It's nearly Easter. So it must be time for some "radical" revisionism of the Gospel. And so Kate Bottley, the "Dancing Vicar" of Gogglebox fame, takes a fresh look at Judas and concludes he was basically a bit mixed up and misunderstood.
This fresh look having been around since at least the 70s. I remember our school doing a passion play on just this theme. Starring Mark Harbottle-Skink, as the troubled, idealistic Judas who thinks he will provoke Jesus to messianic revolt. Mark's hanging scene was very dramatic, as he threw himself from the scaffolding (we were very trendy that Easter term). But he was preserved from actual strangulation by the harness he wore.
On the second night, he got the harness a bit twisted around the crotch area. He screamed and struggled a bit which added no end to the realism. And the following day he had to sing his key solo, "I'm just a misunderstood Zealot from Zealous Zealophania" in a reedy treble rather than the deep, rich baritone which won him the part.
And then on that third night there was trouble with the offal. To add Biblical realism, he had two pound of chitterlings up his shirt, which he released from the platform. Then the curtain came down and we all rushed on to mop the stage. But that night there was a problem with timing. Four minor disciples were walking under him as he let the intestines drop.
And the lot fell on Matthias.
But I digress. So new and more 21st century research of the post modern variety (i.e. you make up what feels good to you) has in fact concluded that Judas was a waiter from Mill Hill in North London. He got his surname when someone asked him if his chariot was any good, and he replied "-ish". Judas had served Joseph of Arimathea when had stopped off at London Gateway services on the way back to the Holy Land. It's not generally known, but on one of his frequent trips to Glastonbury, where he'd seen one of the Rolling Stones' early gigs, Joseph went up the Fosse Way to see the Rollright Stones (the first tribute band). Then cut across to Husborne Crawley, wondering why so many roundabouts had been built between Tattenhoe and Boughton, then down to Kent.
Judas was amazed by Joseph's stories of his wondrous nephew, and decided that this year, it really would be Jerusalem. There he got a job as waiter in a restaurant popular with the Sanhedrin.
So you see, when they came in talking about Jesus and Judas innocently mentioned he could get them an introduction - what the Gospel describes as blood money, Judas thought was a very generous tip.
And so Judas, the innocent idealistic waiter from the London suburbs, went down in history as the most evil man that ever lived. And to add insult to injury, he got home late that night. The Sanhedrin spent over an hour arguing about who had ordered the extra matzos.