According to the New Testament, Jesus was arrested by the Roman authorities for claiming to be the son of God, though some modern day historians suggest that the Romans detained him as he was a threat to the empire. However, before his arrest, all four canonical gospels claim Jesus was betrayed by Judas to the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas is said to have kissed Jesus and addressed him as a “rabbi” to reveal his identity to the crowd who had come to arrest him.
Jesus was then sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect in the province of Judea.
After the crucifixion, Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross and buried in a cave, with the entrance sealed off by an enormous stone to prevent anyone stealing his body.
However, three days later, some women visited the grave and found that the stone had been moved and that the tomb was empty.
Jesus was then seen by a number of people after his death which, to the apostles, is proof that he was the living son of God.
Five years ago, author Tom Bissell wrote ‘Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve’, which set off to discover whether the twelve apostles were actual historical figures or merely fictional characters.
Mr Bissell walked 500 miles along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in north Spain, during which he hunted for a mysterious monastery where Apostle Matthew is believed to be buried.
He also visited the place where Judas who, overcome with remorse for his part in Jesus’ death, is said to have hanged himself.
In the book, Mr Bissell described Judas as the “electromagnet of wickedness”, however the author has since explored in an interview with National Geographic whether the shamed disciple even existed.
When asked by the publication whether he believed Judas was a real historical person, Mr Bissell replied: “That is a very thorny question.
“According to tradition, though the scripture is not clear on this, Judas hanged himself in a place called Hakeldama in the Hinnom Valley, which is this rocky, desert-like valley in the southern part of Jerusalem.
“When you go there, it really does feel like it’s a cursed place. That’s the power of these stories.
“You feel the centuries of hatred and disgust for this person who betrayed Jesus.”