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I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.
~ Judas confessing to betraying Jesus Christ
Judas Iscariot is one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ. He was known best for his betrayal to Christ.
He told the Sanhedrin chief priests and scribes, who wanted Jesus put to death, that he would hand him over for thirty pieces of silver. After Jesus was arrested and sentenced to death, Judas, realizing the atrocity of his betrayal, tried to return the pieces of silver to the chief priests. After they refused, Judas flung the coins into a temple, and killed himself by hanging.
There are two different versions of Judas Iscariot's death in the Bible. The version more widely known is where Judas hangs himself. The other claims that Judas fell, splits formed in his stomach, and his entrails fell out.
His betrayal has become infamous enough for the name Judas to be used as a common term for a traitor of any kind, especially one that betrays a close ally.
Due his betrayal to Jesus Christ, Judas Iscariot is commonly regarded as one of the most infamous traitors in history.
In Dante Alighieri's epic poem, The Inferno, Judas has been labeled among the greatest traitors in history, along with Brutus and Cassius, the murderers of Caesar. All three have been sentenced to the ninth and final circle of Hell- Treachery. Unlike the other traitors, who are frozen in ice, Judas, Brutus, and Cassius are eternally punished by being gnawed upon by the three heads of Satan. Judas, headfirst in Satan's middle head with his back raked by Satan's claws, suffers the worst punishment of the three.
Strangely, the innermost round of the treachery circle, Judecca (not counting Cocytus), bears his name.
The 2nd century Coptic papyrus book known as the Euangelion Ioudas ("Gospel of Judas") that was banned from the Christian Bible and rediscoved within the area near Beni Masah, Egypt in the 1970s, is the historical Gnostic document that describs the story of Jesus's death from the viewpoint of Judas. This Gospel stated that Jesus specifically asked Judas to betray him to the authorities. Also included was a story of a vision of Judas stoned to death by Christ's 11 remaining apostles.
Though their names are similar, Judas must not be confused with Judah, Joseph's fourth oldest brother.