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Judas of Galilee: Wikis


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Judas of Galilee or Judas of Gamala led a violent resistance to the census imposed for Roman tax purposes by Quirinius in Iudaea Province around AD 6. The revolt was crushed brutally by the Romans. These events are discussed by Josephus in Jewish Wars and in Antiquities of the Jews.

In Antiquities of the Jews[1] Josephus states that Judas, along with Zadok the Pharisee, founded the Zealots, which he calls the "fourth sect" of first century Judaism (the first three are the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes). Josephus blames the Zealots, a group of theocratical-nationalists who preached that God alone was the ruler of Israel and later urged that no taxes should be paid to Rome, for the Great Jewish Revolt and for the destruction of Herod's Temple.

Josephus does not relate the death of Judas, although he does report that Judas' sons James and Simon were executed by procurator Tiberius Julius Alexander in about 46 AD.[2] He also reports that Menahem, one of the early leaders of the Jewish Revolt in AD 66, was Judas' son, but most scholars doubt this. Menahem may have been Judas' grandson, however[3]. Menahem's cousin, Eleazar ben Ya'ir, then escaped to the fortress of Masada where he became a leader of the last defenders against the Roman Empire.

Judas is mentioned in the New Testament Book of Acts of the Apostles.[4] The author has Gamaliel, a member of the Sanhedrin, refer to him as an example of a failed Messianic leader. This is evidently an error, since it describes the revolt of Theudas, which would not actually take place for another ten years, as happening before that of Judas.[5]


  1. ^ Book 18 (Chapter 1)
  2. ^ Antiquities 20.5.2 102
  3. ^ Messianic claimants (12) Menahem
  4. ^ Acts 5:37
  5. ^ Paul Barnett, The Birth of Christianity, (Eerdmans, 2005), page 199.

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Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Judas the Galilean article)

From BibleWiki

Leader of a popular revolt against the Romans at the time when the first census was taken in Judea, in which revolt he perished and his followers were dispersed (Acts v. 37); born at Gamala in Gaulonitis (Josephus, "Ant." xviii. 1, § 1). In the year 6 or 7 C.E., when Quirinus came into Judea to take an account of the substance of the Jews, Judas, together with Zadok, a Pharisee, headed a large number of Zealots and offered strenuous resistance (ib. xviii. 1, § 6; xx. 5, § 2; idem, "B. J." ii. 8, § 1). Judas proclaimed the Jewish state as a republic recognizing God alone as king and ruler and His laws as supreme. The revolt continued to spread, and in some places serious conflicts ensued.

Even after Judas had perished, his spirit continued to animate his followers. Two of his sons, Jacob and Simon, were crucified by Tiberius Alexander ("Ant." xx. 5, § 2); another son, Menahem, became the leader of the Sicarii and for a time had much power; he was finally slain by the high-priestly party ("B. J." ii. 17, §§ 8-9).

Grätz ("Gesch." iii. 251) and Schürer ("Gesch." i. 486) identify Judas the Galilean with Judas, son of Hezekiah the Zealot, who, according to Josephus ("Ant." xvii. 10, § 5; "B. J." ii. 4, § 1), led a revolt in the time of Quintilius Varus. He took possession of the arsenal of Sepphoris, armed his followers, who were in great numbers, and soon became the terror of the Romans.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
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