Judas Was Turned by the Romans into an Informant?

14 Feb

That’s what Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin leader said as host of a series on the Bible airing in the United Kingdom.

Besides his idea about Judas being a little odd, the fact that Adams is the host is raising ire.

Willie Frazer, who runs a victims’ group, said that the prospect of Mr Adams featuring in a documentary about the Bible and forgiveness was disgusting. “Would the victims of 9/11 accept a programme where extremist Islamic terrorists were allowed to frame their actions in terms of religion?” he asked.

But he’s got some high profile scholars on his side.

He [Adams] was accompanied on his journey through the Holy Land by Helen Bond, senior lecturer in New Testament language, literature and theology at the University of Edinburgh. Dr Bond said Mr Adams “spent hours arguing whether first-century Galilee was ‘occupied’ and the meaning of ‘democracy’ in ancient societies”. She says on her blog that she learnt from Mr Adams. “Judas’s betrayal was another area where Gerry’s perspective helped me to see things rather differently.” Dr Bond said that while she had always approached Judas intellectually, “Gerry instinctively understood the defection of a ‘gang member’. “ ‘Yeah, that’s what happens,’ he said, ‘they got to him’.

Give the piece a read.

As for myself, I can’t think of any reason why Judas would betray Jesus- to the Jewish priests- if he were a Roman informant. It really doesn’t make sense. And if the Romans wanted to arrest Jesus, they hardly needed Judas’s help. They simply could have, and would have, arrested Jesus without use of Judas.

Adam’s theory sounds like the same sort of eisegesis found too commonly these days. Some modern guy thinks he sees a parallel between his own situation and a story in the Bible and so he superimposes his own worldview onto the Bible. Such moves tell us nothing about the events in the Bible, however. Nothing.

1 Comment

Posted by on 14 Feb 2010 in Bible


One response to “Judas Was Turned by the Romans into an Informant?

  1. Geoff Hudson

    20 Feb 2010 at 6:15 am

    There were no Romans around to arrest a fictitious Jesus, except for those at Caesarea. Agrippa I was king at the time. It is quite surprising what Flavian editors can do.