Barabbas.

Some have claimed that the story with Barabbas is highly improbable because Pilate, backed by a powerful military would not be cowed by a small unarmed Jewish crowd to release a prisoner condemned to death for breaking “mighty” laws of the Roman Empire. What is your reply?

A second thing i read is, that Barabbas full name in ancient manuscripts was Jesus Barabbas, but that was probably removed by later scribes because it was impossible for him to have such a holy name. Church father Origen was supposedly troubled by this fact. What do you think?

They do not understand the situation.

First, Pilate was the military governor. Just as with any conquered people, the Romans did not leave the entire army but a smaller force to govern (think of the small garrisons the Germans left in conquered countries in Europe while the main forces left for home or the next front). So, Pilate could call on the Roman army, but it would have taken a long time for him to muster a large force.

Second, this was the Passover and Jerusalem was teeming with tens of thousands more people than ususal, so the small Roman force would have been vastly outnumbered had a full scale riot broken out (and this is what Pilate was trying to avoid).

Third, the crowd was not unarmed. We read in the Gospels about the Jews coming out to take Jesus with swords and clubs.

So, Pilate faced a large, armed, angry crowd of (here’s the key): Jewish Leaders who were riling up the crowd to the point of rebellion.

Even if Pilate had managed to crush a riot that night, news that he was not in control of his Province would have meant the end to his career as Governor - recall how the Romans’ were as political then as we are today.

Given all this, the life of one murderer (who the Romans could have realistically recaptured and killed at any time) vs. calming a riot that may have resulted in his death seemed like the best road for him to take. This is also what I have understood was his reason for not releasing Jesus outright - the threat of starting a rebellion or riot in the city.

Don’t forget that the first Jewish-Roman war got cranking only about thirty years after the Resurrection. Pilate’s wariness about riling the population at the time was well-justified, plus the Sicarii had been active at that time.

Even if Pilate had managed to crush a riot that night, news that he was not in control of his Province would have meant the end to his career as Governor - recall how the Romans’ were as political then as we are today.

Even more.

Fall out of political favor in our USA, and you return to your hometown to write your memoirs;
do so in the Roman Empire, and a headsman would be paying you a surprise visit.

This is close to what happened to PP later in his career: having been reassigned to France, and accused of incompetence there, he was “invited” to commit suicide.

ICXC NIKA.

Barabbas means “Son of the Father”, so if his name was Jesus Barabbas that would even be more ironic. There is some real symbolism here. Jesus was condemned to death for (among other things) declaring himself the son of God, for calling God his Father (Abba), etc. The Jewish leaders considered this blasphemous.

The Jews in power thought Jeus was a revolutionary too. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. 48If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.” Gospel of John 11

I don’t think Pilate was particularily powerful. He was a procurator and his primary functions were military, but as representative of the empire he was responsible for the collection of imperial taxes,and also had limited judicial functions. Other civil administration lay in the hands of local government: the municipal councils or ethnic governments such as – in the district of Judaea and Jerusalem – the Sanhedrin and its president the High Priest .

[quote=Timi Celcer;11976799A second thing i read is, that Barabbas full name in ancient manuscripts was Jesus Barabbas, but that was probably removed by later scribes because it was impossible for him to have such a holy name. Church father Origen was supposedly troubled by this fact. What do you think?
[/QUOTE]

IMHO, I wouldn’t doubt it if Barabbas’ first name was Jesus.

This whole episode was a fulfillment of part of the Day of Atonement ceremony in the Old Testament in which two goats were chosen. One was the scapegoat and the people’s sins were laid on the scapegoat. The scapegoat, being ‘guilty’ of sin, was then released. The other goat who was innocent of sin, was then sacrificed.

Barabbas was a fulfillment of the guilty one who was let go; Jesus was the innocent one who died as the sin sacrifice.

