Judas has had a ‘lousy press’, as prominent clerics call for a reappraisal of the disciple who betrayed Jesus


Prominent clerics, including a Church of England bishop, have lent their voices to calls for a reappraisal of the disciple who betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifixion.

The Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, remarked that he feels “a bit sorry” for Judas.

He said that the lost apostle, viewed by many Christians as a figure beyond redemption, has, he said had a “lousy press” for the last 2,000 years.



It seems to me that Judas had a preconceived idea of the purpose of Jesus possibly even growing impatient with the gentle side of Him.
By trying to force the hand of Jesus to do as he expected of Him Judas revealed himself as believing he had a higher purpose than that of Jesus which may have even gone unaccepted or even unlearned by Judas.

When Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified, did Judas believe hanging himself gave just cause for his betrayal of Jesus or was he truly trying to express his regret for the betrayal?


The story of Judas, as is, teaches an important lesson. Changing the story is not a good idea.


I’ve often wondered this about Judas. I mean he’s vilified of course for betraying Christ, and for killing himself. But at the same time, someone had to betray Christ and put him to death so that he could rise again. If not for Christ’s sacrifice, we would not be able to walk the path to salvation. And I’ve often asked that question, did he kill himself out of regret for what he’d done? It seems likely.


The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Matthew 26:24


The way the nuns explained it to me way back in the day was that his sin was believing that he couldn’t be forgiven (which is why he killed himself). That’s a very big sin and an important lesson for us. He could have betrayed and asked for forgiveness like St. Peter.

I’ve always felt bad for Judas and those in hell. How could you not?


I’ve reasoned along these lines also…


Well I mean given Matthew 26 it’s not an unreasonable belief for Judas to have had, that he couldn’t be forgiven.


NOTE: we do not know if Judas is currently in Heaven, Purgatory or Hell. It’s possible that he asked for forgiveness seconds before he killed himself. We simply do not know. God may have granted him mercy, we just don’t know.

However, we can learn from his life to trust in Jesus, His Word, and not to follow Judas’ footsteps.


Through Christ’s own words I think that one can rule out your scenario.


That God was always planning to bring the ultimate good out of such acts does not make betrayal and unjust execution any less wicked. Likewise, that God knew of and used Judas’ betrayal does not mean that Judas did not freely choose to hand Jesus over for his own reasons.


Not necessarily. Jesus COULD have been speaking about the overwhelming guilt Judas would experience, and not hell.

NOTE: I am NOT saying that Judas isn’t in hell. I’m not even claiming what the probability is. I’m simply saying that we don’t know 100%. The Church has NEVER definitively declared any individual person to be in hell. The Church teaches that people are in hell, but we don’t know for sure who is and who isn’t.


well said.


I do feel sorry for Judas. But he made his own decision. No one made him do it. I don’t know if he is in hell or not (not up for me to judge), but I can’t think of much worse things than betraying the Son of Man with a kiss. (Luke 22:48)


I’m glad you pointed that out. I actually had a twinge of guilt after posting that but ended up not editing.


Stating “better for him had he never been born” does not sound like a confirmation unto righteousness.


It doesn’t matter how much guilt you would have, or how long you were in purgatory, or how much you suffered in purgatory. If you ultimately end up in heaven, then it is better if you WERE born.

Jesus’ words are clear. Accept them at face value. Of course the Church has never declared any particular person’s fate, because that is not Her authority nor competence. It belongs to Christ, and He HAS spoken about it.


From the article:

This is not to say ‘Oh Judas, he’s all right really’, what we are saying is perhaps there is something else to this character than that kiss and that betrayal,” she said.

“I don’t think any of the other disciples were whiter than white – we just probably didn’t hear about it – because they were all human and we are all a bit messed up.”

She added: “Up until that moment of betrayal, Judas seems no better or worse than any of the other disciples.

“But he has been defined by the worst thing he did.

  1. Actually, yes we DO hear about the failings and faults of the Apostles. That’s one of the characteristics of the NT writings that stands out in such contrast to other ancient writings. The faults and failings of the Apostles are laid bare pretty clearly.

  2. We are all defined by the things we do. When you betray God, it will most certainly define you.


Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich wrote that Judas hanged himself because:

  1. he believed the Jews rewarded a traitor by death penalty, and was afraid of what Jesus disciples and other Jews would do to him,
  2. he could not forgive himself,
  3. there was pride in this also, he did not repent like Peter and seek forgiveness of God,

She saw him in a vision falling into Hell.
While later Jesus and the Good Thief rose toward Heaven.


Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s statement of her visions is more the work of her confessor who wrote her book than from her own personal testimony. Ultimately, it does not make for a reliable resource.

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