Three Versions of Judas

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Three Versions of Judas
by Jorge Luis Borges
Original titleTres versiones de Judas
Country Argentina
Language Spanish
Genre(s) Fantasy, short story
Published in Sur
Media typePrint
Publication dateAugust 1944

"Three versions of Judas" (original Spanish title: "Tres versiones de Judas") is a short story by Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges. It was included in Borges' anthology, Ficciones , published in 1944. Like several other Borges stories, it is written in the form of a scholarly article. The story carries three footnotes and quotes many people, some of which are real (like Antônio Conselheiro), some have been concocted from real life (like Maurice Abramowicz, who was once his classmate, and later became a deputy for the Swiss communist party, but is made a French religious philosopher in the story [1] ) and some are completely fictitious (like Jaromir Hladík, who is a character from his own story "The Secret Miracle").


Plot summary

The story begins as a critical analysis of works of a fictitious writer Nils Runeberg. Nils Runeberg lives in the city of Lund, where he publishes two books: Kristus och Judas (1904) [Christ and Judas] and his magnum opus Den hemlige Frälsaren (1909) [The secret Savior]. Borges analyses these two works (three if the revised edition of Kristus och Judas is counted separately) and discusses their heretical conclusions without providing the "dialectic or his (Nils Runeberg) proofs". The story ends with the death of Nils Runeberg.

The three versions of Judas

Borges' fictitious writer Nils Runeberg presents to the world three versions of Judas Iscariot using his two books.

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  1. Bell-Villada, Gene H. Borges and his fiction. p. 127.


Further reading