One requirement of these two goats was that they be exactly alike in appearance, so that no one, just by looking, could tell them apart. Barabbas’ name in Hebrew means ‘‘Son of the Father’’. And of course, that’s who Jesus was. So if Barabbas’ first name was Jesus, his name would translate as ‘‘Jesus, son of the father’’. EXACTLY like Jesus. This would fulfill the requirement that the two goats be alike: if Jesus and Barabbas both had the exact same name.
[/quote]

IMHO, I wouldn’t doubt it if Barabbas’ first name was Jesus.

This whole episode was a fulfillment of part of the Day of Atonement ceremony in the Old Testament in which two goats were chosen. One was the scapegoat and the people’s sins were laid on the scapegoat. The scapegoat, being ‘guilty’ of sin, was then released. The other, goat who was innocent of sin, was then sacrificed.

Barabbas was a fulfillment of the guilty one who was let go; Jesus was the innocent one who died as the sin sacrifice.

One requirement of these two goats was that they be exactly alike in appearance, so that no one, just by looking, could tell them apart. Barabbas’ name in Hebrew means ‘‘Son of the Father’’. And of course, that’s who Jesus was. So if Barabbas’ first name was Jesus, his name would translate as ‘‘Jesus, son of the father’’. EXACTLY who Jesus was. This would fulfill the requirement that the two goats be alike.

(God seems to be very detail-oriented in the fulfillment of the law. :slight_smile: )

The little “black book” for Lent has Pilate’s wife as a potential saint who supposedly saw his soul float up to heaven.

Do we have the origin of either of these?

I hadn’t seen this connection before. Thanks! :slight_smile:

I never knew that. So the goats had to be identical in the scapegoat ceremony?

Jesus = Iessous = Yehoshua = Joshua, were common names in the Roman Israel period.

ICXC NIKA

newadvent.org/fathers/0812.htm

Interesting enough, this ante-Nicaean source does have PP ordered to commit suicide, but over the unjust killing of Jesus rather than incompetence after reassignment.

ICXC NIKA

Hi, yes, they had to be exactly alike in appearance. To differentiate one goat from the other, a scarlet cord was tied around the horns of the Scapegoat.

After the sacrifice of the innocent goat, the Scarlet Cord, which was tied onto the Scapegoat’s horns, turned white, signifying that God had accepted their sacrifice. (This is reminiscent of Isaiah 1:18 which says, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow, a prophecy ultimately fulfilled in Christ.)

(The above can be found in various Jewish sources, but I got my info from ‘‘The Torah, a Modern Commentary’’; from the Artscroll Publications’ commentary on Leviticus; and from a book I would highly recommend called ‘‘The Temple - its Ministry and Services as they were in the time of Christ’’ by Alfred Edersheim.)

Very interesting link. Thank you for sharing!

:):):):slight_smile:

icxc nika

I’m a little confused though. The goat that was sent out to the wilderness was the one who was bearing all the sins. The goat that was sacrificed was the Lord’s goat. Jesus assumed all the sins of the world when he was sacrificed on the cross. I don’t think Barabbas was bearing all the sins when he was set free.:confused:

You’re right in that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. Barabbas is symbolic of the guilty being set free. The sins were not actually laid on him: he deserved death, as it says in Romans: The wages of sin is death. The scapegoat became guilty, but was set free. Jesus paid the price of our guilt, which was death, so that we might be set free. We are still ‘guilty’ of sin, but the price has been paid and we can live eternally in Christ. I hope this makes a confusing point clearer.

