49. Why did the crowd choose Barabbas over Jesus?

-----PILATE-ASKS-ISRAEL-JESUS-OR-BARABBAS------1According to the gospels, Jesus was a charismatic figure who was constantly attracting crowds wherever he went. People wanted to be healed, see a miracle, or hear what Jesus had to say. Often there were so many people it was difficult to get close to Jesus, and people literally climbed trees (Luke 19:3-4) and cut holes in rooftops (Mark 2:4, Luke 5:19) just to get closer. The gospels are filled with stories like these:

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. Mark 3:20

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. Mark 4:1

Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. Luke 7:11

Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Luke 8:19

Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another… Luke 12:1

These crowds also traveled long distances and to remote locations just to see him.

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.
Mark 3:7-9

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” Luke 9:12

These lucky crowds got to witness some of the most amazing miracles in history. They saw Jesus feed 5,000, heal the lame and the blind, cast out demons, raise people from the dead, and perform so many other miracles that “even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25). The Bible gives us a snapshot of what these crowds saw:

A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. Matthew 12:15

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

…the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen. Luke 19:37

…and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. John 6:2

Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. John 12:17

Jesus vs. Barabbas

But when it came time for the public to choose between freeing Jesus “the miracle worker” or Barabbas “the murderer” — the choice should’ve been clear, and yet… they chose to free Barabbas.

This ancient public opinion poll tells us that Jesus’ approval rating was, somehow, even lower than that of Barabbas… who didn’t exactly set the bar very high. The crowd didn’t even free Barabbas because they liked him, but because of how much they disliked Jesus. Luke 23:23 says, “With loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified.” That doesn’t sound like the actions of a crowd that were deeply impressed with the works and miracles of Jesus. 


Where were all of Jesus’ supporters? Where were the crowds that traveled long distances to see him? Or even just the local fans? Where were the apostles? Where was the blind man saying, “Free Jesus, for I was blind and now I see!” Where was the deaf man? The lame man? Jesus’s mother and brothers? The centurion whose daughter was healed? The bleeding woman? Mary Magdalene? Where was the father whose son was possessed? Where was Lazarus saying, “Free Jesus! For I was dead and Jesus made me alive again!” Where was Zacchaeus saying, “Free Jesus! For I was a short, nerdy, tree-climber and Jesus hung out with me anyway!” Where were the large crowds that spread cloaks and palm branches and sang as he entered Jerusalem? Where were the droves that were healed? Or the thousands that were fed? Where were the legions of sick crying out, “Free Jesus so that we too may be healed!”? Where were all these people? If crowds always gathered wherever Jesus went, where were they now?

Unfortunately, there’s no way for us to go back in time and observe the miracles of Jesus, but thanks to this informal public opinion poll, we know that the people who were there at that time didn’t seem to think much of him. In fact, if this crowd could see all of the cathedrals and mega-churches dedicated to Jesus today, they might say, “What…? You mean that guy? The guy we passed over for Barabbas?! Well, I was there, and I saw what he did, and you’ve got the wrong idea.”

The Chief Priests: The reason for the crowd’s change of heart?

According to the Bible, the reason the crowd turned on Jesus was because the chief priests and the elders, “persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas” (Matt. 27:20, Mark 15:11).


The gospels paint the chief priests as the antagonists, and while I don’t doubt that some of them were corrupt, they seemed to be doing as God had instructed.

The scriptures clearly warned them that God would be testing the Jews by sending false prophets, who would try to impress them by accurately predicting the future and performing signs and wonders. God also instructed them to kill such prophets, if they ever tried to lead people away from the one true God:

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul … That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God…
Deuteronomy 13:1-5

So along comes Jesus, making prophecies, performing signs and wonders, inciting rebellion, and leading Jews to follow an unfamiliar God (one with a son, who came from a human woman, who also claims to be God), and so the chief priests did exactly as God instructed them to do. If God didn’t want them to kill Jesus, perhaps he should’ve been more specific about what they should expect, to avoid any misunderstandings about who they should kill and who they should worship.

To add insult to injury, God presumably blinded the majority of Jews to prevent them from ever recognizing their own messiah. (Poor Jews.)

Why did the crowd listen to the chief priests?

If Jesus had healed me or my family, or raised me from the dead, I wouldn’t give a flying fig what the chief priests said about him. And strangely, according to the gospel of John, the crowds didn’t care. They recognized that these miracles meant that Jesus was something special, even if Jesus didn’t exactly fit their messianic expectations:


At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”
~ John 7:30-31

So the crowds were (reportedly) impressed with the miracles of Jesus, and were willing to overlook a few inconsistencies. And really… who are you going to believe? The guy who can literally walk on water… or the chief priests?


Whatever may have happened, it’s clear by the story that the crowd was not impressed, and it’s difficult to imagine that the chief priests were so persuasive that they could’ve convinced eyewitnesses to vote for Barabbas: “Yes, yes, we know that Jesus healed you, and walked on water, and rose the dead… but Barabbas…”

As impressed as today’s Christians are with the miracles of Jesus, it seems incongruent that those who lived with him should not have been equally enamored. But if we allow for the possibility that Jesus’ biographers were guilty of exaggeration (in order to win converts), then it does make sense that they would’ve had some difficulty confronting the question of why their miracle-worker was ever killed. They would’ve had little choice but to insist the crowd was somehow deceived — deceived enough to ignore everything they knew about Jesus.

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86 Responses to 49. Why did the crowd choose Barabbas over Jesus?

  1. Will Conley says:

    Good post, it covers a lot of bases. One you didn’t mention, one I’ve been thinking about, is that maybe the crowd was afraid of Caesar and his centurions. It seems to me most people agreed Jesus was the Christ and King of the Jews. The chief priests, the masses, everyone seemed to admit it. If they had let him go — if the chief priests had let Jesus go, and the masses had received him and glorified him — then the long arm of Caesar might rain wrath down on everyone there. The chief priests would be forcibly replaced or worse, and the masses would be even more persecuted than usual. They believed in the omnipotence of Jesus the Christ, but the human memory of recent is frail, while longstanding experience propaganda campaigns showed that Caesar was to be feared. When it came time to pose the question publicly, the people chose to kill Jesus. This would put an end to the perceived threat to Caesar’s dominion, thus saving the people from earthly retribution.

    • Garbonzo says:

      This is all fine and dandy, but the Bible hasn’t even hinted that this was the case. If God were truly all-seeing, then you would think he would make sure a better explanation were in his book, so that we no one would be reading this question now because there would be no need to write it?

      • Will Conley says:

        It seems to me it is strongly hinted at in John, but I recognize your right to dismiss my perception out-of-hand. God bless.

        • rautakyy says:

          The Caesar was a god in his own right. A formidable foe and as real as you can get, but Iudea was not even a province, rather a protectoriate of Rome. The story about Pontius Pilatus washing his hands from the blood of Jesus, is a clear indicator that Rome had to make compromises whith the Jewish clergy, since the closest legion was in Syria. The clergy held the real power in the country while any Jewish kings acknowledging realpolitics were merely puppets of Caesar.

          I think that alltough there were rebellious ideas among the Jewish population at that time against the empire, most people were as ever willing to live in peace and to coexist whith the imperial interrests. Iudea itself was insignificant, but Petra was the gold mine at the end of the Asian Caravan route at the gates of Africa and the Mediterrenian world. And definately there were politically active Roman businessmen who wanted to controll it and to find excuses to interfere in Iudean politics to have a “casus belli” to subjucate them properly into the Empire. Then, as today, war was good for business – for some.

          Yet for how much the Jews were affraid of the Caesar and the legions, they as led by their priesthood, did not recognize Jesus as the real messiah. For surely if they had believed Jesus to be THE messiah, they would not have been affraid of any earthly power such as the Roman empire. Would they?

          • Will Conley says:

            Thank you for your thoughtful response! I really appreciate your having been able to take the time. It seems I continue to have much to learn about biblical times.

            The only vestige remaining from my original argument would be this: Never underestimate the illogic of people in large groups, i.e., their actions may bear no relationship to their beliefs.!

            • Garbonzo says:

              “their actions may bear no relationship to their beliefs.!”

              Why not?

              • Will Conley says:

                Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is the phenomenon is freely observable in human affairs. Groupthink and individual thought rarely agree. This is my direct observation, not a biblical reading. You may observe differently, I don’t know. God bless.

                • rautakyy says:

                  It is quite possible, that what happened at the crucifixion was the Romans employing their favourite policy of “divide and conquer”. That since the Romans had become aware of this lay-prophet, that clearly upset the official Jewish clergy, they let him escape whith his rich secret supporter Joseph of Arimathea (for a good pay, I suspect) after having been hung on the cross and humiliated for a couple of hours. A fit carpenters apprentice in his thirtees should stand for the treatment as crucifixion could take days before the victim died. Romans had other swifter methods of execution, if they wanted to get rid of someone in one afternoon.

