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  #71  
Old 01-03-2010, 12:56 PM
Oberon Offline
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Originally Posted by xkatz View Post
I agree with Sunstone. The writers who wrote the Gopsels put a lot of blame of killing Jesus on the Jewish people in order to create to a scapegoat.
Certainly the gospel authors go out of their way at times to point fingers at various jewish groups, and to clear Pilate's "good name." However, if one wishes to argue that it was all the romans' doing, one has to explain why they would care. 1st century palestine was under roman control. This doesn't mean the romans cared about jewish religious disputes. If jesus was making messianic claims, that would probably be enough to get him executed, but I doubt that the romans would even be aware unless they were told by Jewish authorities.
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  #72  
Old 01-03-2010, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Oberon View Post
Certainly the gospel authors go out of their way at times to point fingers at various jewish groups, and to clear Pilate's "good name." However, if one wishes to argue that it was all the romans' doing, one has to explain why they would care. 1st century palestine was under roman control. This doesn't mean the romans cared about jewish religious disputes. If jesus was making messianic claims, that would probably be enough to get him executed, but I doubt that the romans would even be aware unless they were told by Jewish authorities.
It is said that the Sadducees were pro Roman and against Messianic uprisings. Maybe they would know the significance of the donkey and garments laid in Jesus path and enlightened the Romans?? See post #67 for why I think the Romans would have cared without help from anyone else though. The Sadducees were believers in a god but not the supernatural aspects like angels, resurrection etc. They did not believe in an afterlife and they believed the soul died with the body.
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  #73  
Old 01-03-2010, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunstone View Post
You make a very reasonable argument, but I think your argument might rely on taking the Gospels more or less at face value. I, on the other hand, believe the Gospels might be distorted when it comes to the role the Jewish elite played in the crucifiction. I suppose, however, that whether one wants to believe the Gospels or not is more or less a personal matter. Or is there some reason to give them greater or lesser credibility?
The story could be a complete fabrication written for propaganda purposes. The Jewish high priests led a revolt against the Romans which ended up bringing about the destruction of Jerusalem. There are too many problems with the trial and crucifixion that make it unrealistic, but suffice metaphorically.

Here's an example from RG Price:
Pilate Hands Jesus over to be Crucified
Mark 15:
6 Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. 7 Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. 8 So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. 9 Then he answered them, 'Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?' 10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. 12 Pilate spoke to them again, 'Then what do you wish me to do with the the King of the Jews?' 13 They shouted back, 'Crucify him!' 14 Pilate asked them, 'Why, what evil has he done?' But they shouted all the more, 'Crucify him!' 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
This passage is quite interesting, because it is here that many threads of the story are drawn together. Here Pilate is portrayed as a just and caring ruler, while the Jews are portrayed as an unjust, bloodthirsty, mob. All of the elements of the story so far that have presented various failings of Jews are put into a direct comparison here between Jews and Gentiles, and the story clearly depicts the Gentiles as the good and just ones and the Jews as the unjust transgressors.


There are other elements of interest as well. Line 6 talks about a tradition of releasing a prisoner during the Passover festival, but such a practice is not recorded anywhere else and is highly unlikely, because even holding executions during the holy festival would have been against Jewish law, so they would not have had occasion to release prisoners prior to an execution during the Passover festival because they didn't hold executions during the Passover festival in the first place. http://www.rationalrevolution.net/ar...ospel_mark.htm
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  #74  
Old 01-03-2010, 11:12 PM
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I don't really see why the Romans wouldn't have paid attention to Jesus. They were notorious at squashing any messianic uprisings.
This is not exactly true. It is true that the Romans killed messianic claimants. However, those that they did kill were generally revolutionaries. They romans were concerned with the pax romana which included violently supressing any revolution, including would-be davidic/messianic claimants.

With Jesus, however, we have no indication that he went around publicly inciting romans or talking in revolutionary terms.
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If the story of Jesus entering to Jerusalem on a donkey is true and the throwing down of people's garments actually happened, the Romans would have been quite upset with this. This was a known way of the people acclaiming a king.
If the incident actually happened, it would only have meant something to Jews. The passage of the ride into jerusalem is explicitly connected to jewish prophecy:
τουτο δε ὅλον γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθη το ρηθεν δια του προφήτου λέγοντος/touto de olon gegonen hina plerothe to rethen dia tou prophetou legontos/ and all this was brought to pass in order that that which was spoken through the prophet saying...

Basically, to assert that this incident would have any significance to a roman is more than a bit of a stretch.

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Word would have got to the Romans
Through jews, yes.

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After all, if the Romans could behead Theudas and scatter his followerer just for gathering at the River Jordon while they waited for Theudas to part the waters, how much more possible is it that they would get rid of a leader of a messianic uprising?
1) You have to explain how they would know. Jesus' actions on the donkey, if they happened, would mean nothing.

2) You aren't describing what Theudus did altogether accurately: From Josephus Anti. 20.97- pethei ton pleiston ochlon analabonta tas ktesies hepesthai pros ton Iordanen potamon auto/ he persuaded most of the crowd/people to follow him, having taken up their possessions, to the jordan river.

Important to note is a) the gathering of a large number of people and b) they aren't simply "waiting around for Theudas to part the waters" but rather analabonta tas ktesies.

3) We have very little information about what Theudus did and how the romans may have been alerted. By contrast, we have four fairly complete and detailed (and by ancient standards historical) accounts of Jesus' mission. Even if we discount the statements concerning Jesus' ad hoc trial in front of Caiaphas, we are still left with the fact that we have no clues as to how the romans would have been so concerned with him without Jewish cooperation.

