Why Did Pontius Pilate Have Jesus Executed?
“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate asks Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel of John, and Jesus responds with a question. It’s a question that may be raised regarding Pilate’s own personal background as well. According to the New Testament of the Christian Bible, the Roman ruler of Judea was a shaky judge who originally exonerated Jesus before bowing to the will of the multitude and condemned him to death as a result of his actions. Non-Biblical sources, on the other hand, present him as a barbaric commander who wilfully rejected the traditions of the Jewish people under his command.
WATCH: JESUS: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE VaultJesus before Pilate, just before he was crucified.
Pilate’s early life is a mystery.
Before his time as Roman governor of Judea, from 26 and 36 A.D., nothing is known about Pilate’s early life and career. While most believe he was born into an equestrian family in Italy, certain tales indicate that he was actually born in the Scottish Highlands. From the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria emerges one of the earliest—and most damning—accounts of Pilate’s reign as governor. Around the year 50 A.D., he denounced the prefect for “briberies, insults, robberies, outrages and wanton injuries, executions without trial, constantly repeated, endless and extremely severe brutality,” among other things.
- Patterson describes Pilate’s rule as “corrupt and full of bribery.” Patterson is an early Christianity historian at Willamette University and the author of several books, including The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism.
- “Philo is a really dramatic writer,” she observes, “and one who has very apparent biases: persons who maintain Jewish rules are documented in highly favorable ways, whereas people who do not uphold Jewish laws are represented in quite bad ways.
- MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: The Bible asserts that Jesus was a real person.
- Prior to his crucifixion, Jesus had been tortured, and this was the culmination of that suffering.
Pilate clashed with the Jewish population in Jerusalem.
A pair of golden shields emblazoned with the name of the Roman Emperor Tiberius were allowed into King Herod’s ancient residence in Jerusalem, according to Philo, despite Jewish tradition. Writing more than a half-century later, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus related a similar story, claiming that Pilate let troops bearing military standards with the likeness of the emperor into Jerusalem, despite Jewish law prohibiting the carrying of images in the holy city. A large number of people journeyed to the Judean city of Caesarea to express their displeasure, and they laid prostrate outside Pilate’s palace for five days until he finally yielded.
This account has the ring of a rookie governor experimenting with his powers and entirely underestimating the depth of local opposition to graven images.
Josephus related another event, this one with a bloodier conclusion, in which Pilate used cash from the Temple treasury to construct an aqueduct to provide water to Jerusalem.
They were successful. When he gave the signal, they withdrew clubs disguised in their clothing and beat many of the demonstrators to death with the clubs they had removed. More information may be found at: Where Is the Head of Saint John the Baptist?
The Gospels portray an indecisive Pilate.
Josephus also referred to Pilate’s well-known role in agreeing to Jesus’ death, which he had played previously. After being gravely concerned by his teachings, the Sanhedrin (an elite council of priestly and lay elders) arrested Jesus while he was celebrating the Jewish festival of Passover, according to the Gospels. They hauled Jesus before Pilate to be prosecuted for blasphemy, accusing him of claiming to be the King of the Jews, which they said was false. And they exerted pressure on Pilate, the only person who had the authority to sentence someone to death, to order his crucifixion.
According to the Gospel of Mark, Pilate intervened on Jesus’ behalf before caving in to the demands of the mob.
MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Discovering the Early Christian Church’s Conversion Tactics from Within “Mark’s goal isn’t truly historical in nature,” Patterson explains.
Mark blamed the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem for the city’s collapse since the high priests and officials had turned their backs on Jesus when he had arrived in the city.
courtesy of DeAgostini/Getty Images Following this, according to the Gospel of Matthew, Pilate washed his hands in front of the assembled throng before declaring, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; take care of yourself.” When the Jewish people heard this, they yelled out, “His blood be on us and our children.” For millennia, it would be used to punish the Jewish people, and it is still being utilized now.
As Bond explains, “Matthew claims that, while Romans were accountable for carrying out the action, the Jews were liable—a line of thought that, of course, has had fatal ramifications ever since.” When Jesus was making problems during a gathering like Passover, when the city was packed to capacity, I don’t believe Pilate would have spent much time worrying about what to do with him.
According to the Gospels, the people preferred the criminal Barabbas than Jesus.