                  After all, Jesus had said things like give the emperor what belongs to the emperor. He was a sort of pacifist and clearly his intention was against the clergy, not against the empire. A perfect tool for the empire to put a vedge into otherwise rather nationalistic people of Iudea. It took few decades before the Romans had an excuse to bear down the wrath of the legions on the Iudean people and for completely other reasons (or excuses), but it does not mean that they were idle and uninterrested in Iudea before that war. Now, I realize this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but conspiracies are far less exteraordinary events in the observable, material universe we know we inhabit, than any unnatural events, like miracless somehow induced from outside the universe. Correct?

                  On the other hand, it might be that the entire story is a fabrication, or that the soldiers sold Jesus to Joseph of Arimathea, before he died, when he was seemingly dead to most people there, as a private business deal. Jesus possibly not being dead after the event caused the end-of-the-world cult built around his character to start growing. And the stuff about Jesus saying everyone should pay their taxes was added when the Christian church took over the empire several hundred years later.

                  The thing is, that we simply do not know what happened. There is not enough historically reliable information about the events to say anything sure. The Gospels are indistinguishable from any folklore story. Especially the supernatural parts of them. There is no outside confirmation to any of the exeptional things described in them as one could expect from such a relatively highly literate culture. Alltough, it was so long ago. One would also expect, that any such confirming outside sources to the story would have been lovingly collected and kept for the future generations in times when it had not been such a long time from the actual events, but none remain. Instead we have the mutually contradictory canonic, apochryphal and gnostic gospels, that are all just like hearsay, or any other “ghost stories” all of them more wondrous than the other, but none very reliable. Not for the thinking man to take for granted, whithout indoctrination at childhood and invested identity in them.

                  • Will Conley says:

                    Wow, what a treatment! Your hypotheses are food for my intellect. Call me a heretic, but I both love the deity-figure called Christ and am intellectually critical of fact sets. Count me appreciative of your “conspiracy theories” which, yes, I must admit, are less “crazy-sounding” than miracles. But historicity and objectivity aside, a good story is a good story, and its value can be measured in any number of ways. One way is to ascertain its factual correctness. Another way — which I now emphasize — is to ask the question, “What does this story motivate people to do?” Therein lie the answers to why the institution of Christianity can in many respects be called a force for good. For me, the Christ sacrifice story motivates me to be less vengeful in my heart towards others. After all, if we assume that he died for our sins and for the sins of others, and if I choose to embrace this story heart and soul, then I can exercise forbearance towards my perceived enemies. Someone already paid the debt I would like to exact upon the offending parties, therefore I do not have to feel vengeful. This sets me free. See what I mean? Anyway, good treatment. I appreciate your thoughts.

                    • rautakyy says:

                      @Will Conley, I agree whith you that the lesson of a particular story is more important, than the actual truth of the story. I love fairytales. Sometimes it is very good though, to recognize the level of propability wether a story is true, or not. And what parts are might be true and what seems like less than true.

                      I respect you highly, for being one of those Christians who find the humane side of the Jesus story. To me Jesus the philosopher is much more interresting and more moral character, than the Jesus the son of god. A bit like Alexander the Great son of king Philip is much more plausible and appealing character, than Alexander the Great son of Zeus. To me Jesus of the stories is mainly this teacher, who tries to tell people the same obvious humane things as so many before him (like Buddha, Laozi and Zoroaster just to name but a few).

                      It is indeed a good question: “What does this story motivate people to do?” And if it motivates you to be humane toward other people, it is something I salute you for. I count it as your own achievement, or merit and not that of any supernatural force. But at the same time any ideal seems to be corruptable and even this particular story (some might even say, it especially) has been used for ill purposes in all sincerety.

                      I personally have difficulty to overlook the tenet and dogma of Christianity, that people are divided by their commitment in the plausibility of the story as those who will live for ever and those who will be lost one way, or a nother. This logic would dictate, that all of my dead relatives and many friends I have lost are not among the ones chosen for an eternity regardless of wether they were good, or bad people. As if their lives were less important and less valuable than some bugger for just being gullible about his cultural heritage. All that appears to be, not only wishfull thinking in the extreme, but it is a dangerous model of segregation between living people. But it does not divide you and I from becoming friends. Yes?

                      Honestly, I find it a bit silly, that any supernatural being who alledgedly was involved in the creation of the universe would be so petty, to ask for worship and recognition while remaining hidden from most people (and most often because of cultural heritage), but then again, we have no knowledge about the true nature of any divine entities as we do not have any knowledge of their existance either. It is always based on faith. If these entities are half as powerfull as alledged, they would be in a position to betray us again and again. And all that I have learned about all the many claims of different divinities (including poor old Jesus), that is how they appear to be presented to us by the believers and scriptures. Or actually not be, since they do not really appear to be anything more than figments of – and testimony to – human imagination. Wonderfull, wonderfull human imagination.

                      I might be wrong and the world could be created by Brahma and Jesus might have offered the salvation from an eternal lake of fire by his act of self-human-sacrifice. And it could be that only the good and charitable Muslims get to spend an eternity together whith Allah the one and true creator of all. However, I have no way of choosing between any of them, as they all seem equally culturally relativistic to me.

                      There is no particular story, that motivates me to be a good, charitable and ethical person, rather the simple realization, that the more of us act this way the better this world is for more of us. This is motivation enough for me. Only personal gain for me is, that my natural empathetic trait is served. I feel good for acting as ethically as I can within the limited understanding and information of the reality I have. Of course there are conflicts of interrest and sometimes one really needs to reason to combat the primitive urges, such as revenge wether it really serves any other purpose, than to satiate the personal and often brief emotional need.

                      This has been a very good conversation, and I must say, Iike to exchange views whith you.

                    • Will Conley says:

                      Looks like we’re going to get along great. I’ll be seeing you on your blog and mine. Cheers!

                    • Alpha says:

                      Will Conley, I salute you for your take on your religion! it’s heartening to see that religion can really uphold harmony and doesn’t have to be such a huge dividing factor between people. Unfortunately not everyone sees things quite the same and I’ve encountered many who take Jesus the son of God and not Jesus the teacher, which then serves to encourage dogma.

                    • Will Conley says:

                      Right on, agreed. For me, I take him as both the Son and the Teacher. I don’t mind that it’s a fanciful story; I enjoy getting lost in the story. My latest post is pretty much about that very cognitive dissonance. http://thecynictestifies.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/a-two-bit-publishing-exec-brainstorms-the-holy-bible/

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Hi Will, i’m so bless by your thoughts. God bless you and your family always. May more people become believers rather than doubters on the claims of Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, blessed are those who believed even they have not seen. One clear fact is that we all die once and we can’t argue anymore about truth but rather only to discover it.

                  • Garbonzo says:

                    Why do you call it Iudia?

                    • rautakyy says:

                      Hi, Garbonzo. Well, because when the area where Jesus stories are located was finally incorporated to the Roman empire few decades later it was given Latin name Iudaea. The political center of that area was around Jerusalem and it was called Judah, Iudea, or Judaea depending on translitteration, but since neither ancient Latin, nor Greek used the letter J, it seemed appropriate to choose this one. I suppose Aramaic Hebrew has something similar to the consonant J, but since Jesus nor his followers never wrote anything in their mothers tongue it seems somewhat irrelevant to the story line. This was the country where Jerusalem is located in.

                      It is just easier, to speak about Iudea, than to refer the political coalition of those areas before whith all their different names like Galilee, Samaria, Idumea, or Herodian kingdom. Besides most people know what I am talking about this way. I rather not also call it by any later, nor especially modern name it now has, such as Palestine, or Israel because those tend to give people false political impressions about some ancient rights for the contested land.

