John T. Townsend, "A Liturgical Interpretation of Our Lord's Passion in Narrative Form"

Israel Study Group - Occasional Papers, Number One 

(New York: National Conference of Christians and Jews, 1977)



One of the main problems for those who would root out anti-Jewish statements from Christian worship arises from anti-Jewish passages found in many books of the New Testament. It is relatively easy to rephrase prayers and so delete whatever is offensive. The New Testament is another matter. It forms an essential part of our worship. It is also Holy Scripture and the primary witness to our Lord. As such it should not be open to change.

Some reasons for an anti-Jewish stance within the New Testament are not hard to find. Perhaps most important was the threat of Roman persecution. Roman authorities sentenced and executed Jesus for sedition. His conviction carried the threat of persecution for all who followed him. In their own defense the early Christians maintained that Jesus was innocent of any crime against Rome. They explained his crucifixion under Roman authority as due to a weak Roman governor succumbing to Jewish pressure.1 Then began a gradual process of vindicating Roman participation while exaggerating Jewish villainy, a process that continued until the year 313, in which the Emperors Constantine and Licinius removed the fear of Roman persecution once and for all.2

Other causes for anti-Jewish sentiment in early Christian writings also come from the actual experience of the early Church. First, there was frustration because the Jews refused to accept Christian apologetic and enter the Church en masse. In rejecting Christian arguments the Jewish communities by their very existence became a reminder that the Christian message was less than convincing.3 Secondly, those Christians who chose to remain within Jewish communities experienced a growing hostility on the part of their fellow Jews. By the end of the first century they found themselves forced out of the synagogues.4 Finally, especially in the second century and later, Christians and Jews were competing for acceptance in a world dominated by pagans. In cities like Sardis of Asia Minor where Christians faced sizeable Jewish minorities, there was a struggle for social, economic and political status.5

Understanding why the New Testament is often anti-Jewish does not excuse us from removing the effects of such anti-Jewishness today. Leaving aside the question of Scripture and historical accuracy, one can hardly deny that the public reading of certain New Testament passages perpetuates distorted views of our Jewish neighbors. We should not continue to broadcast such views before congregations who are generally ready to accept Scripture quite uncritically. The problem of such readings is not going to be resolved by new translations. The anti-Jewish passages within the New Testament are extensive enough to "translate" them out would involve the complete rewriting of much that we hold sacred.

A particular problem surrounds the Holy Week services in most churches. It is both customary and fitting to read about our Lord's Passion at this time. Unfortunately the Passion narratives contain some of the most pronounced anti-Jewish parts of the New Testament. They all place the primary responsibility for the crucifixion squarely upon the Jews, and one cannot avoid this distortion of what actually took place6 through any editing of a minor nature.

One way to avoid the anti-Jewish tone of the Biblical Passion narratives is to read in their place a new, liturgical Passion narrative. Such a practice has liturgical precedent. In various Christian Eucharistic liturgies it is traditional to recite the story of the Last Supper in a version that follows no one Biblical account. In Roman Catholic and other liturgies the Passion and the Exodus stories appear in the Exultet, the Paschal Proclamation sung on Easter Even; but the wording is non-Biblical. Similarly one might use a Holy Week liturgy with a Passion narrative that is generally faithful to Scripture but which does not reproduce the version of any particular Gospel.

Such a liturgical reading should in no way be construed as a factual, historical reconstruction. Theological considerations and rhetorical considerations should play a part as well as historical ones. Moreover, a strictly historical reconstruction of what happened during the last days of Jesus on earth is not possible. One reason is that the Biblical Passion narratives were formed and transmitted by Christians; yet according to these very narratives several events in the Passion took place with none of Jesus' followers present. Such events include Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane, the session before the High Priest, and the trial before Pilate. In fact, Jesus was alone during the prayer; and much of the trial before Pilate, as reported in the Fourth Gospel, transpired privately. The motivating forces behind the narratives were not primarily historical but theological and apologetic. Those who formed the narratives began with what they knew, added what they believed, and put the whole together in the conviction that God had vindicated Jesus through the Resurrection. Then, as the traditions grew, they reflected the experiences of those who transmitted them. These experiences included conflict with Israel and persecution from Rome.

The liturgical Passion narrative presented here uses the accounts of Matthew and Mark as a base. Matthew is the best Biblical Passion narrative for reading aloud. This rhetorical element is important. One of the reasons for reading any Passion narrative is to impress upon Christian worshipers the awful cost of God's atoning act, to transform them so that they may "have been united with [Christ] in the likeness of his death" (Rom. 6:5). When read well, Matthew most easily fulfills this requirement; and Mark is almost as effective. Mark is also important because it is probably the most ancient of the Gospels. Luke and John supply this liturgical Passion with additional material since in various places these Gospels preserve traditions which may well be more ancient than the parallel accounts in Mark.7

This liturgical Passion narrative necessarily omits some traditional Biblical material. Certain omissions result from the fact that the various Gospel Passion narratives appear in places to contradict each other. In some cases it is necessary to choose one account and omit details in the other. Further omissions have been necessary to keep the narrative short enough for a full reading within a single liturgical service. These omissions generally consist of passages which critics commonly regard as editorial work by the individual evangelists.

Special care has been exercised with passages that relate directly to Jewish participation in the Passion. The narrative attempts to provide an interpretation of such passages so that those who hear them read will understand the events as a knowledgeable, first-century Palestinian follower of Jesus might have understood them.

As an alternative for a Biblical Passion narrative, this new, liturgical version may be read either at a single reading or in segments. One may choose to read various sections at different services. Where custom or rubric makes it unwise to omit the reading of a Biblical Passion, it would be fitting to read this Passion as an interpretation or use it along with the notes as a basis for an interpretive homily.




It was two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread.8 The religious leaders who collaborated with the Roman occupation were conspiring against Jesus.9 They had gathered in the palace of Caiaphas the High Priest.l0 This man had received the High Priesthood at the hands of Valerius Gratus, the former Roman governor,11 and now retained the office under Pontius Pilate.12 They all were planning to arrest and destroy Jesus quietly so as to avoid a popular revolt among the Jews.13


At this time Jesus was lodging at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper.14 While he was there, a woman approached and anointed him with an alabaster jar of pure nard.15 When his disciples saw the act, they were outraged. "Why this waste?" they demanded. "Such costly ointment might have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." Jesus responded, "Why do you bother the woman? The poor are always with you. Indeed I tell you that, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will be told in her memory."


Then one of the Twelve named Judas Son of Simon the Iscariot16 went to the chief priests and asked, "What will you give me if I deliver Jesus to you for the governor?''17 When they heard the offer, they were glad and promised Judas thirty pieces of silver.18 From that hour he sought an opportunity to betray Jesus.19



At the beginning of the feast, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed.20 The disciples of Jesus approached him and asked, "Where do you wish us to prepare the Paschal meal?"21 Jesus took two of his disciples and instructed them, "Go into the city, and you will see there a man carrying a water jar.22 He will show you a suitable place." The two did as Jesus commanded. They entered the city where they found the man with the water jar, who brought them to a large upper room.


When evening had come, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.23 While they were eating, he said, "I tell you truly that one of you is going to betray me.' The disciples were stunned with grief and began to protest one after the other, "Surely not I!" Jesus replied, "The betrayer is one of you dipping his hand in the dish with me.24 The Son of Man25 is fulfilling Scripture, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed." Then Judas slipped out into the night.26


As they were eating, Jesus took bread. After reciting the blessing.27 he broke it28 and gave it to his disciples as he said, "Take, eat; this is my body.''29 Then taking the cup30 with the traditional blessing,31 he gave it to his disciples as he said, "This is my blood of the covenant which is being shed for many. I tell you in truth that I shall not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it fresh in the Kingdom of God.32 Then, having sung a hymn, they left the city for the Mount of Olives.


As they walked, Jesus said to his disciples, "You will all desert me this very night. So it is written in the Prophet Zechariah, 'Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered."33 Then Peter protested, "Though all desert, I will remain by you." Jesus replied, "I tell you truly that in this very night, before the cock crows twice, you shall deny me three times." Still Peter maintained, "Even though I must die with you, I will never deny you"; and so declared all the disciples.34


Jesus halted at an olive grove called Gethsemane.35 Then going apart with Peter, James, and John, he left them on watch36 and continued a little further alone. There he fell on his face in anguished prayer.37 Soon he returned to the three on watch and found them sleeping. Rousing them, he asked Peter, "Could you not watch with me for just one hour? Watch and pray that you are not put to the test; for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.38 Again Jesus went apart in troubled prayer; and again he returned to find the disciples sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. A third time Jesus withdrew to pray, and a third time he found the disciples sleeping. Then Jesus said, "Sleep on and finish your rest. Now is the time for the Son of Man39 to be delivered into the hands of sinners. Here comes my betrayer.40


Jesus had not finished speaking before Judas, one of his own disciples, arrived with a group of Roman soldiers and other armed men from the Temple.41 Now the betrayer had arranged with the authorities for a sign and had said, "The man whom I kiss is the one you want." In accord with this arrangement Judas went directly to Jesus and cried out, "Greetings, Master." Then he gave him the kiss. Jesus responded, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man42 with a kiss?'

Immediately the soldiers laid hands on Jesus and held him fast. Then one of the disciples with Jesus drew his sword43 and cut off an ear from the slave44 of the High Priest; but Jesus said to him, "Sheathe your sword. All who take up the sword will perish by the sword. Do you not know that I can call upon my Father and that he will respond at once with more than twelve legions of angels?" Then turning to the mob, Jesus continued, "Have you come for me as against a rebel bandit45 with swords and clubs? Why did you not seize me in the Temple, where I sat teaching by day?46 Were you so afraid of the Jewish people that you must come for me by stealth? Nevertheless, your actions are fulfilling the words of the prophets."47 Then all of his disciples forsook him and fled.


Those who had seized Jesus brought him to Caiaphas, whom the Romans had made a High Priest.48 Peter followed at a distance as far as the courtyard. There he sat with the attendants and warmed himself by the fire.49 The High Priest had gathered his whole council,50 and they began to arrange the case against Jesus which they would present to Pontius Pilate the governor,51 The charge was that Jesus claimed to be King of the Jews52 and they brought in many false witnesses, but to no avail. Finally two came forward and testified, "We heard this man say, 'I will tear down53 this temple made with hands and within three days build another not made with hands.’"54 The testimony was evidence that Jesus claimed an authority over Temple affairs which traditionally belonged only to the rulers of Israel,55 and in those days Israel was ruled from Rome.56 Yet even these witnesses were unable to agree on their testimony.57

Finally Caiaphas stood up and examined Jesus directly. "Have you no answer to these charges?" demanded the High Priest.58 Jesus remained silent and answered nothing.59 Then the High Priest put the question of kingship in terms of the royal titles "Anointed"60 and "Son of God.61 "Are you the Anointed one, the Son of the Blessed?''62 he probed. Jesus answered, "I am,63 and you shall see the Son of Man64 seated on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven."65 The High Priest turned and said, "What need have we of witnesses? He has condemned himself.66 They all concurred that Jesus was indeed worthy of death.67

Then those holding Jesus began to spit on him. They covered his face and were striking him as they taunted him and said, "O Anointed One, prophesy who it is who is striking you.68



Now Peter was warming himself in the courtyard when a small slave girl entered.69 She confronted Peter and said, "You also were with this Jesus the Nazarene."70 Peter quickly gave a denial. "I do not know what you are talking about," he replied and went outside into the gateway. Meanwhile the cock crowed.71 The slave girl followed Peter out and said to the bystanders, "This man is one of them." Again Peter denied knowing Jesus.72 After a little while the bystanders said directly to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you speak with a Galilean accent." Then Peter began to swear with an oath, "I do not know this person of whom you are speaking"; but the cock interrupted him as it crowed for the second time. Immediately Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." He went out and wept bitterly.