The so-called custom of freeing a prisoner on Passover has been investigated by scholars, but so far, according to Patterson, “they have not discovered anything in regard to this so-called ritual.” More information may be found at: Early Christians Didn’t Always Take the Bible Literally (Discovery).
Pilate disappears from history after his rule.
Following the use of disproportionate force to quell a suspected Samaritan rebellion, Pilate was dismissed from office and transported back to Rome, according to Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus. Pilate vanished from the historical record as soon as he arrived in Rome. According to various legends, he was either executed by Emperor Caligula or committed suicide, with his remains being thrown into the Tiber River after his death. In fact, the early Christian author Tertullian said that Pilate had become a disciple of Jesus and had attempted to convert the emperor to Christian beliefs.
A portion of a carved stone with Pilate’s name and title etched in Latin on it was discovered face down in an antique theater, where it had been used as a stair.
According to a November 2018 article in Israel Exploration Journal, improved photography showed Pilate’s name engraved in Greek on a 2,000-year-old copper alloy ring recovered at Herodium, which was previously thought to be a Roman coin.
Bible Study: Who Actually Killed Jesus Christ?
On January 9, 2019, we made some changes. The killing of Christina was orchestrated by six co-conspirators, each of them contributed to the process in their own way. Their motivations ranged from avarice to hatred to a sense of obligation. Judas Iscariot, Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate, Herod Antipas, and an unknown Roman centurion were among those who were arrested. The Old Testament prophets had predicted that the Messiah would be taken to the slaughterhouse like a sacrificial lamb hundreds of years before.
Discover the role that each of the men who executed Jesus played in the most significant trial in history, as well as how they conspired to put him to death in the most important trial in history.
Judas Iscariot – Betrayer of Jesus Christ
James Tissot’s painting Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss is available for purchase. Images courtesy of SuperStock / Getty Images Judas Iscariot was one of Jesus Christ’s twelve chosen disciples, and he was betrayed by them. As the group’s treasurer, he was in charge of the money bag that was shared by everyone. While Judas did not have a role in organizing Jesus’ crucifixion, the Bible claims that he betrayed his Master for 30 pieces of silver, which was the usual price paid for a slave at the time.
Judas moved from being one of Jesus’ closest companions to becoming a guy whose firstname has become synonymous with betrayal.
Joseph Caiaphas – High Priest of the Jerusalem Temple
Photographs courtesy of Getty Images When Jesus of Nazareth came to Jerusalem, Joseph Caiaphas, the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem from 18 to 37 A.D., was one of the most powerful men in ancient Israel, yet he felt threatened by the peace-loving teacher. During the trial and execution of Jesus Christ, he played an important part. Caiaphas was concerned that Jesus might incite an uprising, resulting in a crackdown by the Romans, who were pleased with Caiaphas’ service.
As a result, Caiaphas determined that Jesus would have to die. He accused the Lord of blasphemy, which is a felony punishable by death under Jewish law, and demanded that he be killed. Learn more about Caiaphas’ role in Jesus’ death by reading this article.
Pontius Pilate – Roman Governor of Judea
An illustration shows Pilate washing his hands as he issues orders for Jesus to be flogged and Barabbas to be released from his imprisonment. Eric Thomas is a Getty Images contributor. Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor of ancient Israel, and he had tremendous authority over life and death. He was the only one who had the authority to put a criminal to death. However, when Jesus was brought before him for trial, Pilate could not find any justification to sentence him to death. Instead, he cruelly flogged Jesus before handing him over to Herod, who subsequently returned him to the cross.
In order to save themselves, they asked that Jesus be crucified, a tortuous punishment reserved exclusively for the most aggressive of offenders.
Learn more about Pontius Pilate’s role in the death of Jesus by watching the video below.
Herod Antipas – Tetrarch of Galilee
The head of John the Baptist is carried to Herod Antipas by Princess Herodias. Stringer / Getty Images / Archive Photos / Stringer Herod Antipas was a tetrarch, or ruler of Galilee and Perea, who was selected by the Romans to serve as their representative. Due to Jesus’ status as a Galilean, who fell under Herod’s jurisdiction, Pilate sent Jesus to him. Herod had already assassinated the famous prophet John the Baptist, who was also Jesus’ friend and kinsman. Jesus was asked to perform a miracle for Herod, rather than finding the truth about what had happened.
Learn more about Herod’s part in the killing of Jesus by reading this article.
