Ginger of the Month: Judas Iscariot

The one on the left, without the divinity...

No other color of hair is as maligned as red.  Throughout the ages, people who have a slight mutation on the MC1R gene have been discriminated against, called witches, cursed and spat upon.  From a psychological standpoint, I put much of the blame on a little thing I like to call jealousy.  From a historical point of view, however, I think a bit of that prejudice has to fall on this guy:


April’s Ginger of the Month is none other than one of the most notorious back-stabbers in history, Judas Iscariot.  The first thing that you’re probably asking yourself is, “How did I get a bruise back there?” Then, after you have re-focused back on the page you’re reading, you may think that Judas, being a Hebrew in the Middle East is not likely to have had red hair.

Oh yeah?  Shows what you know.

Judas is widely believed to have been of crimson lock by scholars.  Historically, Judas has often been portrayed with red hair and a red beard in paintings and murals.  This was a device employed by artists to separate the betrayer from the loyal disciples. However, there may have been some truth to it. His last name is also an Aramaic translation for the word “red”, leading scholars to believe that his discerning feature created his last name.  There are other beliefs as to the meaning of “Iscariot”, but we’re going with “red” here.

But let’s get down to brass tacks. There are very few names that you can address someone by that convey a more vitriolic meaning than “Judas.” According to scripture, Judas betrayed Christ to the Romans; ratted him out, sent him up the river, squeezed the toothpaste tube from the top. Everybody knows it. Besides, calling someone a Judas is more terse that screaming “Benedict Arnold” (unfortunately, also a red head. Dammit!).

Recently, the act of turning over Jesus to the Romans has been put to scrutiny and has become a point of debate among scholars. The more neutral Greek translation of the Bible terms it as “handing over” to convey that Judas merely arranged a meeting between his leader and the authority with no clear knowledge of the outcome.  Some may actually interpret Jesus’ words to Judas at the time of his arrest as a command and not a rebuke.  “Jesus asked him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then the other men surged forward, took hold of Jesus, and arrested him.” (Matthew 26:50, International Standard Version).

Judas’ place in history will always stand in question. Whether Judas took the silver, betrayed his master and subsequently committed suicide or whether the 12th disciple was acting along the wishes of his master in fulfilling the prophecy that had been laid out is a debate that will likely play out as long as people believe in the Bible.

Either way, this ginger is an essential cog in the development of the Western world over the last 2000 years.  One could argue that without this testa rosa, for better or worse, there may not have been a crucifixion, subsequently no resurrection, hence no Christianity, and no Easter this month which would mean no Recess peanut butter cup eggs.

Judas Iscariot, though not particularly popular among the Western World unless you’re some kind of poem-spewing Goth chick or you’re hell-bent for leather, is April’s Ginger of the Month.

Gingers living after midnight

Gingers living after midnight


5 thoughts on “Ginger of the Month: Judas Iscariot

  1. Ummmm, excuse me, but fcuk that. You are not going to include judas as a ginger. First of all, this painting was made by a white non-ginger nearly 1500 years after this had taken place. That being said, how the hell would he even KNOW if Judas was a ginger. Obviously at this point in history hating of gingers was gaining serious momentum. Speaking on behalf of gingers, I can tell you we do NOT backstab people that actually love and care for us, and also don’t make fun of us. We have those peoples backs more then our own. So to say the best lover of all time was forsaken by a ginger is an utterly false statement. I WILL NOT INCLUDE JUDAS ISCARIOT AS A GINGER AND WILL RAGE ON ANYBODY WHO THINKS HE IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks for reading my blog, ARealGinger! I first want to applaud you for dispelling the myth about redheads and tempers. Next, I want to thank you for speaking on my behalf. I had thought that I had done a serviceable job of it myself, but I’m glad that you are taking up that burden. I think you’ve made several points here, and I want to address each to your satisfaction.
    You are 100% correct in pointing out that likenesses of Judas were painted well after his death and that we can’t be 100% certain that his hair color was not influenced by a resounding fear of Ginger powers; you know what I mean… That is why I included the Aramaic translation of his name as supporting information. Check out paragraph 4 if you missed it.
    Now, as for not stabbing people in the back, that’s making a very broad statement. Let’s not forget that Lizzie Borden sported crimson locks as well. Girl could wield a hatchet!
    I’m afraid that you may have to rage on me, fellow ginger, because I’m standing by my claim.
    Look, like I said, somebody had to betray Jesus for the Romans to take him. If you believe in God, maybe it was part of his master plan all along. If so, then you should be happy that a ginger took one for the team. Without the crucifixion and resurrection, Christianity doesn’t have a flash point. Western civilization needs Judas. Western civilization needed a ginger.

  3. Hath anyone noticed that Jesus the one with the reddish hair in that painting & Judas has the darker brown hair? Genesis 25:25 mentions that Esau was born ‘red’ and maybe 1 or 2 other mentions of ‘red’ in the bible, but I can’t recall any mention of “Judas had red hair…. in the middle east, well over two Thousand years ago… there just happened to be a dude there with bright red hair.” 😉 Most redheads are fantastic, though hollywood and american media will tell you the exact opposite, even when it is a Historical fact. Thomas Jefferson, Rob Roy MacGregor, Phillipe Petite, etc etc – all red heads, though Hollywood made them all brown hairs & made Jefferson a blond. – Eric Heiss

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