A note on the death of Judas in Papias

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In early Christian literature the death of Judas is broadly understood as a fitting end to the life of the betrayer of Jesus. Papias’ description of Judas’ death can be illuminated by comparison with ancient biographical and medical literature, in which oedema and parasitic infections are a consequence of greed, and also apocalyptic texts, in which worms become an emblematic form of divine punish- ment after death. Viewed in this context the death of Judas serves a pedagogical function as a warning about the dangers of greed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-397
Number of pages10
JournalNew Testament Studies
Issue number3
Early online date2 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Judas
  • Papias
  • ancient medicine
  • death
  • worms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies


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