josephus on barabbas
Barabbas was a criminal whom the gospels say was released by the Romans instead of Jesus. [2] The site was refounded, as Eleutheropolis, in AD 200 by Septimius Severus. We ought to analyze some of the reasons for their doing this. Instead of receiving the punishment he ought due to his actions, Jesus takes his place and receives Barabbas’ warranted punishment. …economic point of view, therefore, Josephus is justified in calling the government of Judaea a theocracy. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Josephus’ first work, Bellum Judaicum (History of the Jewish War), was written in seven books between ad 75 and 79, toward the end of Vespasian’s reign. (10:1), Theologian Robert Eisenman has read the shadowy figure of "Joseph Justus" as either a not-so-subtle cover for James the Just, or a cloned conflation who represents in a single figure all the Desposyni (Brothers of Jesus)—rejected, according to the author of Acts in favor of the otherwise-unknown Matthias. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. This most likely indicates he was a freedom fighter of some kind, similar to many of the zealot uprisings that occurred during that time. The location provides a date for this legend, since the site of Eleutheropolis was a mere village called Betaris in the 1st century, whose inhabitants were slain and enslaved with others by Vespasian in AD 68 (Josephus). More than 600 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. He adopted the name Flavius (Vespasian’s family name), accompanied his patron to Alexandria, and there married for the third time. Compiled & Edited by BibleStudyTools Staff, The Life of Ruth - 5 Essential Faith Lessons, The Greatest Villain - King Nebuchadnezzar, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. After all, we would never call for Jesus’ death over Barabbas (sarcasm heavily implied). Late in ad 69 Vespasian was proclaimed emperor by his troops: Josephus’ prophecy had come true, and the agreeable Jewish prisoner was given his freedom. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. It is possible that Barabbas was merely a robber or highwayman, but more likely, given the use of the term ληστής (lhsth") in Josephus and other early sources, that he was a guerrilla warrior or revolutionary leader. He was a favourite at the courts of the emperors Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, and he enjoyed the income from a tax-free estate in Judaea. Opposition to the priests’ oppressive rule arose among an urban middle-class group known as scribes (, …whose works are preserved is Josephus., Catholic Encyclopedia - Biography of Flavius Josephus, - Biography of Flavius Josephus, Jewish Virtual Library - Biography of Josephus Flavius, Flavius Josephus - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). In other words, they were trying everything in their power to get Jesus convicted, through illegal means, because Jesus had not truly committed a crime. Historically, the coverage is patchy and shows the fatigue of the author, then in his middle 50s. He shared a name with Jesus, but the similarities stopped there. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. (Josephus’ first wife had been lost at the siege of Jotapata, and his second had deserted him in Judaea.) Even the rich young ruler does not get this privilege. After all, a week prior, they waved palm branches and sang “Hosanna” (“Save us, now!”) to Jesus. Outside of the Bible do we have any historical evidence that Barabbas existed? In Christian tradition he is numbered among the Seventy disciples mentioned in Luke 10:1–24, although the biblical text mentions no names. He shared a name with Jesus, but the similarities stopped there. As we see in the Gospel accounts above, they seem to conflict in Barabbas’ crime. We also know he had received a certain notoriety or popularity with the Jewish people. [1] Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says that he was “surnamed Justus” or who “was called Justus”: “This is a Latin name, meaning just, and was probably given him on account of his distinguished integrity.”[citation needed] The Anglican Bible scholar J.B. Lightfoot “supposes that he [Joseph Barsabbas] was the son of Alphaeus and brother of James the Less, and that he was chosen on account of his relationship to the family of the Lord Jesus.”[citation needed], In Christian tradition, this Justus went on to become Bishop of Eleutheropolis, where he died a martyr and is venerated as Saint Justus of Eleutheropolis. Most likely, Barabbas represented what they wanted for salvation. The Bible Story of Elijah The Life of Ruth - 5 Essential Faith Lessons The Bible Story of Queen EstherThe Greatest Villain - King NebuchadnezzarThe Bible Story of Mary Magdalene. By virtually ignoring the Prophets, by embellishing biblical narratives, and by stressing the rationality of Judaic laws and institutions, he stripped Judaism of its fanaticism and made it appealing to the cultivated and reasonable man. The Antiquities contains two famous references to Jesus Christ: the one in Book XX calls him the “so-called Christ.” The implication in the passage in Book XVIII of Christ’s divinity could not have come from Josephus and undoubtedly represents the tampering (if not invention) of a later Christian copyist. Barabbas was most likely a freedom fighter who had taken his zealous actions too far. Flavius Josephus was born of an aristocratic priestly Jewish family in Jerusalem. [3], "Robert Eisenman's "James the Brother of Jesus": A Higher-Critical Review",, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2019, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 14 October 2020, at 17:33. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. After the fall of Jerusalem, he moved to Rome and became a writer under imperial patronage. In this work, Josephus is extremely hostile to the Jewish patriots and remarkably callous to their fate. We have compiled these articles to help you study those whom God chose to set before us as examples in His Word. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Let’s highlight some of these verses. Josephus managed to hold the fortress of Jotapata for 47 days, but after the fall of the city he took refuge with 40 diehards in a nearby cave. Barabbas, a criminal on the brink of receiving his execution, gets set free by the Jewish people when they are given a choice between releasing either Barabbas or Jesus from their penalty, a customary pardon as part of the Passover Feast (think about the American pardoning of a turkey by the President on Thanksgiving). Barabbas makes an appearance throughout the Gospels, and receives even an implied mention in Acts. Both Joseph and Matthias had been followers of Jesus from the beginning of Jesus' public ministry after the baptism he received from John. From these verses alone, we can get a bigger picture of who Barabbas was. During his visit, Josephus was deeply impressed with Rome’s culture and sophistication—and especially its military might. Believe it or not, Jesus and Barabbas actually share more than one similarity. His Greek style, when it is truly his, does not earn for him the epithet “the Greek Livy” that often is attached to his name. Instead they chose Barabbas, and Pilate washes his hands of the deed of Jesus’ crucifixion (in which he passively allows it to happen). Josephus contrived to draw the last lot, and, as one of the two surviving men in the cave, he prevailed upon his intended victim to surrender to the Romans. Dirk Jongkind explains this issue more in his article here. At age 16 he undertook a three-year sojourn in the wilderness with the hermit Bannus, a member of one of the ascetic Jewish sects that flourished in Judaea around the time of Christ. Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. Similar to the Yom Kippur tradition, one sacrifice is set free and one dies, which happens to Jesus and Jesus Barabbas in Matthew 27. In ad 64 Josephus was sent on an embassy to Rome to secure the release of a number of Jewish priests of his acquaintance who were held prisoners in the capital. His major books are History of the Jewish War (75–79), The Antiquities of the Jews (93), and Against Apion. After briefly sketching Jewish history from the mid-2nd century bc, Josephus presents a detailed account of the great revolt of ad 66–70. Flavius Josephus was appointed military commander of Galilee by Judaeans revolting against Rome. From contextual clues, we know that he somehow had rebelled against the Roman Empire, because crucifixions only went to those who committed crimes against Rome, writes Joe Allotta for the Crossroads Church. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Despite his moderate stance, he was appointed military commander of Galilee, where (if his own untrustworthy account may be believed) he was obstructed in his efforts at conciliation by the enmity of the local partisans led by John of Giscala. Of its two books, the first answers various anti-Semitic charges leveled at the Jews by Hellenistic writers, while the second provides an argument for the ethical superiority of Judaism over Hellenism and shows Josephus’ commitment to his religion and his culture. The Pharisees, despite the unflattering portrayal of them in the New Testament, were for the most part intensely religious Jews and adhered to a strict though nonliteral observance of the Torah. All rights reserved. See both R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:857) and K. H. Rengstorf (TDNT 4:258) for more information. Instead, it involved obliterating sin. In either case, a lack of physical manuscripts outside of the Bible does not negate his existence. He also wrote History of the Jewish War and Against Apion. Some indicate he’d murdered someone, others said he robbed, and others say he participated in a revolt of some kind. The Romans, under the command of the future emperor Vespasian, arrived in Galilee in the spring of ad 67 and quickly broke the Jewish resistance in the north. The original Aramaic has been lost, but the extant Greek version was prepared under Josephus’ personal direction.


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