Who Killed Jesus?
In 1965, as part of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church issued the much-anticipated proclamation Nostra Aetate, which took a fresh look at the subject of Jewish blame for the execution of Jesus Christ. That modern-day Jews could not be held responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, and that not all Jews who were alive at the time of Jesus’ execution were guilty of the crime, according to the arguments in the paper. In the history of Christian views toward Jews, this was a significant step forward, as Christian anti-Semitism has long been predicated on the assumption that Jews were responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion.
When Jesus was crucified, they thought that the Church would come out and claim that the Jews had had no role in his execution.
Jews Lacked A Motive for Killing Jesus
Indeed, most historians believe that it would have been more rational to place the responsibility for Jesus’ execution on the Romans. Crucifixion was a common form of punishment among the Romans, not among the Jews. At the time of Jesus’ execution, the Romans were enforcing a harsh and ruthless occupation on the Land of Israel, and the Jews had been rebellious at times throughout the occupation. The Romans would have had good cause to desire to silence Jesus, who had been dubbed “King of the Jews” by some of his disciples and was well-known as a Jewish upstart miracle worker at the time of his death.
The many factions of the Jewish society at the period — including the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and others — had numerous differences with one another, but none of the organizations orchestrated the death of the leaders of the other purportedly heretical sects.
READ: The History of the Land of Israel Under Roman Control Nonetheless, the notion that Jews murdered Jesus can be found in Christian foundational literature dating back to the early days of the Jesus movement, and it is unlikely that it will be readily abandoned simply because of historians’ arguments.
The New Testament Account
The notion that Jews assassinated Jesus is parodied in this 1896 cartoon, which substitutes Uncle Sam for the historical figure. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) “The Jews who killed the Lord, Jesus,” Paul writes in his writings, which are considered by historians to be the earliest works of the New Testament (written 10 to 20 years after Jesus’ death), and he addresses them very briefly: “the Jews who slaughtered the Lord, Jesus” (I Thessalonians 2:14-15). While the idea that the Jews bear primary responsibility for Jesus’ death is not central to Paul’s understanding of Jesus’ life and death, the idea that the Jews bear primary responsibility for Jesus’ death is more prominent in the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, each of which presents a slightly different account of Jesus’ life.
Eventually, the high priest comes to the conclusion that Jesus is guilty of blasphemy and petitions the Jewish council for guidance on how to punish him.
Matthew’s account of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross (referred to by Christians as “Jesus’ “passion”) has served as the inspiration for numerous books, plays, and musical compositions over the years, and it is a prominent part of Christian liturgy, particularly during the celebration of Easter.
It is said that Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler of Judea, was fundamentally sympathetic to Jesus, but that he was unable to overcome the pressure from the Jews, who demanded that Jesus be put to death.
When Pilate arrives, the gathering members of the Jewish community tell him, “His blood be on us and on our children,” which is the most contentious verse in all of the passion accounts (Matthew 27:25).
According to Christian doctrine, succeeding generations of Jews are also guilty of deicide, the crime of murdering God, which was committed by their forefathers.
Church Fathers and Thereafter
An etching from 1845 portraying King Herod and Pontius Pilate exchanging handshakes. (Photo by F.A. Ludy courtesy of Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons) With even more clarity and power, this allegation emerges in the works of the Church Fathers, who are considered to be the most authoritative Christian theologians who lived after the New Testament period. After explaining to his Jewish interlocutor why the Jews had experienced exile and the destruction of their Temple, Justin Martyr (mid-second century) concludes that these “tribulations were justly placed on you since you have assassinated the Just One” (Jesus Christ) (Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 16).
- A historical King Solomon addresses the Jews in “The Mystery of Adam,” a religious drama from the 12th century that prophesies that they would eventually slay the son of God, as depicted in the play.
- This statement is subject to verification.
- The masters of the law will be the ones who do this.
- They’ll descend from a tremendous height, and may they be comforted in their bereaved state of affairs.
- In recent times, passion plays — large-scale outdoor theater events that dramatize the end of Jesus’ life and frequently feature hundreds of actors — have continued to spread this notion, as have other forms of religious expression.
In the Talmud
It’s worth noting that the notion that the Jews assassinated Jesus may be found in Jewish religious literature as well. Against the evidence of theBabylonian Talmud, on folio 43a of tractateSanhedrin, aberaita (a doctrine dating back to before the year 200 C.E.) says that Jesus was executed by a Jewish tribunal for the crimes of sorcery and insurrection. For this reason, there is a blank area near the bottom of that folio in normal Talmuds from Eastern Europe — or in American Talmuds that simply copied from them — since the possibly offending text has been omitted.
This section has been restored in a number of recent Talmudic versions.) When the Talmud claims that the incident occurred on the eve of Passover, it follows the timeline given in the gospel of John, which is supported by historical evidence.
Responsibility for the killing of Jesus is also given to the Jews in Jewish folk literature, such as the popular scurrilous Jewish biography of Jesus,Toledot Yeshu (which may be as old as the fourth century), and in Christian folk fiction.
