BBC - Religions - Christianity: Who killed Jesus?
Jesus Before the Sanhedrin - They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. to prove the Jewish Sanhedrin guilty of violating their own rules of procedure, and Jewish of Jesus, and Mr. H. Danby in his article "The Bearing of the. Rabbinical . or Thursday morning in connection with the purchase of a paschal lamb. Some say the Sanhedrin was made up of Sadducees; some, of Pharisees; others , of an alternation or mixture of the two groups. In the trials of Jesus, the.
Although eminent sources—the Hellenistic-Jewish historian Josephus, the New Testament, and the Talmud—have mentioned the Sanhedrin, their accounts are fragmentary, apparently contradictory, and often obscure.
- Sanhedrin trial of Jesus
- 34. The Illegal Trial before the Sanhedrin
Hence, its exact nature, compositionand function remain a subject of scholarly investigation and controversy. In the writings of Josephus and the Gospels, for example, the Sanhedrin is presented as a political and judicial council headed by the high priest in his role as civil ruler ; in the Talmud it is described as primarily a religious legislative body headed by sages, though with certain political and judicial functions.
Some scholars have accepted the first view as authentic, others the second, while a third school holds that there were two Sanhedrins, one a purely political council, the other a religious court and legislature.
Moreover, some scholars attest that the Sanhedrin was a single body, combining political, religious, and judicial functions in a community where these aspects were inseparable. Judicially, it could try a high priest, a false prophet, a rebellious elder, or an errant tribe. Religiously, it supervised certain rituals, including the Yom Kippur Day of Atonement liturgy.
The Great Sanhedrin also supervised the smaller, local sanhedrins and was the court of last resort. Again, however, there is a scholarly dispute as to whether the aforementioned specifications are merely an ideal or an actual description. Also, according to one interpretation, the Talmudic sources seem to ascribe to the past a state of affairs that existed only after the fall of the Temple ad The composition of the Sanhedrin is also in much dispute, the controversy involving the participation of the two major parties of the day, the Sadducees and the Pharisees.
The priests controlled the mikvehs and charged people to use them. There were so many regulations requiring ritual purification that control of the mikvehs was a way of making money. Jesus thought the whole thing was rubbish. He taught that the elaborate purity rituals were unnecessary - the Kingdom of God was available to everyone and they didn't have to go through these rituals or pay the money in order to get there. Bad news for the Temple apparatchiks.
A quick way to raise a revolt was to tell people that they were being ripped off. This could cause a riot in the Temple if it got out of hand. But there was worse.
Jesus stormed into the Temple and accused the moneychangers and sacrificial dove sellers of extortion and of turning the Temple into a den of thieves. The ultimate challenge to any religious leaders: What you are doing is against God and God will destroy you and cleanse the whole religious apparatus.
And God, as every Jew knew, had the power to do it - he'd demonstrated that many times before. Jesus was doing this in the Temple, in front of the crowds and without any fear or respect for Caiaphas and his staff. Caiaphas had to do something to show that he was still boss, and he had to do it quickly; Jesus was on a roll, and who knew what he was going to do next.
What Caiaphas did You don't get to stay High Priest without being able to take the tough decisions and follow them through.
The Illegal Trial before the Sanhedrin - Harmony of the Gospels
Caiaphas decided Jesus had to be stopped and he called a meeting of the chief priests. Matthew's Gospel tells us that Caiaphas told them that Jesus had to be killed. The priests weren't at all sure about this.
If Jesus was killed, there might be riots. But Caiaphas got his decision and put it into effect at once. The Temple guards arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane that night and he was put on trial before the High Court. We might disapprove of some of the self-interested motives behind Caiaphas' actions: Jesus was causing trouble in Jerusalem.WHAT IS SANHEDRIN?
He was a known rebel and he was endangering public peace at a time when large and volatile crowds were thronging the city. It was entirely reasonable to arrest him.
The rigged trial At this point Caiaphas crossed to the wrong side of the law. He rigged the trial. Caiaphas took on the usually incompatible roles of chief judge and prosecuting lawyer. Scholars know the rules that applied to Jewish trials at that period and the trial of Jesus broke many of those rules: It was at night - Jewish trials had to take place during the day It took place on a feast day - this was not allowed It took place in Caiaphas's house - it should have been conducted in the council chamber The trial went wrong for Caiaphas.
He needed to prove that Jesus had threatened to destroy the Temple, which would have been both treason and an offence against God.
Sanhedrin trial of Jesus - Wikipedia
But the witnesses couldn't agree on what Jesus had said. So that charge failed. Caiaphas decided to see if he could induce Jesus to utter blasphemy. Are you The Messiah? Caiaphas announces that Jesus has spoken blasphemy. The rest of the Court agree. Jesus deserves the death sentence.
Who killed Jesus?
Just one problem; the court didn't have the power to execute people. And that's where the Romans come into the story. Actually, there are two problems: Caiaphas's fate Caiaphas was removed from office soon after the death of Jesus and lived quietly on his farm near Galilee. Pilate was the Governor of Judea, a province of the Roman Empire. He had 6, crack troops with him and 30, more on call in nearby Syria. Pilate was effectively a dictator; so long as he kept Rome happy, he had absolute power, including power of life and death.
The case against Pilate is that he found Jesus not guilty, but had him executed in order to keep the peace.
The two Pilates We don't know what Pilate was like. The Bible story paints him as a weak but innocent man who didn't want to execute a man he believed innocent, but who gave in to political pressure.
Philo, writing at the time, said that Pilate was calculating, cruel and brutal. He probably had a typical Roman's disdain for any other culture, thinking the Jews not nearly as civilised as the Romans.
Pilate was well known for having executed prisoners even without trial, so it would not be out of character for him to be responsible for killing Jesus. What were Pilate's motives? Pilate was desperate to keep the peace. His career in the Roman Empire depended on his running the province smoothly and efficiently. He had 6, soldiers on hand to keep the peace in a city bulging with 2. The religious authorities, whose cooperation he needed for a quiet life, wanted him to execute Jesus and there was an angry mob baying for Jesus' blood.
To release Jesus would have been likely to cause a riot; Pilate could have lost control of the city, and possibly the province. Pilate sacrificed Jesus to preserve Roman rule and his own career. Passover No matter how little he thought of the people of Judea, Pilate could not get out of attending the major festival of Passover. The message of Passover was one that was certain to unsettle anyone who was trying to keep the Jewish people under their thumb, for it celebrated the time when God brought the Israelites out of Egypt into the Holy Land, shaking off foreign oppression.