The Crucifixion of Judas
Written by Abdullah Kareem
The crucifixion of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity and the excuse to live immoral and sinful lives. According to the Pauline doctrine, there is no salvation without the sacrificial death of Jesus, and hence “no salvation outside the Church”. Yet the Gospels provide evidence that Jesus was not crucified at all. It was Judas who took Jesus’ place on the cross while Jesus escaped for three days and three nights. Judas was transformed to look exactly like Jesus, and the Romans crucified him instead.
Jesus said he would disappear:
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:39)
The “heart of the earth” does not mean tomb, but rather a secret location. Jesus knew the Jews wanted to kill him; he planned to hide himself and reappear at Jerusalem. He had every reason to hide, he was frequently stoned (John 8:59, 10:31).
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) (John 4:1-7)
The “heart of the earth” was the city of Sychar in Samaria, and Jesus took refuge at Sychar during the three days.
When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10:23)
Jesus followed his own teaching by fleeing to another city. Jesus can’t die outside Jerusalem (Luke 13:33). The crucifixion was not his purpose (Deu. 24:16, Ps. 18:50, 20:6, 40:6, Isa.1:11, Mic.6:7-8).
Jesus used to frequently hide:
And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. (Matthew 14:13, also John 7:1, 8:59)
Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. (John 10:37-39)
The crucifixion was not his purpose.
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (Mark 1:38)
But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” (Luke 4:43)
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Matthew 18:11, KJV)
But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13)
The 1945 discovery of Gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi, Egypt unearthed a book called The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, where Jesus states:
I did not succumb to them as they had planned. But I was not afflicted at all. Those who were there punished me. And I did not die in reality but in appearance, lest I be put to shame by them because these are my kinsfolk. I removed the shame from me and I did not become fainthearted in the face of what happened to me at their hands. I was about to succumb to fear, and I suffered according to their sight and thought, in order that they may never find any word to speak about them. For my death, which they think happened, (happened) to them in their error and blindness, since they nailed their man unto their death. For their Ennoias did not see me, for they were deaf and blind. But in doing these things, they condemn themselves. Yes, they saw me; they punished me. It was another, their father, who drank the gall and the vinegar; it was not I. They struck me with the reed; it was another, Simon, who bore the cross on his shoulder. It was another upon Whom they placed the crown of thorns. But I was rejoicing in the height over all the wealth of the archons and the offspring of their error, of their empty glory. And I was laughing at their ignorance. (The Treatise of the Great Seth)
Let us discuss what exactly happened on the night of Jesus’ arrest.
Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Jesus, was won over on the promise of receiving thirty pieces of silver, if, through his help, Jesus was arrested. In order to avoid any further trouble, it was decided to make the attempt at night. On reaching the place where Jesus had gone with a few of his followers, Judas was told to kiss Jesus, so that the foreign Roman soldiers could identify him. The plan miscarried. When the soldiers materialised from the darkness, a tumult ensued. The two Jews were mixed up in the dark, and the soldiers mistakenly arrested Judas instead of Jesus. Thus, the latter made good his escape. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus Prophet of Islam, p. 36)
The Gospels record the “disciples forsook him and fled” and Jesus was among them. The Gospel of Barnabas also details what happened at Gethsemane:
When the soldiers with Judas drew near to the place where Jesus was, Jesus heard the approach of many people, wherefore in fear he withdrew into the house. And the eleven were sleeping. Then God, seeing the danger of his servant, commanded Gabriel;, Michael;, Rafael;, and Uriel, his ministers, to take Jesus out of the world. The holy angels came and took Jesus out by the window that looks toward the South;. They bare him and placed him in the third heaven in the company of angels blessing God for evermore.
Judas entered impetuously before all into the chamber whence Jesus had been taken up. And the disciples were sleeping. Whereupon the wonderful God acted wonderfully, insomuch that Judas was so changed in speech and in face to be like Jesus that we believed him to be Jesus. And he, having awakened us, was seeking where the Master was. Whereupon we marvelled, and answered: ‘You, Lord, are our master; have you now forgotten us?’
