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  #1  
Old Dec 26, '11, 8:49 pm
irishcolleen45 irishcolleen45 is offline
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Question Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

The Jewish leaders could stone an adultress and also St Stephen to death. Why couldn't they kill Jesus?
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Old Dec 26, '11, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

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Originally Posted by irishcolleen45 View Post
The Jewish leaders could stone an adultress and also St Stephen to death. Why couldn't they kill Jesus?
I think...for the seriousness of the charge against him (sedition?) it fell to the higher-ups to act as judge and jury and give the sentence/punishment?
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Old Dec 26, '11, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

The Romans were the only ones allowed to kill the Jews.

I think the adulterous woman (John 8) was not going to be a "kill situation" for the Jews, as indicated in John's Gospel. They intended Jesus to let her go, thus losing favor among the stauncher Jews. If Jesus ordered her death.... well, that would be on His head, not theirs.

The mob in Acts that stoned Stephen probably did that only because they were worked up into such a fury over Stephen's words. They didn't originally intend to kill him, but they simply got out of hand.
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Old Dec 26, '11, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

Didn't the Romans reserve execution to themselves? Certainly for sedition.
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Old Dec 26, '11, 10:19 pm
gilbs72 gilbs72 is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

I think there was politics at play even then, and the Jewish leaders feared that certain personalities were too popular with the people that they risked a backlash. For the same reason, even Herod Antipater was hesitant to kill John the Baptist. The Bible did mention that according to the Jewish leaders the law didn't allow it, but that's probably just an excuse. The Romans were powerful enough then not to be threatened by the people.
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Old Dec 26, '11, 11:05 pm
Todd Easton Todd Easton is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

Though under Roman law the Jews were not allowed to execute anyone (John 18:31), I think the Jewish leaders were more concerned about upsetting the multitudes rather than breaking Roman law. Scripture says that the Jewish leaders feared the multitudes who regarded Jesus as a prophet of God. (See Matthew 21:45) Getting the Romans to kill Jesus allowed the Jewish leaders to divert blame for his killing from themselves to the Romans.
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Old Dec 27, '11, 1:35 am
steve53 steve53 is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

Remember that the Council refused to convict Jesus, so there is your answer. Caiaphas wanted Jesus out of the way quickly, so he sent him over to Pilate. That Caiaphas didn't make a personal appeal to Pilate suggests that Pilate owed him a favor, or was paid off.
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Old Dec 27, '11, 3:00 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

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Originally Posted by irishcolleen45 View Post
The Jewish leaders could stone an adultress and also St Stephen to death. Why couldn't they kill Jesus?
Yet another stock answer by myself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick457 View Post
My two cents.

There is some uncertainty as to how capital punishment worked in the time of Jesus. One camp thinks that Jews did have limited right to give out death sentences, but only did so in the traditional methods (stoning, beheading, burning, and strangulating) and mostly in religious matters; secular cases being tried under Roman law. Another (more plausible IMHO) camp meanwhile thinks that only the Roman governor had this right, citing the fact that the Romans seldom granted anyone capital power, preferring to keep it to themselves in order to avoid any abuse of authority that might occur, such as local courts in Roman-unfriendly areas turning on Roman collaborators. Hence, all cases would have to be submitted to the prefect after the responsible local officials have reviewed them and made recommendations, as in the case of Jesus. If this authority was jealously withheld from other provinces (a decree of Augustus to the proconsul of Cyrene, dated 7-6 BC, in fact specifically excludes capital power from the province of the native court), why would Judaea be an exception?

During the 1st century, the provincial ruler's power was very considerable; it was only in the following century that authority was severely limited by the emperor himself. In these outposts of the empire, the prefect had to be able to do whatever he thought necessary for the good of Rome, and this included the power to discipline the army. The prefect's right to sentence people to death was not only exclusive but also absolute; he could execute a citizen, and he did not have to formulate a charge that would stand up in a court at Rome.

The only undisputed occasion the Jews are allowed to put people to death is when gentiles transgressed the allotted boundaries of the Temple. The Jews were allowed to kill any non-Jew who entered the sacred inner court, even if they were a Roman citizen. But this is somewhat an exception from the rule, in line with the custom of granting provincial subjects as much freedom as possible in practicing their religion.

As for Stephen's death, if we go by the opinion that only the prefect had the sole right of handing out death sentences, it would then be a lynching rather than an execution. His listeners just had enough and decided to put an end to him right then and there without any official sentence:
Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Why would Stephen's 'lynching' and this woman fly past under the radar then?

Judaea was a province ruled by a prefect (or after AD 41, a procurator), who commanded auxiliaries recruited from peregrini, local non-citizens: being an equestrian, he was not of high rank enough to command a legion; his immediate superior, the legate of Syria, meanwhile, had four legions under his belt. And even then, unlike in standard retellings of the Jesus story where Romans are barbarians who roam, loot and pillage around the countryside, all the while kicking old men and forcing people to carry their loads, in reality the prefect and the majority of his soldiers stayed in the capital of Caesarea Maritima for most of the year far away from the sight of Jews, preferring instead to let the native rulers (in this case, the high priest and his council) run daily affairs for him. These locals were the responsible officials for the area and was normally in charge of ordinary police and judicial procedures, though the prefect would have the final word. All in all, the prefect only had 3,000 troops at his disposal, which is not sufficient to handle serious trouble, thus in emergencies he would need the aid of the Syrian legate and his legions.