Centurion – Officer in Ancient Rome’s Army
Image courtesy of Giorgio Cosulich and stringer/Getty Images. Centurions were battle-hardened army leaders who were trained to kill with sword and spear under the Roman Empire. Jesus of Nazareth was nailed on the cross by a Roman centurion whose name is not revealed in the Bible. This order changed the course of history. The centurion and the troops under his direction executed the crucifixion of Jesus in a cold and methodical manner, following the commands of Governor Pilate. “Surely this guy was the Son of God!” he exclaimed as he gazed up at Jesus, who was hanging on the cross.
Who is responsible in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
QUESTION: Who bears the primary responsibility for the crucifixion of Christ? Answer: This subject has been disputed for ages and the discussion continues now – who was the genuine assassin of Jesus Christ. What does the Bible say about this? It is revealed in Matthew 27:22–25 that the Jewish authorities asked that Jesus be crucified. The Romans, on the other hand, were the ones who physically crucified Jesus (Matthew 27:27-37). Who has the ultimate responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?
- Our sins were the cause of His death.
- But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, according to the Bible’s verse Romans 5:8.
- Pilate was the one who inquired.
- “Crucify him!” they cried out even louder, as if they had something to prove.
- ‘I am not responsible for this man’s blood,’ he insisted.
- They stripped him down to his underwear and draped him in a red robe before twisting a crown of thorns together and placing it on his head.
- ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they cried out in jubilation.
- After they had made fun of him, they stripped him of his robe and dressed him in his own clothing.
- ” “As they were about to leave, they came upon a man from Cyrene called Simon, whom they compelled to carry the cross for them.
- They offered Jesus wine laced with gall to drink there, but after tasting it, he refused to take any more from the cup.
After Jesus had been nailed to the cross, they divided his clothing by drawing lots for it. They sat down and kept a close eye on him from that position. A printed indictment against him was placed over his head, which read: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWISH GENTILES.”
Why did the crowds shout, “Crucify Him!” when Pilate wanted to release Jesus?
INQUIRY: Who bears the primary responsibility for Jesus Christ’s crucifixion? ANSWER:This subject has been argued for years, and the dispute continues today – who was the person who murdered Jesus? Which passages of Scripture do you want to look at? It is revealed in Matthew 27:22–25 that the Jewish authorities asked that Jesus be executed. The Romans, on the other hand, were the ones who executed Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:27-37). Is it possible to determine who is accountable for the crucifixion of Christ?
- His death was brought upon by our misdeeds.
- For my sins and your sins, Jesus gave His life in order to pay the punishment for them both.
- This is what Matthew 27:22–25 has to say about it: “The question is: ‘What am I to do with Jesus, who is also known as Christ?
- It was unanimously agreed upon to be crucified.
- The emperor Pilate demanded to know what crime he had done.
- He did this in front of the audience because he saw he wasn’t making any progress and that an uproar was brewing.
- It was him who said, “I am not responsible for this man’s death.” The onus is on you!’ he says.
A red robe was slung over his shoulders, and then a crown of thorns was woven together and fastened around his neck.
They sang, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ They spat on him and then got a rod and repeatedly beat him in the head with it.
Afterwards, they took him away and nailed him to the cross.
This is where they arrived: Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).
He was crucified, and when his clothing were split by lot, he was buried.
A printed indictment against him was placed over his head, which read: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWISH NATIONS.”
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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!”
What Happened to Pontius Pilate — The Man Responsible for Crucifying Jesus?
In front of the crowd, Pilate presents Jesus to them. Wikimedia Commons has made this image available to the public. Pontius Pilate was unquestionably a historical person of importance. At 1961, a slab of limestone with inscriptions was discovered in Caesarea Maritima (modern-day Israel), stating that he served as the Roman governor of Judah during the reign of Emperor Tiberius and during the time period when Jesus was living. A number of documents connected to his rule have also been discovered in Rome among ancient writings.
- The accusations of treason were brought against Jesus because he claimed to be the “King of all Jews,” which was a prohibited claim to make while Judaea was under the control of Rome.
- For more than two centuries, Pilate had served as the ruler of that section of the Roman empire (and would continue to be until 36 AD).
- Many pagan symbols were introduced into hallowed Jewish institutions as a result of his orders, which caused consternation among the local community.
- He had a conversation with Jesus, and it appears that he first believed him to be innocent.