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They certainly weren't known for their benevolence nor did they ever respect the sensibilities of the Jews so that makes me suspicious that they would "bow down" to any requests that they did not feel like doing. Saying Pilate had "no choice" is ridiculous. He had the power to do what he wanted and he usually did.
True enough. However, if we are to believe sources like Philo, Pilate would not have wanted to do anything to please the Jewish populous. If there is any truth to the story that he did not want to execute Jesus, it could be as simple as not finding enough reason to care about Jesus and not wanting to be told what to do and who to execute by the jewish elites.

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It is said that the Sadducees were pro Roman and against Messianic uprisings. Maybe they would know the significance of the donkey and garments laid in Jesus path and enlightened the Romans??
Very plausible. However, it is no less plausible to think that Jesus was brought before Caiaphas.

Last edited by Oberon; 01-03-2010 at 11:23 PM..
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  #75  
Old 01-03-2010, 11:14 PM
Oberon Offline
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Originally Posted by dogsgod View Post
The story could be a complete fabrication written for propaganda purposes. The Jewish high priests led a revolt against the Romans which ended up bringing about the destruction of Jerusalem. There are too many problems with the trial and crucifixion that make it unrealistic, but suffice metaphorically.
1. Mark may well have been written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.
2. You really need to find better sources.
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  #76  
Old 01-04-2010, 06:30 AM
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1. Mark may well have been written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.
2. You really need to find better sources.
My sources are just fine as long as they don't contradict. You view the gospels as historical texts, fine, but not everyone does.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:15 AM
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Good things can and do come from bad actions. Doesn't make them good. For example, consider population problems in a hypothetical 3rd world country. If some war leader bent on genocide exterminated large portions of the population, it may very well help the population problem, and have positive results. It is still a travesty.
My point was that in plenty of Christian theology and liturgy, Christ's sacrifice - not just his resurrection, but his sacrifice - is portrayed as a good thing itself.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:00 AM
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My sources are just fine as long as they don't contradict. You view the gospels as historical texts, fine, but not everyone does.
Just NT scholars, and almost all ancient historians.
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:19 AM
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1. Mark may well have been written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.
2. You really need to find better sources.
By most accounts though if it was written before the destruction, it would have been very close to the destruction. That leads me to believe there would already be a reason in place to pacify the Romans for the Jewish Christians. The writing was on the wall, so to speak. They must have known something about the upcoming destruction because many Jewish Christians had fled Jerusalem before the actual destruction. It's not easy to know the dates these gospels were written.
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:25 AM
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This is not exactly true. It is true that the Romans killed messianic claimants. However, those that they did kill were generally revolutionaries. They romans were concerned with the pax romana which included violently supressing any revolution, including would-be davidic/messianic claimants.

With Jesus, however, we have no indication that he went around publicly inciting romans or talking in revolutionary terms.


If the incident actually happened, it would only have meant something to Jews. The passage of the ride into jerusalem is explicitly connected to jewish prophecy:
τουτο δε ὅλον γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθη το ρηθεν δια του προφήτου λέγοντος/touto de olon gegonen hina plerothe to rethen dia tou prophetou legontos/ and all this was brought to pass in order that that which was spoken through the prophet saying...

Basically, to assert that this incident would have any significance to a roman is more than a bit of a stretch.



Through jews, yes.



1) You have to explain how they would know. Jesus' actions on the donkey, if they happened, would mean nothing.

2) You aren't describing what Theudus did altogether accurately: From Josephus Anti. 20.97- pethei ton pleiston ochlon analabonta tas ktesies hepesthai pros ton Iordanen potamon auto/ he persuaded most of the crowd/people to follow him, having taken up their possessions, to the jordan river.

Important to note is a) the gathering of a large number of people and b) they aren't simply "waiting around for Theudas to part the waters" but rather analabonta tas ktesies.

3) We have very little information about what Theudus did and how the romans may have been alerted. By contrast, we have four fairly complete and detailed (and by ancient standards historical) accounts of Jesus' mission. Even if we discount the statements concerning Jesus' ad hoc trial in front of Caiaphas, we are still left with the fact that we have no clues as to how the romans would have been so concerned with him without Jewish cooperation.



True enough. However, if we are to believe sources like Philo, Pilate would not have wanted to do anything to please the Jewish populous. If there is any truth to the story that he did not want to execute Jesus, it could be as simple as not finding enough reason to care about Jesus and not wanting to be told what to do and who to execute by the jewish elites.



Very plausible. However, it is no less plausible to think that Jesus was brought before Caiaphas.
While I agree that the Romans likely were told of the significance of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey (if it happened) by Jews, it is also well documented that he did have large gatherings of people. Also there seems to have been a large gathering when he entered the city if they were throwing garments down in front of him. If you argue that Theudus got beheaded for a large gathering by the Jordon, then Jesus could have also been targeted for large gatherings. He had developed quite a following. If the gospels (John excluded) are right, he had also just gone into the temple and thrown out the money changers which I am sure got their attention. John of course puts that episode closer to the beginning of Jesus' ministry so this wouldn't apply if John is the correct one. However, you probably see what I am trying to say. I do admit that the other scenerio you suggest is possible, but it still seems to me that it was written to make the Jewish elite look bad and to pacify the Romans by making them look good.
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