The Bible Mysteries documentary features scholars who offer a novel explanation for Judas's actions that led to Jesus's arrest and execution. What do you think of this explanation and what do you think Judas's motivations were? How is Judas depicted in the Eastern Orthodox tradition? Is Judas beyond a chance of redemption?

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In the Bible Mysteries documentary, a scholar asks the question of what Judas really did to betray Jesus, and some scholars argue that Judas didn't really mean to betray Jesus. A kiss, one says, meant a greeting or a farewell. The question then arises of why Judas went to the authorities. The scholar suggests that maybe Judas was trying to get Jesus an audience with the high priest so that Jesus could make progress in establishing His kingdom.

However, this theory does not fit the biblical evidence. In the Gospels, Judas betrays Jesus. This is very clear. Jesus Himself indicates more than once that Judas will betray Him. We even hear that on the night before Jesus's death, the devil enters into Judas. Likely, Judas was motivated in part by money (although thirty pieces of silver is not really all that much) as he is identified as a thief and also by disappointment, for Jesus's kingdom and his own life as an apostle probably did not meet his expectations of the political messianic reign that would drive the Romans from the Holy Land.

The Eastern Orthodox tradition tends to focus on the darkening of Judas's soul and how he gave in to his greed. He becomes an example of what not to do and how not to live.

People have been wondering about Judas's chance of redemption since the beginning of Christianity. He does seem to repent, at least in part, of his actions when he throws the thirty pieces of silver back into the Temple. But then he goes out and hangs himself. He gives in to despair. He is contrasted with Peter, who also betrayed Jesus, or at least denied Him three times. Peter repented fully, wept tears of remorse, and turned to Jesus for mercy. We never see Judas asking for mercy or accepting mercy, and that is key to redemption.

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