From: Robert Schneider (email@example.com)
Date: Tue May 06 2003 - 14:04:01 EDT
It might be interesting to note that in Matthew 27:15-17, Barabbas is named "Jesus Barabbas"; and "Barabbas" is "bar abbas," meaning "son of the father." So Matthew's Pilate asks the crowd if they wish him to release "Jesus son of the father" or "Jesus called the Messiah."
Now, some authoritative mss. of Matthew omit the "Jesus" with "Barabbas," but the NRSV translators put it in the text rather than the footnote. The editors (Kurt Aland et al.) of the UBS Greek NT, 27th edn. put "Jesus" in the text in brackets. I prefer to believe that the inclusion of "Jesus" with "Barabbas" is the more authoritative reading. If true, how delicious the irony, in a Passion Narrative, like the others, riddled with ironies.
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Roberts
To: Gary Collins ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 12:14 PM
Subject: Re: Jesus or Barabbas
I think it is one of those questions which is answerable as there is no evidence whether they were candidates for popular release or not. The possibilities are endless but it is not important.
Remember that the bible always gives such compressed accounts that it leaves a tremendous amount out.
I haven't a clue about Bulgakov's ideas.
----- Original Message -----
From: Gary Collins
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 2:32 PM
Subject: Jesus or Barabbas
Michael Roberts wrote:
I would point out that I do have a degree in theology and have taught up to
M.A. level. I am pretty familiar with biblical commentators from the early
church until today.
It sounds as though you are just the person who might be able to answer a
(not vastly significant) question I have. In all four gospels (I think) Pilate offers
the people the choice of which prisoner to free - Jesus Christ or Barabbas. All
four gospels record that two others were crucified with Jesus. What is intriguing
me is why these two others were not also put forward as candidates for possible
Mikhail Bulgakov, in 'The Master and Margarita' makes the suggestion that
Jesus and Barabbas had been brought to trial by the Sanhedrin, but the other
two by the authority of Rome. This is only a novel; but since Bulgakov undoubtedly
used some historic material in composing it, it might be possible that his answer
is correct. OTOH it may simply be his own fabrication.
I would like to know if this does come from some early tradition, or from the writings
of the church 'fathers', etc. My commentaries don't seem to make any comment
Hope you can help, trivial though the question is!
"By tying up the weak case for a young earth in the same package as the strong case for creation, recent-creationists are almost asking to be defeated."
-- Alan Hayward, "Creation and Evolution: The Facts and Fallacies," p.81
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