From the first through the nineteenth century, the degree of hostility between Jews and Christians was such that both parties believed the accusation that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.
People who believe the tales of the New Testament (or of the Talmud) to be credible historical sources should not be shocked if this belief prevails. You may read this article in Spanish (leer en espaol) if you want to learn more about who killed Jesus.
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Who was responsible for Christ’s death? Who killed Jesus?
QuestionAnswer The solution to this question has a number of different sides. In the first place, there is little question that the religious leaders of Israel were directly or indirectly responsible for Jesus’ killing. “The chief priests and the elders of the people convened in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they devised a plan to secretly capture Jesus and murder him,” according to Matthew 26:3–4. The Jewish authorities asked that Jesus be put to death from the Romans (Matthew 27:22–25).
- (John 11:53).
- It was a Roman form of execution approved and carried out by the Romans under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who sentenced Jesus to death on the cross.
- The people of Israel were also participants in Jesus’ execution, as was the Roman Empire.
- Crucify him!” “Crucify him!” the crowd chanted as He faced trial before Pilate (Luke 23:21).
When Peter told the men of Israel in Acts 2:22–23, he was confirming their suspicions: “You, with the assistance of evil men, put him to death by nailing him on the cross.” As it turned out, the murder of Jesus was part of an elaborate conspiratorial scheme that involved the Roman Empire, Herod’s Jewish leaders, and the Jewish people themselves, a diverse group of people who had never worked together before or since, but who came together this one time to plot and carry out an unthinkable act: the assassination of the only begotten Son of God.
- At the end of the day, and maybe quite astonishingly, it was God Himself who executed Jesus.
- Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross insured the redemption of untold millions of people and offered the sole means by which God could forgive sin without compromising His holiness and flawless righteousness, which was otherwise impossible.
- As opposed to being a win for Satan, or a needless tragedy, as some have indicated, it was the most gracious act of God’s grace and mercy, the greatest manifestation of the Father’s love for sinners.
- As the Bible says, “God caused him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that through him, we may become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- He died in order to pay the price for our sins (Romans 5:8; 6:23).
He did it this way to serve as a constant reminder to himself and everyone else that it was our faults that condemned Jesus to death on the cross. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) Who was to blame for the killing of Jesus Christ? Who was responsible for Jesus’ death?
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QuestionAnswer Many different aspects of the solution to this topic. First and foremost, there is little doubt that the religious leaders of Israel were directly responsible for Jesus’ execution on the cross. “The chief priests and the elders of the people convened in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,” Matthew 26:3–4, and “they devised a plan to secretly capture Jesus and murder him,” according to the Bible’s account. According to Matthew 27:22–25, the Jewish leaders asked that Jesus be killed by the Romans.
- (John 11:53).
- It was a Roman form of execution approved and carried out by the Romans under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who had sentenced Jesus to death.
- Jesus’ death was made possible by the complicity of the Israelites.
- ” “Crucify him!” the crowd chanted as He was brought before Pilate for trial and execution (Luke 23:21).
- “You, with the assistance of evil men, put him to death by nailing him on the cross,” Peter reminded the men of Israel in Acts 2:22–23, confirming the previous statement.
- Finally, and maybe somewhat astonishingly, it was God Himself who sentenced Jesus to death.
- This was the greatest act of divine justice ever carried out, and it was done for the highest good.
- God’s flawless purpose for the permanent salvation of His own was accomplished via Christ’s death and resurrection.
- God sent Jesus to the cross to die in our place so that we may live in blameless righteousness before Him, a righteousness that was only made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus.
- We who have come to Christ in faith are thus liable for the blood of Christ, which was shed on the cross in our place.
- Mel Gibson, the director of the film The Passion of the Christ, was the one whose hands you see driving the nails through Christ’s hands in the final scene.
He did it this way to serve as a constant reminder to himself and the rest of the world that it was our faults that condemned Jesus to death. to:Jesus Christ: Do You Have Any Questions? Who was to blame for the killing of Jesus Christ. That was the assassin who murdered Jesus Christ?
The Crucifixion of Jesus and the Jews
Jesus was executed because he was a Jewish victim of Roman persecution. On this point, all documented authorities are in agreement. His execution was ordered by the Gentile Roman ruler, Pontius Pilate, who had him tortured and killed by Gentile Roman troops before he was executed. In fact, Jesus was one of thousands of Jews who were executed by the Romans. The New Testament not only attests to this fundamental reality, but it also provides for Jewish participation in two ways. A small group of high-ranking Jewish officials who owed their positions and authority to the Romans colluded with the Gentile leaders to have Jesus executed; they are claimed to have been envious of Jesus and to have regarded him as an existential danger to the status quo.
The number of individuals in this mob is not specified, nor is there any explanation provided for their actions (other than the fact that they had been “stirred up,” as stated in Mark 15:11).
As recorded in Matthew, the Roman ruler wipes his hands of Jesus’ blood, as the Jews exclaim, “His blood be upon us and upon our children!” (Matthew 27:25.) Throughout Jesus’ mission, the Jews are shown as desiring to murder him in John’s Gospel (John 5:18,John 7:1,John 8:37).
