The Judas Brief: A Critical Investigation Into the Arrest and Trials of Jesus and the Role of the Jews (Hardcover)
Based on detailed historical evidence and logical analysis of inconsistencies within the gospel accounts of the events leading up to the arrest and execution of Jesus, Greenberg argues that Judas never betrayed Jesus and that the Jewish priests never sought to have Jesus executed. According to Greenberg, Judas, acting on behalf of Jesus, together with the Jewish High Priest, negotiated a deal with Pilate to avoid Roman military assaults in a crowded city by keeping Jesus under house arrest with the High Priest until after the Passover holiday and then allowing him to go back to Galilee. But Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, feared Jesus' popularity back home and successfully pressured Pilate to break the agreement and execute Jesus. This landmark study is the first major historically-based challenge to Christian accusations of Jewish involvement in the death of Jesus. Catholic Biblical Quarterly wrote that Greenberg "has a keen eye for the ways religious and political motives have shaped the story of Jesus' arrest and execution.