Thursday, 2 April 2015

Was Judas Iscariot as Black as he Was Painted?

Good morning Bookaholics. A beautiful morning it is too, The sun is shining, the birds are singing and spring has sprung. The perfect day for sitting outside with a nice glass of something cool and a good book. What's that you say? It's snowing where you are. Another perfect day for curling up with a good book. Today I bring you a very different kind of book but I am sure you will enjoy it.

This has to be one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. We don't hear much about Judas Iscariot, and indeed, even the bible does not go into great depth about him. My first thought on seeing this book was, how could anyone make a factual book about Judas Iscariot, when all we really know about him is the fateful kiss? well, I can assure you that Peter Stanford has managed this. The book is not only well researched but interesting to the nth degree. It doesn't just go into the Biblical accounts, but also the Apocryphal Gospels and historical accounts. Stanford's research is so detailed it even goes into architecture which depicts Judas such as an arched doorway in Jerusalem, and Whistler's Judas Window in a Church in Dorset. It also covers such things as the Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, and icons and paintings depicting Judas.

Given that this is a historical examination of the life of Judas, one would think it would be dry and boring. Far from it. Stanford's writing style is such that the book is highly readable. The chapters are fairly short and look at Judas in both historical and contemporary accounts. Judas continues to fascinate today even down to analysing the lyrics in Bob Dylan's songs. This demonstrates the level and detail of the research which Stanford has carried out. I love the A-Z of Judas which runs through the book. A couple of examples are

B: Judas Beer
Y: Judas yellow, a colour of paint.

These snippets are one of the things which help to lift this book out of the humdrum and in to the exceptional. You will need to buy the book to find out what Z covers, but I can assure you it's not what you think.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I really could not put it down it was so interesting. It is not often a non fiction book does this to me.

I was given this book by the Publisher in return for an honest review. I was not at any time asked to provide a positive review. I have done so based on my reading, and enjoyment, of the book.


That brings us to the end of another Bookaholic review. See you all back here soon. Until then, grab a good book, even this one, and keep reading.