This shift in emphasis is not entirely clear, but one obvious possibility is that as the church spread throughout the world, Romans rather than Jews became the primary targets of evangelism; as a result, there may have been some motivation to “off-the-hook” the Romans and blame the Jews for Jesus’ death rather than the other way around.
However, by the middle of the second century, the apocryphal Gospel of Peter presents the Romans as Jesus’ supporters, and the Jews as those who crucify him, according to tradition.
As a result, anti-Semitism has fed such beliefs for ages, culminating in the crude demonization of Jews as “Christ-killers.” Christians have traditionally held, in opposition to such predictions, that the human actors responsible for Jesus’ execution are irrelevant: he offered his life voluntarily as a sacrifice for sin (Mark 10:45;John 18:11).
“Let his blood be upon us and upon our children!” cries out the congregation in most liturgical churches when Matthew’s PassionNarrativeis read during a worship service.
In most liturgical churches, when Matthew’s PassionNarrativeis read during a worship service, all members of the congregation are invited to echoMatt 27:25aloud, crying out, “Let his blood be upon us and upon our children!”
Mark Allan Powell is a professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota (Columbus, Ohio). He is the editor of the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary and the author of Introducing the New Testament (Baker, 2009) andJesus as a Figure in History (Westminster, 2009). He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. John Knox Publishing Company, 2012). A gathering of individuals who are participating in religious services and are worshiping. The proclamation of “the good news” of Jesus Christ to the entire world.
- spurious gospel purporting to have been authored by the apostle Peter, but which was rejected by the early Roman Catholic Church as part of the canonical New Testament canon because of its apocryphal nature.
- A narrative that has been written, spoken, or recorded.
- God’s character and actions are discussed through writing, conversation, or contemplation.
- 15:1111 (Mark 15:1111) The leading priests, on the other hand, incited the mob to demand that Jesus release Barabbas for them instead.
27:2525 (KJV) Following that, the entire population exclaimed, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 5:1818 (John 5:1818) In order to assassinate him, the Jews increased their efforts even further, believing that he was not only violating the Sabbath but also referring to God as his own Father in the process.
- He did not want to travel about in Judea since the Jews were searching for an occasion to attack him and his family.
- 1 2:14-1514 (Thess 2:14-1514) Because you, brothers and sisters, were models for the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are located in Judea, because you experienced the same things from your own compa, you became imitators of those churches.
- Observe further information 10:45:45 (Mark 10:45:45) The Son of Man, after all, did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 18:1111 (John 18:1111) “Put your sword back into its sheath,” Jesus instructed Peter to do.
- God, on the other hand, demonstrates his love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
- More details may be found at1 Tim 1:515 p.m.
When it comes to Christ Jesus coming into the world to help sinners—of which I am the foremost—the phrase is certain and deserving of complete acceptance. Matt. 27:2525 (KJV) Following that, the entire population exclaimed, “His blood be on us and on our children!”
Who Really Killed Jesus?
The subject of who is ultimately accountable for the murder of Jesus has long been a source of heated dispute among Christians. That it is such a contentious issue is because it has been used as a justification for anti-Semitism on a large scale in the past. The fact is that assigning blame for Christ’s death to a single organization or individual is extremely difficult to do. But let’s take a look at some of the places where accountability falls.
There’s no denying that Jesus died in a manner that was uniquely Roman in nature. While Rome did not invent the act of crucifixion, they did make it more efficient and effective. Under the direction of the Romans, what began as a means of humiliating criminals by nailing them to a tree or a stake became a much more effective method of punishment. Jews did not (and were not permitted to) crucify people under any circumstances. Rather than beheaded, they were stoned, which was a more ancient method of execution.
Not only were the Romans responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, but they were also responsible for much of the pain and humiliation that surrounded His execution.
- Stabbed Him in the back to ensure He was dead (Matthew 27:26)
- Mocked Him (Matthew 27:27–31)
- Gambled for His clothing (Matthew 27:35)
- Gave him vinegar to drink (Matthew 27:47–49)
- Flogged Him to ensure He was dead (Matthew 27:26–31)
- Stabbed Him in the back to guarantee He was dead (Matthew 27:47–49)
It is impossible to acquit the Romans of their role in Jesus’ crucifixion. They must be held accountable.
There is no doubt that the Jewish rulers were the source of practically all of Jesus’ hostility. They viewed Him as a direct challenge to the Law and to their power in general. The final nail in the coffin appears to have been the cleaning of the temple. It seems that this conduct, along with the raucous greeting Jesus got when He rode into Jerusalem, had inflamed the religious officials’ feelings. It was even necessary for the Sanhedrin to provide false witnesses at Christ’s trial for blasphemy in order to assure a guilty verdict: “We heard him declare, ‘I will destroy this temple built with human hands and in three days will construct another, not fashioned with human hands.'” Even still, their testimonies did not corroborate one another.
- Was this testimony that these folks are presenting against you true and accurate?” But Jesus stayed deafeningly silent and didn’t say anything.
