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Default Did the Jews kill Jesus?

Did the Jews kill Jesus?
Introduction
Karl Radl

The argument over whether the jews did; in fact, kill Jesus is one of the oldest of all anti-jewish arguments and has been the subject of much controversy and eloquent writing on different sides of the debate over the last two millennia. I don't propose to make an exhaustive summary of literature or even a significant one, but rather to focus instead on what we are told of the events which provide the narrative of Jesus' trial and execution and the standard issues around which the argument resolves.

In doing so I am attempting to cut to the heart of the issue of the debate in and around whether the jews bear the responsibility for the trial and execution of Jesus as opposed to looking at the manifold different academic and intellectual cliques; ideological, political and/or religious, which have sought to either minimize the jewish role in Jesus' death or argue that the Bible needs to interpreted as being allegorical, metaphorical or even symbolic on elements of text which they dislike or wish to use to provide a justification for their ideas. Such positions largely rely on their a priori conclusions to make the case for them and as such arguments about the lack of jewish responsibility for the trial and execution of Jesus are frequently intellectually well-received not because they are right, but because they reach the politically correct conclusion.

Now before we delve into the events of Jesus' trial and execution: it is important that I state that I am not; per force, a Christian and nor do I personally identify much with Jesus or his teachings, so I am coming at this from the simple perspective of someone without a religious axe to grind and as such I am arguing the anti-jewish case on the simple grounds that I believe that this is correct position that the totality evidence points to.

With that necessary diversion out of the way we should understand that there are two separate elements of the argument around who was responsible for the death of Jesus. In the first element we have the Gospel accounts of the death of Jesus and in the second we have the other sources; such as Josephus and Philo of Alexandria, which provide the central basis for those seeking to assign responsibility to the Romans rather than the jews.

It is in this second element that we come across the main area of dispute: remarkably little is disputed about the simple text of the Gospels in relation to who bears the responsibility for Jesus' death, but introduce other near contemporary sources and then cross-reference with Biblical prohibitions and we are told we get a very different picture with the Romans not the jews being responsible.

So thus the first part of this article; which can be found below, focuses on the gospel accounts and what they actually tells us without factoring in other sources or contextual information The reason for this is relatively simple in that if someone is a Christian then the gospel accounts of Jesus' death are absolute and irreproachable. They aren't some kind of text to be interpreted away like yesterday's law, but rather divinely-written history which must per force be true if Christianity is true and if they are not true then it throws doubt on the whole of the gospel accounts of Jesus.

If Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are all completely wrong about one of the central points in their narrative; and the event upon which the whole Christian religion is largely based, then how can we believe anything else they have to say? Why should we believe there was even a Jesus in the first place then?

You see once you remove the literal nature from the text then it undermines the very nature of belief as symbols, metaphors and allegories are necessarily subjective and can be (and have been) interpreted any which way in order to make a specific case or act as a rationalizing justification for an externally conceived idea/position.

After all I am sure that any intelligent person could justify a belief in angels, unicorns and/or as being symbolic, metaphorical or allegorical if they so wished, but unless there is literality than there is no substance in faith other than a vague notion that there is some kind of deity or deities and they may or may not have an opinion about the moral hue of the soul of a human or a nearby possum who they may or may not decide to transport upon death to a paradise or at least somewhere that has never heard of Walmart.

That is hardly a deity now is it?

It is more like superstitious atheism.


Thus for a Christian: what the Bible says must be the truth of the matter or that person isn't Christian. It is really that simple when it comes down to it.

The Biblical Case

Now lets begin our foray into the issue of the jewish responsibility for death of Jesus by focusing on each segment of the story as told by each of the four evangelists and what it tells us about the primary agents and the culprits.

The Conspiracy to Kill Jesus

Now the first element to the story of Jesus' crucifixion is the successful conspiracy to get him brought to trial before the Sanhedrin then brought to trial again before Rome's all-powerful representative in Judea; Pontius Pilate, and to induce this representative to order Jesus' execution.

Matthew records the origins of it thus: (1)

'Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Cai'aphas, and took counsel together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult among the people.' (2)

Mark says:

'And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth, and kill him; for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult among the people.' (3)

Luke says:

'And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people.' (4)

John says:

'So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, every one will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Cai'aphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” He did not say this on his own accord, but being high priest for that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather in the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they took counsel about how to put him to death.' (5)

In the above we note that all four evangelists are clear that it was the chief priests and Pharisees (i.e. the 'scribes' [of the law] of Mark and Luke) who had decided that they must kill Jesus. The priests and Pharisees want to prevent Jesus' messianic activities and preaching causing a popular religious riot; and potentially a revolt, among the jewish population (since if Jesus was the jewish Messiah then according to jewish custom he would be a conqueror of nations) since this could lead to the Romans taking stringent measures against the whole of the jewish people.