When morning arrived,73 all of the chief priests, along with the other Roman collaborators,74 bound Jesus and delivered him over to Pontius Pilate, the imperial Roman governor.75 When Judas saw what was happening, he knew that Jesus was doomed, and he repented. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and confessed, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood." "What is that to us," they responded, "That is your affair." Judas threw down the thirty pieces of silver in the Temple. Then he went out and hanged himself. Picking up the silver pieces, the chief priests said, "It is unlawful to put this silver into the treasury; for it is blood money." Whereupon they used the money to buy the potter's field for the burial of strangers.76 Therefore, that field is known to this day as the Field of Blood.77



Jesus stood before the Roman governor78 as the accusers made their charge. "We found this man perverting our nation," they said. "He was forbidding us to pay taxes to the Emperor and proclaiming himself Anointed King.''79 The governor asked, "Are you the King of the Jews?"80 Jesus answered, "You say so."81 The chief priests were accusing him of many things. Therefore, Pilate again spoke to Jesus. "Have you no answer to give?" he asked. "Look at how many accusations they are making!" Jesus astonished Pilate by remaining silent."82


At that festival the governor used to release a prisoner83 and some were urging Pilate to do so at this time. Now there was a notable rebel in prison with those who had committed murder during the insurrection.84 His name was Jesus Barabbas.85 Therefore, the chief priests arranged a demonstration to demand Barabbas.86 Pilate asked them, "Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus the Anointed One?" The demonstrators shouted, "Barabbas!" Pilate responded, "What shall I do then with Jesus the Anointed One?" The crowd shouted, "Crucify him!" Pilate continued, "Are you certain of his guilt?' The crowd took up the chant, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Again Pilate spoke: "Shall I crucify your king?" "We have no king but Caesar," cried the demonstrators.87 Then Pilate agreed to release Jesus Barabbas, but Jesus the Anointed King he handed over to his soldiers for scourging 88 and crucifixion.89



The soldiers led Jesus away within the governor's palace.90 There they assembled the whole battalion. They clothed Jesus in royal purple. They set a crown of thorns upon his head and shoved a reed between his fingers for a scepter. They began to mock him by kneeling before him and proclaiming, "Hail, King of the Jews." They also spat upon him and smote him on the head with a stick. Then, after mocking him, they took away the purple, returned his own clothes, and brought him out to crucify him.91


On the road they met an African of Cyrene named Simon coming in from the countryside. Him they compelled to carry the cross.92 They brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means "skull").93 There they crucified him.94 It was nine in the morning.95 They offered him wine mingled with myrrh96 but he refused it. His garments they divided among themselves, casting lots for them.97 Over his head they inscribed the charge against him, "The King of the Jews.98 Also there were two insurrectionists99 crucified with him, one to his right and one to his left. Those who passed by were shaking their heads in derision and saying, "So you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Save yourself. Come down from the cross." Likewise the priestly collaborators mocked him as they said to one another, "He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let the Anointed One, the King of Israel, come down from the cross that we may see and believe.''100 Even the two crucified with him reviled him.101



Now from midday there was darkness over the whole land until three in the afternoon.102 At that hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema shevaqtani!"103 words that mean, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"104 Some of the bystanders said, "Look, he is calling for Elijah."105 One of them put a sponge full of vinegar on a stick and laid it to his lips.106 Others said, "Wait! Let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down." Then Jesus, having uttered a loud cry, breathed his last breath.107



Suddenly the curtain of the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom.108 The earth shook, and the rocks were split. Even the tombs of the dead were opened.109 Now, when the centurion on watch and the others who were with him saw all that was taking place, they were filled with awe and said, "This man truly was God's royal son!110



1. Pontius Pilate, who governed Judaea A. D. 26-36, was hardly the type of person to yield to such Jewish pressure. Philo, Leg ad Gaium, xxxviii, 301, describes him as follows: "He was naturally unbending, and along with being stubborn he was cruel." See Josephus, Jewish War, 2:9:2-4 (169-177); Antiquities, 18:3:1-2 (55-62); 18:4:1-2 (85-89). See also P. Winter, On the trial of Jesus, 2nd ed. rev. by T. A. Burkill and G. Vermes ("Studia Judaica," 1; Berlin: De Gruyter, 1974), pp. 70-76; J. G. Sobosan, "The Trial of Jesus,' Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 10 (1973), pp. 70ff.; G. S. Sloyan, Jesus on Trial (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1973), pp. 26-30; H. Cohn, The Trial and Death of Jesus (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), pp. 7-17, 168f.; W. R. Wilson, The Execution of Jesus (New York: Scribner's, 1970), pp. 16-22, 131f.; S. G. F. Brandon, Jesus and the Zealots ([New York]: Scribner's, 1967), pp. 1-5, 68-80, 260f.; S. Sandmel, "Pilate, Pontius," The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. III (Nashville: Abingdon, 1962), pp. 811-813; J. Isaac, Jesus and Israel, ed. by C. H. Bishop and trans, by S. Gran (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971), pp. 314ff. Against this widely-accepted view of Pilate, see J. Blinzler, The Trial of Jesus, trans, by I. and F. McHugh (Westminster, Md.: Newman, 1959), pp. 177-184, who argues that Jews like Philo and Josephus would have been biased against the governor and that on one occasion Pilate did yield to the pressure of a dangerous situation.

2. The progress of this exaggeration is traced in detail by Winter, pp. 77-89. See also Wilson, pp. 75-84. For a full study of one part of the progress, see P. W. Walaskay, "The Trial and death of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke," Journal of Biblical Literature, 94 (1975), pp. 81-93. For an attempt to minimize the apologetic interests of the Evangelists, see Blinzler, pp. 40-44.

3. Paul (Rom. 11:26) still hoped for the mass conversion of Israel, but later writers stress the theme of Jewish rejection. For example, see Acts 13:42-14:6, 19; 18:5-17; etc. See also R. R. Ruether, Faith and Fratricide ("Crossroad Book"; New York: Seabury, 1974), pp. 65-116.

4. See D. R. E. Hare, The Theme of Jewish Persecution of Christians in the Gospel according to St. Matthew ("SNTS Monograph Series," 6; Cambridge Univ. Press, 1967), pp. 19-79; E. H. Flannery, The Anguish of the Jews ("Quest Books"; New York: Macmillan, 1965), pp. 25-34; J. Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue (New York: Hermon, 1974), pp. 71-120.

5. Much evidence of this struggle on the part of Jews comes from Egypt. See V. A. Tcherikover, A. Fuks, and M. Stern, Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum, 3 vols (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard, 1957-1964), vol. l, pp. 48-93, vol. 2, pP. 25-107. Especially revealing is the letter of Claudius to the Alexandrians (vol. 2, pp. 36-55), in which the Emperor decrees exactly which social rights are permitted the Alexandrian Jews and which are not permitted. Another city with an influential Jewish population was Sardis of Asia Minor, where Melito delivered his Paschal Homily with its diatribes against the Jews toward the end of the second century. So R. L. Wilken, "Melito and the Sacrifice of Isaac," Theological Studies, 37(1976), pp. 53-58. In general see idem, "Judaism in Roman and Christian Society," Journal of Religion, 47(1967), pp. 313-330.

6. Most of the recent critical studies of the Passion would agree that the Gospels have exaggerated the Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion to a greater or less extent. The most notable exception is Blinzler. For a survey of contemporary views on the Passion, see the series of short articles by Cohn, M. S. Enslin, D. Flusser, R. M. Grant, Brandon, Blinzler, Sloyan, and Sandmel in Judaism, 20(1971), pp. 6-74. For a survey of interpretations of the Passion over the past century and half, see Blinzler, Trial, pp. 8-21. See also Wilson, pp. 215-226, for a critique of the views of Blinzler, Winter, and Brandon.

7. That Mark is the oldest Gospel and a source for at least Matthew and Luke is still generally accepted. See W. G. Kummel, Introduction to the New Testament, rev. ed., trans, by H. C. Kee (Nashville: Abingdon, 1975), pp. 38-50. In regard to the Passion narratives, the situation is more complex. Perhaps a majority of critics still regard Mark as the primary source. See, e.g., Blinzler, "Passionsgeschehen und Passionsbericht des Lukesevangeliums," Bibel und Kirche, 24(1969), pp. 14. However, several recent critical studies have argued for the importance of an ancient tradition, independent of Mark, preserved in Luke. So Sloyan, pp. 89-109; V. Taylor, The Passion Narrative of St. Luke, ed. by O. E. Evans ("SNTS Monograph Series," 19; Cambridge Univ. Press, 1972); D. R. Catchpole, The Trial of Jesus("Studia Post-Biblica," 18; Leiden: Brill, 1971), pp. 153-220; Winter, "The Treatment of his Sources by the Third Evangelist in Luke XXI-XXIV," Studia Theologica, 8(1955), pp. 138-172; and G. Schneider, Verleugnung, Verspottung und Verhor Jesu nach Lukas 22:54-71 ("Studies zum AuNT," 22; Munich: Kbsel, 1969); but cf. idem, "Das Problem einer vorkanonischen Passionserzahlung," Biblische Zeitschrift, 19(1972), pp. 222-244, where he regards the question of a pre-Lucan passion narrative as unresolved.

The Fourth Gospel probably is independent of the others and preserves some independent traditions. See C. H. Dodd, Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1963); P. Gardner-Smith, St. John and the Synoptic Gospels (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1938). Particularly on the chronology of the Passion many prefer the Johannine account (13:1; 18:28; 19:14), which sets the crucifixion on the eve of Passover and the Last Supper on the preceding evening. For a survey of some scholarly opinion on the subject, see G. Ogg, "The Chronology of the Last Supper," Historicity and Chronology in the New Testament ("Theol. Collections," 6; London, SPCK, 1965), pp. 75-92. and Blinzler, Trial, pp. 75-80, both of whom prefer the Johannine dating. Cf. J. Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, trans. N. Perrin (New York: Scribner's, 1966), pp. 15-105, who follows the Synoptic Gospels.