- “I am,” Jesus stated emphatically.
- The high priest ripped his clothing to shreds.
- “You’ve heard the blasphemy, haven’t you?
Although Paul is himself a Jew, his epistle to the Thessalonian church appears to place the blame squarely on the Jews’ shoulders, as follows: “In order to become imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus, you, brothers and sisters, became: You suffered at the hands of your own people in the same way that those churches suffered at the hands of the Jews who slaughtered the Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out of their lands.
They are displeasing to God and unfriendly to everyone around them “14–15; I Thessalonians 2:14–15; Peter, on the other hand, assigns equal responsibility in his speech at Pentecost.
It was God’s purposeful design and foresight that brought you into contact with this man; you, with the assistance of evil men, executed him by nailing him to the cross “(See Acts 2:22–23.)
The fact is that it makes no difference who ordered Jesus’ execution. Each of us has some responsibility for His death. Jesus was crucified in order to atone for all of our sins. “Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not just for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world,” the disciple John writes in his first Epistle (1 John 2:2). As a result of Christ’s death, we are both the cause of and the beneficiaries of it. Because Jesus was crucified as a result of the sin of everyone who has ever lived, it is pointless to point fingers at any one individual as being personally culpable.
Fortunately, the gospel tale did not come to a close on a depressing note with the crucifixion.
It doesn’t matter who killed Jesus; what counts is that death has been overcome once and for all through the cross.
Why was Jesus killed?
(RNS) The crucifixion of Jesus is depicted in a stained glass window at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kevin Eckstrom captured this image of the RNS. The Crucifixion of Jesus. The most important image in Christian worship and art is the cross. For millions of faithful Christians, it is the beating heart of Christian piety. As Good Friday arrives, over two billion Christians from all over the world will once again gather around Jesus, who is hanging on the cross. But, more specifically, why did Jesus die?
- Could various responses to that question represent distinct understandings of Christian theology and, as a result, have different consequences for Christian living and ministry?
- What exactly does this mean?
- To the issue of why Jesus died, I don’t believe there is a single satisfactory answer.
- I’d want to propose four partial solutions to the topic of why Jesus was crucified, and specifically why he died on the cross on the day known as “Good Friday.” Three of these may come as a surprise.
- The crucifixion was a gruesome and horrible punishment that was primarily designed to crush any thoughts of insurrection among the Roman Empire’s subject peoples against the Empire.
- We read and hear the stories about Jesus differently when we consider him as someone who may be viewed as a danger to Rome.
- Second, Jesus was assassinated because certain religious and political authorities in the region regarded him as a potential danger.
Indeed, long before he arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus had been in conflict with a variety of groups, including Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and officials from the Temple.
Many other interpretations might be made on why he was uncomfortable to them.
The leaders’ concern over Jesus’ grip on the people, as well as their fear that his movement might unleash the wrath of the Roman Empire, are highlighted in some of the earliest Christian writings.
As a result of blaming “the Jews” for Jesus’ crucifixion, awful Christian anti-Semitism flourished for many years, a reality that should be taken into consideration while interpreting these scriptures today.
According to the Gospels, Jesus virtually took possession of the Temple, which served as the focal point of Jewish life and worship, for a period of several days during the final week of his life.
Because of the threat of a riot or a rebellion, it was difficult to apprehend or detain him.
There, Jesus was taken into custody, and by the next afternoon, he had died.
Was it because he had been disillusioned with Jesus that he did this?
Was he only interested in it for the money?
However, it is vital to remember that Jesus died in part as a result of the betrayal of a friend.
Jesus only had twelve disciples.
(4) Although Jesus was crucified, his death resulted in the salvation of the entire world.
A half-dozen primary ideas exist to explain how exactly Jesus’ crucifixion brought about this redemption.
When I look at a cross, I see (and feel) a variety of different things.
I’ve witnessed firsthand the cost of standing up for justice on a number of occasions.
God’s anguish for this sinful planet may be seen in my visions at times.
Then there’s Easter Sunday, which is a day of celebration.
If the Resurrection is genuine, God will ultimately triumph, love will triumph, and life will triumph. In the end, it all comes down to this. However, we are not yet at the end of the road, and so we only get to witness glimpses of God’s victory, love, and life.
BBC – Religions – Christianity: Who killed Jesus?
It is believed that no trial or death in history has had such a dramatic effect as Jesus’ trial and execution in Roman-occupied Jerusalem two thousand years ago. But, more importantly, was it an execution or a judicial murder, and who was to blame? Beginning with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, the tale opens with the Galilean rebelJesus, who is consciously fulfilling a prophesy in the Hebrew Bible about his advent as Messiah. He’s surrounded by a throng of admirers. Following that, Jesus enters the Temple, the center of Jewish Judaism, and assaults money-changers, accusing them of defiling a sacred space.
Jesus is captured in the Garden of Gethsemane and brought before Caiaphas before being judged by the Roman Governor.
