Judas, Life of Jesus Christ, Christian Persecution of Jews, Christian Perceptions of Judaism


A question that Christians might ask is, if Jesus was so entrenched within and embracive of Judaism, then why did he condemn Jewish leaders and why was he ultimately rejected and killed by his fellow Jews? In this and the next four chapters (chapters 6–10) we will challenge the assumptions of that very question and illustrate that “the Jews” did not reject and kill Jesus, and that Jesus did not reject and condemn “the Jews.” We will explore the relationship between Jesus and his peers. We start in this chapter by looking at Judas, whose story is perhaps Exhibit A that illustrates the Christian charge that “Jews killed Jesus.” Judas serves as a representation of Jews according to later Christians. However, before turning our attention to Judas, it behooves us to grasp the extent of the “Christ killer” accusation hurled at Jews by Christians from late antiquity to the present day. After reviewing this heart-wrenching material, we can then proceed by asking ourselves, “did Jews really kill Jesus?” and “was Christian persecution of Jews warranted?”

Original Publication Citation

Hatch, Trevan. "His Friend Judas: Why Didn't He Betray His Messiah?." A Stranger In Jerusalem: Seeing Jesus As a Jew, Wipf and Stock, 2019, 134-153

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Permanent URL




Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

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Christianity Commons