                • Not a Bibical reading? The Word of God was given to the prophets via inspiration, that Inspiration was the Holy Ghost. Paul makes it plain and clear when what he speaks of is his opinion, not inspired, everything is inspired.
                  Rome had to make no compromises with Judea, Israel had not existed since God tore it asunder shortly after King Solomon’s Rule.
                  The Jews, that is the pharisees and saducees were afraid of a reprisal by Rome, if there should be any open rebellion.
                  Rome picked the High Priests who were normally chosen by lots.
                  Pilate advised Jesus, by saying, don’t you know I have the power to crucify you?
                  Remember what happened not 30 years later?
                  The Jews did just that, Rome came with a vengeance, tore down the Temple Herod rebuilt, demolished Jerusalem, and then laid siege to the remnants of those who rebelled who held out at Masada.
                  Rome incorporated the nations they defeated, often after untold butchery and then exacted tribute on them to subsidize Rome.
                  Rome permitted the governing bodies, including the tetrarch and the pharisees and saducees to enforce their law and keep their religious freedom as long as it did not conflict with Rome.
                  The High Priest threatened Pilate when they said to him, what would Ceasar say, if you permitted one to call Himself The Son Of God, a title for Romans owned by Ceasar alone.
                  In response to Pilate’s explanation, that I find no fault in Jesus?
                  Man is the evil we should all fear?
                  First, God is the ONLY ONE ANYONE SHOULD FEAR.
                  But Scripture says the whole world is ruled by spiritual principalities, and such.
                  Clearly, when Satan tempted Jesus unsuccessfully , after trying everything else, Satan offered Jesus all the Kingdoms in the world if he would only worship(bow) to him.
                  As I mentioned, Jesus reminded Satan that we are to bow to only one and one only, God.
                  Jesus did not protest Satan’s Authority to give all the kingdoms, because the Authority for Satan to rule the World is from God.
                  Every kingdom is subject to the dominion of these principalities that are under Satan, no exceptions.
                  That is why Christians live in the world, but are not of it.
                  Remember when Lots wife looked back , she wanted to continue in the world she knew and to continue in it is death.
                  Evil is real, the Bible doesn’t say Christ asked the name of a demon only to be answered, we are legion for amusement.
                  Revelation doesn’t say both Satan and Death, another demon will be cast into it.
                  The Bible doesn’t say, in the end , there will be a New World and the old earth and old heaven will pass away for us to somehow figure out as symbols.
                  God takes away the veil of secrecy; He doesn’t cloak Scripture in mysticism or symbols.
                  Remember, the wisdom of man is but foolishness to God. The Truth is revealed to us by The Holy Spirit, Jesus called the Interpreter.
                  No matter how much anyone studies the Bible and what kind of wisdom and logic, one uses to understand it as anything other than historical data, that is all they will find.
                  You can not know God through logic or our limited wisdom.
                  Even Solomon pined, that the more wisdom he gained, the more he realized the immensity of what he didn’t know.
                  God asked Job, do you know My Ways? Where you there when I placed the stars in the firmanent.
                  Remember, Jesus said Satan is the author of lies and murder, an entity that has existed before time, appearing as an angel of light.
                  Don’t believe anything until you apply The Test Jesus gave us to discern such, by its fruits, you can tell a tree.

      • Anonymous says:

        What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
        1 Corinthians 2:12 NIV

        The Holy Spirit was only promised to those who believe in the Son. With Spirit comes revelation, with revelation understanding. Without this in place, the bible would sound like a Sci if movie and thus those not called by Gd will never get it. They will remain oblivious and miss the cruise all together. The beauty of this is that it is our own free will. Jesus never forced any person to follow, believe and spread His Word. We have a choice. Personally, I could choose to live a life without faith in Him and find out at the end of my rope that He was whom He said He was and missed out on the big party. Orrrrr. Live life with joy and for Him and at the end of my human rope of life I will begin a new one and in the presence of the Host of Hosts, Gd.

        It is about choices, He chooses us, we say Yay or Nay.

        • Garbonzo says:

          Mohammed would love for you to believe in Allah even though you have not seen him as well. We base everything in life on EVIDENCE. Why is God different? Willful ignorance. More and more people are coming to realize religion is made up to control the weak minded.

  2. Garbonzo says:

    Again, another great question! This blog never ceases to amaze me. SO much questions I’ve never heard of or bothered to think of before.

    Keep up the good work man! Does your wife read this or not?

    Also, do we know the time period or aprox. time period between the time Jesus was capture (and betrayed) and the time he was sentenced to death? Apologists could say that there wasn’t enough time for his supporters to travel, yet even then I would not consider a good apology. How many disciples was Jesus able to appear to after his resurrection in such a short time? What city was he sentenced in (I forgot)? And how big was it exactly? You mean to tell me no supporters were there at all as the Bible makes it seem?

    • Thanks again, Garbonzo.

      And no, my lovely wife doesn’t read these questions. I wish she did, but she operates under the assumption that she knows the truth, and that I’ve become deceived. So we agree to disagree, but otherwise we get along fine.🙂

      Not sure exactly how much time transpired, but it was said to have taken place in Jerusalem during Passover. (Though it’s interesting to note that no other sources mention the custom of releasing a prisoner during Passover. I don’t doubt that it actually took place… it’s just an interesting fact that no one else mentions it, or who was released.)

      After his resurrection, Jesus is said to have appeared to the apostles, and 1-3 others (depending on which gospel writer you ask). 1 Corinthians 15:6 has him appearing to a crowd of 500, but this seemingly contradicts some of the gospel accounts, which say he rose up to heaven immediately after meeting with the apostles.

      Take care!

      • Garbonzo says:

        Thanks for the thorough reply!

        One thing, though. According to the SAB, the contradiction is not in accounts that say he rose up to heaven immediately after meeting with the apostles, but the amount. See here:


        The apologetics to this is:

        “Jesus appeared in Galilee as well, see John 21:1. Many of the people in Galilee lived and worked there. In this verse, the disciples are in Jerusalem, so obviously there were less in Jerusalem. Claiming that because Paul says he appeared to over 500 believers, they should all be together in this room at this time, else we have a contradiction, is absurd.”


        • These numbers are definitely something I want to examine more closely (under a future question) before passing judgement.

          But according to my count, the four gospels never mention that Jesus appeared to hundreds of people. Matthew says Jesus appeared to 13, Mark says 14, Luke counts 13, and John says 12. So they seem to pretty much agree, but then Acts comes in with potentially 120 witnesses (though it’s unclear to me if Acts is actually claiming that ALL 120 witnessed the ascension, or that’s just how many the group had grown to), and later Paul says Jesus appeared to a whopping 500 people before appearing to the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:3-8), but he doesn’t go into much detail.

          So their definitely seems to be some confusion, but I’d like to carefully read the apologetic explanations for these numbers to see if they can be reasonably reconciled.

          • rautakyy says:

            Great post and a good question. If those Jews had indeed reconginzed Jesus as their messiah, the sacrificial payment of Jesus being temporarily inconvinieced for our sins would not have taken place then, and there would not even be Christianity, right?

            Paul who himself never met Jesus (in flesh) makes a claim about 500 and it tastes like embellishment of the story, since he himself is no wittness to these 500. It sounds a lot like a story about dozen wittnesses was as convincing then as it would be today.

            Well, if you are not going to believe these thirteen dudes saw him after his death, would you believe, if I told you 500 saw him? Making up numbers of wittnesses qualifies as no wittnesses, before those wittnesses have been actually produced. The trouble whith this is that there are no wittnesses to Jesus actually dying apart from a group of women who could not possibly have had any idea what the Roman soldiers were saying to each other and who obviously were not confindants of Joseph of Arimathea. The guy who recieved the body of Jesus completely against the common tradition and Roman maner of execution after Jesus had only hung few hours on the cross.

      • My husband knows about my De-conversion and he said it upsets him very much. He wonders if I ever was a Christian… Trust me, I was.
        I haven’t told him about my blog or any of these that I read. I know it will cause more division. He will think I’m being influenced not understanding that I’ve found people that have /had the same questions that I’ve had for years but was too afraid to ask out loud.

        Thank you for your blog!!!

        • You’re welcome, thanks for reading it.😉

          You might want to check out the new book “In Faith and in Doubt.” I have it (I actually hinted to my wife that I wanted it, and she bought it for me for Christmas — her acceptance of my transition almost brought me to tears); it talks about mixed-faith marriages and what works and what doesn’t.

          I think the greatest temptation is to think, “I’m right and you’re dumb,” but obviously you’re not going to get along if you don’t respect each other’s intelligence. I prefer to say, “We have both had very different experiences that have led us to different conclusions, and perhaps if I had your experiences I would think differently. But because I have not, I have to disagree and go with what I think is true.”


  3. jesusbeliever says:

    Hello, your conciusions about human nature are acceptable to me. Humans are mostly forget the good things the we receive each day. We easily forget the kindness of our neighbors. With the modern technologies that we have today we easily forget and take for granted the suffering and sacrifice of the pioneers and inventors of these modern technologies.
    Human are difficult to please and impress and if the crowd is pleased and impressed they easily forget. And if they remember they are probably too afraid to speak against the crowd.
    Peter the apostle was the best example of this kind of human behavior.

    I think if Jesus came back today a large number of people still would prefer to free Barnabas over Jesus.

    The popularity of Jesus in the hearts of those He had helped did not fade but probably they did not have the courage to speak against the crowd because the are not only afraid but also so comfortable and accustomed to be at the bottom of the social ladder.

    Remember Stephen was stonned to death for testifying about Jesus.

    Remember how modern inventors have suffered to show to the people new ways to do things. Nobody believed that man could fly on an airplane. Many did not believed that the internet would change the world. Yet the pioneers did not choose to agree with the crowd.

    what more can we do to change the minds and hearts of the people and the crowd? A miracle is not enough. So I tell you again Jesus loves you even if you don’t love Jesus. I am like Stephen not afraid to testify that Jesus is truly our salvation.

    I may have the technology to change the world but I cannot change the hearts and minds of those love more themselves than the welfare of the crowd.

    our inventions are like testimonies about Jesus. We easily forget the pioneers, we just take them for granted, we do like to change, most often we doubt in disbelief and we criticize the change makers.

    probably a miracle has happened in your life but just like the crowd you would choose the easy way out and let Barnabas free while the innocent suffer like Jesus. God loves you!