Caiaphas was in an advantageous position. Caiaphas was a master political manipulator and one of the most powerful men in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ death. As High Priest of the Temple, he’d already lived 18 years (the average High Priest only lasts 4), and he’d formed a solid alliance with the Roman forces in control of the temple complex. Caiaphas was well-connected to everyone who mattered. At the time, he was the de-facto king of the whole Jewish community around the world, and he intended to maintain it that way.
This is the basis for the death penalty.
What were Caiaphas’ motives?
Caiaphas’ power was threatened by Jesus. Caiaphas could not afford to allow any upstart preacher to get away with challenging his authority, especially at such a sensitive time of year as Passover was approaching. This was the most important Jewish holiday, and academics estimate that over two and a half million Jews would have gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the occasion. Caiaphas did not want to be seen as a fool.
Jesus threatened Caiaphas’ relationship with Rome
Caiaphas’ power foundation was the Sanhedrin, the ultimate Jewish council that ruled over both civil and religious law in the time of Jesus. It was comprised of 71 members, the majority of whom were chief priests, and Caiaphas presided over its proceedings. There were enormous benefits for the effort, since contemporary archaeologists have revealed that Caiaphas and his companions lived luxurious lives in homes that were vast and elaborately adorned. However, the Sanhedrin was only able to rule because the Romans granted them permission, and the only way to keep the Romans pleased was to maintain order in society.
In other words, if Jesus was causing difficulty, it was causing trouble for both Caiaphas and Pilate – and trouble for Pilate was still trouble for Caiaphas, as well.
Jesus was unquestionably a danger; the general public admired him, and it is possible that they paid more attention to him than they did to the priests; and the general public listened attentively to his criticism of what he perceived to be wrong with the religious system.
Jesus threatened the Temple’s income
Jesus was also posing a danger to a valuable source of revenue for the Temple’s priests. When it came to simple concerns like cleansing and the remission of sins, the Temple equipment brought in tremendous sums of money. Archaeologists have unearthed 150 mikvehs in the area surrounding the Temple of Solomon. Mikvehs are ceremonial baths that Jews take to cleanse themselves before participating in any religious activity. People who were ritually unclean could not enter the Temple, and practically everyone who arrived in Jerusalem for Passover was regarded to be ritually unclean.
- The mikvehs were under the supervision of the priests, who charged people to use them.
- Jesus felt the whole thing was a load of nonsense.
- The Temple’s apparatchiks have received some bad news.
- If this gets out of hand, it might spark a riot in the Temple.
- Jesus stormed into the Temple and accused the moneychangers and dealers of sacrificial doves of extortion and of turning the Temple into a den of thieves, according to the Gospel of Matthew.
- And God, as every Jew was well aware, has the authority to do so – he had shown this many times before.
- He needed to do something to demonstrate that he was still in charge, and he needed to do it soon; Jesus was on a roll, and no one could predict what he would do next.
What Caiaphas did
You don’t get to be High Priest unless you’re capable of making difficult decisions and seeing them through to completion. A gathering of the chief priests was summoned by Caiaphas as it became clear that Jesus had to be stopped. According to Matthew’s Gospel, Caiaphas informed them that Jesus would have to be slain. This was something that the priests were not entirely certain about. If Jesus were to be executed, there may be rioting. Caiaphas, on the other hand, received his judgment and put it into effect immediately.
We may disapprove of certain of Caiaphas’ self-interested motivations, such as maintaining his wealth and power base, but this does not amount to a crime of any kind in our eyes.
Jesus was raising a commotion in the city of Jerusalem. The man was a well-known rebel, and he was risking public order at a time when enormous and turbulent crowds were thronging the streets of New York. The decision to arrest him was totally justified.
The rigged trial
Caiaphas had stepped over into the wrong side of the law at this point. He arranged the trial in his favor. Caiaphas took on the positions of chief judge and prosecuting attorney, which are often incompatible. Scholars are familiar with the laws that applied to Jewish trials during that time period, and the trial of Jesus defied several of those norms, including the following:
- It took place at night since Jewish trials were required to take place during the day. A feast day had been observed, which was not permitted. Despite the fact that it took place at Caiaphas’ house, it should have taken place in the council chamber.
Caiaphas’ trial did not go according to plan. To establish that Jesus had threatened to demolish the Temple, which would have been treason and an offense against God, he would have to produce evidence. The witnesses, on the other hand, couldn’t agree on what Jesus had said. As a result, the accusation was dismissed. Caiaphas made the decision to see if he could trick Jesus into saying something he shouldn’t have. He confronted Jesus with a direct question: “Are you the Son of God, the Son of the Most High, the Son of the Most Holy?
- It’s sufficient.
- The other members of the Court are in agreement.
- There was only one problem: the court lacked the authority to carry out executions.
- Actually, there are two issues: first, blasphemy against the God of the Jews was not considered a crime under Roman law, and second, unless Caiaphas can come up with anything better, it may not be enough to persuade the Romans to execute Jesus unless he can come up with something better.
Caiaphas was dismissed from office shortly after Jesus’ death and retired to his farm in Galilee, where he lived in peace.