And he, smiling, said: ‘Now are you foolish, that know not me to be Judas Iscariot!’ And as he was saying this the soldiery entered, and laid their hands upon Judas, because he was in every way like to Jesus. We having heard Judas’ saying, and seeing the multitude of soldiers, fled as beside ourselves. And John, who was wrapped in a linen cloth, awoke and fled, and when a soldier seized him by the linen cloth he left the linen cloth and fled naked. For God heard the prayer of Jesus, and saved the eleven from evil. (The Gospel of Barnabas, online Source)
The renowned Muslim commentator Ibn Kathir record a similar tradition
(O you to whom the Dhikr (the Qur’an) has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man!) When Allah sent `Isa with proofs and guidance, the Jews, may Allah’s curses, anger, torment and punishment be upon them, envied him because of his prophethood and obvious miracles; curing the blind and leprous and bringing the dead back to life, by Allah’s leave. He also used to make the shape of a bird from clay and blow in it, and it became a bird by Allah’s leave and flew. `Isa performed other miracles that Allah honored him with, yet the Jews defied and bellied him and tried their best to harm him. Allah’s Prophet `Isa could not live in any one city for long and he had to travel often with his mother, peace be upon them. Even so, the Jews were not satisfied, and they went to the king of Damascus at that time, a Greek polytheist who worshipped the stars. They told him that there was a man in Bayt Al-Maqdis misguiding and dividing the people in Jerusalem and stirring unrest among the king’s subjects. The king became angry and wrote to his deputy in Jerusalem to arrest the rebel leader, stop him from causing unrest, crucify him and make him wear a crown of thorns. When the king’s deputy in Jerusalem received these orders, he went with some Jews to the house that `Isa was residing in, and he was then with twelve, thirteen or seventeen of his companions. That day was a Friday, in the evening. They surrounded `Isa in the house, and when he felt that they would soon enter the house or that he would sooner or later have to leave it, he said to his companions, “Who volunteers to be made to look like me, for which he will be my companion in Paradise” A young man volunteered, but `Isa thought that he was too young. He asked the question a second and third time, each time the young man volunteering, prompting `Isa to say, “Well then, you will be that man.” Allah made the young man look exactly like `Isa, while a hole opened in the roof of the house, and `Isa was made to sleep and ascended to heaven while asleep.
Allah sid (And (remember) when Allah said: “O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself.”) When `Isa ascended, those who were in the house came out. When those surrounding the house saw the man who looked like `Isa, they thought that he was `Isa. So they took him at night, crucified him and placed a crown of thorns on his head. The Jews then boasted that they killed `Isa and some Christians accepted their false claim, due to their ignorance and lack of reason. As for those who were in the house with `Isa, they witnessed his ascension to heaven, while the rest thought that the Jews killed `Isa by crucifixion. They even said that Maryam sat under the corpse of the crucified man and cried, and they say that the dead man spoke to her. All this was a test from Allah for His servants out of His wisdom. Allah explained this matter in the Glorious Qur’an which He sent to His honorable Messenger, whom He supported with miracles and clear, unequivocal evidence. Allah is the Most Truthful, and He is the Lord of the worlds Who knows the secrets, what the hearts conceal, the hidden matters in heaven and earth, what has occurred, what will occur, and what would occur if it was decreed. (Online Source)
The scholar Ibn Kathir mentions a house where Jesus ascended to Heaven through a window, and it’s confirmed by Barnabas.