- Then, three days after his death, Jesus resurrected from the dead, demonstrating to his disciples that he truly was the son of God (again, according toscriptures).
- However, despite the significant role that Pontius Pilate had in its inception, the vast majority of people are unaware of what happened to him over the remainder of his life after that.
- For them, the following few years were just another day at the office.
There were a slew of other suspected rebels who suffered a fate similar to Jesus’s later on throughout his reign.
Furthermore, because the inhabitants of Judaea were not citizens, Pilate was free to be as harsh as he pleased.
Other historical texts also describe how Pilate seized cash from a Jewish temple and used them to construct an aqueduct connecting Jerusalem to the rest of the world.
To do this, he had troops masquerading as citizens enter the unarmed throng and then beat a number of demonstrators to death with clubbing weapons.
In the end, his worst misfortune happened when a group of Samaritans went in search of items that were claimed to have been buried by the Prophet Moses at Mount Gerizim and found none.
Pilate was quickly summoned to Rome, where he was tried by Tiberius after some of the survivors reported to the Roman governor of Syria, Lucius Vitellius, about what had happened to them.
Nevertheless, while he was on his way, Tiberius passed away due to old age and was succeeded by Caligula.
Pilate had just recently resigned from politics and was surviving on a state pension and whatever money he had stolen from the people of Judaea to supplement his income.
Following his death, a vast deal of information about Pilate disseminated throughout Europe.
They just wished to avoid being persecuted any further than they were already being mistreated.
The dissemination of fake letters purporting to be authored by Pilate occurred as early as the 2nd century, according to historical records.
The “Acts of Pilate,” among other sources, described how Pilate allegedly declared, “I have discovered no grounds for the death punishment.
The Jewish mob, on the other hand, wanted him dead and fought back by screaming, “His blood be on us and our children!” To put it another way, they’ll accept responsibility for assassinating the son of God.
According to the author, this quotation was written several years after Christ’s death with the goal of shifting the responsibility from Pilate to the Jews, as previously mentioned.
Eventually, as the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, the guilt for Jesus’ crucifixion was shifted from the Jews to Pontius Pilate.
However, the harm had already been done in terms of the Gospels, which were blaming the Jews. In actuality, Pilate received no punishment at all for all of the atrocities he had done throughout his reign of terror (except perhaps eternal damnation).
Who Crucified Jesus? –
Christ’s presentation to the crowd by Pilate Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License It is unquestionably true that Pontius Pilate existed as a historical figure. We know this because in 1961, an etched slab of limestone was discovered at Caesarea Maritima (modern-day Israel), and it said that he served as the Roman governor of Judaea during the reign of Emperor Tiberius, during the period when Jesus was living, among other things. There have also been discoveries of documents referring to his rule among ancient manuscripts in the Roman city-state.
- Treason accusations were brought against Jesus because he claimed to be the “King of all Jews,” which was considered unlawful when Judaea was still under Roman control at the time of his death.
- For more than two centuries, Pilate had served as governor of that region of the Roman empire (and would continue to be until 36 AD).
- Many pagan symbols were introduced into hallowed Jewish institutions as a result of his orders, which caused consternation among the Jewish community in his home town.
- The two of them had a conversation about Jesus, and it appears that he first thought Jesus was innocent.
- Crucified with a crown of thorns, Jesus had his flesh and bones thrashed to a pulp.
- Christian faith grew over history, eventually becoming the religion with the greatest number of adherents all across the world.
- Pilate and the Roman Empire as a whole were not substantially influenced by the purported miracle of Christ’s resurrection, which occurred in 30 or 33 AD, according to the majority of historical sources.
- Despite the fact that the Four Gospels maintained that Pilate was just a ruler who could be readily persuaded by popular opinion — as discussed above — other historical (non-religious) sources claim that he was a callous and ruthless figure in general.
- As you may be aware, the Roman Empire established laws that specified suitable punishments for each offense, but those laws were only applicable to inhabitants of the empire.
It is supported by the writings of Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher who summarized the governor’s reign in 50 AD as being marked by “briberies, insults, robberies, outrages and wanton injuries, executions without trial, constantly repeated, ceaseless and supremely grievous cruelty,” among other things.
- Upon learning of this, the local residents took to the streets and demonstrated in front of Pilate’s town hall.