The case against Pontius Pilate
What was Pilate’s reasoning for executing Jesus when he thought him to be guiltless? Pilate was the Governor of Judea, which was a province of the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus’ death. He had 6,000 crack troops with him and another 30,000 on standby in neighboring Syria, according to reports. When it came to keeping Rome happy, Pilate had total authority, including the power of life and death, as long as he kept the peace with the people. The argument against Pilate is that he judged Jesus not guilty, but ordered his execution in order to maintain public order and maintain the peace.
The two Pilates
We don’t know what Pilate was like in his personal life. The Bible portrays him as a weak but innocent guy who did not want to put a man to death who he felt was innocent, but who caved in to political pressure because he was weak. Some historians, however, are of the opposite opinion. Philo, who was writing at the time, described Pilate as cold-blooded, harsh, and merciless. He was presumably a typical Roman with a contempt for any other civilization, believing that the Jews were not nearly as civilized as the Romans were.
Pilate was well-known for executing people without a trial, therefore it would not be surprising if he was the one responsible for the death of Jesus on the cross.
What were Pilate’s motives?
Pilate was determined to maintain the status quo. His ability to administer the province smoothly and effectively was critical to his future advancement in the Roman Empire. He had 6,000 soldiers on standby to preserve the peace in a metropolis with a population of 2.5 million Jews, which he commanded. The religious leaders, whose cooperation he required in order to live a peaceful life, urged him to put Jesus to death, and there was an angry throng clamoring for Jesus’ blood. It was conceivable that releasing Jesus would have sparked a riot, and Pilate may have lost control of the city and probably the entire province.
No matter how little he cared for the people of Judea, Pilate was unable to avoid attending the most important event of the year, the Passover. The message of Passover was one that was certain to cause consternation among those who were attempting to maintain control over the Jewish people, because it commemorated the time when God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Holy Land, allowing them to shake off foreign occupation. Consequently, it is no coincidence that practically all of the riots that we learn about in the first century took place around the festival of Pesach.
And because unrest in such a circumstance is contagious, Pilate realized that he would have to be harsh in order to put an end to any chaos that arose in the situation.
When Caiaphas brought Jesus before Pilate, it’s likely that he was completely unprepared for the dilemma that was about to confront him.
A trial for treason
Instead of beginning with the conviction for blasphemy, Caiaphas asserted that Jesus was guilty of sedition, which was later overturned. Caiaphas said that Jesus believed himself, or that his supporters believed, or that people believed that he was the King of the Jews. The crime against Rome was a capital offense, and Pilate was obligated to deal with it, whether he wanted to or not. The rumor spread quickly throughout Jerusalem, claiming that Jesus of Nazareth was being tried for his life. Crowds began to form, some of whom were undoubtedly members of a mob organized by the Temple officials; this was exactly what a Roman governor looking for a quiet Passover did not want.
- Jesus didn’t say much or didn’t say anything at all.
- There was just no proof to support Jesus’ claims.
- The ruling infuriated the audience, who erupted in chants calling for Jesus’ execution on the cross.
- The alternative, on the other hand, was the execution of an innocent man.
- In ancient times, there were Passover amnesty laws in place, which authorized the Roman governor to free a prisoner during the holiday.
- They called for Barabbas to be liberated from his prison cell.
In his verdict, Pilate pronounced Jesus to be innocent and sentenced him to death by crucifixion. In front of the throng, he symbolically washed his hands, as if to assure them that he was not responsible for Jesus’ death.
Pilate was summoned to Rome in order to face prosecution for his ruthless treatment of Jews, but the Emperor Tiberius died before the trial could take place, and Pilate was never prosecuted. It is believed that he committed suicide in 37 AD, not long after the crucifixion had taken place. In Christian belief, Pilate and his wife finally converted to Christianity, according to the Bible.
The case against Jesus
Did Jesus have any idea what he was getting himself into during the events leading up to his execution? Many scholars think that Jesus himself was the one most responsible for the killing of Jesus, more so than anybody else in history. There is a substantial amount of evidence to imply that everything he did was premeditated and that he was fully aware of the repercussions of his decisions.
Jesus had a genuine belief that he was on a mission from God, and everything he did was in the service of that mission’s fulfillment.
Acting out the prophecy of the Messiah
When it comes to the events of Holy Week, it appears that Jesus is purposefully carrying out the prophesy in Hebrew scripture about Israel’s rightful ruler, the anointed one, the Messiah, who would come at long last to be God’s agent to rescue Israel. Even while his entry in Jerusalem on a donkey was a fulfillment of prophecy, it would not have been sufficient reason to have Jesus crucified on its own.
Attacking the religious establishment
When Jesus arrived to the Temple, he began not just a direct attack on the moneychangers’ business activities, but also a symbolic attack on the structure of the Temple itself. Jesus was well-versed in the religious traditions of his day, and he was well aware of the potential ramifications of his acts. He understood what it meant to declare the Temple’s destruction and to assert that a new kingdom, the Kingdom of God, was developing in its place. Jesus was well aware that the authorities would take action against him in due course, and he was well aware that the penalty would almost certainly be death.