8. Mk. 14:1 // Mt. 26:2. Lk. 22:1 and perhaps Jn. 11:55 simply place the time shortly before Passover. The particular Passover would necessarily have fallen during Pilate's governorship, from A. D. 26 to sometime before Passover in A. D. 36. See Josephus, Antiquities, 18:4:2f. (88-90). In attempting to fix the year more closely, many chronologers turn to astronomy. See Ogg, pp. 92-96, R. Rusk, "The Day He Died," Christianity Today, 18 (1974), pp. 720-722.

9. The group would have been dominated by members of the Priestly aristocracy, who were comfortably pro-Roman. See E.M. Smallwood, "High Priests and Politics in Roman Palestine," Journal of Theological Studies, 13(1962), pp. 22-29; R. M. Grant, "The Trial of Jesus in the Light of History," Judaism, 20 (1971), pp. 41 f. Surprisingly, the Synoptic versions of the Passion hardly mention the Pharisees. The one exception is Mt. 27:62, which is usually regarded as a relatively late legendary addition. So Sloyan, pp. 16f.; · Wilson, pp. 101-104, 108f.; Winter, Trial, pp. 174-183. This absence of Pharisees is particularly significant because the Pharisees were more representative of what Judaism became than any other Jewish group of the day. But cf. Blinzler, Trial, pp. 51-58, who argues that the Pharisees would have been involved in the Passion even if not specifically mentioned. The absence of Pharisees from the Synoptic Passion narratives stands in marked contrast to Jesus' Galilean ministry where the Gospels portray the sect as his main opposition: however, the opposition should not be exaggerated. Cf. Cohn, pp. 38ff. The Synoptic Gospels represent Jesus as being quite Pharisaic in his teaching; and Winter, Trial, pp. 158-I 89, can even argue that "Jesus was a Pharisee" (p. 186). It is quite likely that the Gospel portrait of the Pharisees reflects the struggle of the early Church against this sect as much as it reflects the situation in the time of Jesus. So. e. g., Winter, Trial, pp. 170f.; W. D. Davies, The Setting of the Sermon on the Mount (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1964).

10. Mt. 26:3; Jn. 11:49.

11. He was governor from A. D. 15 to A. D. 26. See also below, n. 17.

12. High Priests had been politically appointed for well over two centuries. Very often they obtained the office through a bribe. According to Rabbi Judah b. Ilai (c. A. D. 150), "Because one gives mammon for the [High] Priesthood, they make a change in it every twelve months" ( Yoma 8b, bar.) The tradition exaggerates, but not excessively. According to Josephus, Antiquities, 20:1:5 (250), in the 107 years from the times of Herod to the fall of Jerusalem there were twenty-eight High Priests. Antiquities, 8:2:2 (34f.), indicates that none of the three High Priests who preceded Caiaphas held office for more than a year. During the 107-year period the nineteen-year term of Caiaphas was the longest by seven years (Blinzler, Trial, p. 91), a fact that certainly demonstrates his ability to please the Roman administration. As a symbol of Roman authority, the various governors retained custody of the High Priest's official vestments from A. D. 6 to 36. See Josephus, Antiquities, 15:11:4 (403-408); 18:4:3 (90-95); 20:l:lf. (6-9); Winter, Trial, pp. 21-26. The major protest against the abuse of the High Priesthood seems to have come from the Essenes, who may have instituted their partial Temple boycott when the Maccabees refused to reestablish the proper Zadokite line. See J. Murphy-O'Connor, "The Essenes and their History," Revue Biblique, 81 (1974), pp. 228-238.

13. Mt. 26:1-5/ Mk. 14:1-2/ Lk. 22:1-2; Mt. 11:18/Lk. 19:47f.; Jn. 11:47-53.

14. Mt. 26:6 / / Mk. 14:3; Lk. 7:36-50. The fact that this Simon is otherwise unknown suggests that the identification of his house is historical. So J. Finegan, Die Uberlieferung der Liedens- und Auferstehungsgeschichte (Giessen: TiSpelmann, 1934), pp. 63f. Cf. Jn. 12:Iff., according to which the anointing took place at the house of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. Mk. 1l: 19 may possibly carry the suggestion that Jesus was staying at Bethany each night because Jerusalem was dangerous for him without the multitude that surrounded him by day. Cf. Jn. 11:54.

15. Originally this act may have been a royal anointing as in I Sam. 16: 1-13. Since any royal claims for Jesus during his ministry could have invited Roman persecution upon the early Church (see above, p. 1), the evangelists have given Jesus' anointing other interpretations. Mt. 26:12// Mk. 14:8 interpret the act as an anointing for burial. According to Lk. 7:38, the woman anoints Jesus' feet in a different setting as a gesture of devotion. In Jn. 12:3 also, Jesus is anointed on the feet. See J. K. Elliott, "The Anointing of Jesus," Expository Times, 85(1974), pp. 105-107. Cf. D. Daube, The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism ("Jordan Lectures," 1952; London: Athlone Press, 1956), pp. 310-324, for a detailed interpretation of the anointing in terms of Christian apologetic about Jesus' burial.

16. On the name, see Jn. 6:71; 13:2, 26; R. E. Brown, The Gospel according to John, 2 vols. ("Anchor Bible," 29 & 29a; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1966-70), vol. 1, pp. 298f.; vol. 2, p. 550. "Iscariot" may have been an Aramaic rendering of the Latin Sicarius, which in Jesus' day would have denoted an assassin or member of a guerrilla group. So O. Cullmann, "Le douzieme apotre," Revue d'Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses, 42(1962), pp. 133-140. For other possible interpretations, see C. C. Torrey, "The Name 'Iscariot,'" Harvard Theol. Review, 36(1943), pp. 51-62. See also Brown, vol. 1, p. 298.

17. "Governor" as in Mt. 27:2-27; 28:14, not "procurator" as in Tacitus, Annals, 15:44. Pilate's proper Latin title would have been praefectus. So A. H. M. Jones, Studies in Roman Government and Law (New York: Praeger, 1960), pp. 117ff.; A. N. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament ("Sarum Lectures," 1960-61; New York: Oxford, 1963), pp. 6-12; J. J. O'Rourke, "Roman Law and the Early Church," The Catacombs and the Colosseum, ed. by S. Benko and O'Rourke, (Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson, 1971), p. 169; Sloyan, pp. 22f.

18. Only Matthew, 26:15; 27:5 mentions the amount, a figure probably deduced from Zechariah 11:13f., which the evangelist cites in 27:9f. under the name of Jeremiah. So R. Bultmann, The History of Synoptic Tradition, trans, by J. Marsh (Oxford: Blackwell, 1963), p. 263. See also below, n. 77.

19. Just what Judas would do to betray Jesus is unclear. The traditional view is that Judas showed the authorities where they could arrest Jesus quietly. So, e. g., Wilson, pp. 104-106; T. W. Manson, The Servant-Messiah (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1953), p. 86; Blinzler, Trial, pp 58f. Others suggest that Judas revealed Jesus' secret messianic claims. So A. Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, trans, by W. Montgomery (New York: Macmillan, 1950), pp. 396f.; G. A. Barton, "On the Trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin," Journal of Biblical Literature, 41(1932), p. 208. For more speculative suggestions, see Blinzler, Trial, p. 59.

20. Mk. 14:12// Mt. 26:17// Lk. 22:7. The present version follows the chronology of the Synoptic Gospels, according to which the Last Supper was a Passover meal. See above, n. 7. The Johannine dating, according to which Jesus' death and the Passover Sacrifice coincide, may well have resulted from the early Christian designation of Jesus as the Paschal Lamb. See I Cor. 5:7; probably Jn. 19:36; and perhaps Jn. 1:29, 36. See also I Pet. 1:19; Rev. 5:6-12; 12:11; Jeremias, pp. 82f., 222f. On Jn. 19:36, see Brown, vol. 2, pp. 937f., 953. On Jn. 1:29, 36, see ibid., vol. 1, pp. 58-63; E. E. May, Ecce Agnus Dei! ("Catholic Univ. of Amer. Studies in Sacred Theol.," ser. 2, no. 5; Washington: Catholic Univ. Press, 1947), especially pp. 75f.

The wording here interprets Mk. 14:12: "On the first day of Unleavened Bread when they sacrificed the Passover Lamb." According to modem Western reckoning the initial evening meal of unleavened bread falls on the same day as the afternoon Passover sacrifice. According to Jewish reckoning, with each new day beginning at sunset, the two events fall on different days.

21. For a survey of some alternatives to the Last Supper being a Passover Meal, see Jeremias, pp. 26-36. See also above, nn. 7, 8, 20. Understanding the Last Supper as a Passover meal should not imply that this meal was identical with a modern Jewish Seder or even an ancient Seder after the fall of Jerusalem in A. D. 70. In Jesus' day Passover was largely a Temple rite and had to be celebrated in Jerusalem. So Dt. 16:1-8, 16. At that time only those with the will and the strength for a journey to Jerusalem might celebrate the full festival. After A. D. 70, when there was no more Temple, Paschal sacrifices ceased; and the meal was eaten at home. It became a family celebration.

22. Mk. 14:13/ Lk. 22:10. According to M.-J. Lagrange, Evangile selon Saint Marc ("Etudes Bibliques"; Paris: Gabalda, 1966), p. 373, a man with a water jar would have stood out in a crowd. While women commonly carried water in jars, men used leather bottles.

23. "The Twelve" seems to have been a technical term that referred to a group more restricted than "the apostles." Paul was an apostle; he was never one of the Twelve. This group was well established in the pre-Pauline Church and was known as the Twelve even when the group only had eleven members. See how "the Twelve" is used in a creedal formula which Paul is citing in I Cor. 15:5-7.

24. Mt. 26:23/ Mk. 14:20; cf. Lk.22:21. On the ancient etiquette of this common Near-East custom, see Berakhot, 47a. Bultmann, p. 264, and others argue from Pesahim, l15b, that, contrary to Mt. and Mk., there was no common dish at Passover; but cf. Jeremias, pp. 67f., 70f., according to whom the common Passover dish was abandoned for separate dishes long after the time of Jesus, perhaps in the third century or later.

25. "Son of Man" appears with three meanings in the Synoptic Gospels but always on the lips of Jesus: (1) as one now at work, (2) as one suffering death and rising again, and (3) as one yet to come. The usages here (Mk. 14:21//Mt. 26:24// Lk. 22:22) and below in parags. VIII (Mk. 14:41/ Mt. 26:45) and IX (Lk. 22:48) fall in group two. The usage in parag. X (Mk. 14:62/ Mt. 26:64/ Lk. 22:69) represents group three. There is little doubt that in groups one and two "Son of Man" is a self-designation of Jesus although whether these sayings came from the Master himself is often questioned. The last group contains at least some sayings in which "Son of Man" appears to refer to an apocalyptic figure other than Jesus (e. g., Mt. 10:23; Mk. 8:38/Lk. 9:26) and seems to reflect an original use by him. Later, when the early Church identified the risen Lord with this figure, other apocalyptic Son-of-Man sayings entered the tradition and assumed this identification. The saying in parag. X is generally included among these secondary sayings although the verse would make sense if the Son of Man here was not Jesus. In that case the sense would be that the Son of Man is about to come and vindicate Jesus.

