I am confused about part of the thesis that Elaine Pagels and Karen King have set forth in their new book on the Gospel of Judas (Reading Judas). I just watched the Colbert report (I know I'm a few days behind here, but this week was tough). I thought that Pagels handled Colbert's questions and his intrusiveness very well, but I was still confused about part of the thesis after viewing the clip.
Their main thesis is that martyrdom is being severely criticized by the Gospel of Judas. That the good news of the gospel is that Christians shouldn't listen to their leaders who encourage them to sacrifice themselves. Okay, I think this is a very valid point. But then how can Judas be a good guy or Jesus' friend since he sacrifices Jesus, and according to Pagels is asked by Jesus to do so?
In the report, Pagels asked a very good question, a question that I think the Gospel of Judas does raise - What kind of God is this who requires human sacrifice? But, if God doesn't want sacrifices, then how can Jesus' sacrifice at the hands of Judas be understood by Pagels-King as a good deed by a hero, one that Jesus asks him to do? Does anyone have any ideas?
Update 4-21-07: check out these other blogs on the Colbert report