But Jesus continued to put himself in harm’s way, staying in Jerusalem and celebrating the Passover with his disciples despite the threat.
In the midst of their meal, Jesus alluded to the bread they were eating as his broken body, and the crimson wine they were drinking as his spilled blood, as he sat with his disciples.
One of the Gospels records Jesus telling Judas, “Do what you have to do, but don’t take too long doing it.”
Jesus sweats blood
The account of Jesus’ night in Gethsemane provides compelling medical evidence that lends credence to the argument that he understood exactly what he was doing. It was at this place that Jesus was struck with a terrifying sense of uncertainty – was death, after all, what God had planned for him? He pleaded with God to save him from his predicament. It was at that point, according to St. Luke, who was himself a doctor, that Jesus sweated droplets of blood into the path in front of him. Doctors are aware that little blood veins supply the sweat glands that are found throughout our bodies.
The medical word for this condition is haematohydrosis, which means “blood sweat.” If Jesus had known what he was in for, he would have been unable to endure the tension, which would have caused him to break out in hives and sweat blood.
So was Jesus guilty of his own death?
Not in the sense of remorse that the majority of people would comprehend. A soldier who embarks on a mission that is almost guaranteed to result in death is a brave guy, not a coward or a criminal. However, Jesus was not culpable in the same way that Caiaphas and Pilate were. He remained true to his calling, even though it resulted in death.
Who Killed Jesus? The Historical Context of Jesus’ Crucifixion
Approximately one-third of the academic debate over the circumstances of Jesus’ death concerns the subject of who was responsible for his arrest and crucifixion, according to the New Testament. Please be advised that by submitting your email address, you acknowledge and agree that you will get email messages from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) with information on products and services offered by the company and its affiliates. If you no longer wish to receive these email notifications, you may unsubscribe at any time.
- Who was the perpetrator?
- Historically, the Jewish leadership and the Jewish community in Jerusalem have been held accountable to the greatest extent possible.
- Recent scholarly tendencies have turned the focus away from the Greeks and toward the Romans.
- Contemporary academics accept that there is no either-or answer to this topic, but that both Jewish and Roman authorities must have had a role in the killing of Jesus at least in part.
- (The more typical Jewish mode of execution was stoning.) Evidence suggests that the Jewish Sanhedrin did not have the authority to carry out the death penalty at the time of the events described (John 18:31; y.
- 1:1; 7:2).
- At the same hand, what we know about Jesus’ teachings and behavior suggests that he was more likely than the Roman rulers to anger and irritate the Jewish religious leaders.
- Was Jesus executed for political motives or for religious reasons, as the case may be?
- Jesus’ execution was almost certainly motivated by the perceived danger that the religious and political forces of his day sensed in him.
Now, let’s take a look at the reasons behind their acts, their habits, and their policies. Pilate’s and the Romans’ reasons were different. The evidence leads to Jesus’ execution by the Romans as a result of his sedition, or insurrection against the Roman authority, as the conclusion.
- Initially, he was crucified in the role of “King of the Jews.” As previously stated in the last section, the titulus on the cross declaring this is very definitely historical in nature. Second, he was nailed to a cross between two “robbers” or “criminals,” which were names employed by the Romans to describe insurrectionists (Mark 15:27
- Matt. 27:38
- Luke 23:33
- John 19:18). In his stead, another insurrectionist, Barabbas, was freed (Mark 15:7
- Matthew 27:16
- Luke 23:19
- John 18:40)
- In addition, the following allegations presented before Pilate by the Sanhedrin are linked to sedition and are recorded in Luke’s Gospel: So they started accusing him, saying things like “We have discovered this individual who is corrupting our nation.'” As a Christian, he rejects the payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, the Son of God. Because of his preaching, he incites people all across Judea to action. He began his journey in Galilee and has traveled all the way to this place.” (Luke 23:2, 5
- Matthew 23:2).
In spite of the fact that this evidence verifies the indictment against Jesus, it begs the puzzling issue of why Jesus was killed in the first place, given that he had nothing in common with other rebels and insurrectionists of his day. Matthew 5:38–48 and Luke 6:27–36 both contain passages in which Jesus encourages his followers to love their adversaries and to react to suffering with acts of compassion. Moreover, he maintained the propriety of paying Caesar’s taxes (Mark 12:14, 17; Matt. 22:17, 21; Luke 20:22, 25).
- 10:34; Luke 22:36, 38).
- The fact that Jesus’ disciples were not picked up and murdered after his death, and were even permitted to create a religious community in Jerusalem, further demonstrates that Jesus was not regarded as instigating a violent revolt at the time.
- More information may be found in the following online course: The Historical and Cultural Context of Jesus’ Life and Ministry What was Pilate thinking when he ordered Jesus’ crucifixion?
- It has been established via various sources that Pilate’s administration was marked by a widespread contempt for his Jewish citizens and an unyielding repression of resistance.
- When Sejanus, an advisor to Emperor Tiberius, installed Pilate as governor of Judea in AD 26, it was a watershed moment in history.
