Several people misunderstood what I was trying to say in my post yesterday about Paul’s knowledge of Judas Iscariot.  It was probably my fault for not being clear enough.  I was *not*, decidedly *not*, trying to argue that the tradition that Judas betrayed Jesus was unhistorical.  Quite the contrary, for reasons I’ll explain in a second, I think this is a completely historical tradition.  I was simply asking whether Paul himself knew about it.  He may well have known about it.  But he gives no indication in his surviving writings that he did – either because he was in fact ignorant about it, or because he assumed his readers already knew all they needed to know about it, or because he had no occasion to bring it up in his surviving letters, or for some other reason.

But I do indeed think that – whatever Paul did or did not know about the matter – that Jesus was betrayed by one of his own, Judas Iscariot.  In my judgment, this tradition passes all of our standard criteria for establishing authentic tradition from the life of Jesus, especially:


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