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'Not one but all things attributed by tradition to Judas Iscariot are false' ('No una cosa, todas las cosas que la tradiciĆ³n atribuye a Judas Iscariote son falsas')

Fishburn and Hughes: A quotation from De Quincey on Judas Iscariot in Speculative and Theological Essays (1857). The argument of the essay is, in De Quincey's words, based on speculations 'first broached by German theologians and by Archbishop Whateley'. The text reads: 'Not one thing but all things must rank as false which traditionally we accept about him' (Writings, ed. David Mason, vol.8, 177). Judas believed that 'Christ contemplated a temporal kingdom' and the liberation of his people from the Roman authorities. Therefore it was important that Christ should be forced into action by an outsider and should commit himself without hesitation. According to De Quincey, Judas believed he was fulfilling his master's innermost purpose by denouncing him, thinking that Christ's arrest would arouse all the people of Jerusalem. The essay concludes with a disquisition on the death of Judas, of which we have two different reports, one in Matthew and the other in the Acts of the Apostles, adding that the Church is left to explain the contradictions of this 'memorable domestic tragedy'. Three Versions of Judas