The notorious and the divine. The story of Jesus Barabbas and Jesus Christ.

Barabbas, the notorious.

Barabbas, the notorious.

The gospel of St. Mathew and Roman rule.

The gospel of  Mathew and Roman rule. The crucifiction of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ.

Matthew 27:11-26. Now Jesus stood before the governor; and thegovernor asked him, Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus said, You say so. But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you? But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah? For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him. Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, Which of the two do you want me to release for you? And they said, Barabbas. Pilate said to them, Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah? All of them said, Let him be crucified! Then he asked, Why, what evil has he done? But they shouted all the more, Let him be crucified! So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves. Then the people as a whole answered, His blood be on us and on our children! So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.Barabbas or Jesus Barabbas (a Hellenization of the Aramaic bar abba בר אבא, literally “son of the  father” or “Jesus, son of the Father” respectively) is a figure in the accounts of the Passion of Christ, in which he is the insurrectionary whom Pontius Pilate freed at the Passover feast in Jerusalem, instead of Jesus.

Matthew refers to Barabbas only as a “notorious prisoner”.[6] Mark and Luke further refer to Barabbas as one involved in a stasis, a riot. Robert Eisenman states that John 18:40 refers to Barabbas as a lēstēs (“bandit”), “the word Josephus always employs when talking about Revolutionaries”.

According to all four canonical gospels and the non-canonical Gospel of Peter there was a prevailing Passover custom in Jerusalem that allowed or required Pilate, the praefectus or governor of Judea, to commute one prisoner’s death sentence by popular acclaim, and the “crowd” (ochlos), “the Jews” and “the multitude” in some sources, were offered a choice of whether to have either Barabbas or Jesus released from Roman custody. According to the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew,[1] Mark,[2] and Luke,[3] and the accounts in John[4] and the Gospel of Peter, the crowd chose Barabbas to be released and Jesus of Nazareth to be crucified. Pilate is portrayed as reluctantly yielding to the insistence of the crowd. A passage found only in the Gospel of Matthew has the crowd saying, “Let his blood be upon us and upon our children.”

Matthew refers to Barabbas only as a “notorious prisoner”.[6] Mark and Luke further refer to Barabbas as one involved in a stasis, a riot. Robert Eisenman states that John 18:40 refers to Barabbas as a lēstēs (“bandit”), “the word Josephus always employs when talking about Revolutionaries”.

Three gospels state that there was a custom at Passover during which the Roman governor would release a prisoner of the crowd’s choice; Mark 15:6, Matthew 27:15, and John 18:39. Later copies of Luke contain a corresponding verse (Luke 23:17), although this is not present in the earliest manuscripts, and may be a later gloss to bring Luke into conformity. The custom of releasing prisoners in Jerusalem at Passover is known as the Paschal Pardon.

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