The Crucifixion of Judas:
Judas was crucified in Jesus’ place to punish him for treachery. Many people deny that Judas was crucified, yet the following passages condemn Judas:
Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) (John 6:70-71)
While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. (John 17:12)
Judas cried with a loud voice that God forsaken him:
And about the ninth hour Jesus (Judas) cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
And the soldiers came before him, bowing down in mockery, saluting him as King of the Jews. And they held out their hands to receive gifts, such as new kings are accustomed to give; and receiving nothing they smote Judas, saying: ‘Now, how are you crowned, foolish king, if you will not pay your soldiers and servants?’ The chief priests with the scribes and Pharisees, seeing that Judas died not by the scourges, and fearing lest Pilate should set him at liberty, made a gift of money to the governor, who having received it gave Judas to the scribes and Pharisees as guilty to death. Whereupon they condemned two robbers with him to the death of the cross. So they led him to Mount Calvary, where they used to hang malefactors, and there they crucified him naked;, for the greater ignominy. Judas truly did nothing else but cry out: ‘God, why have you forsaken me, seeing the malefactor has escaped and I die unjustly?’ Truly I say that the voice, the face, and the person of Judas were so like to Jesus, that his disciples and believers entirely believed that he was Jesus; wherefore some departed from the doctrine of Jesus, believing that Jesus had been a false prophet, and that by art magic he had done the miracles which he did: for Jesus had said that he should not die till near the end of the world; for that at that time he should be taken away from the world. (Gospel of Barnabas)
How can God forsake Jesus? This is absurd; God never forsakes His righteous servants.
For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; (Psalms 37:28)
LORD God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David your servant.” (2 Chronicles 6:42)
For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed one. The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne- (Psalms 132:10-11)
Judas was forsaken by God, not Jesus!
According to the Gospels, Judas was given a sponge full of vinegar. The vinegar had stimulating effects on the body, the senses were aroused and the body awakened.
Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:29-30)
This proves Judas was poisoned, the vinegar is supposed to have stimulating effects, yet it killed Judas instantly!
Within the canonical texts certain clues may be found that shows that the biblical crucifixion was a less then transparent affair. In the Fourth Gospel Jesus, hanging on the cross, says that he thirsts and is given a sponge allegedly soaked in vinegar. Tradition has it that this act was an act of derision, but in actuality vinegar - or soured wine – was a temporary stimulant with effects similar to smelling salts. It was often used to resuscitate exhausted galley slaves. For an exhausted man, a sniff or taste of vinegar would induce a restorative, rejuvenating effect. Surprisingly, in Jesus' case the effect is exactly the opposite. As soon as he tastes or inhales the sponge he expires. Corey Gilkes, The Crucifixion Demystified, [online Source]
The scholar Michael Baigent confesses that Judas was poisoned:
There is a curious incident recorded in the Gospels that may be explained by this hypothesis: while on the cross, Jesus (Judas) complained that he was thirsty. A sponge soaked in vinegar was placed on the end of a long reed and held up to him. But far from reviving Jesus (Judas), the drink from this sponge apparently caused him to die. This is a curious reaction and suggests that the sponge was soaked not in vinegar, a substance that would have revived Jesus (Judas), but rather in something that would have caused him to lose consciousness – some sort of drug, for example. And there was just this type of drug available in the Middle East. (The Jesus Papers, p. 128)  Brackets are mine
Jesus said he wouldn’t drink any wine (fruit of the vine) until he arrives in Heaven.
But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. (Matthew 26:29)
Judas was crucified while Jesus escaped. Jesus couldn’t have drunk the wine because he specifically said he wouldn’t drink any wine. This indicates that Jesus ascended to Heaven shortly after Judas was arrested. Historically, it takes three days to die from crucifixion, so Judas was indeed poisoned on the cross, which resulted in death.
The Gospels record that Jesus died instantly from the poisoned vinegar, but it wasn’t Jesus at all. The crucified was Judas Iscariot:
Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:29-30)
The vinegar Judas drank was really wine, yet Jesus said he wouldn’t drink any wine!
The drink offered to our Lord was vinegar (made of light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers) “mingled with gall,” or, according to Mark (15:23), “mingled with myrrh;” both expressions meaning the same thing. 
If Jesus was truly hanging on the cross, then he contradicted his own words by drinking the vinegar (wine), which he promised not to drink (Matt. 26:29, Mk. 14:25, Lk. 22:18)
What Happened to Judas’ body?
