Who Killed Jesus?
In 1965, as part of the Vatican II conference, the Catholic Church released a long-anticipated proclamation entitledNostra Aetate, giving a fresh perspective to the subject of Jewish blame for the execution of Jesus. The document argued that modern-day Jews could not be held accountable for Jesus’ crucifixion and that not all Jews alive at the time of the crucifixion were guilty of the crime. This was a remarkable step forward in the history ofChristian attitudestoward Jews, as Jewish blame for Jesus’ death has long been a linchpin ofChristian anti-Semitism.
They had hoped that the Church might say that the Jews had in fact played no role in Jesus’ death.
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
It would seem more rational, according to the majority of historians, to lay the responsibility for Jesus’ execution on the Romans. Crucification was a common form of punishment in Rome, not among the Jewish people at that time. 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 this occupation. When some of Jesus’ supporters proclaimed him “King of the Jews,” the Romans would have had good cause to want to silence him.
When it came to assassinating Jesus, the Jews were lacking in motivation.
Thus, it is quite improbable that they would have chosen Jesus as a target.
The Land of Israel Under Roman Rule is a good read. However, the concept that Jews assassinated Jesus may be found in Christian foundational literature dating back to the early days of the Jesus movement, and it is unlikely to be readily disproved simply because of historical evidence.
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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Romans are to blame for death of Jesus
Among religious specialists and laypeople alike, the soon-to-be-released Mel Gibson film “The Passion of the Christ” is causing quite a commotion in the media. Many people believe the film contains anti-Semitic implications. Although the Jews are often believed to have been involved in Jesus’ death, according to Dr. Frank K. Flinn of Washington University in St. Louis’ department of religious studies, the Romans are truly to blame for the death of Jesus. Frank Flinn is a songwriter and musician from the United Kingdom.
“Crucifications could only be authorized by the Roman authorities, and they frequently did so on a brutal, mass scale.” In the opinion of Flinn, an expert on Catholicism, Gibson’s film appears to merge all of the gospel stories about the Passion into one epic, a made-for-the-big-screen story that fails to show how opinions about the Jews’ role in the crucifixion have changed dramatically over time, as has been shown in other films about the Passion.
- The author points out that our oldest accounts of the crucifixion, such as the Gospel of Mark, which was written about 60-70 C.E., make it apparent that Pilate was the one who ordered Christ’s execution.
- “Matthew, most likely as a result of inter-Jewish competition, places the ultimate responsibility fully on the shoulders of the Jewish leadership,” Flinn explained.
- When it came to Jewish persecution and murder throughout the Middle Ages, the label “Christ-killers” became a rhetorical club to legitimize the ghettoization, persecution, and slaughter of Jews.
- A Guide to Taking in the Show Mel Gibson’s next film Written by Frank K.
- In his books The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities, Josephus, the Jewish historian, records several incidents.
- Only the Roman authorities had the authority to order crucifixions, and they did it on a brutal and enormous scale on a regular basis.
- The first Galilean disciples of Jesus regarded him as a prophet similar to Elijah, who wandered the Galilean hills healing the sick and reviving the dead, as did the prophet Elijah.
- Sadducees and Pharisees were among the Jewish leaders who owed their positions to their patron-client relationship with the Roman rulers (notice the word “some”).
- In addition to the teachers and prophets in rural Galilee and the Dead Sea Scrolls community at Qumran, other Jewish groups and individuals either rejected or rebelled against the corrupt relationship between Jerusalem and Rome.
- Along with the Temple tax, this tax was collected for Rome by the Temple officials, who distributed it to tax farmers.
- Due to the annual ordinance of Jubilee, it should have been possible for the rich in Jerusalem to restore this territory to the original tribes, but they failed to do so.
According to Leviticus 19:4, “render unto Caesar” means “return to Caesar” his own coin with Caesar’s image on it (a blasphemy to the pious Jew!) and “return to God” what is God’s, which is the land itself, which God ultimately owns and which God gave directly to Israel in the covenant (Joshua 24:13)!” The message of Jesus was both spiritually and politically dangerous, first to the Roman rulers and then, secondary, to their client appointees in Jerusalem, who were first threatened by it.
- The Gospel of Mark, the earliest Gospel we know, was written between 60 and 70 CE.
- Matthew and Luke were written considerably later, in the year 80-95, and show a wide range of interests and points of view.
