I am a Christian and came across a theory by atheist Daniel T Unterbrink where he claims that Judas of Galilee from Acts 5 is actually Jesus insofar that the gospel accounts of Judas of Galilee (not to be confused with Iscariot) is the actual Jesus. I'm curious is how can this be refuted? Have you or any one else ever heard if this author and his theory? Is this theory tenable? Is it accepted among secular scholars and teachers? Are there any books refuting his theory? Who even is Judas of Galilee?

Here are links to the author's books:


1 Answer 1


This theory is not at all plausible.

Judas the Galilean is known to us from 2 sources: Luke (Acts 5:37) & Josephus (e.g. Antiquities 18.1). Both sources also make reference to Jesus and know Him as a distinct individual.

Thus the problem boils down as follows:

  • If either Luke or Josephus (or both) is a reliable historical source with respect to Judas, Judas the Galilean is definitely not the same person as Jesus.
  • If neither Luke nor Josephus is a reliable historical source on this matter, we have no evidence that Judas the Galilean ever existed.

Additionally, Judas the Galilean died in approximately AD 6 (though there is a minority view that he died a few years earlier). Jesus was put to death under Pontius Pilate (this is established by both Christian and non-Christian sources); Pilate didn't come into office in Judea until AD 26.

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