    • Garbonzo says:

      > “Humans are mostly forget the good things the we receive each day. We easily forget the kindness of our neighbors. With the modern technologies that we have today we easily forget and take for granted the suffering and sacrifice of the pioneers and inventors of these modern technologies.”

      Respectfully, you are pulling at straws. You are TOTALLY underestimating the kind of miracles the Bible says Jesus did. These miracles are things on a different PLANET from “technological advances and the kindness of strangers”. We see those things every week , if not hear about them every day. The miracles Jesus did was not performed in the Jew’s mind since…Moses? There are only smaller miracles in between. This was a ONCE IN A LIFETIME experience. Multiple lifetimes for that matter. This was THE messiah in their eyes. I mean, that is just not something you casually tell your neighbor about at the Saturday afternoon BBQ…. Place yourself in THEIR shoes. You’re gonna tell me HONESTLY that you would forget this man? Then you are only kidding yourself. The only thing comparable in modern times would be like forgetting a soldier who fought alongside you in a squad and rescued another soldier at the expense of his own life all in front of your eyes. You won’t forget this man. You remember the people who jumped down into a subway in order to rescue someone who fell, pulling them up right before the subway ran over them? It was all over the news. If you remember it, there’s proof right there that you do remember these kinds of things. If you don’t remember it, trust me, as long as you are a healthy individual with no disease that effects your memory, you will remember that for the rest of your life if you were eyewitness to it happening before your eyes!

      Anyway, I believe I’ve made my point. No one in their right mind would forget the kind of works Jesus did and I’m respectfully baffled you would even type these words.

      > “Peter the apostle was the best example of this kind of human behavior.”

      Please don’t make circular arguments. You shouldn’t point to the set of books we are trying to verify as evidence for it’s veracity. Why don’t you try to come up with a modern example as I did?

      > “I think if Jesus came back today a large number of people still would prefer to free Barnabas over Jesus.”

      Sure. There are a large number of intellectually deficient and mentally diseased & disabled individuals. Those are the only people in their right mind that would prefer Barnabas over Jesus today. Today we can actually test scientifically the veracity of these miracles. There can’t be absolute proof he is the Son of God, the Jesus Christ (it could be an alien; heck many people already believe Jesus was an alien), but still, NO ONE in their RIGHT MIND would pick a thief over this alien-like guy performing these incredible miracles. He would hold even MORE impact today since science has taken over and superstition has been majorly ruled out, these miracles are not even recognized in the history books, only as myths. At least people back then actually believed miracles did happen at one time. So again, to say that is just plainly disingenuous.

      > “Remember Stephen was stonned to death for testifying about Jesus.”

      Again, circular arguments, but I don’t doubt that some people would be afraid, so I’ll let this one slide. The problem with this is that by the time of Stephen, testifying about Jesus (or something much more legally specific, blasphemy) was a crime punishable by death. Since Pontius Pilate was actually *asking* the crowd, there wasn’t any chance for a legal stoning like Stephen. If someone were to stone you unlawfully, they’d be put to death themselves. This minimizes the fear a great deal. Now the only fear would be public speaking and peer pressure. And only one person who didn’t have those issues would have to speak up in order to alleviate both. Again, a modern example would be the Arab Spring. There is absolutely no reason Jesus’ supporters couldn’t have gathered a vocal crowd. Fear can only apologize so much.

      > “Remember how modern inventors have suffered to show to the people new ways to do things. Nobody believed that man could fly on an airplane. Many did not believed that the internet would change the world. Yet the pioneers did not choose to agree with the crowd.”

      Now you are debating against something we both agree on! No one is questioning that there would be cynics who never saw Jesus’ miracles, and figure he’s just another false prophet as others before him. We are debating why the Bible doesn’t mention even ONE supporter that speaks up for Jesus instead of Barnabas.

      > “what more can we do to change the minds and hearts of the people and the crowd? A miracle is not enough.”

      That depends on what exactly you want to change about people’s minds and hearts. If your goal is to prove you can do miracles, that you are an extraordinary person to be paid attention to, a miracle such as walking on water with bare feet or no contraption is certainly enough in this modern world of science.

      > “probably a miracle has happened in your life but just like the crowd you would choose the easy way out and let Barnabas free while the innocent suffer like Jesus. God loves you!”

      There has been no scientifically proven miracle to happen in our whole modern time. If God is making miracles happen, he sure is being secretive about it. We are not “choosing the easy way out”, we are waiting for scientific proof. James Randi offers 1 million dollars to anyone that can prove they can make a miracle happen. No one has claimed it.

      How would you like it if I gave you a product that I told you would work, to trust me it worked, even though it wasn’t scientifically proven? Would you take it? Would you like it if I told you that you were “taking the easy way out” by not taking it?

      Hypothetically, why should I believe God loves me anymore than you believe me when I say God hates me (or you for that matter)? Why shouldn’t you believe me when I tell you Bigfoot loves you?

  4. Anonymous says:

    A plausible explanation to this unlikely story is that it was editied by the Romans who were attempting to make christianity the national religion. They couldn’t possibly promote a religion that made the Romans the murderers, so they add the parts about Barabbas, and make a big deal of the symbolism of Pilate “washing his hands”.

    • Garbonzo says:

      Woah! What an interesting take! After thinking about it, I think that this is very likely. The Romans simply didn’t think it through enough.

    • This possibility intrigues me.

      I suppose it comes down to whether or not the story existed prior to Christianity becoming adopted. Mark, the oldest gospel, does contain the story, but I was unable (with only a few minutes of searching) to find out the age of the oldest fragment that mentions Barabbas.

      But if true, it raises the question: How did the story appear before it was edited? Was the crowd’s decision the same, but the Romans added emphasis to the fact that it was the crowd’s decision and not theirs? Or did the crowd actually want Jesus freed? Or was the entire event fabricated, and the offer was never made at Passover?

      Coincidentally, Barabbas’s name was “Jesus Barabbas” which literally translates to “Jesus, son of the Father.” This seems like too much of a coincidence, so there are a lot of rumors floating about that some original version of the story was ONLY about Jesus Christ, and it later came to be about Jesus Christ and “Barabbas” when it was retold or purposely changed (perhaps by the Romans).

      I’d be curious to see how the oldest version of this story reads.

      • rautakyy says:

        I hear Paul Verhoeven, one of my favourite movie directors, is going to release a book about this subject. I hope he also gets to make a film of it. The idea being, that Jesus was a “palestinian” rebel of his own time fighting in a sort of “intifada” against the Roman empire, but that things did not go quite as he would have wanted them to. I guess the point is, that since we really do not know what happened, any possible explanation is open for the discussion.

        • Ya, we could probably speculate forever about what might have been. In this case, I’m fine with just pointing out that the story as it’s written doesn’t seem to add up.

          • Anonymous says:

            You should really read Zealot by Reza Aslan. He gives an interesting alternative take on this topic:
            “According to Mark, it was a custom of the Roman governor during the feast of Passover to release one prisoner to the Jews, anyone for whom they asked. When Pilate asks the crowd which prisoner they would like to have released – Jesus, the preacher and traitor to Rome, or bar Abbas, the insurrectionist and murderer – the crowd demands the release of the insurrectionist and the crucifixion of the preacher.
            The scene makes no sense at all. Never mind that outside the gospel there exists not a shred of historical evidence for any such Passover custom on the part of any Roman governor. What is truly beyond belief is the portrayal of Pontius Pilate – a man renowned for his loathing of the Jews, his total disregard for Jewish rituals and customs, and his penchant for absentmindedly signing so many execution orders that a formal complaint was lodged against him in Rome – spending even a moment of his time pondering the fate of yet another Jewish rabble-rouser.
            Why would Mark have concocted such a patently fictitious scene, one that his Jewish audience would immediately have recognized as false? The answer is simple: Mark was not writing for a Jewish audience. Mark’s audience was in Rome, where he himself resided.”

            • rautakyy says:

              Indeed, it seems more plausible that the entire New Testament is meant for the multicultural audience of the Roman empire, than the Jews, and as we know it did not impress many of them anyway. The entire revising of the Jewish concept of a “son of god”, that to them meant just a man who kept the holy commandments to Jesus as a demigod like Hercules, Achilleus, Alexander the Great or even Caesar himself was an obvious lean towards Roman imperial polytheism and quite revealing at that.

  5. Alpha says:

    Good one, never even thought of it😉
    Although I’d say for this question a more simple answer could be fear. Fear and pain are great motivators. If speaking out meant the people would be punished, then they probably wouldn’t.

    It’s kind of amazing and very depressing at the same time; Christianity places so much faith in God, that there is so little faith in people. “Without God, we’re nothing” is the view. And “everything good comes from God. No matter what. If you did a good deed, it’s because it was inspired by God and God was acting through you, full stop. Because guess what? Humans are all sinners. Incapable of doing good.” And this is a notion that I reject with all my heart. I get really disappointed and even frustrated when someone says “God was acting through them”. Really? Do you really have so little belief in yourself as a person, and not just a pawn? I know, for a fact, that when I fundraise or donate for charity, or when I pause to help others, I do it because it’s reducing the suffering of others, because it’s right, in my mind. And I don’t need any god to tell me that.

    Above all, every living thing is driven by the need for survival. And if God does exist, then that’s where this instinct comes from. Things like fear keep you alive, and given that God was the one who put us all on this Earth where it’s necessary to ‘fight’ for survival, so to speak, it is unfair for God to judge us from his seat of omnipotence and omniscience. We’re being punished for being created with these innate instincts, and then being placed in a world where this instinct is necessary.

    • Yes, I have heard that before. The way I heard it phrased was that everything we do is either for the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain (both are self-seeking). And this seems to be true; I can think of very few things I’ve done that I couldn’t ultimately trace back to one or the other. Unfortunately some people seem to lack empathy, and tend to be more selfish (like men in general).

      Even empathy can be self-serving. Like you mentioned, I’ve given money to causes anonymously, but it still made me feel good about helping to reduce suffering.

      But being aware of this is useful, because it can help us identify our real motivations for whatever it is we’re doing.

      Religion includes a significant number of these pain/pleasure motivators. A couple of the prime motivators being the avoidance of hell and the pursuit of heaven. One study I’d heard about asked people if they had to choose between eternal life in heaven but no God, or God but no eternal life, the majority chose eternal life without God. I think this reveals what our real motivation is; the idea of God serves our need to feel loved, but ultimately we are self-serving, and would dump God’s love in a heartbeat in exchange for eternal life.

      But I do have it on the list to look into how much emotion has to do with religious thinking, maybe I’ll cover this there.

  6. Travis R says:

    You piqued my curiosity and sent me digging, which led to uncovering a very interesting theory. This theory, in short, says that Pilate was not asking them to choose between two men but rather asking them which crime to acquit – the blasphemy of Jesus the claimed son of God or Jesus the claimed Messiah. The response was to do neither; only to crucify him. The detailed discussion is at:
    This doesn’t explain everything but it does seem to make sense of some of the odd elements of the story. Worth a read, I think.

  7. I n I says:

    Hey everyone
    Matthew refers to Barabbas as “Jesus Barabbas”. Now some of you may be unaware but “Bar abbas” means “son of dad” or “son of father” in aramaic, the language used in 1st century palestine, and so right there before the multitudes stood Jesus son of the Father next to another jesus “son of the father”.
    Yom Kippur means day of atonement and it is the holiest day for the Jewish people because on that day the people make sacrifice for their sins. What did they sacrifice? Two goats. But you see only one was slain while the other was allowed to live, the scapegoat. The high priest would pray over one goat and on that one goat all the sins of the people were placed and then that goat was released into the wilderness, the scapegoat. Then the high priest would take the goat that had no sins and he would kill that goat in front of the people. New Testament story playing out the old testament ritual right before your eyes, hidden in plain sight.

    • Garbonzo says:

      Thanks for this, I never thought about this before! Whoever wrote this in probably did take that for inspiration.

    • Thanks I N I,

      From Leviticus 16:5-10:

      From the Israelite community he [Aaron] is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering… He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.

      While it’s possible that the original author had this parallel in mind, I know that mankind has also dedicated millions of man-hours to finding Jesus in the Old Testament. While it’s possible to match Jesus up with the two goats, these parallels (like many of the others) have their limitations. For example:

      1) These weren’t actually two identical messiahs, each without spot or blemish. They were similar in name, but the similarities ended there.

      2) The chief priests didn’t cast lots to determine which should be sacrificed, there was a vote. (Does the sacrifice still work if lots are not cast?)

      3) There is the issue of the ram that is supposed to be included with the goat sacrifice as a burnt offering. (Does the goat offering still work without a burnt offering?)

      4) Aaron would also sacrifice a young bull alongside the goat and ram to cover his own sins. That makes sense, because his sins were probably too great to be covered by just a goat… though one would think that this would make the BULL a much more powerful sacrifice than the goat… or even make the goat sacrifice unnecessary… maybe Jesus should’ve represented the bull and not the goat… though I’m not exactly clear on how the whole flesh-to-forgiveness weight ratio works.

      Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that the Old Testament never specifically says that God will be sending a close relative of his that the Jews should then kill as a human sacrifice. This would’ve been pretty messed up… and would contradict what God had said about human sacrifice. These ideas came later, either because they were either well hidden from the blinded eyes of the Jews, or because Christians later re-purposed OT prophecies about Israel as prophecies about Jesus.

      • Everything you’ve mentioned 500Q, and your logic/inferences are spot-on. Well done.

      • Andy says:

        I believe this parallel was specifically written by the author. The name Barabbas was chosen to allegorically reflect the stories in the Old Testament.

        The post below from Adversus Apologetica does an excellent job of discussing why the whole episode probably never even occurred. You might consider incorporating some of it into this post, or another one🙂


        “First, we have no outside corroboration that any such custom was practiced by Pilate or by any other Roman prefect governing Judea. As scholar Richard Horsley notes (Oxford Annotated Bible, pg. 1821), “There is no evidence outside of the New Testament of such a custom by Roman governors,” and Pilate, who is “infamous in sources outside of the New Testament for his tough stance, provocations, and violence as Roman governor,” is depicted uncharacteristically here trying to mollify a crowd through extreme leniency and appeasement.”

        “Second, the custom is considerably irrational. Can we expect Pilate, a strict and militant Roman governor serving a strict and militant Roman Empire, to seriously release “anyone for whom they asked,” including violent and dangerous insurrectionists, simply because it was a holiday? It would be something like the United States releasing an Al-Qaeda prisoner in occupied Afghanistan simply because it was Ramadan and the people asked for his release. We would realize anywhere else that such a story is implausible. Instead, when confronted with implausible episodes such as this, historians search for a symbolic interpretation of the literary text.”

        “Moreover, by naming him “Jesus Barabbas” the passage further emphasizes how Jesus, the true messiah and son of the father, is getting pitted against another Jesus, the son of the father, who is a false messiah. Again, the passage parallels the identical goats at the Yom Kippur sacrifice. What would be the odds of two men with the same names being pitted against each other in perfect allegorical symmetry in a custom that otherwise has no outside corroboration? It would be very small as a historical coincidence, but would make perfect sense as a fictional invention.”

        “This can be further demonstrated by the fact that the early church father Origin even recognized the symbolism of the allegory in Homily on Leviticus (10.2.2):

        “You see! You have here the goat who is released alive into the wilderness, bearing in himself the sins of the people who were shouting and saying “Crucify! Crucify!” He [Barabbas] is therefore the goat released alive into the wilderness, while the other [Jesus] is the goat dedicated to God as a sacrifice to atone for those sins, making of himself a true atonement for those who believe.””

        • consultgtf says:

          How can Jesus be a atonement for those who believe?
          Jesus was killed by Romans(we) for the fear of losing power, after seeing the mass pulling power he had, as people wanted someone like him only, who can be doctor-giving free treatment for all diseases, a caterer- supplying food free of cost, A magician- who will rise dead people to life…No one wanted, or could see God in him, working all these miracles, but…
          … for the past 1967 years, we have been telling everyone that He was goat dedicated, and later sacrificed to God!,
          Will any one of us as parent accept our child as sacrifice for forgiving someone you have not seen! meaning if Jesus died for my sins, 2014 years back, am I authorised to sin now and later? Anyway He has died for my sins, and GTF will forgive all my sins?

          Let it be anything, first coveting, then later to achieve that, I can tell lies, kill, bear false witness, NOT FEARING FOR GOD…anyway creating new gods has been our favorite pastime from our fore-parents, time!

          GTF, has forbidden all these in TEN COMMANDMENTS!

  8. I n I says:

    The story of Jesus cannot be rationalized, for it is counterintuitive at every level of human logic. That is the draw. There in we cast our lots as priests of the rational kingdom. Why did the biblical multitudes choose barabbas? Because barabbas was the logical choice, not the Spiritual One. Barabbas was like them! Then and now the choice before you is forever the same.

    • rautakyy says:

      Sacrifices to gods are quite human efforts to bargain whith forces humans otherwise can not deal whith. Most religions have this, or that method of sacrificing aka bargaining whith the divine. It is natural for humans who have the concept of supernatural to try and deal whith those forces. But I must say that the idea of an entity capable of creating a multitude of galaxies, being interrested in humans sacrificing property, or other humans, or for that matter anything at all to that entity is primitive.

      The idea of universe creating entity demanding an entry fee to an eternal afterlife and payment to absolve them of their alledgedly created nature is absurd. It is indistinguishable from whisfull thinking. However, it is understandable as a conceptual pattern of human cultural heritage from times past, when humanity was ignorant about what causes the lightning, the tide, earthquakes, mountains and the diversity of life.

      • I n I says:

        The crucifixion was the end of the sacrifices Rautakky. The end of the matter. All that is left is the verdict. Not from the Christian God since that was settled in the pages but from you and me and everyone who has heard the name of Jesus Christ.

        • rautakyy says:

          That may be, but how would we know, since it has not been verified in any reasonable way, has it?

