Hitchens’ take on Judas Iscariot in light of the new gnostic text, in Slate:
The Judas gospel would make one huge difference if it was accepted. It would dispel the centuries of anti-Semitic paranoia that were among the chief accompaniments of the Easter celebration until approximately 30 years after 1945, when the Vatican finally acquitted the Jews of the charge of Christ-killing. But if Jesus had been acting consistently and seeking a trusted companion who could facilitate his necessary martyrdom, then all the mental and moral garbage about the Jewish frame-up of the Redeemer goes straight over the side.
Remember that Christians are supposed to believe that everybody is responsible for the loneliness and torture of Calvary, and for the failure to appreciate the awful blood sacrifice until it was too late. In living memory, the Catholic Church invoked the verses where the Jews called for this very blood to be, not just upon their own heads, but upon their every succeeding generation. (This sinister fable occurs in only one of the four authorized Gospels, but it was enough—and Mel Gibson recently coined himself 40 million pieces of silver by attempting to revive it.)
Now ask yourself, why did the church take so long to exculpate the Jews as a whole from the collective and heritable charge of “deicide”? It ought to have been simple enough to determine that the Sanhedrin of the time, whatever it may have done, could not have bound all Jews for all eternity. The answer is equally simple: If Christianity had to excuse one group of humans from everlasting blood-guilt, how could it avoid excusing them all?