In regard to the Jewish background for "Son of Man," there is little scholarly agreement. In particular there are questions whether the use of "Son of Man" to mean 'I' (as in group one) existed in first-century, Palestinian Aramaic and whether "Son of Man" was the title of an apocalyptic figure in pre-Christian Judaism. See J. A. Fitzmyer, "The Contribution of Qumran Aramaic to the Study of the New Testament," New Testament Studies, 20(I 973/74), pp. 396f.; B. Lindars, "Re-Enter the Apocalyptic Son of Man," New Testament Studies, 22(1975/76), pp. 52-72. See also W. O. Walmer, "The Origin of the Son of Man Concept as Applied to Jesus," Journal of Biblical Literature, 91 (I 972), pp. 482-490.

For a survey of recent research on the Son of Man, see H. Boers, "Where Christology is Real," Interpretation, 26 (1972), pp. 302-315. See also C. Colpe, "Der Begriff 'Menschensohn' und die methode der Erforschung messian-ischer Prototypen," Kairos, 11(1969), pp. 241-263; 12(1970), pp. 81-112; 13(1971), pp. 1- 17; 14(1972), pp. 241-257; O. Michel, "Der Menschensohn in der Jesusiiberlieferung," Theologische Beitriige, 2(1971), pp. 119-128; I. H. Marshall, "The Synoptic Son of Man Sayings in Recent Discussion," New Testament Studies, 12(1965/66), pp. 327- 351.

26. See Jn. 13:30 "Then having received the morsel, that man went out at once; and it was night." For John the darkness stands for evil (as in 1:5). See also below, n. 102.

27. Jewish blessings at meals were highly structured. See J. Neusner, Invitation to the Talmud (New York: Harper and Row, 1973). Today the traditional blessing over the bread is, "Blessed art thou, O lord our God, King of the universe, who bringest forth bread from the earth." On Passover it is followed by a second blessing: "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us concerning the eating of unleavened bread."

28. On breaking the bread after the blessing, See Jeremias, p. 68

29. The oldest form of the words is probably that of Mark. So Jeremias, pp. 189-191. To the Marcan version the present narrative adds the word "eat" from Matthew because of its familiarity from our Eucharistic liturgies.

The words may have been said over the Aphi.koman. See Pesahim, 10:8; 119b; TPesahim, 10:1 I. Traditionally the atphikoman is explained as a Greek word meaning "after-dinner entertainment"; but another meaning is suggested by Melito of Sardis, Paschal Homily, 66 (467), 86 (642), who in the second century used the Greek participle aphikomenos (= "he that cometh") as a designation of Christ. For a Jew aphikomenos (=aphikoman in the Hebrew without the Greek ending) could signify the expected Messiah. Therefore, in the pre-70 Passover meal, when Jewish messianic speculation was still rife, the Aphikoman may well have symbolized a messianic presence at the feast; and the words of Jesus, "This is my body," would have meant, "I am he that cometh." A very similar view has been suggested by Daube in lectures at the Middle-Atlantic sectional meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in the spring of 1971 at Drew University and also at St. Paul's, London, under the auspices of the London Diocesan Council for Christian-Jewish Understanding in October of 1966. For a description of Daube's position, see T. Corbishley, One Body, One Spirit (London: Faith, 1973), pp. 22ff.

30. On a common cup at Passover, see Jeremias, pp. 69f.

31. The traditional Jewish blessing over the cup is, "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who createst the fruit of the vine." Cf. the early Christian blessing in the Didache, 9:1: "We thank thee, O our Father, for the Holy Vine of David .... "See also above, n. 27.

32. According to Jeremias, pp. 207-218, these words may contain an avowal of abstinence; but cf. J. A. Ziesler, "The Vow of Abstinence: A Note on Mark 14:25 and Parallels," Colloquium, 5(1972), pp. 12-14. The mention of drinking may allude to the hoped-for Messianic Banquet. See Is. 25:6; II Baruch, 29:4-8; 4 Ezra, 6:5 If.; I Enoch, 62:14; Mt. 8:11 / / Lk. 13:29; Lk. 14:15; 22:30; Rev. 19:9; H. L. Strack and P. Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (Munich: Beck, 1954-56), vol. 1, p. 992; vol. 4, pp. 1146f., 1154-1165. For a survey of the Kingdom-of-God debate, see N. Perrin, The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus ("NT Library," Philadelphia: Westminster, 1963); J. W. Thompson, "Recent Studies on the Basileia," Restoration Quarterly, 10(1967), pp. 211-216; R. H. Hiers, "Eschatology and Methodology," Journal of Biblical Literature, 85(1966), pp. 170-184. See also M. Smith, Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark (Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard, 1973), pp. 202-204.

The New Testament contains four major versions of the words over the bread and the cup: (1) Mk. 14:22-25 // Mt. 26:26-29, which appears in the present Passion narrative; (2) I Cor. 11:23-25, which is similar to the Mark // J Matthew text; (3) the shorter text of Lk. 22:15-19a, which is adopted in the New English Bible and which, like the Didache, 9:1-4, places the blessing of the cup before the blessing of the bread; and (4) the longer text of Lk. 22:15-20, which appears in many translations of the New Testament, including the Jerusalem Bible and the New American Bible, and which adds a second cup to the end of the Lucan shorter text. There is little agreement about which version is the earliest. Each version has its defenders, of whom the following are typical: For Mark // Matthew there is Jeremias, pp. 189-196. For I Corinthians see G. Bornkamm, "Herrenmahl und Kirche bei Paulus," New Testament Studies, 2(1955/56), pp. 202-206. For the shorter text of Luke, see D. Flusser, "The Last Supper and the Essenes," Immanuel, 2 (1972/73), pp. 23-27. For the longer text of Luke, see H. Schurmann, Quellenkritische Untersuchung der lukanischen Abendmahlberichtes Lk. 22:7-38, Vol II Der Einsetzungsbericht Lk. 22:19-20 ("Ntliche Abh.," 20:4; Miinster: Aschendorff, 1955), who would reconstruct a pre-Lucan source from vss. 19-20 alone. Specifically on the textual problem in Luke, see M. Rese, "Zur Problematik yon Kurz- und Langtext in Luk. 22:17ff.,' New Testament Studies, 22(1975/76), pp. 15-31, and A. BO0bus, "A New Approach to the Problem of the Shorter and Longer Text in Luke," New Testament Studies, 15(1968 / 69), pp. 457-463. The different versions of the Last Supper probably reflect varying liturgical practices among the early Christian communities. There is also some evidence of controversy among first-century Jews concerning the proper order for blessings at meals. See Berakhot, 8:8; 5 lb-52b; TBerakhot, 6:1 (Zuckermandel ed.); yBerakhot, 8:9 (12c)? Pesahim; 10:2; 114a; TPesahim, 10:2; yPesahim, 10:2 (37c); G. J. Bahr, "The Seder of Passover and the Eucharistic Words," Novum Testamenturn, 12(1970), pp. 181-202; Neusner, pp. 43, 83,217. On such a controversy and the Essenes, see Flusser, pp. 23f.

33. The quotation in Mk. 14:27 // Mt. 26:31 is slightly emended to agree with the Hebrew text of Zech. 13:7. The verse seems intended as an introduction to Peter's denial. See M. Wilcox, "The Denial-Sequence in Mark 14:26-31, 66-72," New Testament Studies, 17 (1970-71), pp. 426-436, according to whom the whole denial story is a later elaboration of Jesus' prophecy about his disciples' desertion and the citation from Zechariah.

34. The story of Peter's denial appears in two parts: Jesus' prophecy given here (Mk. 14:29-30// Mt. 26:33-35// Lk. 22:31-34// Jn. 13:36-38) and its fulfillment given below in parag. X1 (Mk. 14:66-72// Mt. 26:69-75// Lk. 22:66-72// Jn. 18:25-17). The evangelists differ over where exactly to place the denial within the passion narrative (Wilcox, p. 426) as well as over several details. See the comparative chart in Dodd, p. 85. Therefore, some critics argue for the literary independence of the versions in Luke (e. g., Catchpole, pp. 160-174; Bultmann, p. 269) and John (e. g., Dodd, pp. 83-88), although others still would derive all the versions from Mark (e.g., E. Linnemann, "Die verleugnung des Petrus," Zeitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche, 63[1966], pp. 22-25). Because there are even problems within a single account of the denial, C. Masson, "Le reniement de Pierre," Revue d'Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses, 37(1957), pp. 24-35, has suggested that Mark has mixed two sources. On the historicity of the denial, while some commentators affirm it (H. Merkel, "Peter's curse," The Trial of Jesus: Cambridge Studies in honor of C. F. D. Moule, ed. by E. Bammel ["Stud. in Bibl. Theol.," ser. 2, no. 13; London: SCM, 1970], pp. 66-71; P. Benoit, The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, trans, by B. Weatherhead [New York: Herder and Herder, 1969], pp 49-72; etc.), others have rejected the historicity of either the prophecy (e. g., W. E. Bundy, Jesus and the First Three Gospels [Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard, 1953], p. 504) or the act of denial (e. g., M. Goguel, "Did Peter Deny his Lord? A Conjecture," Harvard Theol. Review, 25[1932], pp. 1-17; Bultmann, pp. 266-269) or both (e. g., G. Klein, "Die Verleugnung des Petms," Zeitschrifift2r Theologie und Kirche, 58[ 1961 ], pp. 285-328; Wilcox, pp. 326-336; see Linnemann, pp. 1-32). On the use of this story within the early Church, see G. W. H. Lampe, "St. Peter's Denial," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 55(1973), pp. 346-368.

35. The name means "Oil Vat" or "Olive Press."

36. See below, n. 43

37. At this point the Synoptic Gospels record what Jesus prayed (Mk. 14:36//Mt. 26:39// Lk. 22:42). Since Jesus was alone at the time and was arrested immediately afterwards, it is unlikely that the prayer is what Jesus actually said. Rather, following ancient literary custom, Mark or his source composed a suitable prayer in order to add his theological conviction to the Passion story that Jesus went to his death in obedience to God's will. Matthew and Luke take over the prayer with slight changes; and according to a good number of early mss. Luke adds the details of the Agony (22:43f.)

38. Jesus' command may simply mean that the sleepy disciples are to pray that their ability to keep watch may not be put to the test. For another, more theological interpretation, see R. S. Barbour, "Gethsemane in the Tradition of the Passion," New Testament Studies, 16(1969/70), pp. 242-248.

39. See above, n. 25.

40. For a survey of source-critical studies on this section, see W. H. Kelber, "Mark 14:32-42: Gethsemane: Passion Christology and Discipleship Failure," Zeitschrift far die Neutestamenlliche Wissenschafi, 63(1972), pp. 166-187, especially, pp. 166-169. See also T. Lescow, "Jesus in Gethsemane," Evangelical Quarterly, 26(1960), pp. 141-159.

