Pilate released Barabbas (Mk 15:15-15:15)

“Thus,

Pilate wished

To satisfy the crowd.

He released Barabbas

For them.

After flogging Jesus,

He handed him over

To be crucified.”

 

ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος βουλόμενος τῷ ὄχλῳ τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν, καὶ παρέδωκεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας ἵνα σταυρωθῇ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:26.  In Luke, chapter 23:24-25, Pilate rendered a verdict, while in John, chapter 19:16, Pilate also handed him over to be crucified.  Mark said Pilate wished to satisfy the crowd (ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος βουλόμενος τῷ ὄχλῳ τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι).  Thus, he released Barabbas to them (ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν).  After flogging or whipping Jesus (καὶ παρέδωκεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας), he handed him over to be crucified (ἵνα σταυρωθῇ).  Crucifixion was a common Roman death penalty.  This whipping, flogging, or scourging was also the normal way of preparing a person for death.  Those condemned to die were then nailed to planks in order to die of asphyxiation on a cross planted in the ground, so that they were not able to breath.  It sounds gruesome, but that is the way they did things back in the day.

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Jealousy (Mk 15:10-15:10)

“Pilate realized

That it was out of jealousy

That the chief priests

Had handed him over.”

 

ἐγίνωσκεν γὰρ ὅτι διὰ φθόνον παραδεδώκεισαν αὐτὸν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς.

 

This is something almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:18.  Mark said that Pilate knew or realized (ἐγίνωσκεν γὰρ) that it was out of jealousy (ὅτι διὰ φθόνον) that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him (παραδεδώκεισαν αὐτόν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς).  Pilate was a cagey guy.  Do you act out of jealousy?

They deliver Jesus to Pilate (Mk 15:1-15:1)

“As soon as it was morning,

The chief priests

Held a consultation

With the elders,

The Scribes,

And the whole council.

They bound Jesus.

They led him away.

They handed him

Over to Pilate.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς πρωῒ συμβούλιον ἑτοιμάσαντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ γραμματέων καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον, δήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπήνεγκαν καὶ παρέδωκαν Πειλάτῳ  

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:1-2, except that Mark did not mention the decision to bring Jesus to death.  In Luke, chapter 23:1, everybody brought Jesus to Pilate.  In John, chapter 18:28, there was a long discussion of Pilate with the Jewish leaders, after they brought Jesus to Pilate.  However, they had to stay outside the Roman court, so as not to defile themselves during the Passover festival.  Mark said that as soon as it was early in the morning (Καὶ εὐθὺς πρωῒ), after the all-nighter evening meeting at the house of the high priest of Jerusalem, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) with the elders or presbyters (μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων) and the Scribes (καὶ γραμματέων) conferred together or came to a resolution (συμβούλιον ἑτοιμάσαντες).  All of this council, tribunal, or Sanhedrin (καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον) agreed.  They tied up or bound Jesus (δήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν).  They led him away (ἀπήγαγον).  They delivered him or handed him over to Pilate (καὶ παρέδωκαν Πειλάτῳ).  Whether this was an official meeting or not, they did come up with a conclusion that they would hand Jesus over to the Roman governor of Judea.  Thus, Pilate had jurisdiction over death penalties, since Judea was within the Roman Empire.  Mark did not mention that Pilate was the governor, but this text just assumes that.  Who was this Pontius Pilate?  He was the rather cruel Roman ruler, prefect, or governor of Judea from 26-36 CE, the exact time frame of Jesus.  Interesting enough, a whole literature and artistic presentations of Pontius Pilate developed in the 20th century with movie and TV portrayals of him.  He was certainly a central figure in this presentation about the death of Jesus.

Barabbas is released (Mt 27:26-27:26)

“Then Pilate released

Barabbas

For them.

After flogging Jesus,

He handed him over

To be crucified.”

 

τότε ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν, τὸν δὲ Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας παρέδωκεν ἵνα σταυρωθῇ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:15.  In Luke, chapter 23:24-25, Pilate rendered a verdict, while in John, chapter 19:16, Pilate also handed him over to be crucified.  Matthew said Pilate released Barabbas to the crowd (τότε ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν).  After flogging or whipping Jesus (ὸν δὲ Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας), he handed him over to be crucified (παρέδωκεν ἵνα σταυρωθῇ).  Crucifixion was the common Roman form of the death penalty.  This whipping, flogging, or scourging was also a common way of preparing the person for death.  Those condemned to death were then nailed to planks in order to die of asphyxiation on a cross planted in the ground, so that they were not able to breath.

The prisoner Barabbas (Mt 27:16-27:18)

“At that time,

They had a notorious prisoner,

Called Barabbas.

After they had gathered,

Pilate said to them.