This is suggested by John: who tells us that the priests and Pharisees feared that the Romans would come and destroy the Temple of Solomon and exterminate the jewish people in revenge for rebelling against Roman rule.

We are then informed that the high priest; Caiaphas, intervened in the debate to point out (according to John) that it was necessary that Jesus should die for the sake of the jewish people as if he did not then he might cause the dreaded rising against the Romans, which would almost certainly be crushed.

Caiaphas, the chief priests and the Pharisees however realistically understood that taking a populist preacher like Jesus into custody would be a very difficult affair and would likely end in violence (as well as the resulting Roman intervention because of said violence) if not conducted in secrecy and at preferably in an isolated location under the cover of darkness.

This was especially true since it was the Passover ('the feast') as Matthew records and religious anti-Roman feelings were running high given that Passover celebrates the visitation of God's vengeance on the Egyptians in the form of the killing of their first born sons so that they would free the jews from their servitude to them. Thus reinforcing; in the minds of the jews, the perception that they were in servile bondage once again and that a new Moses (i.e. the jewish Messiah) would arise to lead them to a promised land.

Taking this into consideration leaves us with a rather realistic picture of Caiaphas, the chief priests and the Pharisees deciding to deal with a man who they regarded as a religious rebel, but one who had challenged their political power and credibility by attacking the money-changers in the Temple and was also styling himself the Messiah (with all the resulting anti-Roman connotations). Therefore it would be quite logical for Caiaphas, the chief priests and the Pharisees to view it as a necessity for them to offer up Jesus as a scapegoat as soon as possible to Pilate and the Romans so as to prevent any action being taken against the jews collectively because of Jesus' actions.

This then suggests that John's account of Caiaphas arguing the national necessity of offering up Jesus as a proverbial sacrificial lamb so that two objectives could be achieved: Caiaphas, the chief priests and the Pharisees could be rid of a populist challenger to their power and also prevent any Roman reprisals against the jews writ large due to Jesus' messianic preaching.

Next we are told of Judas' agreement to betray Jesus to the authorities and we also find further identification of just who these authorities were.

Matthew records it thus:

'Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said “What will you give me me if I deliver him to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought to betray him.' (6)

Mark says:

'Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. And when they heard it they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.' (7)

Luke says:

'Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the Twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and captains how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and engaged to give him money. So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude.' (8)

John however does not mention Judas by name, but says instead:

'They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, 'What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if any one knew where he was, he should let them know so that they might arrest him.' (9)

However vital context is provided soon after by John:

'Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Beth'any, where Laz'arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz'arus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot (he who was to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."' (10)

We should further note with interest; aside from the fact that Matthew and Mark label the owner of the house as Simon the leper as opposed to Lazarus, (11) that John places the events of the Anointing of Bethany six days before Passover, while Mark dates Judas' meeting with the chief priests to two days before hand. (12) This suggests that the events of John's version of the Anointing of Bethany; and the only one that is dated in terms of the Passover, that it is these events which form the prologue of Judas' betrayal of Jesus.

If we read John's version of the Anointing of Bethany then we notice that Judas is here portrayed as the chief priests and Pharisees are styled elsewhere in the Gospels. In so far as Judas is deliberately trying to catch Jesus out in relation to his own teachings; as he (Jesus) teaches the virtue of poverty and the necessity of donating one's possessions to feed the poor, by asking why Jesus should suddenly perform such a tout face. If Jesus teaches contrary to this then Judas has won as he has shown that Jesus is fallible and thus not Elijah returned (i.e. the jewish Messiah).

John's styling of Judas' motives as being motivated by money (i.e. personal greed) gives us one of two possible reasons for Judas' betrayal of Jesus.

In the first we are told by John that the chief priests and Pharisees had made it known that they were seeking Jesus and the implication of that; if we read the references to it in Matthew, Mark and Luke, is that Judas betrayed Jesus in the hope of financial benefit in the form of a bounty from the chief priests and Pharisees for having aided them with information as has long been the custom with informants.

In the second we are told by necessary implication in John; in his version of the Anointing of Bethany, that Judas was having second thoughts about the Messianic nature of Jesus; in spite of having become one of his closest disciples, and because of this he had begun to see Jesus as a false Messiah and thus the enemy of God. Hence it would be a Mitzvah for Judas; in his own mind, to be a loyal jew and betray Jesus to the erstwhile guardians of orthodox Judaism as it existed at that time.

Regardless of which of these motives are true; or even if both are true, we should note that none of the Gospels differ as to precisely who was seeking Jesus out with a viewing to his being executed: the chief priests and the Pharisees.

In other words: it was the jews.


The Arrest of Jesus

Continuing on with the Biblical narrative we come to the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Matthew states thus:

'While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the Twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I shall kiss the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Hail, Master!' And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his swords, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off an ear. The Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to the Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve thousand legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me.' (13)

Mark says:

'And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the Twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying: “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away safely.” And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, “Master!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them: “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple preaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all deserted him and fled.' (14)

Luke says:

'While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?” And when those who were about him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more or this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and captains of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”' (15)

John says:

'When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfil the word which he had spoken. “Of those whom you have me I lost not one.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the chalice which the Father has given me?”' (16)

Once again in all four version of the Jesus' arrest given by the Gospels we can see that the mob or the soldiers have been sent by the chief priests, the elders (another way of saying the jewish priests) and the Pharisees. Furthermore we should note that Judas is clearly stated to be informing to the chief priests and the Pharisees and not the Romans.

We can also extend the involvement directly to Caiaphas since in all four Gospels the right ear of the high priest's (i.e. Caiaphas') slave; named by John as Malchus, is cut off by one of Jesus' followers (named by John as Simon Peter). This then informs us of Caiaphas' direct involvement precisely because if a slave was present then he would have to be so by order of his master or else be a runaway: the latter of which we cannot reasonably derive or suggest from the extant Biblical text. So therefore; in the absence of other evidence, it must be the former.

Furthermore we need to note that the mob; while being explicitly guided by the chief priests, elders and the Pharisees, is clearly a lynch mob (complete with burning torches) and that their principle reason for opposing Jesus is their connection to the chief priests, elders and the Pharisees: who are their religious leaders. That they have come expecting trouble; they are after all armed, and at least one of Jesus' followers was similarly armed (and with a military weapon; a sword, as opposed to the knife that a common man might happen to be carrying) clearly indicates that we have here orthodox religious authorities trying to arrest a populist preacher that they viewed as a religious subversive as well as a political liability; who was himself not quite as passive as his teachings might otherwise suggest, as quietly as possible at night when the bulk of his followers were asleep and they had mustered a large number of their own trusted followers (hence the presence of slaves in the mob) to make sure of their success even if it lead to bloodshed.

This means in effect that Jesus was arrested by a well-organized lynch mob that was organized by the jewish political and religious establishment; who opposed him, and made up of as many of their armed trusted followers as they could muster at an isolated location (the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives) in the dead of night. This is the expression of a simple stratagem of deploying a surgical strike to behead a popular movement; of which you oppose, by removing the centre of the cult of personality/popularity on the assumption that with that loss: the popular movement will itself die and the situation will be defused.

If we but stop to think about it: it is clear why Caiaphas, the chief priests, the elders and the Pharisees when they did and also why they did it.

On that note we should end our discussion of the Biblical account of the prologue to Jesus' trial by stating there is no equivocation or contradiction on the identification of the jewish authorities as being the only ones behind the conspiracy to arrest Jesus as well as being the ones who actually conducted the arrest itself.

The Trial of Jesus

Once again when we move on to examine the Biblical account of the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin we find that the four evangelists hold to the same identification of just who is the party primarily responsible for that trial.

Matthew relates the events thus:

'Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Cai'aphas the high priest, where the scribes and elders had gathered. But Peter followed him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forwards and said, “This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.'” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgement?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spat in his face, and struck him; and some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is that struck you?”' (17)

Mark says:

'And they led Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes were assembled. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many bore false witness, and their witness did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'” Yet not even so did their testimony agree. And the high priest stood up in their midst, and asked Jesus, 'Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his clothes, and said “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they condemned him as deserving death. And they began to spit upon him, and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.” (18)

Luke says:

'Now the men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and asked him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they spoke many other words against him; reviling him.

When the day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes; and they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” And they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”' (19)

John says:

'So the band of soldiers and their captain and officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas; for he was the father-in-law of Cai'aphas, who was high priest that year. It was Cai'aphas who had given counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people' (20)

As well as:

'The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together; I have said nothing secretly. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me, what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Annas then sent him bound to Cai'aphas the high priest.' (21)

Now in the above we can see that the gospels are unequivocal about the identity of who is the primary agency in the arrest and trial of Jesus: the jews. It the high priest of the jews; Caiaphas, and his father-in-law; Annas, (22) who are the principle accusers, but there are many jewish actors in the scenes such as the false witnesses and most particularly the two witnesses who assert that Jesus claimed that he would destroy the Temple of Solomon and build it again within three days.

Furthermore the guards of the priesthood; as the evangelists earlier inform us, were themselves jews: hence my earlier point about the trusted retainers (such as the high priest's slave [who had his ear lopped off by Simon Peter]) of the Pharisees, elders and high priest being used as an impromptu secret police force to arrest Jesus at night while the bulk of his followers would be asleep and the arrest would both avoid a possible riot and also bloodshed, which would necessarily provoke the wrath of the Roman emissary: Pontius Pilate.

In addition we should note that the trial procedure is clearly meant to be an interrogation of Jesus in relation to his religious orthodoxy given that the explicit focus in all four accounts is on what Jesus claimed he would do and that in doing so he must therefore claim to be the long-awaited Messiah.

This is key to understanding the trial as portrayed in the gospels precisely because if Jesus did claim to be the Messiah; which he clearly does (albeit by implication) in the text, then the Sanhedrin needed clear proof of such a capital crime in order to justify their sentence of death (hence their judgement coming directly after Jesus' self-implication of his being the long awaited jewish Messiah). I will come on to the reason for the necessity of such evidence (which is extra-Biblical) in a moment.

The questioning also focuses; as I have said, very heavily on Jesus' religious orthodoxy and that we are not told what the other questions or false witnesses were; but we are told that they related to what Jesus had allegedly said and taught, suggests that what we are seeing here is a religious court conducting; what is in effect, a heresy trial. The Sanhedrin are seeking to know whether Jesus' beliefs are heretical in terms of jewish religious orthodoxy, because in finding them so they can then provide themselves with a necessary halakhic precedent to sentence him to death (hence Caiaphas' earlier admonition to the Sanhedrin that the sacrifice of one jew for the benefit of all jews was a necessary evil).

The use of many witnesses is important precisely because of what the Babylonian Talmud; which is the principle source (along with its Palestinian cousin) from which derive our understanding of pre-Diaspora jewish religious law, tells us about the requirement for proof for jews and non-jews for death sentences.

To wit:

‘R. Jacob b. Aha found it written in the scholars' Book of Aggada: A heathen is executed on the ruling of one judge, on the testimony of one witness, without a formal warning, on the evidence of a man, but not of a woman, even if he [the witness] be a relation. On the authority of R. Ishmael it was said: [He is executed] even for the murder of an embryo. Whence do we know all this? — Rab Judah answered: The Bible saith, And surely your blood of your lives will I require; this shows that even one judge [may try a heathen]. At the hand of every living thing will I require it: even without an admonition having been given; And at the hand of man: even on the testimony of one witness; at the hand of man: but not at the hand [i.e., on the testimony] of a woman; his brother: teaching that even a relation may testify.’ (23)

This is derived from the following passage in Deuteronomy:

'At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.' (24)

Which is helpfully clarified by the Jewish Encyclopedia thus:

'The many formalities of procedure essential when the accused is an Israelite need not be observed in the case of the Noachid. The latter may be convicted on the testimony of one witness, even on that of relatives, but not on that of a woman. He need have had no warning ("hatra'ah") from the witnesses; and a single judge may pass sentence on him (ib. 57a, b; "Yad," l.c. ix. 14). With regard to idolatry, he can be found guilty only if he worshiped an idol in the regular form in which that particular deity is usually worshiped; while in the case of blasphemy he may be found guilty, even when he has blasphemed with one of the attributes of God's name—an action which, if committed by an Israelite, would not be regarded as criminal’ (25)

We can thus see that the amount of witnesses used is vital in that the Sanhedrin regarded Jesus; rightly or wrongly, as a jew who was suspected of heretical views and thus the spiritual/physical difference between 'Israel' (i.e. jews) and 'non-Israel' (i.e. gentiles) (26) meant that the Sanhedrin were obligated to produce definitive evidence of Jesus' guilt before they are enabled by jewish religious law to hand him over to non-jews for a death sentence to be carried out (and Jesus being used as a suitable scapegoat for religious trouble as well as preventing Pilate from wiping out Jesus' jewish followers as rebels).

The last piece in this puzzle is the otherwise unassuming commonality across all the accounts of the evangelists relating to Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin in so far as when Jesus all but states that he is the Messiah: Caiaphas gets up and rents his garments. The rest of the Sanhedrin do likewise and then according to Matthew and Mark: they and their guards begin insulting and attacking Jesus. The renting of garments is interesting precisely because it is Judaism's historic and current sign of mourning for the death of a jew.

The jew who has died need not have physically done so, but rather can have spiritually died as a jew and thus is considered physically dead to their family and the jewish community writ large. It is noteworthy that this is how Judaism has long reacted to those it perceives as apostates and/or heretics.