41. Jn. 18:3, 12, according to which Judas had with him the crowd, a cohort (speira) or soldiers, a centurion, and aides (huperetai) from the chief priests and Pharisees. The other Gospels mention neither cohort nor centurion. Most commentators agree that Jn. 18:3, 12 implies a Roman presence at the arrest although there are exceptions, including Blinzler, Trial, pp. 66-70, Catchpole, pp. 148-151, and Sloyan, p. 115, cf. p. 42. Opinion is divided on the historicity of the Roman presence. Some, including Wilson, pp. 107f., and E. Haenchen, "History and Interpretation in the Johannine Passion Narrative," Interpretation, 24(1970), pp. 198-219, regard the reference to a Roman presence as a theological addition. Many others see the reference as representing an early, reliable tradition. So Winter, Trial, pp. 60-67; Cullmann, Jesus and the Revolutionaries, trans, by G. Putnam (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), pp. 33f.; Dodd, pp. 73f., 81,120. For a survey of some important work on the subject, see R. Leistner, Antijudaismus im Johannesevangelium? ("Theologie und Wirklichkeit," 3; Bern: Lang, 1954), pp. 81-84. See also the listing of Cohn, p. 355, n. 11 to p. 78.

42. See above, n. 25.

43. Mk. 14:47//Mt. 26:51//Lk. 22:49f.//Jn. 18:10. The mention of the sword indicates that at least some of Jesus' disciples were armed. See also Lk. 22:35-38. The watch at Gethsemane consisted of armed men who were ready to use their weapons. See Brandon, pp. I0, 16, 203, 306f., 324, 240-342; Wilson, pp. 109f.; Smith, p. 249.

44. The word here is doulos, which means "slave," not "servant"; however, slavery in the ancient world was by no means a uniform institution. Slaves could rise to positions of responsibility in the master's house or business, and among the Jews slavery was often a temporary state to work off a debt. See Exod. 21:2-11; Lev. 25:39-55; Dt. 15:12-18; Mt. 18:23-35.

45. Mk. 14:48 // Mt. 26:55 // Lk. 22:52. The Greek word is lestes. Commonly translated "thief" or "robber," it can also denote a political insurrectionist. See Wilson, pp. 110f.; K. H. Rengstorf, "Lestes," Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. IV, trans, by G. W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), pp. 257-262; E. E. Jensen, "The First Century Controversy over Jesus as a Revolutionary Figure," Journal of Biblical Literature, 60(1941), p. 266. That Jesus was crucified with two lestes (below, parag. XVI: Mk. 15:27 // Mt. 27:38; Mt. 27:44) and that Barabbas, with whom he was tried, could also be called a lestes suggest that Jesus also might have seemed like a lestes to his enemies.

46. On the translation, "by day," see Winter, Trial, pp. 67-68.

47. Mk. 14:49 // Mt. 26:56. The evangelists may have in mind a passage like Is. 53: 3, 12; or they may be thinking in more general terms.

48. On the High Priesthood of Caiaphas, see above, parag. I, n. 12. According to Jn. 18:13-14, 19-24, those who arrested Jesus "first brought him to Annas; for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was High Priest for that year" (vs. 13). Later in vs. 19 Annas himself is called High Priest. Having questioned Jesus, Annas then sends him to Caiaphas, who also questions him. Peter's denials occur in both questionings. The problem of calling Annas High Priest, even though he had left the office in A. D. 15, is not serious. The title could have been honorary since Annas was a High Priest Emeritus. So Cohn, p. 25; Blinzler, Trial, p. 87; see E. Schurer, Geschichte des Jiidischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, Vol. II, 4th ed. (Leipzig: Hinrich, 1907), pp. 275-276. See also Lk. 3:2 and Acts 4:6 which also refer to Annas as High Priest. Another problem is that the questioning of Jesus before the two High Priests makes John disagree quite radically from the other Gospels. Various critics have tried literary solutions. For example, Winter, Trial, 47-53, who depends on J. Wellhausen, suggests that the original Vorlage of John mentioned Annas as the High Priest. Then a reviser introduced Caiaphas into the story. For other literary solutions, see Blinzler, Trial, pp. 86-89. The generally conservative Blinzler, Trial, pp. 81-164, prefers to harmonize the evidence.

49. Since Peter followed Jesus only as far as the courtyard and since the other disciples had fled, therefore the various accounts of what happened before the High Priest must be essentially literary creations. So H. Lietzmann, "Der Prozess Jesu," reprinted in Kleine Schriften, II: Studien zum Neuen Testament (Berlin, 1958), p. 254; E. Lohse, Die Geschichte des Liedens und Sterbens Jesu Christi (Gfitersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1964), p. 83; Wilson, pp. l19f.; S. Legasse, "Jesus devant le Sanhedrin," Revue Theologique de Louvain, 5(1974), p. 189. See Winter, Trial, p. 6. See also Bultmann, pp. 269f.; G. Graumann, "Markus 15:2-5 und Markus 14:55-64," Zeitschrifi far die Neutestamentliche Wissenschafi, 52(1961), pp. 273-278. For other writers with similar views, see Blinzler, Trial, p. 118, and Kummel, Promise and Fulfillment ("Stud. in Bibl. Theol.," 23; Naperville, Ill.: Allenson, 1957), p. 50. Blinzler and Kiimmel themselves, however, argue that the Christians could have found out about the proceedings from members of the council. Also relatively positive in his evaluation of the Biblical accounts of the proceedings is Schneider, "Gab es eine vorsynoptische Szene 'Jesus vor dem Synedrium"? Novum Testamenturn, 12 (1970), pp. 22-39. The present writer believes that, although the early Christians did not know exactly what happened before the High Priest, they were in a position to know what Jesus' opponents would have held against him. Therefore, while the accounts of the proceedings against Jesus may be literary creations, they contain informed guesses of what might have happened.

50. The Greek word for "council" is synedrion, which in Anglicized form becomes sanhedrin (Mk. 14:55 // Mt. 26:59; Mk. 15:1; Lk. 22:66; cf. Jn. 11:47). Interpreters traditionally assume that this sanhedrin was the full Jewish supreme court known in Rabbinic sources as the Bet Din haGadol. So, e. g., Blinzler, Trial, pp. 90-98; Cohn, pp. 25fi, 95. The problem with this identification is that what the Gospels report about the proceedings against Jesus differs considerably from what Rabbinic scholars regarded as standard in the second century, the period from which we must draw much of our evidence on the Sanhedrin. See S. Rosenblatt, "The Crucifixion of Jesus from the Standpoint of Pharisaic Law," Journal of Biblical Literature, 75(1956), pp. 317-319; R. H. Husband, The Prosecution of Jesus (Princeton Univ. Press, 1916), pp. 107-114; Winter, Trial, pp. 27ff. A possible solution to this difficulty is to stress the changes that could take place in the century during which the Sanhedrin passed from priestly to Rabbinic control. See, e. g., Blinzler, Trial, pp. 149-157, who also questions whether the Rabbinic criminal code was ever operative. Another solution is to argue that there were two sanhedrins, a supreme court and a political council, and the Jesus appeared before the political sanhedrin. So first A. Buchler, Das Synedrion itl Jerusalem und das grosse Beth-Din in der Quaderkamrner desjerusalem-ischen Tempels ("Jahresbericht der israelisch-theologischen Lehrenstalt in Wein," IX; Vienna, 1902); who is followed by S. Zeitlin, Who Crucified Jesus? 4th ed. (New York: Block, 1964), pp. 55, 72, 74, 156, 163, etc.; H. Mantel, Studies in the History of the Sanhedrin ("Harvard Semitic Ser.," 17; Cambridge: Harvard, 1965), pp. 54-101. For a survey of those who argue for from one to three sanhedrins, see Mantel, pp. 55-67. See also J. S. Kennard, "The Jewish Provincial Assembly," Zeitschrift far die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, 52(1962), pp. 25-51. The solution adopted in the present Passion narrative is that sanhedrin is a relatively common Greek term that can denote any council or similar group. For example, there was a sanhedrin of medical teachers in Ephesus. See J. T. Townsend, "Ancient Education," The Catacombs and the Colosseum, op. cit., p. 150. The council before which Jesus was brought might have been any group in Jerusalem, known to us or unknown, such as a small cabinet that regularly advised the High Priest.

Apart from the question of before which group Jesus actually appeared, it is likely that Luke depicts this group as the Great Sanhedrin; however, the evaluation of the Passion in Luke constitutes a special problem. See Blinzler, Trial, pp. 115-117, and above, n. 7. Either Luke or his source has smoothed out some of the contradictions between these proceedings and Rabbinic Sanhedrin procedure. For example, according to Lk. 22:66, the council does not meet with Jesus at night. See Catchpole, pp. 183-201; Winter, Trial, pp. 27-43; Sloyan, p. 95. It seems probable that this smoothing out of contradictions represents a conscious emendation by someone who believed that Jesus was tried before the Great Sanhedrin.

51. If Jesus was indeed brought before some council of advisers rather than before the Great Sanhedrin, the proceedings would have been more of an inquest than a trial. See Husband, pp. 14f., 102ff., 281; Mantel, p. 282; similarly Schneider, "Jesus vor dem Synedrium,' Bibel und Leben, 11(1970), pp. 1-15. For others who interpret the proceedings as an inquest, see Catchpole, pp. 236ff. The picture of such an inquest rather than of a trial appears most clearly in John 18:12f., 19-24. So Winter, Trial, pp. 42f. Cf. Cohn, pp. 94-141, who makes the surprising suggestion that the purpose of the hearing was to help Jesus in the coming ordeal before Pilate and perhaps save him.

52. This is the charge that the inquest forwarded to Pilate. It is a charge that fits in well with what immediately follows.

53. Cf. Mt. 26:61: "I am able to tear down...," a change in the wording of Mk. 14:58 that softens any anti-Temple implications. So Wilson, p. 49. See also Legasse, p. 180, according to whom Matthew is exhibiting his tendency to depict Jesus as refusing spectacular displays of power. Cf. Mt. 4:1-11; 26:53; 27:40.

54. Mark 14:56f., 59 declares the witnesses false as well as in disagreement. See below, n. 57. Mt. 26:60 does neither and allows the charge to stand. Matthew may have edited Mark in this way because he wrote after the destruction of the Temple in A. D. 70 (so G. D. Kilpatrick, The Trial of Jesus ["Friends of Dr. William's Library Lecture," 6(1952); Oxford Univ. Press, 1953], p. 10) or because he knew that Jesus had actually made such a prophecy. See Mk. 13:2// Mt. 24:2//Lk. 21:6; Mk. 13:14//Mt. 24:15; Mk. 15:29//Mt. 27:40; Jn. 2:19-22; cf. Mt. 23:37-39//Lk. 13:34f.; Lk. 19:39--44; Acts 6:14. See also the discussions of Sloyan, pp. 77-80, and Catchpole, pp. 126-130.

