The inscription on the cross (Mk 15:26-15:26)

“The inscription

Of the charge

Against him

Read.

‘The King of the Jews.’”

 

καὶ ἦν ἡ ἐπιγρὴ τῆς αἰτίας αὐτοῦ ἐπιγεγραμμένη Ο ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:37, but the inscription had the name of Jesus on it also there.  In Luke, chapter 23:38, it was the same as here in MarkJohn, chapter 19:19-22, has a dialogue with Pilate and the Jewish leaders about the appropriateness of this inscription, whether it should have said that he claimed to be the King of the Jews, not that he was the King of the Jews.  Mark simply stated that this was the inscription charge or accusation written against Jesus (καὶ ἦν ἡ ἐπιγρὴ τῆς αἰτίας αὐτοῦ ἐπιγεγραμμένη).  The written charge was “The King of the Jews (Ο ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ).” Clearly, this was the Roman charge against Jesus, insurrection, since he claimed to be the King of the Jews against the Roman rule.  There is some dispute whether this title was in Greek or Latin.  John, chapter 19:19-20, said that the inscription was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.  In the Catholic tradition the Latin title abbreviation was INRI for Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Iudaeorvm that can be found on many crucifixes.

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Barabbas (Mk 15:7-15:7)

“Now a man

Called Barabbas

Was in prison

With rebels,

Who had committed murder

During an insurrection.”

 

ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενος Βαραββᾶς μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος, οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν.

 

This is something like this in Matthew, chapter 27:16.  Luke, chapter 23:18-19, also talked about Barabbas as a rebel who had murdered somebody.  In John, chapter 18:40, Barabbas was simply called a bandit.  Matthew called Barabbas a notorious prisoner without any indication of what he had done.  A few manuscripts called him Jesus Barabbas (Ἰησοῦν Βαραββᾶν).  Barabbas in Aramaic meant son of the father.  Thus, there may have been some attempt to relate Jesus to Barabbas.  Mark said that there was a man called Barabbas (ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενον Βαραββᾶν), who had been captured with some rebels (μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος).  Barabbas had committed murder in an insurrection (οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν), not a likely candidate for parole.  Would you release a murderer?

 

Jesus, King of the Jews (Mt 27:37-27:37)

“They put the charge

Against him

Over his head.

It read.

‘This is Jesus.

The King of the Jews.’”

 

καὶ ἐπέθηκαν ἐπάνω τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ τὴν αἰτίαν αὐτοῦ γεγραμμένην ΟΥΤΟΣ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΙΗΣΟΥΣ Ο ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:26 and Luke, chapter 23:38.  John, chapter 19:19-22, has a dialogue with Pilate and the Jewish leaders about the appropriateness of this inscription.  Matthew simply stated that they put this charge or accusation against Jesus over his head (καὶ ἐπέθηκαν ἐπάνω τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ).  The written charge was (τὴν αἰτίαν αὐτοῦ γεγραμμένην) “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews (ΟΥΤΟΣ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΙΗΣΟΥΣ Ο ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ).”  The argument in John, was whether it should have said that he claimed to be the King of the Jews, not that he was the King of the Jews.  Clearly, this was the Roman charge against Jesus, insurrection, since he claimed to be the King of the Jews against the Roman rule.

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).