For 2000 years, most Christians have believed that Judas sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver and hanged himself. In Archer's and Maloney's retelling of The Gospel According to Judas, Judas did kiss Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane to identify him. But the gesture was not to betray him to his accusers but to identify him to a Scribe who, by previous negotiation, Judas believed would help him lead Jesus to safety. Judas was the betrayed, not the betrayer. Supposedly written by Benjamin Iscariot, the imagined son of Judas, who argues that his father - up to now the personification of venality in Christian memory - has been grossly mis-represented. The Gospel According to Judas is an intricate story of the intrigues that brought Jesus to the Cross, capturing much of the emotion of Jesus' last days.
The project is as bold as it is simple: Archer has written a story for twenty-first-century readers, while Moloney has ensured the result is credible to a first-century Christian or Jew.