There are two contradictory passages in the New Testament that record Judas’ death. The Gospel of Matthew says Judas hanged himself (27:5), yet the Book of Acts says Judas fell on rocks and his bowels burst open (Acts 1:18). There is no other solution but accepting the crucifixion of Judas, he was taken down from the cross and thrown into a field where his bowels burst open.
The tradition of Judas hanging himself is fabricated:
Matthew’s Gospel follows the Passion and Resurrection sections of Mark very closely in the main outlines but adds a number of new elements – what Beare calls “legendary embroidery”. These are the death of Judas by hanging (27:3-8); the dream of Pilate’s wife (27:19); Pilate’s washing of his hands and the acceptance of guilt for the blood of Jesus by “the whole people” (27:24 ff.) (what terrible persecution and hatred the Jewish people have suffered at so-called Christian hands because of this addition to the tale!); certain sayings of Jesus (26:26-9); and the story of the guard at the tomb (27:62-64) (Tom Harper, For Christ’s Sake, p. 101)
The contradiction between Matthew and Acts cannot be solved, so the only explanation is to reconcile Judas’ crucifixion with Acts 1:18.
According to Matthew’s gospel, the chief priests bought a field with 30 pieces of silver. Judas was already dead when the field was purchased, so his body was thrown “headlong” after he was crucified.
Notably, some would object to the suggestion of Judas having been crucified on the basis that, as per Matthew 27:5, Judas threw his ill-gotten silver back at the priests and “…went and hanged himself”. So some would object. The author of ‘Acts (commonly held to have been Luke the evangelist)…for Acts records that Judas “…purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out”. (Acts 1:18) So if the author of ‘Acts’ and the author of the gospel of ‘Matthew’ cannot agree on the matter, what truly happened could be anybody’s guess. (The First and Final Commandment, p. 213)
There is good reason to believe that God transformed Jesus to look exactly like Judas.
On the other hand, if the proposal of Judas having been crucified in place of Jesus sounds technically strained, it shouldn’t; God is described as having restrained the eyes of two disciples (i.e., intimate companions who should have readily recognized their teacher) when they met the supposedly ‘risen’ Jesus on the road to Emmaus, “…so that they did not know him” (Luke 24:16). Another Biblical example would be that Mary Magdalene is reported to have failed to recognize Jesus outside of the tomb, “…supposing him to be the gardener…” (John 20:15). A person could reasonably expect Mary Magdalene to have known better, under normal circumstances. (ibid, p. 213)
In the Old Testament, God transformed Miriam to be leprous:
The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam—leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy; and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” (Numbers 12:9-12)
The face of Jesus was transfigured on the mount:
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. (Matthew 17:1-2)
Lawrence Brown further says:
Reviewing what can be surmised from unprejudiced historical accounts, opposing views to those of Trinitarian Christianity are seen to have been voiced by a large population of the religious, and spanning the known world. And the opinions of those who denied the crucifixion and death of Christ Jesus were not necessarily either a minority in their time or incorrect in their claim. All that not withstanding, many would argue that from a gut level it makes more sense for God to have punished Judas for his treachery than to have tortured Jesus for his innocence. (ibid, p. 221)
Many early Christian sects believed Jesus was spared:
On the other hand, if the concept of another crucified in place of Jesus sounds foreign to Christianity, it isn’t. Amongst the early Christian groups the Corinthians, the Basilidians, the Paulicians, and the Carpocrations all believe Christ Jesus to have been spared. The Basilidians, in specific, believe that Simon of Cyrene was crucified in his place. Typical of such dissenting groups, all of the above were judged to have been Gnostics and/or heretics by the orthodox Church, and were violently suppressed by a Trinitarian majority who systematically burned dissenters into oblivion for the first fifteen centuries of Roman Catholic rule. (ibid, p. 214)
A Christian may argue “what about Jesus’ trial with Pilate?” the answer is very simple. The trial of Jesus is historically false, and it never occurred. The 19th century scholar Rabbi Wise examined the records of Pilate and concluded:
“In the nineteenth century an eminent scholar, Rabbi Wise, searched the records of Pilate’s court, still extant, for evidence of this trial. He found nothing.” 