The Romans were totally unable to police the internal life of the provinces closely; and would not have done so if they had been able. So yes, they generally cared little about whatever excesses the provincial courts had in dealing with alleged offenses as long as Roman citizens were not involved. So it's more like a 'yeah, I know them locals are exercising vigilante justice, but so what?'-type of situation.
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Old Dec 27, '11, 6:20 am
irishcolleen45 irishcolleen45 is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

Thank you all for replying.

So it seems that Jesus' death was for a "secular crime" (claiming to be a king) because the Jews could not not make the case for blasphamy (saying that he is "I AM")?
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Old Dec 27, '11, 8:33 am
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

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Originally Posted by irishcolleen45 View Post
Thank you all for replying.

So it seems that Jesus' death was for a "secular crime" (claiming to be a king) because the Jews could not not make the case for blasphamy (saying that he is "I AM")?
Yes. Simply put, I concur with Patrick's response.

But to address the question in my own words...

What we are seeing in the gospels are two sets of law in play. The Law of Moses ascribed a death sentence to certain crimes and sins, including blasphemy. But the Romans conquered the area and imposed Roman law, which allowed the Jewish court (the Sanhedrin) to continue to operate in issues that did not specifically require the Roman authorities. Generally speaking, capital punishment was reserved to the Roman authorities (which would include the Jewish kings, as they acted as a representatives of Caesar), so according to Roman law, in order to legally execute someone, you had to bring them to a Roman court and they had to be convicted by the proper Roman authority for a violation against Roman law (for which capital punishment was the penalty).

With this in mind, the Sanhedrin found Jesus guilty of blasphemy according to their view of the Law of Moses. But they did not want to get in trouble with the Romans for killing Jesus themselves, so they took him to Pilate. But blasphemy against the God of the Jews was not a crime according to Roman law, so the Jews accused Jesus of treason against Caesar (because if someone claimed to be "the king of the Jews" who was not someone like King Herod Antipas, then this would be treason). According to Roman law, treason against Caesar was a crime punishable by death.

As a side note, when the NT describes a Jewish crowd executing someone, such as St. Stephen, or threatening to execute someone, such as the woman caught in adultery, what we are seeing is lynch mob activity. Because the Jews knew that the Romans would not execute someone for blasphemy or adultery, and because they thought God would punish them collectively for allowing blasphemers and adulterers to live amongst them, it was not unusual for certain Jews of the time to resort to "private justice." We can presume that no Roman soldiers were present when these events took place, or they would have put a stop to the proceedings and arrested the instigators.
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Old Dec 27, '11, 8:49 am
ILikeToBeCathol ILikeToBeCathol is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

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Originally Posted by irishcolleen45 View Post
The Jewish leaders could stone an adultress and also St Stephen to death. Why couldn't they kill Jesus?
Because the Jew's knew they couldn't execute Jesus according to the law.
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Old Dec 27, '11, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

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Originally Posted by irishcolleen45 View Post
Thank you all for replying.

So it seems that Jesus' death was for a "secular crime" (claiming to be a king) because the Jews could not not make the case for blasphamy (saying that he is "I AM")?
I see a similar scenario in Acts where the Jews want to bring Paul up for trial. Herod Agrippa (?) realized that this was "nothing more than a religious squabble among the Jews" and didn't want to dal with it.

It seems it took sedition to rise up to the need for capital punishment. Look at the Jews words to Pilate, "If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.* Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.
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Old Dec 27, '11, 9:30 am
Monte RCMS Monte RCMS is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

The governor's job was to maintain order.

And the Romans had absolutely no restraint in executing any local who might constitute a risk of rebellion. And the Romans executed locals by the hundreds, and did so as slowly and painfully as possible, usually leaving the bodies up on their crosses to be picked at by birds and dogs and to rot ... to make an example for the others.

In the case of Jesus, the Romans were asked to respect the Passover holy day and so they dispatched the two "thieves" quickly by breaking their legs so they would slump and be asphyxiated quickly. Jesus, however, had been pretty much beaten to death prior to His crucifixion, so He would not have had the strength to hold on for a few days, as customary. So Jesus died without any broken bones, befits the Sacrificial Lamb of God.

The Jewish people were so troublesome that finally the Romans demolished the Temple.

Might want to do a google search for Pontius Pilate.

For example,


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontius_Pilate
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Old Dec 27, '11, 10:16 am
irishcolleen45 irishcolleen45 is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

Again, thank you all for your replies.
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Old Dec 27, '11, 11:40 am
PJM PJM is offline
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Default Re: Why did the Romans and not the Jewish leaders kill Jesus?

Quote:
=irishcolleen45;8740322]The Jewish leaders could stone an adultress and also St Stephen to death. Why couldn't they kill Jesus?
Actually; I think perhaps that they usurped authority; but Rome not looking for more termolil let it slide because of the "religious grounds" of such acts.

In the Case of Jesus there are at least two additioanl factors.

The People [in mass] were on the side of Jesus and DEATHLY afraid of both the Jewish Leaders and the Romans.

And the Jewish Leaders did a poor job of convinving the multitudes that Jesus was guilty of any actual wrong doing. After ALL, the miracles, Love and good deeds, it was a tough sell.

Not unlike present times; the "Silent Majority" is drowned out by the VOCAL radicals drieven by their own agenda.SHAME of them; and SHAME ON US!

God Bless,
Pat
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