55. Throughout the Semitic world as well as among the Jews temple reform was a royal prerogative. See Jeremias, Jesus als Weltvollender ("Beitr. zur F/Srd. christi. Theol.," 33:4; Giitersloh: Bertelsmann, 1930), pp. 35-44; and similarly O. Betz, "Die Frage nach dem mesSianischen Bewusstseir/Jesu," Novurn Testamenturn, 6(1963), pp. 34ff. The Temple prophecy would not have been blasphemy as claimed by Kilpatrick, pp. l lf.; et al. Similar prophecies are found in Jeremiah 26:1:1-16 and from the first century in Josephus, Jewish War, 6:6:3 (300-309). In the later case the magistrates (archontes) brought the prophet, named Jesus Son of Ananias, to the Roman governor, who in this case declared the man insane.

56. See above, n. 12.

57. Such disagreement could have been relatively minor. While it rendered their testimony invalid under Jewish law, the disagreement need not mean that the testimony was essentially false. On the questioning of witnesses according to what is known from later Rabbinic practice, see Sanhedrin, 3:6; 4:5; 5:1-4, 30a-31 a, 37b, 40b42a, etc. On the importance of having at least two witnesses, see Mekhilta deRabbi Yishma'el on Exodus 23:4, Mishpatim 20 (p. 327 of the Horovitz-Rabin text): "Once Judah ben Tabbai [from the first century, B. C.] entered a ruin and found there a man slain with [his body] still quivering. There in the murderer's hand was the sword dripping blood! Judah ben Tabbai said to him, 'May evil befall me if one of us did not kill him, but what shall I do since according to Torah (Dt. 19:15) "a case is established on the basis of two witnesses..."? However, he who is [all-]knowing and is Master of [our] thoughts will punish that man.' He had not completely left there before a snake bit [the murderer], who [then] died." For parallel accounts, see TSanhedrin, 8:3 and Sanhe&in, 37a.

58. Failure to understand the political implications has led to a failure to understand the relation of the Temple testimony and the remainder of the hearing. See, e. g., Bultmann, p. 270. Luke avoids any misunderstanding by omitting the Temple testimony entirely. Cf. Lohse, p. 84; and Lietzmann, p. 225, both of whom believe that the Temple testimony has been misplaced. Similarly Schneider, Novurn Testamenturn, 12(1970), pp. 38f.

59. Perhaps Jesus's silence was seen as the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7. So Sloyan, pp. 58ff. On the difficult problem of the extent to which the New Testament writers depicted Jesus as the Suffering Servant in II Isaiah, see M. D. Hooker, Jesus and the Servant (Greenwich, Conn.: SeaburY, 1959), pp. 1-24 & passim: R. T. France, "The Servant of the Lord in the Teaching of Jesus," Tyndale Bulletin, 19(1968), pp. 26-52.

60. This title is equivalent to "Messiah" (Mashiah in Hebrew) and to "Christ" (Christ6s in Greek). Within the Hebrew Scriptures the title generally denotes the political ruler of Israel. See, e. g., I Sam. 24:6, 10; II Sam. 22:51 // Ps. 18:50; Ps. 89:38. In the centuries immediately preceding the ministry of Jesus, the title was relatively rare. There is no instance of it being applied to an historical figure other than Jesus, and apart from the Dead Sea Scrolls the title is surprisingly rare in apocalyptic literature. Therefore, it is unlikely that "Anointed" had acquired a new technical meaning by New Testament times. Any application of the title to Jesus would have carried the Scriptural sense of "King of the Jews." So Wilson, pp. 126f., cf. 135f. See also Blinzler, Trial, p. 103, n. 31. In the second century A. D. the title seems to have been applied to one other historical figure besides Jesus. According to later legend Rabbi Aqiba, when he beheld Bar-Kokhba, the revolutionary leader, proclaimed him "King Messiah." See yTa'anit, 4:8 (68d) // Midrash Rabbah on Lamentations, 2:5 (95c), for the original Aramaic and H. N. Bialik and J. H. Rabnizki, Sefer ha 'Aggadah (Tel-Aviv: Dvir, 1972/73), p. 157, for a Hebrew adaptation. For a general survey of the Jewish background of the title, see M. de Jonge, "The Use of the Word 'Anointed' in the Time of Jesus," Novurn Testamenturn, 8(1966), pp. 132-148. See also F. Dexinger, "Die Entwicklung desj fidisch--christlichen Messianismus," Bibel und Liturgie, 47(I 974), pp. 5ff., 239ff.; F. Hahn, The Titles of Jesus in Christology, trans, by H. Knight and G. Off ("Lutterworth Lib."; New York: World, 1969), pp. 136-147; and G. Vermes, Jesus the Jew (New York: Macmillan, 1973), pp. 130-140, who makes use of some relatively late evidence. For a survey of modern, especially Jewish views, see Catchpole, pp. 86-126, 132.

61. Since "Son of God" appears in Mk. 14:61 / / Mt. 26:63 in apposition to "Anointed," one would expect their meanings to be similar. So Blinzler, Trial, pp. 102t'.; Hahn, pp. 279-288; F. Zehrer, "Jesus der Sohn Gottes," Bibelund Liturgie, 48(1975), pp. 70-81. Like "Messiah" "Son of God" as used here is probably a royal title. In the Hebrew scriptures divine sonship may designate Israel (e. g., Exod. 4:22; Hos. 11:1), angelic beings (e. g. Gen. 6:2; Job 1:6; 38:7; Ps. 29:1); or a king of Israel (e.g. II Sam. 7:14-16 / / I Chron. 17:13f.; Pss. 2:7; 89:26f.) In intertestamental literature evidence for a royal Son of God is scarce, but there is almost certainly one example among the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran Cave IV, i. 3., 4QpsDan Aa (:4Q243), 2:1 "'Son of God' will he be addressed and 'Son of the Most High' will they call him." On this reference, see Fitzmyer, pp. 391-394. On the pre-Christian use of "Son of God," see Vermes, pp. 192-200; S. Mowinckel, He that Cometh, trans, by G. W. Anderson (Nashville: Abingdon, 1956), pp. 76ff.; R. H. Fuller, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (New York: Scribner's), pp. 31-33.

62. Only Mk. 14:61 has "The Blessed," a Jewish circumlocution for "God." See Strack-Billerbeck, vol. 2, p. 51.

63. Only Mk. 14:62 records that Jesus replied, "I am." Lk. 22:67f. lacks the words, and Mt. 26:64 has changed them to "you have said so." It is quite likely, however, that "you have said so" is a polite affirmation in the Semitic idiom, as in TKelim (BQ), 1:6. So Catchpole, "The Answer of Jesus to Caiaphas (Matt. 26:64)," New Testament Studies, 17(1970/71), pp. 213-226; Strack-Billerbeck, vol. 1, p. 990; Legasse, pp. 181,186; Cohn, p. 174. Among those who have argued against this interpretation of "you have said so" are Dodd, p. 99, n. 1, for whom the answer is an evasion; and Cullmann, The Christology of the New Testament, rev. ed., trans, by S. C. Guthrie and C. A. M. Hall (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1963), pp. 118-120. For a full survey of modern Jewish positions on the subject, see Catchpole, New Testament Studies, 17(1970/71), pp. 213f.

E. Stauffer, Jesus and his Story, trans, by R. and C. Winston (New York: Knoff, 1960), pp. 174-195, along with H. J. Schopes, Paul, trans, by H. Knight (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1969), pp. 161f.; F. W. Danker, "The Demonic Secret in Mark, a Reexamination of the Cry of Dereliction (15:34)," Zeitschrift fiir die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, 61(1970), p. 54; et al., maintain that "1 am" is a theophanic formula affirming Jesus' divine nature. Among those rejecting such an interpretation is L6gasse, p. 177, n. 24, who rightly calls it "nettement fantaisiste." Similarly Cohn, p. 130: "The words Ani Hu [= I am].., are articulated hundreds of times in everyday speech--in fact one cannot do without them."

64. On "Son of Man," see above, n. 25.

65. Jesus' answer combines elements of Dan. 7:13 and Ps. l l0:l. See Sloyan, pp. 49-61.

66. At this point, according to Mk. 14:63f. // Mt. 26:35, the High Priest rent his garment and charged Jesus with blasphemy. Cf. Jn. 10:35. It is difficult, however, to discover anything blasphemous in the Gospel accounts. Some interpreters, like Blinzler, Trial, pp. 105-111, argue that in Jesus' day blasphemy was defined quite broadly and would have included a false claim to messiahship. For others, e. g., Lagrange, pp. 410f., 404f., and G. Aicher, Der Prozess Jesu ("Kanonistische Studien und Texte," 3; Bonn, 1929), pp. 58-75, Jesus blasphemed by claiming divine sonship in more than an adoptive sense. Still others find blasphemy in the words about the Temple (e. g. Kilpatrick, pp. 10f.) or in the answer, "I am" (see above, n. 63). Finally there are several critics, e. g., Cohn, pp. 129-134, and Mantel, pp. 273-276, who argue that Jesus was not charged with blasphemy at all. For the views of other modern interpreters, see Catchpole, Trial, pp. 72-152, and Blinzler, Trial, pp. 125-134. What seems most likely is that the blasphemy entered the Passion tradition when Christians began to apply the title Son of God to Jesus in a metaphysical sense. Since a Jewish High Priest might indeed regard a claim to metaphysical sonship as blasphemous, the early Christians simply assumed that he did so.

67. Commentators tend to assume that Mk. 14:64// Mt. 26:66 records a formal death sentence. So, e. g., Blinzler, Trial, pp. 11 If., 122-125. See also Cohn, pp. 136f., who finds a formal sentence only in Mark. It is quite possible, however, that Mk. 14:64 // Mt. 26:66 simply describes the sense of the meeting, i. e., that the case against Jesus would hold up before Pilate. For a listing of many who adopt this or similar interpretations, see Blinzler, Trial, pp. 16f., and especially pp. 122f., n. I.

68. The Gospels contain at least four scenes in which Jesus is mocked during his Passion. The first (Mk. 14:65 / / Mt. 26:67L / / Lk. 22:63f.) appears at this point in Mark and Matthew but precedes the hearing in Luke. The second (Lk. 23:10f. only) comes after the session with Herod. The third (Mk. 15:16-20//Mt. 27:27-31 //Jn. 19:2f.; also below, parag. XV) is placed after the trial before Pilate by Mark and Matthew but during the trial by John. The fourth mocking (Mk. 15:29-32)// Mt. 27:39-44//Lk. 23:35-43; also below, parag. XVI) occurs as Jesus hangs on the cross. It is quite likely that the tradition behind one of these mockings is the source of one or more of the others. See Winter, Trial, pp. 144-152, according to whom the third mocking represents the original setting; but cf. Bultmann, p. 276, who doubts "whether we can reckon as doublets the mocking in Mk. 14:65 or Lk. 22:63 and Mk. 15:16-20a."