‘Whom do you want me

To release for you?

Jesus Barabbas

Or Jesus,

Who is called Christ

The Messiah?’

He realized

That it was out of jealousy

That they had handed

Him over.”

 

εἶχον δὲ τότε δέσμιον ἐπίσημον λεγόμενον Βαραββᾶν.

συνηγμένων οὖν αὐτῶν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος Τίνα θέλετε ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν, Βαραββᾶν ἢ Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν;

ᾔδει γὰρ ὅτι διὰ φθόνον παρέδωκαν αὐτόν.

 

This is something like this in Mark, chapter 15:7-10, with a longer description of Barabbas as a rebel who had committed murder in an insurrection.  Luke, chapter 23:18-19, also talked about Barabbas as a rebel who had murdered somebody.  In John, chapter 18:39-40, Barabbas was simply called a bandit.  Matthew simply called Barabbas a notorious prisoner without any indication of what he had done.  A few manuscripts called him Jesus Barabbas (Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν.).  Matthew said that at that time, there was this notorious prisoner called Barabbas (εἶχον δὲ τότε δέσμιον ἐπίσημον λεγόμενον Βαραββᾶν).  Thus, after they had gathered (συνηγμένων οὖν αὐτῶν), Pilate asked the crowd (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος) who did they want him to release for them (Τίνα θέλετε ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν), Barabbas (Βαραββᾶν) or Jesus (ἢ Ἰησοῦν), who was called Christ, the Messiah (τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν)?  He knew or realized (ᾔδει γὰρ) that it was out of jealousy (ὅτι διὰ φθόνον) that these Jewish leaders had handed Jesus over to him (παρέδωκαν αὐτόν).

The unforgiving slave was tortured (Mt 18:32-18:34)

“Then his lord

Summoned him.

He said to him.

‘You wicked slave!

I forgave you

All that debt

Because you pleaded with me.

Should not you

Have had mercy

On your fellow slave,

As I had mercy on you?’

In anger,

His lord handed him over

To be tortured

Until he would pay

His entire debt.”

 

τότε προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ λέγει αὐτῷ Δοῦλε πονηρέ, πᾶσαν τὴν ὀφειλὴν ἐκείνην ἀφῆκά σοι, ἐπεὶ παρεκάλεσάς με·

οὐκ ἔδει καὶ σὲ ἐλεῆσαι τὸν σύνδουλόν σου, ὡς κἀγὼ σὲ ἠλέησα;

καὶ ὀργισθεὶς ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ παρέδωκεν αὐτὸν τοῖς βασανισταῖς ἕως οὗ ἀποδῷ πᾶν τὸ ὀφειλόμενον αὐτῷ.

 

This parable about the unforgiving servant slave is unique to Matthew.  This forgiving lord king summoned his unforgiving slave (τότε προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος).  He called him a wicked or evil slave (αὐτοῦ λέγει αὐτῷ Δοῦλε πονηρέ).  The king reminded him that he had forgiven all his debt (πᾶσαν τὴν ὀφειλὴν ἐκείνην ἀφῆκά σοι) because he had begged or pleaded with him (ἐπεὶ παρεκάλεσάς με).  Why did he not show the same mercy to his fellow slave that he had shown to him (οὐκ ἔδει καὶ σὲ ἐλεῆσαι τὸν σύνδουλόν σου, ὡς κἀγὼ σὲ ἠλέησα)?  Then the angry king and lord ordered him handed him over to a torturing jailer (καὶ ὀργισθεὶς ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ παρέδωκεν αὐτὸν τοῖς βασανισταῖς) until he would pay off his entire debt (ἕως οὗ ἀποδῷ πᾶν τὸ ὀφειλόμενον αὐτῷ).  He could never pay off his enormous debt, so that he would be tortured every day of his life instead of originally being sold with all his possessions, as was the original punishment.  He just had too much debt.  With a little mercy, he would have been okay.

The false worship of the dead (Wis 14:15-14:16)

“A father,

Consumed with grief

At an untimely bereavement,

Made an image of his child,

Who had been suddenly taken from him.

Now he honored him as a god,

What was once a dead human being.

He handed on to his dependents

Secret rites

With initiations.

Then the ungodly custom,

Grown strong with time,

Was kept as a law.

At the command of monarchs

Carved images were worshiped.”

This is an attempt to show how the development of the worship of dead came about. It seems like it all started out when a father (πατήρ) lost his son prematurely. He made an image of his dead child, but then he honored him as god (ὡς Θεὸν). He then handed down to his dependents mysterious secret rituals with various initiation sacrificial ceremonies (μυστήρια καὶ τελετά). This ungodly custom later became a law (ὡς νόμος), so that even monarchs wanted carved images worshipped.