"Judas' Kiss" is a song by Petra. It was written and composed by the band's guitarist and vocalist Bob Hartman. The song was released in 1982 as part of the band's fifth album, More Power to Ya. One keyboard melody in the song is influenced by German classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Song analysis and interpretation[]

"Judas' Kiss" is based on Luke 22:47-48, which tells the story of how the Apostle Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. The kiss was meant to be a signal to the Pharisees that felt threatened by Jesus gospel, and wanted to arrest him. The song proceeds to compare moments when Christians might walk away from Jesus with Judas' kiss.

In drawing its comparison, the song makes reference to several other Bible stories, facts, and verses. Some examples mentioned are the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Parable of the Lost Sheep, as well as facts about Jesus' torture and crucifixion.


Words and music by Bob Hartman

I wonder how it makes you feel when the prodigal won't come home
I wonder how it makes you feel when he'd rather be on his own
I wonder what it's like for you when a lamb has gone astray
I wonder what it's like for you when your children disobey

It must be like another thorn struck in your brow
It must be like another close friend's broken vow
It must be like another nail right through your wrist
It must be just like
Just like Judas' kiss

I wonder how it makes you feel when no one seeks your face
I wonder how it makes you feel when they give up in the race
I wonder what it's like for you when they willingly disobey
I wonder what it's like for you when they willingly walk away


Other versions[]

Live versions[]

"Judas' Kiss" was part of "The Rock Medley" featured in the 1986 live album Captured in Time and Space. It is the last song performed in the medley, after "Stand Up" and "Not by Sight".

In 2005, Petra played "Judas' Kiss" live during the recording of their last live album, Petra Farewell. However, project coordinator Jim Cooper decided along with the band to cut it from the final version. Bob Hartman said in an interview that the song "was on our first live album and we didn't get a good enough take of it to avoid some extra work. Given the very short time we had for any additional fixing, we axed it." However, the song was included in the album Vertical Expressions recorded by II Guys from Petra in 2007.


In 2000, Petra rearranged and recorded the song in the album Double Take. This version features John Schlitt on lead vocals.

Cover versions[]

"Judas' Kiss" was covered in 1996 by The Walter Eugenes for the tribute album Never Say Dinosaur. This version was produced by Nichols and Perkins.