upon the death of his father,
Judas successfully led Israel in numerous battles against the Syrians. He
defeated a combined army of Syrians and Samaritans (1 Macc. 2:49-4:35), the
Syrians led by Seron, the Syrians led by Gorgias, and the Syrians led by Lysias,
after which the Temple was purified (1 Macc. 4:36-61; cf. John 10:22). Judas
continued to lead Israel in battle with great success, liberating Jews from
surrounding territories and even making a treaty with Rome. Finally, against
a Syrian army led by Bacchides, Judas fell in battle in 160 b.c. (1 Macc.
- Judas, the son of Chalphi,
an officer of Jonathan Maccabeus (1 Macc. 11:70).
- Judas, the son of Simon
Maccabeus and nephew of Judas Maccabeus who with his brother John successfully
led the forces of Israel against Candebeus (1 Macc. 16:2-10).
- Judas, one of the senders
of a letter to Aristobolus (2 Macc. 1:10).
- Judas of Galilee, a
Jewish leader who led a revolt against Rome during the census of Quirinius
(Acts 5:37). Josephus credits him with founding the sect of the
- Judas Iscariot, one
of the twelve apostles, the son of Simon Iscariot. He is to be distinguished
from the other apostle called Judas (John 14:22). The origin of the name Iscariot
is debated. Some suggestions are: man (Heb., ish) of Karioth; the assassin
(from Gk. sikarios); man from Issachar. Certainty is impossible, but if the
first is correct, Judas was the only apostle from Judea. Judas possessed a
privileged position among the apostles as treasurer of the group (John 12:5-6;
13:29). His proximity to Jesus at the Lords Supper (John 13:21-26) also
suggests this. Why he betrayed Jesus is uncertain. Some suggestions are that
he did it (Mark 14:10-11) after being convinced that Jesus truly planned to
die (Mark 14:3-9); that he did it for money (Matt. 26:14-16); or that he did
it to help Jesus fulfill his purpose of dying! The last suggestion, however,
is at odds with Jesus words in Mark 14:21. Despite a loving gesture
by Jesus (John 13:26-27), Judas proceeded to betray his Lord. What Judas betrayed
is easier to answer. One suggestion is that he betrayed Jesus claim
to be the Messiah, but his absence at the trial, when such witnesses were
sought, refutes this. What he betrayed was how Jesus could be arrested privately
(Mark 14:1-2). This he did in Gethsemane by singling him out at night with
a kiss. Upon reflecting over what he had done, Judas experienced remorse and
sought to undo his evil deed (Matt. 27:3-4), but it was not possible. In sorrow
he hanged himself (Matt. 27:5) and, falling headlong, his body split open
and his bowels fell out (Acts 1:18).
- Judas, the son of James
and one of the apostles (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13; John 14:22). This is probably
the Thaddaeus of Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18. The qualification of Judas in these
latter two passages only makes sense if there were another Judas in the group.
- Judas, one of the four
brothers of Jesus (Mark 6:3) whom tradition associated with the author of
- Judas, a man in whose
home in Damascus the blind Saul was brought (Acts 9:11).
- Judas Barsabbas, a leader
in the Jerusalem church chosen along with Silas to accompany Paul and Barnabus
back to Antioch in order to announce the apostolic decree (Acts 15:22-23).
It is possible that he and Joseph (Acts 1:23) were brothers.
To explore the relationship
between the Judas and the other disciples, browse: