Gerry on Jesus

I wouldn’t have commissioned him myself for this sort of thing during my BBC career and yes, I understand the incongruity and share the sense of irony. But then this is the sort of left field idea that Channel 4 is for. I’m looking ahead to Gerry Adams’s Jesus pilgrimage next Sunday with an open mind. Helen Bond, a Biblical scholar at Edinburgh University was Adams’ minder on the project. She writes about him as if she had barely heard of him before – Adams that is. This is a salutary reminder to us that Irish political passions which some of us think stopped the world barely registered even a couple of hundred miles away. Many of these folk will be in the Channel 4 audience. Extract from Helen Bond’s blog

Judas’ betrayal was another area where Gerry’s perspective helped me to see things rather differently. Once again, I’ve always approached Judas intellectually, asking why he betrayed Jesus, what motivated his actions – greed, disillusionment, an attempt to force Jesus’ hand? Gerry, however, instinctively understood the defection of a “gang member.” “Yeah, that’s what happens,” he said, “they got to him.” I had thought of Judas’ betrayal as something active, something he chose to do, rather than a situation he was forced into, perhaps (and quite likely) under duress. Of course, the whole Judas story is probably colored by the betrayal of David in 2 Samuel 15, but the general outline of events is historically plausible, a historicity made even stronger by its clear resonance with the way groups (on both sides) were infiltrated and betrayed in Belfast.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London