The renting of the garments symbolizes that the jew concerned has died and is forever lost to the jews (although a later return to Judaism is celebrated as if they had been resurrected), which in the case of Jesus would indicate that by all but explicitly claiming to be the Messiah: Jesus (being judged a false Messiah by the Sanhedrin) has set himself outside of jewish religious law by being a heretic and thus is dead to the jewish community.

Thus we can see that Jesus was being tried by a jewish court as a jew for a religious crime according to jewish religious law: therefore we have but to conclude that the primary agent in his death up to the end of the trial of the Sanhedrin were the jews.



References

(1) I have used the Revised Standard Version for the Biblical quotes as it usefully gives alternative Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek translations of both words and phrases .
(2) Mt. 26:3-5
(3) Mk. 14:1-2
(4) Lk. 22:2
(5) Jn. 11:47-53
(6) Mt. 26:14-16
(7) Mk. 14:10-11
(8) Lk. 22:3-6
(9) Jn. 11:56-57
(10) Ibid. 12:1-8
(11) Mt. 27:6; Mk. 14:3
(12) Mk. 14:1
(13) Mt. 26:47-56
(14) Mk. 14:43-50
(15) Lk. 22:47-53
(16) Jn. 18:1-11
(17) Mt. 26:57-78
(18) Mk. 14:53-65
(19) Lk. 22:63-71
(20) Jn. 18:12-14
(21) Ibid, 18:19-24
(22) Annas also happened to be the high priest before Caiaphas was installed by the Romans and was regarded by the jews as their true high priest as such a title was not; as the Romans conceived it, for a year, but rather for life: hence why Caiaphas married his daughter.
(23) Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, 57b
(24) Deut. 17:6
(25) http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articl...-laws-noachian
(26) Most forcibly expressed in the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Aboda Zarah, 2a-b
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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I used to believe that Jesus actually existed at some point in history, thus the dates and A.D. / B.C. I have many reasons to doubt that now, not the least of which is the lack of a letter "J" in the languages of the place during that period.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:32 PM   #3
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Quote:

It is more like superstitious atheism.

Its more like Polytheism. They acknowledge both Christ and Yahweh/Jehova, and pray to and seek guidance from both. If you're a Catholic then you can throw Mary + dozens of other Saints in the mix of "Gods to pray to and seek guidance from". Same way with a lot of Pagans, there is often a hierarchy of Gods. With Christians Yahweh/Jehova is at the top, with Christ being below him.

Or with Catholics its:

#1 Jehova
#2 Jesus
#3 Mary
#4 Angels - Yes my grandmother used to pray to her guardian angel daily.
#5 Bunch of Saints.

Again this is similar in some ways to a lot of Pagans, because they also have higher and lower level gods, in which case for Christians, particularly Catholics, the angels and saints would be lower level Gods to them.

Last edited by Crowe; 07-03-2013 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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Why is Karl Radl wasting our time exploring what a few Jews supposedly wrote, who's existence, along with the super jew, is really in doubt?

It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie, and that your fables have not been well enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction. I have even heard that some of your interpreters, as if they had just come out of a tavern, are onto the inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the original writings three, four, and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism.
- Celsus. Roman philosopher (c. 2nd century, A.D.)--the first ancient author of a whole book attacking Christianity.
Does Karl Radl not know that there were at one time 120 "Gospels" and that it was common for each early Xtian community to come up with their own idea of what the super Jew was like? Early Xtianity was Gnostic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

The best that I can figure is that somewhere in the early to mid 2nd century, it became a fad to come up with a biography for the super Jew and that is when DIVUS JULIUS (Julius Ceasar) became Jesus. http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/esumma.html

Pay attention to what Celsus said, he told the truth. Celsus actually existed.

Because THE CULT SURROUNDING JESUS IS ACTUALLY THE CULT OF DIVUS JULIUS JUDIAZED.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE STORY OF JESUS THAT WAS NOT ALSO IN THE LIFE AND DEIFICATION OF JULIUS CEASAR.

Here is another link: http://www.carotta.de/index.html
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:00 AM   #5
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As has been said before, you'd think a guy who turned water into wine, healed the sick, raised the dead, and walked on water would've made it into the history books...
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:12 AM   #6
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Quote: Originally Posted by Watson503 View Post

As has been said before, you'd think a guy who turned water into wine, healed the sick, raised the dead, and walked on water would've made it into the history books...

You are correct Watson503, not one 1st century historian, writer, philosopher, statesman ever once mentioned some super Jew nailed to two cross beams of some timber.

In fact, "crucifixion" as described by the hebes for consumption for the gullible Xtians was not the standard practice.

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