Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus with a kiss, is to be given a makeover by Vatican scholars. The proposed "rehabilitation" of the man who was paid 30 pieces of silver to identify Jesus to Roman soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane, comes on the ground that he was not deliberately evil, but was just "fulfilling his part in God's plan".

The move to clear Judas's name coincides with plans to publish the alleged Gospel of Judas for the first time in English, German and French., Jan. 12, 2006

(Translation by Cardinal M. Palin, Archdiocese of Malden):

And so the chap they called Jesus spoke unto his chums, saying, "Pip-pip and cheerio! One of you fellows is going to betray Me, don't y'know." Here He meant Judas Iscariot, who was planning to betray Him – but only because it was God's plan, and not out of a personal nastiness or because he had any sort of financial stake in the matter. That was right out.

The disciples began to look at one another in disbelief, and a great tumult went up, with many cries of "Cor blimey!" and "Leave it out, mate!" Simon Peter beckoned Jesus to him, whispering, "Who is it, Lord, actually?" Jesus answered, "It is the poor, kind soul to whom I give this platter of meat 'n' two veg." Then He gave it to Judas – who was, it should be pointed out, looking a mite peckish – and said,

"Here, me old son. Get one down ya."

When Judas had eaten the morsel, Satan entered into him, just as quietly and politely as you please. Honestly, you wouldn't have even known he was there. Then Jesus said to Judas, "Go and do quickly what you are about to do. Just don't blame yourself." And Judas went out into the night.

A fortnight later, Judas returned with a company of soldiers and officers sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, carrying torches and lanterns and weapons and a lovely fruit basket for the savior. And they laid hands on Jesus and, er, took Him to be crucified. Bit of a bother, really.

(Translation by Cardinal M. Marceau, Archdiocese of Cherbourg)

And ze Jesus, he comes to his disciples and says unto zem, "Behold, ze hour is at hand, when ze Son of man is betrayed into ze hands of sinners. But he who does it, do not think that he ees a pig, because he only does what ees practical politically." And while He speaks – zut alors! – ze Judas, who is one of ze twelve, comes with a great multitude with swords and staves, from ze chief priests and elders of ze people. And ze Jesus says unto Judas, "Mon ami, wherefore art thou come?" But He knows why ze Judas is there, and His heart is full of a great joy. Because ze hard work, she is now done, and zey can all slack off early.

And zey all lay hands on ze Jesus, who smiles and holds up His own hands, saying, "Hello, GI Joe! Don't shoot!"

Then one of them who is with ze Jesus stretches out his hand and draws his sword, like he is making out to strike a servant of ze high priest's, but he only slices off a hunk of a nice Brie that is sitting nearby. And zen zey all take ze Jesus off to be crucified, while Judas lights up a tiny, foul-smelling cigarette and settles in to enjoy a good Godard movie.

(Translation by Cardinal U. Dirkschneider, Archdiocese of Bonn):

Then one of the twelve, who was being called Judas Iscariot, went into the chief priests und said to them, "What will you give me, und I will deliver Him unto you a little? I gotta do what I gotta do." Und they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver, und health insurance, und three months' paid vacation, und workout-club privileges he would sometimes be making use of. Und from that time on, he sought opportunity to betray Jesus when the moment was most correct and efficient, OK.

When that hour was being come, Jesus told the twelve, "Ach! I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me this time already. Heaven praise that man, especially if he is filling out all the required forms in triplicate."

Und they were taken by surprise like fools in their homes at night, und began every one of them to talk out loud, with words of, "Lord, is it me?"

"Is it I," corrected them the savior, being smooth und perfect in the knowing. Then Judas gathered up with great pride himself, und said, "Master, it is I." Und Jesus smiled und said unto him, "Thou hast said it – und in a clear, confident voice. Not like these schwarzes."

The time being arrived, the Christ was taken in arms by centurions who were only following orders, all right no problem. Und the elders, whose veins with weak and inferior blood were full up, went out und hanged themselves while Judas booked a flight to Argentina.

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