The book “The Martyrdom of Jesus of Nazareth” (1874) is out of print. The scholar Lloyd Graham records the discovery of Rabbi Wise in his book Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, both can be purchased online.
Furthermore, the trial of Jesus is filled with historical errors. This casts serious doubt on the Gospel story:
(1). The Sanhedrin was forbidden to meet over the Passover.
(2) The character of Pilate is false, he was brutal and wicked 
(3). There was no Roman custom of releasing a prisoner at the Passover.
(4). Why did Pilate release Barabbas when he was a political threat to Rome?
(5) The story of Barabbas is fictional, he never existed.
(6). The Gentile writers exonerated the Romans.
(7) It takes three days to die from crucifixion, not three hours.
(8). According to Jewish Law, Jesus should’ve been stoned, not crucified.
(9). Why did six-hundred Roman soldiers come to arrest Jesus?!
(10). Why did Judas identify Jesus with a kiss when his face was recognizable?
(11) The exact date of Jesus’ crucifixion is unknown. 
(12) The trial of Jesus is recorded differently in each Gospel.
(13) The Jewish philosopher Philo (50 CE) never mentions Jesus’ trial
(14) The Gospels never mention Pilate’s wife (Claudia)
(15) Jesus was crucified for political charges, and for blasphemy. This does mean he was false?
(16) In reality, Jesus was not crucified at all (Quran 4:157)
(17). Why didn’t the Romans seek evidence for the false charges against him?
Here is what scholar T.W. Doane says about Jesus’ trial:
The Jews said unto him: “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham” If Jesus was then but about thirty years of age, the Jews would evidently have said : “thou art not yet forty years old,” and would not have been likely to say: “thou art not yet fifty years old,” … ;’ therefore, if Jesus was crucified at that time he must have been about fifty years of age; but, as we re-marked elsewhere, there exists, outside of the New Testament, no evidence whatever, in book, inscription, or monument, that Jesus of Nazareth was either scourged or crucified under Pontius Pilate. Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny, Philo, nor any of their contemporaries, ever refer to the fact of this crucifixion, or express any belief thereon. (T.W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, p. 516)
There is no verification of a significant crucifixion in the writings of historians such as Philo, Tacitus, Pliny, Suetonius, Epictectus, Cluvius Rufus, Quintus, Curtis Rufus, Josephus, nor the Roman Consul, Publius Petronius. The crucifixion also was unknown to early Christians until as late as the Second Century. 
We don’t know the exact date of Jesus’ crucifixion. According to scholars:
How long was Jesus on the cross before he died? I do not think anyone knows. Remember, those who might have noticed and relayed that information had all forsaken him and fled. he appearance of Joseph of Arimathea, the darkness over the land, the split in the temple veil, the ecstatic cry of faith from the centurion-all were elements of the developing legend. The hasty burial before the Sabbath was but a part of the burial legend. Thus no one knows how long Jesus lived on the cross, how he died, when he was taken down, or where he was buried, “for they all forsook him and fled.” That means there was no first-day-of-the-week visit to the tomb by the women to anoint him, since there was no tomb and no sense of when he died or of where he was buried. (John Shelby Spong, Resurrection: Myth or Reality, p. 241)
The nativity was placed at the winter solstice, thus coinciding with the birthday of the Sun-god. And the date for the crucifixion was made to vary from year to year to conform to the astronomical principle which fixed the Jewish Passover. (J.M. Robertson, Pagan Christs, p. 68)
“…Mark continues: “The hour of the crucifixion was nine in the morning” (the third hour, Roman time – Mark 15:25); John, however, tells us that “It was the eve of Passover, about noon”, when Pilate “handed Jesus over to be crucified”. Thus, we cannot know the hour of the crucifixion. Nor, in fact, did the evangelists know; their times were fictional creations, parts of a theological framework. (Randel Helms, Gospel Fictions, p. 125)
“It is impossible to give definite dates for all the events of the New Testament” (The World Book Encyclopedia, by World Book editors, p. 235)