The present mocking scene, in which Jesus is challenged to prophecy, suggests that he had been accused of being a false prophet. Such a charge would be fully compatible with the messianic accusation as other messianic figures of the day were known as prophets. See Josephus, Jewish War, 2:13:5 (261-263) // Antiquities, 20:8:6 (169-172); K. Berger, "Die ki3niglichen Messiastraditionen des Neuen Testaments," New Testament Studies, 20 (1973/74), pp. 10-22.

69. On Peter's denial generally, see above, n. 34.

70. Only Mt. 26:71 uses the epithet "Nazarene" here. Cf. Jn. 18:5; 19:19. Although Matthew himself understands the word to mean "from Nazareth" cf. Mt. 3:23), it is possible that the title was understood differently during Jesus' lifetime. See G. F. Moore, "Nazarene and Nazareth," The Beginnings of Christianity, Part I: The Acts of the Apostles, ed. by F. J. Foakes Jackson and K. Lake (London: Macmillan, 1920-33), vol. 1, pp. 426-432; H. M. Shires, "The Meaning of the Term 'Nazarene,'" Anglican Theological Review, 29(1947), pp. 19-27.

71. This first cockcrow appears only in certain mss. of Mk. 14:68. It was probably added to make the story fit the prophecy of Mk. 14:30, where Jesus speaks of two cockcrows. Other mss. of Mark, in agreement with Mt. 26:34; Lk. 22:34; and Jn. 13:38, omit one cockcrow from the prophecy. Note that codex D illogically records one cockcrow at the prophecy and two at the denial.

72. Mt. 26:72 has Peter take an oath at this point.

73. Winter, Trial, pp. 65f., followed by Cohn, p. 86, suggests that, if Pilate were prepared for a trial in the early morning (Mk. 15:1 // Mt. 27:2//Jn. 18:28), he must have had advance warning and was probably a party to the action from the beginning.

74. See above, parag. I and n. 9.

75. According to Jn. 18:31, the Jews say to Pilate, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death." Since the time of J. Juster, Les Juifs dans l'Empire Romain (Paris: Guethner, 1914), pp. 128-152, a number of scholars have argued that in the time of Jesus Jewish courts did in fact have the right to inflict death penalties. These scholars include, in addition to Juster, Lietzmann, pp. 251-263; T. A. Burkill, "The Competence of the Sanhedrin," Vigiliae Christianae, 10 (1956), pp. 80-96; Winter, Trial, pp. 110-130; idem, "The Trial of Jesus and the Competence of the Sanhedrin," New Testament Studies, 10 (1963/64), pp. 494-499, idem, "The Trial of Jesus," Commentary, 38 (Sept., 1964), pp. 39-40. Their arguments adduce specific cases in which Jews either did inflict or were permitted to inflict death penalties. Most scholars, however, still maintain that Jn. 18:31 is substantially correct and that Rome kept at least partial jurisdiction in a capital case. They include Schurer, Vol II, 4th ed., pp. 260-263; Kilpatrick, pp. 17-20; Sherwin-White, pp. 35-46; Lohse, "Synedrion," Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. VI1, trans. G. W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), pp. 865-866; F. C. Grant, "On the Trial of Jesus: A Review Article," Journal of Religion, 44(1964), pp. 230-237; Wilson, pp. 1-16; Catchpole, Trial, pp. 236-254; R. M. Grant, pp. 39-41; E. Bammel, "Die Blutgerichtsbarkeit in der roimischen Provinz Judaa vor dem ersten judischen Aufstand," Journal of Jewish Studies, 25(1974), pp. 35-49. These scholars point out that all the specific cases adduced for Jews inflicting capital punishment involve exceptional circumstances. Positive evidence confirming Jn. 18:31 comes from Roman practice outside Palestine and from Jewish sources, i. e., Josephus, Jewish War, 2:8:1 (117); ySanhedrin, 1:1 (18a) bar. = 7:2 (24b) bar.; Sanhedrin, 41a bar.; Megillat Ta'anit to 22 Elul (p. 80, Lichtenstein ed.); etc. See Strack-Billerbeck, vol. 1, pp. 1000, 1027, 1045.

76. Behind this tradition may lie the fact that in Hebrew yotser (= "potter" or "Creator" with reference to God) and otsar (= "treasury") sound alike.

77. Mt. 27:3-8 only; but cf. the wholly different tradition of Judas' end in Acts 1:15-20. Matthew ends his version with a free citation from Zechariah 11:13, which he attributes to Jeremiah to which the citation also alludes. See K. Stendahl, The School of St. Matthew ("Acta Seminarii Neotest. Upsaliensis," 20; Lund: Gleerup, 1954), pp. 120-126. On this Judas story generally, see D. Senior, "A Case Study of Matthean Creativity: Matthew 27:3-10," Biblical Research, 19(1974), pp. 23-36; also idem, "The Fate of the Betrayer: A Redactional Study of Matthew 27:3-10," Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, 48(1972), pp. 372-426. For a psychological approach in terms of curse and sacrifice, see W. C. van Unnik, "The Death of Judas in Saint Matthew's Gospel," Anglican Theological Review, suppl, ser., 3(1974), pp. 44-57. See also Senior, Biblical Research, 19(1974), p. 23, n. 1, for a bibliography of important studies of the Judas pericope.

78. According to Jn. 18:28, 33, 19:9; Mk. 15:16 / / Mt. 27:27, the trial began outside "the praetorium," which is the correct designation for the official residence of a provincial governor. See Mk. 15:16. Cf. Acts 23:55. See also Sloyan, pp. 32, 34f.; Brown, vol. 2., p. 845, both of whom discuss a probable geographical site. For a survey of literature on the praetorium, see Blinzler, pp. 173-176.

Like the inquest before the High Priest, the Roman trial had no followers of Jesus present to report what went on. See Wilson, p. 134; also above, pp. 3f.. n. 37, and especially n. 49.

79. Only in Lk. 23:2. Mk. 15:2 / / Mt. 27:11 begin their accounts of the trial in the middle with Pilate questioning Jesus. Luke has provided the missing beginning. Note that the accusations are purely political. Cf. Jn. 18:30; 19:7 where the charges are evil-doing and blasphemy.

80. The question is political as most commentators recognize; but cf. Blinzler, Trial, pp. 190-193, according to whom Pilate soon realized that Jesus made no political claims. He argues on the basis of Jn. 18:33-38; which he deems to be substantially accurate (p. 192) even though the conversation it reports between Pilate and Jesus took place in private. Even relatively conservative scholars (e. g., Dodd, p. 122; Brown, vol. 2, pp. 859f.) believe that the conversation represents a post-Resurrection interpretation.

81. The answer is probably a polite affirmative. See above, n. 63.

82. As in the session before the High Priest, Jesus' silence here (Mk. 15:4 / / Mt. 27:14) may allude to the Suffering Servant of II Isaiah. See above, n. 59.

At this point in the trial Lk. 23:6-19 adds the session between Jesus and Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee. Although conservative scholars, such as Blinzler, pp. 194-204, and H. W. Hoehner, "Why Did Pilate Hand Jesus over to Antipas.'?" The Trial of Jesus, ed. Bammel, pp. 84-90, regard the incident as historical, many others maintain that the story arose in the early Church and may have come from the evangelist himself. Against the historicity of the story is, not only its being otherwise unknown in early tradition (Wilson, pp. 136-139, 141), but also the fact that the story exhibits Lucan motifs and stylistic peculiarities. On these latter, see H. Cadbury, The Making of Luke-Acts (London: SPCK, 1958), p. 231; Sloyan, p. 96; Walaskay, pp. 88-90. See also V. Taylor, The Passion Narrative of St. Luke, ed. by O. E. Evans ("SNTS Monograph," 19; Cambridge Univ. Press, 1972), pp. 87, 89, who agrees that stylistic peculiarities point to Lucan authorship but insists that he used tradition as a base. For a survey of various interpretations of this story, see Walaskay, pp. 87-89.

83. Mk. 15:6// Mt. 27:15//Jn. 18:38. John especially depicts a definite Jewish custom of releasing a prisoner at passover, the so-called Privilegium Paschale; but, because there is no allusion to it which does not depend upon the Gospels, nearly all scholars conclude that the custom never existed. So H. Z. Maccoby, "Jesus and Barabbas," New Testament Studies, 16(I 969/70), p. 55; Brown, pp. 854f.; Wilson, p. 140; Cohn, pp. 166f.; Winter, Trial, pp. 132-134. For others who agree, see ibid., p. 134, n. 6. Against this conclusion, C. G. Chavel, "The Releasing of a Prisoner on the Eve of Passover in Ancient Jerusalem," Journal of Biblical Literature, 60(1941), pp. 273-278, followed by Blinzler, Trial, pp. 218-221, has suggested a possible confirmation of the custom in Pesahim, 8:6, which mentions a Passover sacrifice for "one whom they promised to release from prison"; but Pesahim, 8:6, need not imply an anmual custom. So Brown, p. 855.

Some who regard the Privilegium Paschale as a fiction proceed to understand the whole Barabbas incident as such. So Cohn, pp. 164-171; Sloyan, pp. 67f.; Maccoby, pp. 55-60. However, such an extreme conclusion seems unwarranted. Although none of Jesus' followers were present at the trial, the release of Barabbas would have been public knowledge; and the story appears in all traditions of the Passion: Mk. 15:6-14// Mt. 27:15-23; Lk. 23:17-23; and Jn. 18:39-40. See Winter, Trial, pp. 134-143; Wilson, pp. 141-143; Brown, pp. 871f.

84. According to Jn. 18:40, Barabbas was a lestes (see above, n. 45); but, as Winter once pointed out in conversation, Mk. 15:7 is careful to say only that Barabbas was with those involved in insurrection and murder. He may have been innocent. Note also that Mt. 27:16 skips any reason for Barabbas' imprisonment and that Lk. 23-19, 25, stops short of claiming that Barabbas was guilty.

85. "Jesus" as the first name of Barabbas appears in some mss. of Mt. 27:16f. The reading is finding increasing acceptance; and has been adopted in the New English Bible. See R. V. G. Tasker, The Greek New Testament: Being the Text Translated in the New English Bible, 1961 (Oxford and Cambridge Univ. Presses, 1964), p. 413. The name Barabbas, a relatively common proper name, means "Son of the Father." However, H. A. Rigg, "Barabbas," Journal of Biblical Literature, 64 (1945), pp. 417-465; and Maccoby, pp. 55-60, go too far in suggesting that Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Barabbas were the same person.

86. Mk. 15:11 // Mt. 27:20.

87. See Jn. 19:15.

88. Scourging normally preceded crucifixions. So Jerome on Mt. 27:26. See Livy, 33:36; Josephus, Jewish War, 2:14:9 (206). Cf. Lucian, Piscator, 2, where scourging precedes impaling. See also Lagrange, p. 419; Winter, Trial, p. 95. For a discussion of Roman scourgings, see Blinzler, Trial, pp. 222f., who also argues that the scourging was a separate punishment which Pilate hoped would satisfy the crowd (pp. 223-226, 233f.; see Lk. 23:16; Jn. 19:1). For a detailed rebuttal of Blinzler, see Walaskay, p. 91.