- To your surprise, Pilate was not a very benign or popular ruler, as you have surely gathered by now.
- Even though the Samaritans were unarmed, Pilate misunderstood their gathering there for a potential rebellion and dispatched his men to slaughter them.
- As a result, his governorship came to an end in 36 AD.
- Most Roman emperors at the period were not in the practice of respecting all of their predecessors’ appointments, and Caligula, in particular, was not overly concerned with legal problems, therefore the trial was never brought to light.
- Whether he died in modern-day France or Switzerland is uncertain, but it was at some point in the past.
- In order to avoid portraying Emperor Constantine in a negative light during his reign as emperor in the 4th Century, the early Christians had to create a new story about Christ’s crucifixion that did not cast a negative light on the corrupt former governor.
Unintentional implications of this, however, were that the Jews were wrongfully accused of being responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion.
They depicted him as a good-hearted individual who had also become a believer in Jesus Christ.
To put it another way, they’ll accept responsibility for assassinating God’s son.
According to the author, this quotation was written several years after Christ’s murder with the goal of shifting the guilt from Pilate to the Jews, which has already been acknowledged.
Pontius Pilate was given the guilt for the killing of Jesus when the Roman Empire eventually accepted Christianity.
In terms of the Gospels, the harm had already been done in terms of the Jews. As a matter of fact, Pilate received no penalty at all for all of the atrocities he had done (except perhaps eternal damnation).
Step 1 – God loves you and has a plan for you!
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whomever believes in Him will not perish, but shall have eternal life,” according to the Scriptures (John 3:16). “I come so they may have life, and have it abundantly,” Jesus remarked, referring to a whole life with a clear sense of direction (John 10:10). However, there is a problem:
Step 2 – People are sinful and separated from God.
We have all done, thought, or spoken something that were wrong, which the Bible refers to as “sin.” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” according to the Bible (Romans 3:23). Death, which is spiritual separation from God, is the outcome of sin (Romans 6:23). The good news is that
Step 3 – God sent His Son to die for your sins!
The death of Jesus on the cross ensured that we may have a relationship with God and be with Him for all eternity. “God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” says the Bible (Romans 5:8). However, it did not come to an end with His death on the cross. He has risen from the dead and continues to live! “Christ died on the cross for our sins. He was buried. His resurrection took place on the third day, in accordance with biblical guidelines (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me,” Jesus declared.
Step 4 – Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?
We cannot earn our salvation; rather, we are saved by God’s mercy through trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, when we believe in Him. Simply believing that you are a sinner and that Christ died for your sins, as well as asking for His forgiveness, is all that is required of you. Then turn away from your sins—this is referred to as repentance. Jesus Christ knows who you are and how much he loves you. What counts to Him is the attitude of your heart, as well as your sincere intentions. If you want to accept Christ as your Savior, we recommend that you pray the following prayer: “Dear God, I am well aware that I am a sinner, and I beg your pardon.
I believe that He died in my place because of my sin and that you resurrected Him from the dead.
Please direct my life and assist me in carrying out your instructions.
Amen.” Did you say the prayer that I asked you to say?
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.
Many Jews, however, were dissatisfied with the results. 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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Why Did Pontius Pilate Allow Jesus to Be Crucified?
Pontius Pilate seems to vanish from the pages of the Gospels almost as soon as he appears. Despite this, this Roman soldier plays such a significant role in the crucifixion that he is mentioned in the Apostles’ Creed as a result. As one of the most important summaries of Jesus, what he did on earth, and the many other important doctrines and beliefs that are central to the Christian faith, the Apostles’ Creed may well be the most important summary available. Those who have read about Pilate in the Gospel accounts may recall him as a man who recognized that Jesus was innocent, but who allowed his fear of the crowds to overpower his judgment.
The story of Pilate can be found in Matthew 27 and John 18:28-40, among other places.
He couldn’t bear the thought of allowing a guiltless man to die such a horrible death.
We’ll get into these and other questions in greater detail below.
Who Was Pontius Pilate?