          The idea, that the crucifixion as a sort of human sacrifice of one particular person might be counted as the end of all sacrifices does not turn any of the previous sacrifices, nor that particular incident in any way less primitive, less repulsive, nor less like an attempt to bargain whith all sorts of imagined supernatural entities. It is indistinguishable from such human cultural traits and heritage from all over the world. Is it not? What would make this particular sacrifice to stand out from all the human invented methods of bargaining whith their gods any more plausible, than any of the others?

          What is tithing, if it is not sacrificing aka bargaining whith the divine gatekeeper of the alledged, but totally unverified afterlife? If you want to help people in need, you give to them, or organizations that actually help out, not support your pastor, minister, priest, what have you. It is the homeless who need houses, not your or anyone elses gods. Right?

          Oh, and it is rautakyy not “Rautakky” by the way.

          • I n I says:

            My apology rautakyy. Yes repulsive and primitive what they did to Him and especially since it stands in stark contrast to the love compulsion and highest order of virtue that is The Lord Jesus. I also agree that it is not verified in any reasonable way but the story is completely justified in the spiritual complex. If you believe that man is just the “reasoning” mammal then His story cannot hold any interest for you. I on the other hand am Homo sapien sentient and I am not the only one. Peace to you my brother. Have the last word if you so desire.

            • rautakyy says:

              Please, no apologies required.😉

              I base my beliefs on evidence and reason. Subsequently, no one religion, nor any claims about souls, spirits, gods, demons, the afterlife, or such supernatural ideas has ever stood out to me as anything more than just a nother piece of folklore and a testament to the magnificent capability of the imagination of this mammal we call homo sapiens sapiens. Yes, I admit to being a mere reasoning mammal and it humbles me in the face of the vast, observable, material and completely material, but also wonderfull beyond measure universe.

              Peace to you too brother I n I.

  9. Once again 500Q, excellent work and conclusion! I always enjoy your posts!

    In your final two paragraphs, you accurately inferred just how trumped-up one, two generations of SURVIVING post 70 CE Greco-Roman believers (e.g. Gentiles) — primarily led & documented via epistles by the Roman-friendly Saul of Tarsus — can spark a new social welfare movement later funded and enforced by Emperor Constantine. This of course led to not only to the amputated canonical gospels forced into circulation by Constantine’s Roman bishops and guard/legions, but also made into the traditional Greco-Roman Son of God/Messiah/Emperor mold so common of the Roman religious practices and doctrines.

    You may find very interesting what was just recently determined/confirmed in Talpiot, Jerusalem:

    This is just another example and confirmation of how hyper-dramatized the Jesus Movement was made by Constantine and his bishops.

    Fantastic post! Thank you for all your hard work.

  10. This is a great question highlighting one of the criteria used to judge the historical validity of an account – the credibility or probability of the events described, happening. It doesn’t seem probable that a popular figure like Jesus, who masses regarded as a prophet, would be turned on so quickly.

    There is another similarly improbable event in the Exodus story. It seems very improbable that the freed Israelites, after only a few weeks of having witnessed the great miracles performed by God through Moses – bringing the ten plagues on Egypt and parting the Red Sea to save them from Pharaoh’s army – would so quickly lose faith in Moses and murmur against him saying he brought in the wilderness to die.

    We can see how improbable this is when we consider how religious people tend to remain faithful to their religion and religious leaders even after the leaders have made serious blunders like making false predictions. (Ask Garbonzo. ;)) Religious people do not quickly turn on their religion.

    • Exactly. How do you witness the plagues of Egypt, God parting a sea, then leading you as a pillar of smoke and fire, and causing it to rain manna from heaven, and then say, “Meh. Perhaps we should forge a gold calf and worship THAT.” Christians have been waiting for Jesus to return for 2000 years now, and they didn’t even get to witness his miracles.

      • Garbonzo says:

        I know! It’s *so* ridiculous. Even as a young lad I questioned this, but I set it aside with the excuse “Jehovah will explain it in time.” And without any resources at my disposal to help me critically think, I’d probably still be thinking like this. The Israelites had no internet. Could a layman even read? It makes no sense at all.

  11. Charles Slakan says:

    Florida elected a governor who headed a corporation that pulled off the largest medicare ripoff in history.
    Bush Admin lied to congress to get us into war with Iraq.
    Reagan who some treat like some kind of saint shipped American Sarin gas and anthrax to Saadam Hussein.
    All of the above with support if the majority..
    All of them worse than Barrabas by a longshot, the jews threatened the man and his parents to cut them off (remember the jew who regained his sight after being born blind.
    One of the pharisees told the council but if he is who he says he
    is then who can prevail against God.
    Their motivation to force parishioners to cry out for Barrabas?
    Why are Reagan and Bush treated like saints in spite if the evil they manifested?
    Why did A whole state, Florida elect a criminal who has nit benn brought to justice instead of a woman whose only crime was she supported Obama Care?
    The Irarlites slew a man of God whose only crime was to.tell them that they had strayed from the Lord in thd Temple.
    I suppose he was unpopular as well.
    Everything Jesus said to the pharisees in his day, the Truth, could be applied to almost every so called Christian Church today.And believe this, if he got in their way exposing yheir hypocrisies and jeopardizing their collection coffers, he’d be crucified again regardless of how many miracles happened.
    And the general populace woul demand a public execution for entertainment to satisfy their lust for blood.

    • Garbonzo says:

      There are many variables you aren’t considering. The point is NOT that they chose to pardon Barnabas, the point is that they chose Barnabas OVER the son of god who performed so many miracles. These were regular people, not pharisees, not government officials, not business people. Elections are affected by all of those people (replace pharisees with corrupt religious leaders), but those people were not there in the crowd.

      People voted for the Iraq war because of propaganda. Miracles, however, will trump propaganda any day.

      Also, see this comment I made: https://500questions.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/49-why-did-the-crowd-choose-barabbas-over-jesus/#comment-5977

  12. 500q, I just thought of something. Judas Iscariot should have receive a very high merit. In fact, as a freethinker, he could be nominated as SAINT or he can be Promoted and lead battalions of angel. I think, if not for him God’s plot will fail. Or does God has Plan B? I really want to hear what’s your opinion onto this. In reality it is Judas who was betrayed – that’s what I think.

    • Same could be said for Satan, without Satan, would we have no choice but to do good?

      I don’t think most Christians would say Judas was forced by God to sin, rather, God always knew Judas would do what he did.

      • God is the Alpha and Omega. Understand anywhere on what we measure as time, to God , the Beginning or the End can happen .Solomon pined and said there is nothing new inder the sun., everything that was has ready has already happened…
        We see time linear, we are born and at some time in the future, we die.
        God knows what choices will be made.
        But it’s on his creations to make the decision, free will.
        God asked who will be my Branch?
        God wemt on to say, in those days I.will bring Salvation even to the gentiles.
        Christ prayed to His Father, amd said, lift this bitter cup from me but if you don’t nevertheless, Thy Will Be Done.
        At tbis point, Jesus had of his free will to do His Father’s Will.
        Judas kept the money the apostles and Jesus were given and when spme of thisoney was spemt to purchase oil to rub into Jesus’es feet, Judas remarked that yhis expenditure was a waste.
        He valued the money donated to them more than a little comfort our Lord would have re ceived from this ointment.
        He had already begun to show who his god was, he sold the Lord out for 40 pieces of silver for whater his motivation. He wasn’t compelled, it was his choice.
        At one point, Jesus told Peter,Satan desires to sift your soul, but he will not prevail. I have prayed for you.
        Jesus knew Peter’s sin was valuing his life because of fear, not because he had chosem a new god or had evil in his heart.
        And although Christ said anyone that denies me, I will deny in front of the Father.
        It’s plaim to see God understands is and realizes fear can remove us from Him; it’s not an actual choice but a lapse in faith.
        God is incapable of evil,lies,murder ; Satan is the author of those.
        He cam not cause one person to do evil to achieve His Will.
        Jesus said, a house divided against itself will surely fall.
        God can not do evil and Satan is incapable of Truth or Godness.
        Remember trying to understamd God’ s Message via the wisdom of men.
        The wisdom of men is but foolishness to God.

        • For Judas. It seems like the 40 silver was worth more than his God – and like the “crowds” who chooses Barabas over Jesus, Judas also did not impressed by the work of his God. And if God knew Judas would commit sin by betraying him, he uses this as an advantage to fulfill his plot or plan – The all-knowing and all-loving God uses the weakness of other for his advantage. He’s truly a Genius one.

  13. BIGFOOT says:

    I have thought about this, but the problem always arises out of the saying of Jesus.

    “ A man can have no greater love, than to lay down his own life for his friends. You are my friends. If you do what I command you.” John 15:12-14

    “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:17-19

    So, apparently Jesus cam to die, and He knew he would die;
    “ ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the gentiles, who will mock him and spit at him and scourge him and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.’ Mark 10:33-34

    So, who was to blame? Why did his disciples, and his admirers abandon him?