- Aside from his status as a Jewish disciple of Jesus (Antioch being the site of the first use of the term “Christian”), Matthew also comments on the era following the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE, when tensions broke out between rabbinic Yavneh Jews and Jewish followers of Jesus.
- It’s possible that the rabbis weren’t all that successful.
- (I constantly point out to my pupils that a Christian may attend any Jewish Sabbath service and participate fully in all of the prayers with complete religious commitment.) Matthew goes to great lengths to disassociate himself from the actions of the Roman authority.
- Perhaps as a result of intra-Jewish competition, the phrase “His blood be upon us and our offspring” is added to place the ultimate responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the Jewish leadership (Matthew 24:25).
- The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts should be read together as a single piece of literature.
We can now use the name “Christian,” which appears for the first time in Acts 11:26, but the term was probably definitely coined as a derogatory slur in its original context.
Against the backdrop of Roman criticism, Luke is attempting to defend Christianity against the charge of “superstition” leveled against it.
The paragraphs about Jesus being crowned with thorns and being mocked have been omitted.
“But Jesus hedelivered over to theirwill,” says Luke, elaborating on Pilate’s guilt (Luke 23:26).
In its present form (ca.
100-110 CE) is that John does not place the blame for Jesus’ death solely on Pilate, or Pilate’s Jewish authorities, or even the Jewish authorities alone, but on “Jews” collectively (John 19:12).
The stage is laid for the later, tragic accusation that “the Jews murdered Jesus,” despite the fact that John does not state so explicitly.
It was not until after Constantine established a complete break with Judaism as such that the term “Christ-killers” was coined to describe these individuals.
Bishop John Chrysostom of Constantinople (ca.
By the Middle Ages, the label “Christ-killers” had evolved into a linguistic club used to legitimize the ghettoization, persecution, and death of Jews around the world, particularly in Europe.
My argument establishes a chronological order for determining who was responsible for Jesus’ killing, as well as the appropriate terminology for each stage: Romans Leaders of the Romans and Jews The High Priest, the Scribes, and the Elders/Romans Chief Priest, Scribes, Elders, and the general populace/Pilate (sort of) Jews are a group of people who live in a community that is surrounded by other Jews (in general) “Stiff-necked Individuals” “Christ-killers.” According to what I’ve read about Mel Gibson’s movie in published accounts, it appears to be similar to many other films about Jesus in that it combines all of the gospel tales about the passion into a single narrative.
As I’ve demonstrated above, the multiple gospels express quite different messages.
This makes it seem eerily similar to the infamous traditional Catholic Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany, which was in its original form grossly stereotyped and anti-Semitic in its content.
Most crucially, the inclination in virtually all Christian interpretations of Jesus’ death is to adopt as one’s frame of reference, not the first phrase in the sequence I listed above, but the last term in the series. But, to be fair, we’ll have to wait till the film is out before we can find out.
Who Really Killed Jesus?
Among religious professionals and plain people alike, the soon-to-be-released Mel Gibson film “The Passion of the Christ” is causing quite a commotion in the media. Numerous critics have claimed that the film contains anti-Semitic undercurrents. Although the Jews are often believed to have been involved in Jesus’ death, according to Dr. Frank K. Flinn of Washington University in St. Louis’ Department of Religious Studies, the Romans are truly to blame for the death of Jesus. Frank Flinn is a musician and songwriter from the United Kingdom.
- Flinn, a Catholic expert, said Gibson’s film appears to combine all of the gospel accounts about the Passion into a single epic, a made-for-the-big-screen scenario that fails to demonstrate how attitudes of the Jews’ part in the crucifixion have shifted radically over time.
- Even though Matthew and Luke were written considerably later, they show a variety of interests and opinions, with each gospel placing more blame on Jews.
- ‘In Luke, the “whitewashing” of the Romans comes close to being finished.
- All of us are well aware of the conclusion to this tragic chapter.” Who was the assassination victim?
- Flinn’s contribution Because Jesus posed a political threat to the Romans, they executed him, just as they had done with a large number of other prophets, brigands, and rebels throughout the first century.
- It is likely that Jesus would have been stoned if the Jewish authorities had been actively engaged, as Stephen was in Acts 7.
- They have demonstrated their brutal authority via the insurrection and crucifixion of Sparticus’ troops.
The Messiah, like all of the prophets before him, called for a renewal of the conditions of the covenant (Leviticus 19), a restoration of the land to its original tribal owners (the law of Jubilee), and he spoke out against the corrupt leadership in Jerusalem on a number of occasions.