Philip of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher, provides an excellent illustration of Pilate’s precarious position when he writes about an incident in which Jews protested Pilate’s actions in placing golden shields in Herod’s palace in Jerusalem: “The Jews demonstrated against Pilate’s actions in placing golden shields in Herod’s palace in Jerusalem,” Philo writes.
As a result of his vindictiveness and enraged temper, he found himself in a terrible situation.
The warning from the Jewish leaders, “If you let this guy escape, you are no friend of Caesar,” (John 19:12), would almost certainly have made Pilate angry and fearful at the same time. Pilate was most likely motivated to order Jesus’ death by three factors:
- It appeased the Jewish authorities and, as a result, kept charges against him from reaching Rome. As a result, it preemptively neutralized any threat that Jesus may have posed if the people attempted to proclaim him king. Those who want to be prophets or messiahs were forcefully reminded that Rome would not tolerate any disagreement.
Jesus was met with fierce Jewish hostility. During Jesus’ Galilean career, he came up against a lot of resistance, much of which came from the Pharisees and their scribes. At the beginning of his final week in Jerusalem, Jesus faced strong resistance from the priestly hierarchy, which was under the authority of the high priest, as well as from the Sanhedrin, which was dominated by the Sadducees. The two most important institutions in Judaism were the Torah (the law) and the temple. Jesus appeared to be challenging both the authority of both and the legitimacy of both in the present day, posing a substantial danger to Israel’s leadership.
- Isaias claimed control over the law, disregarded the Sabbath mandate as though it were subordinate to human necessities, and accused the Pharisees of placing their oral law, which was nothing more than human traditions, above God’s instructions.
- The Pharisees, who considered themselves the legitimate protectors of Israel’s traditions, would have been enraged by Jesus’ declaration of the kingdom of God and his calling of twelve disciples, as well as by his proclamation of the kingdom of God.
- If Jesus’ remarks had been spoken in the midst of the seething cauldron of religion and politics that was first-century Palestine, they would have met with fierce hostility.
- In reality, the cleansing of the temple by Jesus is commonly regarded as the pivotal event that prompted the Jewish rulers to take action against the Messiah.
- In Mark’s account of Jesus’ Jewish trial, “false witnesses” are called forward who swear that they heard Jesus proclaim, “I will destroy this man-built temple and in three days will construct another, not made by man,” among other things.
- and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Mighty One, coming on the clouds of heaven.” “I am.” says Jesus.
- According to Mark 14:58–65, the entire assembly demands for his execution (cf.
- 26:55–68; and Luke 22:66–71).
- For example, the Mishnah declares that it is forbidden for the Sanhedrin to convene at night, on the eve of Passover, or at the residence of the high priest during the holiday.
A second hearing would also have been required for a death sentence, and a charge of blasphemy could only be upheld if Jesus had pronounced the divine name of God during the course of the trial (m. Sanh. 4:1; 5:5; 7:5; 11:2). This argument is not persuasive for the following four reasons:
- First and foremost, the processes outlined in the Mishnah were codified in AD 200 and may not all date back to the time of Jesus
- Second, the procedures outlined in the Mishnah were codified in AD 200 and may not all date back to the time of Jesus. For starters, even though they are ancient texts dating back to the first century, they reflect a hypothetical circumstance that may or may not have been replicated in Jesus’ life. The existence of rules indicates that there have been abuses in the past. It is possible that they were established as a result of fraudulent trials such as this one. In addition, while the Mishnah preserves mostly Pharisaic traditions, it was the Sadducees who dominated the Sanhedrin during Jesus’ time. There is strong evidence that blasphemy was occasionally employed in Judaism in a more general meaning than pronouncing the holy name, and that activities such as idolatry, conceited scorn for God, or criticizing his chosen leaders were often considered blasphemy.
After careful examination, Mark’s trial story makes perfect sense when seen in the context of Jesus’ teaching and healing work. The high priest would have naturally inquired as to whether Jesus was making a messianic claim as a result of his actions in the temple. Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13 are two major Old Testament verses that are included into Jesus’ answer. The first says that Jesus will be vindicated by God and exalted to a position at his right hand in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus will be given sovereign authority to judge God’s adversaries, as the later passage says.
An outlandish declaration like this was considered blasphemous by the body, which considered itself to be God’s authorized leadership, as well as the guards of God’s hallowed temple.
A reaction was required in the face of such a situation.
Because of Jesus’ acts in the temple, which the Sanhedrin most likely saw as an act of desecration, as well as his widespread popularity among the people, it became vital to act against him as fast and decisively as possible.
According to this scenario, the previous remarks of the Pharisees and chief priests in John seem plausible: “If we let him continue on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation” (John 11:48).
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The Romans summoned Pilate back to Rome in AD 36, following what Josephus describes as a characteristically harsh military campaign against the Samaritans (Josephus, Ant.18.4.2:85–87).
The online courseFour Portraits, One Jesus takes a close look at the events of Holy Week, including Jesus’ death and resurrection, in order to better understand them.
View a free trailer here: This post is taken from information available in Mark Strauss’ online course, Four Portraits, One Jesus, which he teaches on a regular basis.