The Roman prefect (or governor) of Judea in the early first century was Pontius Pilate. He was known for his harsh treatment of the Jews (about 26-36 AD). According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Pilate is believed to have risen to such a high position as a result of a recommendation from one of Emperor Tiberius’ favorite bureaucrats, a man named Sejanus. Pilate, although having landed a significant position, wreaked chaos for his position from the get-go. Pilate had fallen out of favor with Emperor Tiberius as a result of his insulting the faith of the Jews and operating an administration characterized by “corruption, violence, thefts, and bad treatment of the people.” When Sejanus, the administrator who had recommended Pilate for the role, vanished from the scene – having murdered Tiberius’ son and plotting to assassinate the Emperor himself – the Emperor increased his scrutiny of Pilate.
Every one of his movements had to be closely scrutinized.
With his own fate and deeds hanging in the balance, Pilate finds himself confronted by a Jewish man with whom he can find no fault at this point in his life.
In the worst case scenario, if he refuses to cave in to their demands, they will notify Caesar (John 19:12).
They do, however, state their views clearly. Either you assassinate Jesus or you are no longer a friend of Caesar. The Roman governor, Pilate, caves in and enables them to crucify Jesus, wiping his hands clean of any blood that could be shed.
Why Did Pontius Pilate Crucify Jesus?
Despite the fact that Pilate clearly possessed considerable power, why would he sentence a guilty man to death? Even if he looks to be ignoring his conscience, wouldn’t the act of doing so haunt him nearly to death, knowing that he has doomed a sinless man to die, be a source of great anxiety for him? We must bear in mind a number of factors that contributed to Pontius Pilate’s decision to yield to the throng. After all of the evidence stated above, it should come as no surprise that Pilate was in poor status with Caesar.
- And the Jews believed that siding with Jesus was a grave error.
- For the second time, we’ll see that opponents of Christianity frequently assert that the Bible is untrustworthy and that Jesus may have never been at all.
- If you want a more in-depth explanation of this, see Lee Strobel’s book “The Case for Christ.” In truth, Jesus’ ministry – with a few notable exceptions, such as the woman at the well – was solely for the benefit of the Jewish people of the time.
- The Romans were largely uninterested in Jewish matters.
- According to their records, he was in compliance with their tax regulations and otherwise a good citizen (Mark 12:17).
- Furthermore, unless the Jews were leading a revolt or insurrection against Rome, the Romans were not very interested in the affairs of the Jews.
- Furthermore, Romans regarded persons who held Roman citizenship as being of higher significance than those who did not hold it.
- Despite the fact that Pilate understood he was innocent, he did not plan to risk his career and his life for a non-Roman citizen.
- In spite of his convictions that Jesus should not have been put to death, he neglected his conscience and succumbed to peer pressure from the surrounding community.
Why Is Pontius Pilate Included in the Creed?
Pilate even goes so far as to wash his hands of the wrongdoing, figuratively speaking (Matthew 27:24). The Jews did not legally condemn Jesus to death, did they? If this is true, then why does the Creed state that Jesus was “crucified by Pontius Pilate?” In the story recorded in Matthew 27, Pilate is given the opportunity to release Jesus, but he declines to do so. However, even if he abstains from interfering with the execution, he still plays a role in the process of carrying out the punishment.
The stoning method was used by the Jewish people to murder individuals (Acts 7:54-60).
Furthermore, Don Stewart notes that it was a Roman type of punishment reserved solely for people of the lowest social status, criminals, and rebels, as Don Stewart discusses in this article.
Considering that individuals who were killed were regarded “cursed,” as Stewart indicates above, it is possible that Jews brought Jesus before the Roman authorities.
Because crucifixion was a Roman method of punishment, and because Pilate stood there with his hands up and let the crowd to do whatever they wished, Jesus was brought to be killed by him, as well.
Why Does This Matter?
When it comes to the crucifixion of Jesus, it’s critical that we understand who Pilate was and what role he played. First and foremost, we may learn from Pilate what not to do when we are troubled by a stirring in our conscience. However, despite Pilate’s repeated assurances that Jesus is innocent, the crowd stationed outside is successful in convincing him otherwise. Secondly, by understanding about Pilate’s past, including his disagreement with Caesar, we may better appreciate why Pilate would be reluctant to take a chance on a Jew.
The killing of Christ was a collaborative effort between Jews and Gentiles, we can see that at its conclusion.
Credit for the image goes to Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain Image/Antonio Ciseri on the Internet Archive.
More than 1,200 of her pieces have been published in a variety of journals, ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids, among others.
Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams.
She is also a co-author of the Dear Heroduology, which was published by INtense Publications and is available for purchase online.
You may learn more about her by visiting her website.