Kiss of Judas

"The Kiss of Judas" redirects here. For the film, see The Kiss of Judas (film). Kiss of Judas (1304–06), fresco by Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Italy

The kiss of Judas, also known as the Betrayal of Christ, is the act with which Judas identified Jesus to the multitude with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests and elders of the people to arrest him, according to the Synoptic Gospels. The kiss is given by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper and leads directly to the arrest of Jesus by the police force of the Sanhedrin.

Within the life of Jesus in the New Testament, the events of his identification to hostile forces and subsequent execution are directly foreshadowed both when Jesus predicts his betrayal and Jesus predicts his death.

More broadly, a Judas kiss may refer to "an act appearing to be an act of friendship, which is in fact harmful to the recipient".


In the New Testament

Judas was not the only disciple of Jesus but one of twelve Apostles. Most Apostles originated from Galilee but Judas came from Judea. The gospels of Matthew (26:47–50) and Mark (14:43–45) both use the Greek verb καταφιλέω (kataphileó), which means to "kiss, caress; distinct from φιλεῖν (philein); especially of an amorous kiss" It is the same verb that Plutarch uses to describe a famous kiss that Alexander the Great gave to Bagoas. The compound verb (κατα-) "has the force of an emphatic, ostentatious salute". Lutheran theologian Johann Bengel suggests that Judas kissed Him repeatedly: "he kissed Him more than once in opposition to what he had said in the preceding verse: Greek: φιλήσω, philēsō, a single kiss (Matthew 26:48), and did so as if from kindly feeling".

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