The procurator of Judea was selected by the emperor, and the High Priest was appointed by him.
Julius Caesar had previously excused Jews from participating in imperial worship by requiring them to pay a special fee to the Roman government in exchange for their exemption.
Poor farmers in Galilee were forced to mortgage their ancestral properties to the powers that be in Jerusalem as a result of the persecution they suffered under the Roman occupation.
Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God in the same way that the prophets of old had done in their time.
It was Jesus’ teaching that was both spiritually and politically dangerous, first to the Roman rulers and then to their client appointees in Jerusalem, who were first and foremost targets of Jesus’ message.
However, Mark 15:15 makes it obvious that Pilate was the one who ordered Jesus’ murder, whereas he portrays it as a sort of 50/50 cooperation between the corrupted leaders and Pilate.
Using Moses as an example, Matthew describes Jesus as a “Super Teacher” or “Rabbi.” Aside from his status as a Jewish disciple of Christ (Antioch being the site of the first use of the term “Christian”), Matthew comments on a period following the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE, when tensions broke out between rabbinic Yavneh Jews and Jewish followers of Jesus.
- However, it is possible that the rabbis were not particularly effective.
- (I often remind my pupils that a Christian may attend any Jewish Sabbath service and participate in all of the prayers with complete religious commitment.) A great deal of effort is expended by Matthew to disassociate himself from the Roman rulers.
- He adds the sentence “His blood be upon us and our offspring,” which is most likely a result of intra-Jewish strife, to place ultimate responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Jewish authority (Matthew 24:25).
- The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts should be read together as a single piece of literature.
- Even though we can today use the name “Christian,” which appears for the first time in Acts 11:26, the term was probably definitely intended to be used as a derogatory epithet at the time of its invention.
- Against the backdrop of Roman criticism, Luke is attempting to defend Christianity against the charge of “superstition” leveled against it.
- There are no longer any texts about Jesus being crowned with thorns or being mocked.
“But Jesus hedelivered over to their will,” Luke says of Pilate’s duty (Luke 23:26).
In its present form (ca.
100-110 CE) is that John does not place the blame for Jesus’ death solely on Pilate, or Pilate’s Jewish authorities, or even the Jewish authorities alone, but on “Jews” in general (John 19:12).
Despite the fact that John did not mention so, the stereotype is established for the later, disastrous allegation of “the Jews killed Jesus.” The “Jews” were characterized by Christian apologists as a “stiff-necked people” who refused to see the light of redemption in the years that followed.
A fascinating subtext may be found in each situation.
398-407) was the first to accuse Jews of being “Christ-killers,” but he did so because his Christian congregants were continuing to attend the local synagogue, no doubt because the rabbis were more learned than many priests and were better biblical preachers than the priests themselves.
All of us are well aware of the tragic conclusion to this saga.
The High Priest, the Scribes, the Elders/Romans, and other officials Priests in authority, scribes, elders, and the general populace/pilate (sort of) Jews are a group of people who live in a country that is mostly Jewish (in general) Christ-killers.” “Stiff-necked People” I’ve read enough about Mel Gibson’s movie to conclude that, like many other films about Jesus, it will combine all of the gospel stories about the passion into a single narrative.
I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Second, according to Gibson himself, the film is brutal and horrific, and it places a strong emphasis on the role of Mary in a way that is not reflected in the gospel accounts.
What’s more, the inclination in practically all Christian interpretations of Jesus’ death is to adopt as one’s frame of reference not the first phrase in the sequence I’ve listed above but the last term in the series We’ll have to wait till the film is out before we can find out for certain.
There’s no denying that Jesus died in a manner that was uniquely Roman in nature. While Rome did not develop the act of crucifixion, they did make it more efficient and effective. Under the supervision of the Romans, what began as a way of humiliating offenders by nailing them to a tree or a stake became a far more effective method of punishment. Jews did not (and were not permitted to) crucify anybody under any circumstances. Rather of beheaded, they were stoned, which was a more ancient method of execution.
Not only were the Romans accountable for Jesus’ crucifixion, but they were also responsible for much of the suffering 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.
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.
The argument against Caiaphas is that he arrested Jesus, tried him in a kangaroo court, and condemned him on a religious charge that bore the death sentence. 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 base was the Sanhedrin, the supreme 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 deliberations. There were big rewards for the effort, as modern archaeologists have discovered that Caiaphas and his associates lived luxurious lives in homes that were large and lavishly decorated. However, the Sanhedrin was only able to rule because the Romans granted them permission, and the only way to keep the Romans happy was to maintain order in society.