    One reason may be found from the Chief Priests themselves.
    “ Men of Israel, be careful, how you deal with these people. There was Theundas who became notorious, not so long ago. He claimed to be someone important and even collected about four hundred followers. But when he was killed, his followers scattered, and that was the end of them. And then, there was Judas, the Galilean, at the time of the censors who attracted crowd of supporters. But he got killed too, and all his followers disappeared. What I suggest therefore is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin, it will break up, of its own accord. But, if it does in fact come from God, you will not only be unable to destroy it, but you might find yourself fighting God” Acts 5:36-39.

    So, apparently there were many imposters who had claimed to be the Messiah. But when they were eliminated, their movement died with them.

    Secondly, There was a misunderstanding about the nature of the Messiah.

    Israel expected a Physical Warrior King, to save them from domination by the neighboring nations. But God wanted a Spiritual Warrior King, who would save Israel, and humanity from wickedness and sin. Israel expected a King who would secure their physical boundaries, and physical inheritance. They expected a savior for their physical boundaries. But God wanted a king, who would secure Israel’s and humanities spiritual inheritance. He wanted a Spiritual Savior. Israel expected a King, who would make them the dominant race amongst humanity. But God wanted a King, who would make Him, the dominant ruler amongst humanity, as God, amongst his people. Israel expected a King who would set them apart, and make them a special favored race amongst humanity. But God wanted a King would set him apart as the special and favored God, the Only True God for humanity and unite him, with humanity and make Him special and the dominant ruler worshiped by all humanity. Israel expected a King who would increase their physical, and material wealth. But God wanted a King who would increase their Spiritual wealth being knowledge of good and evil, and wisdom of choosing good always. The Israelites expected a Messiah who would dedicate the second physical temple, but God, expected the messiah who would build him a Spiritual Third Temple.

    So, its this misunderstanding that people may have thought that Christ would perform a dramatic miracle, and destroy his enemies and become their Hero. It may also have been the same crazy logic that inspired Judas. Judas, may have wanted to precipitate this dramatic miracle, of Jesus overcoming his enemies. But of course, since the Israelis never came to understand their role as “the Chosen race” they could never understand the role of Messiah, as “The Chosen One” That’s why Jesus spoke in parables. He wanted the Israelis who wanted to listen to God, ha have their chance. But He also wanted to prepare everybody for the likelihood that they may not understand Him.

    Judas, came to realize the horror of what he had done and killed himself. Its not so much that he was different from the others, but he was irreversibly deluded.

    • Satan offered Jesus EVERY KINGDOM on earth if Jesus would worship a false god, Satan. Jesus did not debate Satan’s Authority to give him those, remember, Jesus told Pilate, you only have the power to crucify me because My Father grants it.
      Jesus told Peter, I have wrestled Satan for your soul but he shall not prevail.
      Remember Jesus said if you deny me, I will deny you before my Father.Another time Jesus said to the apostle, Satan, get thee behind me, Satan.
      Satan’s authority and influence is omnipresent, his authority coming from The Father.
      Remember Jesus said to the pharisees, you are of your father, who was a liar and murderer from the beginning.
      Jesus told the pharisees you have slain the innocent at Gods’ Altar.
      How does Barrabas fit in? Barrabas was guilty, yet the crowd egged on by the children of Cain’s seed clamored for innocent blood, demanded by their father Satan who revels in destruction.
      Satan had Gods’ Authority over every kingdom and still does, is certainly omnipresent, and has been here before we know, but he is not all knowing.
      The reason Jesus rebuked Peter is because Peter said he would interfere with Gods’ Plan, A plan that Christ accepted,
      take this bitter cup from me, but nevertheless Thine Will be done. Jesus made a conscious decision to put his Life in Gods’ Hands. Why else would Scripture have included this conflict, the agony in the garden.
      Did Jesus fear for his life, or the terrible torture he would have to endure? I honestly think, no.
      Jesus knew something we didn’t; He knew what it was to be in the Presence of His Father in Heaven.
      What was the bitter cup? I think the most horrible thing that ever could happen, when Jesus took on the sins of the world, He was separated from His Father for the first time since before the beginning, that’s why Jesus said on the cross before giving up His Soul,
      My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?
      Who can even begin to imagine the fear, terror, agony and pain Jesus endured for us when He was separated from God because of the sins he bore?
      As for the crowd and what motivated the crowd to choose a murderer over Jesus who was never given a fair trial.
      Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin at night, in secret. The high priest was elected by Rome, not chosen by lots.
      Remember when the blind man was brought before the Sanhedrin, they said he was not blind all his life, then threatened to expel his parents from the synagogue.
      What makes anyone think the crowd was not handpicked by the sons of Cain?
      Free will is the back bone of Judaism and Christianity, The Father is the Alpha and the Omega, He knows every hair on our head, He knows the beginnings and endings.
      Judas was the money keeper and displayed a separate agenda before his betrayal. Had his betrayal been motivated by fear, as was Peter’s betrayal(denial), he would not have been guilty.
      Jesus said sins would be forgiven pretty much no matter how many were committed, as long as we do not continue in sin, like adulterers do.
      Abraham struggled with sacrficing his only son, but he decided to trust God.
      We all have a free will and can choose our alliances. And we will all have to answer for every word that proceedeth from our mouths, we will be judged by our motivations, and by the good works we do , did we love our enemies, did we revile and forget the poor( remember the Israelites were required to leave the outer parts of their fields untilled so the poor,widows and even Jesus could glean(eat).
      What always amazes me is how todays religions revere Golgotha,the supposed burial tomb a wealthy pharisees gave for Jesus body to lie in.
      Don’t you know, Jews thought dead things corrupt and unclean, the Jews had the Romans crucify because the act was unclean(they stoned). The city of Jerusalem is reviled in Revelation as the spiritual sodom, the place were Our Lord was crucified. Why would a Christian want to celebrate death which was unclean to Jesus, or go to a cursed city.
      Revelation therefore says there will be A New Earth without any seas and A New Heaven, Zion will come out of heaven.The old earth will be no more.
      Doesn’t this support the curse on the city God’s Only Begotten Son’s blood was shed, Jerusalem?
      The old earth will be no more.
      Scripture doesn’t say the old earth will be refurbished, it says, the old earth will cease to exist, including what is Israel and Jerusalem.
      God’s city will be paved in gold, the lion will lie with the lamb.

      • consultgtf says:

        Sorry, I am confused, on which day did God create Satan? I missed reading this line in Genesis, maybe later others would have given their view but Genesis is the base!

        Yes, old earth will cease to exist, as we will have new one but have you ever given a thought, it is we that are going to live in the new world also? so!
        The change is expected in our lives not a new building or tree will make this a new earth!
        When it is mentioned as God’s city will be paved in gold, it means that it will have such a value, in comparison only. But I have taken it as gold in its true form, what is the use for a spirit? (We only)
        Instead, imagine everything in this world changes as per God wish,
        “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it in Heaven…” This is Heaven!

        • BIGFOOT says:

          Do not be confused. You are supposed to figure it out, because God gave you a logically Reasoning Spirit.

          The key to understanding Satan, is John 3:16
          “Yes, God loved the world so, much that he sent His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him, may not be lost” John 3:16
          Only Son. Problem is, who did the rest of humanity belong to?
          “The Devil is your father. And you prefer to do what your father wants” John 8: 43-44
          So, if the Jews, who apparently had been chosen by God,had also been so-to-speak, adopted by the devil, it cannot be that the rest of Mankind, were any less the Sons of the Devil

          So, what, was God doing, when Satan kidnapped humanity? Or rather, was there any time that mankind belonged to God, but later were kidnapped by the Devil? Jesus claims no. God had always had, ONLY ONE SON.

          So, who is this Devil?
          “The word of Yahweh about Israel. It is I, Yahweh, who speaks, who spread the heaven, and founded the earth, and formed the Spirit of Man, within him.” Zechariah 12:1-2

          What king is Spirit is this?
          ‘Let us make MAN , in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts, and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth’ God created man, in the image of himself, and in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. “Genesis 1:26-29

          So, who is this “us”?

          The Holy Trinity.
          That means that if God is Trinity, His Image and Likeness the Human Spirit, is Trinity.

          Who is the Trinity of God?

          The Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son.

          So, who is the Trinity of Man?

          The Father, the Son, and the Spirit
          Who is the Father in Man?
          “The Devil is your father. And you prefer to do what your father wants” John 8: 43-44
          He is the Cause of Evil

          Who is the Spirit in Man?
          “ Get behind me Satan!”. “ You are an obstacle in my path” Jesus continues, “because the way you think, is not Gods way, but man’s” Matthew 16:13-23
          He is the Word of Man

          Who is the Son of the Devil?
          Lucifer! An evil, and wicked human being!
          Does Satan tempt people?
          Who does?
          Men tempt men

          “ Obstacles are sure to come, but alas, for the one who provides them! It would be better for him to be thrown in to the sea, with a millstone put around his neck, than he should lead astray a single of these little ones. Watch yourselves! Luke 17:1-3

          Jesus did not claim Satan brings obstacles. Its men.
          Are there spirits out there harassing mankind?
          Who is harassing mankind?
          Wicked human beings!
          So, who is the cause of wickedness?