I have read a report about the name Barabbas.
The conclusions were that:
1 Barabbas doesn’t mean son of the father, instead, it is a patronimic or an other nickname
2 The name Jesus followed by Barabbas in mt. 27:16, 17 can be found in some versions of the greek bible. It is reported in the Novum Testamentum Graece in brakkets because it is not considered true for certain. It could be caused by a copier’s mistake
3 It is possible that there was no mistake, but the name Jesus followed by Barabbas wasn’t uncommon in palestine and wasn’t a problem for eastern christians who knew the jewish culture
4 Later, other christians, who didn’t know jewish culture well, had the word jesus removed from barabbas as a form of respect towards Jesus Christ.
It can be found on internet at this address:digilander.libero.it/Hard_Rain/Barabba.pdf

It is written in Italian so I’ll report the translation of the some of the most relevant parts of this report (“Note relative al nome Barabba”) and the original quotation from the Novum Testamentum Graece (nestle-aland.com/en/read-na28-online/text/bibeltext/lesen/stelle/50/270001/279999/)::slight_smile:

16εἶχον δὲ τότε δέσμιον ἐπίσημον λεγόμενον Ἰησοῦν] Βαραββᾶν ([Jesus] Barabbas).
17συνηγμένων οὖν αὐτῶν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πιλᾶτος• τίνα θέλετε ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν, Ἰησοῦν τὸν] Βαραββᾶν ([Jesus the] Barabbas) ἢ Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον χριστόν;

P 11
the term bar Abba, בר אבא, is so common in Jewish literature that anyone who meets it immediately think of a patronymic, not tied to God as Father, but to a person’s name. Bar Abba understood as a child of God, called “Father” as a title or proper name, is in fact an expression totally unknown in Judaism. It is’possible to call God Abba, but never would anybody call someone a “son of the Father” and even “son of God”.

P 13, footnote 49
It is allowed to invoke God in Aramaic as “abba” in the first person, as in the case of Jesus, although the use is limited.

P 13, footnote 49
In Judaism we do not have cases of use of the word of “abba” as the title of God

P17
If there is no literary attestation that “bar Abba” or derived forms may mean son of the Father in the honorific sense of “son of God”, even in terms of simple Aramaic grammar this solution is to be discarded.

P 18
if you wanted to say “Son of the Father” in Aramaic you should say: בריה דאבא (berè deAbba), or “son-of-his Father,” an expression that provides a greek word transliteration incompatible with Barabbas / n. Moreover, this expression is never understood in the sense of “son of God”, but as the son of the rabbi, the teacher.

P11
In the Talmud Abba is a name of a person and bar Abba is a patronymic , in the Seder has Dorot are cited dozens of rabbis who are called Abba , we also have mention of a Yeshua bar Abba , of course this is not purely and simply identified with Barabbas in the gospel ( whose name was Jesus , according to some manuscripts of Matthew’s Gospel ), but it illustrates how the combination in Aramaic of Jesus with patronymic bar Abba is certainly not a fact that gave anybody some sort of perplexity.

P 18
It is possible, if not likely, that both Mark and Matthew have meant reporting what was not a patronymic form, which could only correspond to the "son of Abba " , but a nickname, a nom de guerre of who in effect is defined as brigand , a bandit who was in prison .

P 72
Barabbas can be interpreted as a patronymic (son of Abba), or as a nickname (in a similar way to bar Kokhba), this gives us an interpretation of this character consistent with the Jewish culture and the environment.

P 9-10
It is possible, on the one hand, that the lesson Jesus Barabbas originated from an accident in the manuscript transmission but it is also possible that the lesson is genuine and has survived only in codes of “Palestinian” tradition and in Origen because the expression did not cause any inconvenience or theological embarrassment to an audience of Palestinian geographical origin and mentality, as opposed to other geographic regions where censorship began to operate very soon.

P 72
it is possible to conjecture that the name “Jesus” suffixed to Barabbas was known in the Palestinian traditions and were part of the older editions of the Gospel of Matthew; it was later censured for deference to Jesus Christ and the tradition was lost

Well does all this information enlighten you at all? it’s obvious that Barabbas means “son of the Father”. So what does all this other stuff you have quoted lead to any kind of understanding? To me it is just a bunch of nothing.

It leads to the fact that:

-Barabbas DOESN’T mean Son of the Father.

-The name Jesus before Barabbas isn’t an important issue because it is nothing paticular from the jewish point of view and may well be a mistake

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