In other words, if Jesus was causing trouble, it was causing trouble for both Caiaphas and Pilate – and trouble for Pilate was still trouble for Caiaphas, as well.
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.
Jesus was doing this in the Temple, in front of a large audience, and with no regard for Caiaphas or his staff in the least. 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
For the Temple priests, Jesus was endangering a valuable source of money, which he was also threatening. When it came to simple concerns like cleansing and sin forgiveness, the Temple equipment brought in a lot of money. Within a mile of the Temple, archaeologists unearthed 150 mikvehs. Jews utilize Mikvehs (ritual baths) before doing any act of devotion in order to cleanse themselves. Most of the Jewish people who traveled to Jerusalem for Passover were judged ritually unclean, and nearly everyone who arrived for the holiday was declared ritually unclean.
- In order to utilize the mikvehs, people had to pay the priests, who regulated them.
- In Jesus’ opinion, the entire situation was ridiculous.
- The Temple’s apparatchiks are in for a bad day.
- If things go out of hand, this 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 Mark.
- The fact that God had the ability to accomplish it was well known among Jews; he’d shown it several times in the past.
- 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 knew what he would do next.
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?
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.
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 guaranteed to cause consternation among those who were attempting to maintain control over the Jewish people, for it commemorated the moment when God transported 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.
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.
Pontius Pilate was a Roman governor who served under Tiberius the Great during the first century AD. His most well-known role is that of the judge in Jesus’ trial.
Who Was Pontius Pilate?
Pontius Pilate is thought to have originated from the Samnium area of central Italy, where he was imprisoned. Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judaea from 26 to 36 A.D. throughout his reign. He accused Jesus of treason and said that Jesus considered himself to be the King of the Jews, and he ordered Jesus’ execution. Pilate died in the year 39 A.D. The exact reason of his death has not been determined. His presence was proved by an item discovered in 1961.
Prefect of Judea
Pontius Pilate was appointed prefect of the Roman provinces of Judaea, Samaria, and Iduma by the Roman Emperor Tiberius in 26 A.D., although Pilate is best remembered for his leadership of the Roman province of Judaea. While the average tenure for a Roman prefect was one to three years, Pilate was to keep his position as the fifth Roman procurator for a period of ten years, which was unprecedented at the time. Pontius Pilate became the successor of Valerius Gratus when he assumed his position.
His responsibilities as a prefect included routine activities like as tax collecting and project management for building projects.
Pontius Pilate made every effort to achieve this goal by whatever means necessary.
Pontius Pilate, as governor of Judaea, was confronted with a clash of interests between the Roman Empire and the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious council. When Pontius inquired as to whether Jesus was the King of the Jews, he asserted that Jesus had accepted the title, which he never had done. The Roman authority regarded this claim as treasonous and prosecuted the accuser accordingly. Pontius Pilate, according to some historians, worked in collaboration with Jewish officials, who considered Jesus’ claim to authority as a political danger, when it came to pursuing Jesus.
All four of the Gospels portray him as a weak man who eventually caves in to the Jewish rulers’ demand to put Jesus on the cross.
Only Matthew 27:24 describes Pontius Pilate as refusing to participate in Jesus’ crucifixion: “So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves,” he said.
INRI was a Latin abbreviation for Jesus’ given name as well as his title as King of the Jews. Some feel that the term was intended to be sarcastic, in order to criticize Jesus for his lofty assertion.
The circumstances surrounding Pontius Pilate’s death, which occurred about 39 A.D., remain a mystery and a matter of debate. According to some legends, the Roman emperor Caligula ordered Pontius Pilate’s death by execution or suicide, which was carried out. According to some stories, Pontius Pilate was exiled and eventually committed suicide of his own free will. Some stories hold that after committing himself, his body was thrown into the Tiber River, which is where he is buried. Others, on the other hand, feel that Pontius Pilate’s destiny was tied to his conversion to Christianity and his canonization.
Whatever happened to Pontius Pilate in the end, one thing has been established: that he was a real person who lived in the first century A.D.
Antonio Frova discovered a piece of limestone etched with Pontius Pilate’s name in Latin, establishing a link between Pilate and Emperor Tiberius’ reign in the city.
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!”