      • consultgtf says:

        How did Jesus bore our sins? When was this, as He died on Friday and rose on the third day(mistake is there on Sunday resurrection)
        So, when did bear the sins? and of whom, people who died before him or for us who are born 2000 years later? correct me, I have been given with sin credit card, which can be swiped anytime as Jesus has given this authority? No, please don’t cheat people!
        God is God always, wages of sin is death! that is the end. Death is not seen after Jesus death? then what are you teaching?
        We are suffering for our sins and our parents, it is very clearly told,
        Exodus 20:- And God spoke all these words:
        2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

        3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

        4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

        God has kept up HIS word till today and HE will always!, but are unable to change from Adam’s time till today? Creatures!

      • consultgtf says:

        Satan not a separate being existing on this on this Earth!
        If it was really alive, our GTF would have eliminated it long time back, why would HE allow His creations to suffer just because of this …Satan!
        There was no separate satan who came in the form of snake to invoke thought against our Creator? It was the free will given by our Creator to Adam and Eve, which led us to this misery, it is the same free will, which is leading us to our agony and sufferings till this date! started by our parents, to their parents…the list continues, as none of us are able to control our senses, Adam being the main culprit, who ate the fruit just because Eve gave the fruit plucked from the forbidden tree. Why couldn’t he stop it, and ask God’s forgiveness on Eve’s behalf? We are doing the same mistake now, blaming others for our decisions, we will not if we don’t want it!
        but we want a scape goat, to put all our bad decisions, on something non existent!
        You would quote the reference by different prophets, but what about our Bible which is the base for all our belief!
        Six days was our Creation, could you please let me know on which day was the Satan created? in Genesis! not from Job.

        Do you know the Satan literally means “adversary” in Hebrew.? but we are very good at translation, now Let your thoughts loose, to get a new name for Satan?

        How many of us will agree that, it is not a being with horns and a tail, black/red in colour!
        but…it we humans with all adversary thoughts against our Creator.

  14. consultgtf says:

    Though Jesus was constantly attracting crowds wherever he went,
    have we ever thought how all these people could have fled when He was crucified? This is basic human character!
    They had seen Jesus feed 5,000, heal the lame and the blind, cast out demons, raise people from the dead, and perform so many other miracles.
    All these done for nothing?! In fact, people of that age should have immediately returned to our GTF and started worshiping only HIM as God! knowing his power, starting from dividing the sea/ river, feeding thousands for years, in process eliminating the people whose belief was not 100%. But the people of that era was very similar or same like us, only taking from God, but no loyalty! and blame for all my miseries even after understanding that I am the reason for my Children sufferings, as GTF has very clearly given us the commandments,
    Exodus 20;- And God spoke all these words:
    2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of slavery.
    3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,

    Punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

    6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    How many of us have understood this basic and first commandment.

  15. Will Conley says:

    Another possibility: The bible made Pilate out to be a bit less monstrous than he actually was. When you’re circulating material unsympathetic to Rome, your best bet for not getting killed too soon is to soften your critique of the governors. Perhaps the crowd was just cowed into asking for Jesus’ crucifixion because they were afraid Pilate wanted Jesus dead and they dared not give any indication of begging to differ.

  16. Anaili Smeltzer says:

    There were fickle people back then as there are some now. The Messiah ‘ was not taken. He gave His life, and for those who are called to the Father. It is about choices. He chooses and we say Yay or Nay. Prophecy fulfilled but not all will believe. If the choices were Barabbas and the Messiah, the Messiah would have to be sacrificed so that we may be saved. Simple and sad as that. The Messiah never discredit our forefathers and prophets, instead He added two commands: to love Gd above all things and each other as we love ourselves and He loves us. Don’t know about you, but the last two will take care of the other commands. For if we accomplished the last two, our hearts will compel us to do right by others. Just saying.

    I would hate to live a life without faith in JC as Messiah, and when my end comes find out He was whom He claimed to be. So I choose to live with Faith, Joy, and Peace and at the time of my check out from this life, I will join the wise ones who are in the awesome presence of our creator.

    Sooooo. A life with Joy or a life without it.

    I choose Joy, I am team Yeshua!

  17. I have an announcement to make!

    THIS VIDEO HAS A HIDDEN MEANING OF GOD! (it’s quite loud so turn down your volume) https://akk.li/pics/anne/jpg

  18. HChris says:

    Barabbas was a pro-Israel, anti-Rome, violent revolutionary. He was likely arrested and sentenced to be executed because of his involvement in a violent uprising against Roman authority. He would have been considered a hero to the Jewish people and leadership who chaffed under Roman rule.

    Jesus lived and taught enemy love. Loving even the Romans who violently oppressed the Jews. He stood in opposition to the Jewish leadership and the idea of a violent, conquering, messiah.

    It isn’t hard to understand why Barabbas was chosen over Jesus. Many Christians continue to prefer Barabbas over Jesus to this day.

    • consultgtf says:

      Can EVERYONE, now understand that NT is cooked up as, every time Jesus gave a sermon or when he walked in the street, NT tell us thousands of people followed? Where did they go, on the very crucial day?

      From that day till today people boost that Jesus is God but NOT FOLLOW HIM!

  19. Matt says:

    Jesus had to die on the cross for the world to be saved and nobody killed Him,He laid his own life down…it is very possible that God had hardened the hearts of the people so that even some of them in that very crowd that chanted “crucify Him” may be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit later on in their lives…even when the devil thinks he is giving God the final blow,God has the checkmate….for His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than ours

  20. JulieJoe says:

    Waoooooow am so bless with the post. God bless you

  21. Kenny says:

    Has anyone ever thought that it wasn’t the people that set Barabbas free. It was the love of the Heavenly Father!! Jesus loved Barabbas so unconditionally that he took Barabbas’ spot on the cross. When I see Barabbas; I see myself. I deserved the cross, but Jesus took my place. Barabbas is a picture of you and me. We deserved the shame and the guilt and the pain, but there is a God with a love so deep, so wide, so high, so limitless; that He took our place on that cross!

    • Brendan says:

      It is an allegorical representation of Yom Kippur, one of the most important Jewish traditions of the time period. Barabbas literally means “Son of the Father” which could have been read as an equivalent to Jesus in the story. In Yom Kippur, you would take two nearly identical goats every year for the ritual. One would carry the sins of Israel and be let go, taking the sins with it (presuming it dies later) while the innocent goat was sacrificed to God in the temple to try and appease him. This story mirrors that exact setup on purpose and the name makes it somewhat obvious since nobody would be named Barabbas, it was a useless name essentially.

      This also makes sense since the NT writers made their mythology with a motivating factor of forming a Jewish sect that does not require the major temples anymore. Temples were getting conquered or ruled by the kings of the nations that conquered them. The religion needed a way to justify no longer needing them to survive, so the invention of a deity who could fulfill Yom Kippur permanently would remove the need for the temple. Historically you can see how this social pressure changed the religion. Pretty interesting.

  22. Thanks for your answer… This was a theological question for me.. As young youth, it widens my insight. But all things works for the best. That’s why we are experiencing freedom from sin.. To God be the glory..

  23. Connie Willson says:

    I realize this is an older article and you may not be monitoring this post. I liked the gathering of the scriptures but thought your answer was narrow. 1. A crowd that is fed, are people that are hungry. The ones who were healed are the ones that are sick. The majority of the crowds that were following Jesus were sick, hungry, poor and looking for help and solutions. The crowds that were not happy to see Jesus were the well fed, rich, liked the status quo of the current situation. So even though there were crowds how can you tell they are the same group of people?

    For a prime example. Watch the current recording of the prayers offered at both the RNC and DNC convention. There is a remarkable difference between the two crowds.

    • Hi Connie,

      Yep, still monitored.🙂

      Certainly not every crowd is the same, I agree with you there, but it’s difficult for me to imagine that his throngs of followers — all of his apostles; all of the men and women who were healed, and all those who believed in him — ALL had better things to do that day than to simply show up and free their savior. They may have needed something in the past, but if Jesus fulfilled their needs, and could continue fulfilling them, there was no reason for them not to show. In fact, it’s all the MORE reason to show up to free Jesus. What else were they doing that day that could’ve been more important? Was it laundry day? Did they have family coming for Passover and just didn’t have time to free the man who healed them? The fact that his followers DIDN’T overwhelm the audience suggests a problem with the story.

      Surely, even the well-fed, rich, and healthy would’ve found the miracles of Jesus to be far more remarkable than anything Barabbas had ever accomplished. You don’t take someone who can raise the dead, and heal the blind and the lame, and just toss him aside for a murderer. Either the miracles of Jesus didn’t happen as described, the crowd wasn’t aware of them, or this event never occurred. (Which is also a possibility, as the tradition of letting a prisoner go free on the Passover isn’t mentioned outside of the gospels.) In any event, the story just doesn’t add up.


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