89. On the generally recognized stubborn and cruel nature of Pilate, see above, p. 1, and nn. 1,2. The tendency to depict the governor as favorable to Jesus but under Jewish control appears in three additions which Matthew inserts into his Marcan source: the dream of Pilate's wife which confirms Jesus' innocence (27:19); Pilate washing his hands of the affair (27:24); and the response from the Jews, "His blood is upon us and upon our children" (27:25). With few exceptions, such as Blinzler, Trial, pp. 215-218, Gospel critics regard all these additions as unhistorical. See, e. g., Winter, Trial, pp. 77f.

Crucifixion was a Roman form of punishment. It would normally have been inflicted by Roman authorities upon one deserving death under Roman standards, not on the basis of Jewish law or custom. See Winter, Trial, pp. 90-95; Cullmann, Jesus and the Revolutionaries, p. 34. Therefore, the fact that Jesus died by crucifixion indicates that he was tried and sentenced under Roman law. If Jesus had been convicted of blasphemy in a Jewish court, Pilate might have had to ratify the conviction (see above, n. 75); but the sentence would have been stoning as required by Leviticus 24:10-15; Sanhedrin, 7:4. So Cullmann, The State in the New Testament (London: SCM, 1957), p. 42. See Winter, Trial, pp. 97-109, for a general discussion of Jewish death penalties. For a full discussion of crucifixion, along with a survey of scholarly literature on the subject, see Blinzler, Trial, pp. 246-251, 263-265. See also Winter, Trial, pp. 95f.

90. According to Mk. 15:16 / / Mt. 27;27, this palace is the praetorium. See above, n. 78.

91. On the various mockings in the Passion story generally, see above, n. 68. Examples of using a condemned prisoner for a mock king were not unknown in the ancient world. Dio Chrysostom, De Regno, IV, 67, describes such a ritual among Persian soldiers preparing for battle. Cf. Philo, In Flaccum, vi (36--39). See also Taylor, The Gospel according to St. Mark (London: Macmillan, 1955), pp. 646-648.

92. Mk. 15:21 contains a note that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus. Such detail about an otherwise unknown person suggests that the incident is factual. See Bultmann, p. 434; Lietzmann, "Bemerkungen zum Prozess Jesu," Zeitschrift fur die Neutestamentliche Wissenschafi, 30(1931), pp. 214f.

93. The site is unknown today, but it was probably at or near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. See Jeremias, Golgotha ("Angelos-Beheft," 1; Leipzig: Pfeiffer, 1926), pp. 1-33; R. H. Smith, "The Tomb of Jesus," BiblicalArchaeologist, 30(1967), pp. 74-90.

94. The wording is Lk. 23:33, but none of the other Gospels (Mk. 15:24 // Mt. 27:35 // Jn. 19:18) give much information about the actual act of crucifixion. The use of nails through Jesus' feet, a detail implied in Lk. 24:40 (39), would have been unusual. The tradition that Jesus was nailed through his hands comes indirectly from Jn. 20:25. See Wilson, p. 153; Winter, Trial, p. 95 & n. 23.

95. Only Mk. 15:25 gives the hour; but cf. Jn. 19:18, according to which Jesus was still with Pilate at noon. The traditional three-hour Good Friday services follow John. For an attempt to reconcile the contradiction, see A. Mahoney, "A New Look at 'The Third Hour' of Mk. 15:25," Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 28 (1966), pp. 292-299. On other problems of Passion chronology, see above, nn. 15, 20.

96. Mk. 15:23 only. Mt. 27:34 is similar, but changes "myrrh" to "gall," i. e., a substance with an unpleasant taste. Cf. Sanhedrin, 43a: "Ray Hasda (d. 309) said, 'When one goes out for execution, they give him a grain of frankincense in a cup of wine in order to benumb his mind, as it is stated (Prov. 31:6): "Give strong drink to one who is perishing and wine to the bitter of soul."'" See also below, n. 106.

97. Mk. 15:24// Mt. 27:35// Lk. 23:34//Jn. 19:23f. The dividing of the garment is probably more than a secondary development from Ps. 22:18, cited in Jn. 19:24. The condemned were generally crucified naked (Artemidorus Daldianus, Onirocriticus, 2:6 l), and their executioners were allowed to divide any remaining property. See Blinzler, Trial, pp. 253, 255.

98. Mk. 15:26, Mt. 27:37 //Lk. 23:38 //Jn. 19:19 all have slightly different wordings of the charge. See Winter, Trial, pp. 153f., who finds a theological development in the differences. Cf. also G. M. Lee, "The Inscription on the Cross," Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 100(1968), p. 144. Such an inscription, called a titulus (jn. 19:20), was not unusual. See Dio Cassius, 54:3; Suetonius, "Caligula," 32:2, and "Domitan," 10:1; Lagrange, p. 429; Winter, Trial, p. 156. Although Bultmann, p. 284, regards the titulus as a later formulation from Mk. 15:2, his skepticism seems unwarranted. The charge would have hindered early Christian efforts to avoid trouble with Rome, and the evangelists might well have omitted it. See above, p. 1. Apparently, the titulus was too well known to ignore. See Cullmann, State in the NT, pp. 42f.

99. Mk. 15:27// Mt. 27:38 denote them with the Greek word lestes. See above, nn. 45, 84. Jn. 19:18 omits the term, and Lk. 23:33 softens it to "evildoer."

100. This mocking is probably influenced by such prophetic Scriptures as Pss. 20:6; 22:7f.; Lam. 2:15; Wisdom of Solomon 2:18, 20. See Bultmann, p. 273; Wilson, p. 155; Danker, p. 50. See also above, n. 68 on the various mockings and n. 60 on the title "Anointed One."

101. So Mk. 15:32 / / Mt. 27:44. Lk. 23:39-43 softens the abuse by having one of the two repent.

102. On the time of the Crucifixion, see above, n. 95. Darkness for the ancients was a sign of the demonic. See Danker, pp. 50ff. Cf. also above, n. 26. See also E. Best, The Temptation and the Passion ("SNTS Monograph," 2; Cambridge Univ. Press, 1965), pp. 101,191, according to whom the darkness indicated a divine judgment borne by Jesus for all people. On the various portents at the Crucifixion, see below, nn. 108, 109.

103. Mk. 15:34. The variation in Mt. 27:46 is insignificant. Both are Aramaic translations of Ps. 22:1, but not the translation found in the extant targum to the Psalter.

104. This is the only one of the traditional "Seven Last Words" found in Matthew and Mark. Because it is apparently a cry of doubt and mental anguish, it has been an embarrassment to much of the Church from the beginning. John omits it. Lk. 23:46 substitutes, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." The second-century Gospel of Peter, vs. 19, emends the cry to "My power, my power, why have you forsaken me?" Such embarrassment, however, speaks for the genuineness of the saying. So Wilson, pp. 158f.; but cf. M. Smith, p. 222, who questions whether any follower of Jesus could have heard what he said. Modern exegetes commonly argue that Jesus was referring to all of Ps. 22 and applying it to himself as the Suffering Servant. So Blinzler, p. 261; H. D. Lange, "The Relationship Between Psalm 22 and the Passion Narrative," Concordia Theological Monthly, 43 (1972), pp. 610-621; L. P. Trudinger, "'Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?': A Cry of Dereliction? or Victory?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 17(1974), pp. 235-238. Cf. J. R. Scheifler, "El Salmo 22 y la Crucifixion del Senor," Estudios Biblicos, 24(1965), pp. 5-83, according to whom the portrayal of Jesus as the Suffering Servant of Ps. 22 is a theme of Matthew and Mark. For a general discussion of the interpretation and genuineness of the saying, see J. H. Reumann, "Psalm 22 at the Cross: Lament and Thanksgiving for Jesus Christ," Interpretation, 28(I 974), pp. 39-58.

105. In Aramaic "My God" (Eli) and the first part of "Elijah" (Eliyahu) could easily be confused.

106. Mk. 15:36// Mt. 27:48; cf. Lk. 23:36; Jn. 19:28-30. It is commonly argued that this detail comes from Ps. 69:21. So, e. g. Bultmann, p. 273; J. Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, trans, by H. Danby (New York: Macmillan, 1959). p. 353.

107. Death by crucifixion within six hours is unusual but not impossible. See J. H. Charlesworth, "Jesus and Jehohanan: An Archaeological Note on Crucifixion." Expository Times, 84(1973), pp. 147-150. See also V. Tzaferis, "Jewish Tombs at and near Giv'at ha-Mivtar, Jerusalem." Israel Exploration Journal, 20(1970), pp. 18-32, plates 9-17.

108. Mk. 15:38 [/ Mt. 27:51 // Lk. 23:45. The significance of the event is disputed. According to some it is the removal of a barrier between us and God. So, e. g., Wilson, p. 160; Taylor, St. Mark, p. 596; G. Lindeskog, "The Veil of the Temple," In Honorem Anton Friedrichsen, Sexagenarii ("Coniect. Ncotest.,' 11; Lund and Copenhagen, 1947), pp. 132-137. Others, including E. Lohmeyer, Lord of the Temple, trans, by S. Todd (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1961), pp. 52, 57, 90f., 111, and Brandon, p. 227, see here a symbolic ending of the Temple and its cult. Still others, e. g., Origen, Contra Celsum, 2:33; H. Laible, "Der zerissene Tempelvorhang und die eingestiirzte Oberschwelle des Tempeleingangs yon Talmud bezeugt," Neue Kirchliche Zeitschrift, 35(1924), pp. 287-314, regard the rending simply as a mighty act accompanying the death of Jesus. It is likely that Matthew, who like Origen includes the rending of the Temple veil in a list of other mighty acts, shared this interpretation. See the following note. See also Gittin, 56b, according to which Titus slashed the veil with his sword.

109. Mt. 27:51-53 only. That such wonders accompanied important events was widely assumed in ancient times. See, e. g., Josephus, Jewish War, 6:5:3-4 (288-315), for similar portents that accompanied the destruction of the Temple. See also Laible, pp. 313ff., who records traditions of miracles which accompanied the deaths of great rabbis.

1l0. Mk. 1.5:39 / / Mt. 27:54. Cf. Lk. 23:47: "Truly this man was innocent." On the translation in the present Passion narrative with no article, see P. B. Hamer, "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John I: I," Journal of Biblical Literature, 29(1973), pp. 79-81; H. A. Guy, "Son of God in Mk. 15:39," Expository Times, 81(1970), p. 151. Since "Son of God" was a title associated with Emperor worship, a Roman centurion might well have meant by such a confession that Jesus, not the Emperor, is Son of God. So P. H. Bligh, "A Note on Huios Theou in Mark 15:39," Expository Times, 80(1968), pp. 51-53. See also above, n. 61.