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eight bits

What did Jesus wear when soldiers mocked him?

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All four Gospels depict Jesus wearing something other than his own clothes shortly before his crucifixion. He apparently wears his own clothes again when he arrives at his crucifixion, since these are presumably the clothes that the soldiers cast lots for.

In Mark and Matthew, Jesus' tormentors are Roman soldiers, who dress him up as if he were a king to mock him. In Luke, it is Herod and his soldiers who mock Jesus, and send him back to Pilate in a luxurious robe. John takes the prize, his Jesus wears a purple garment during the hugely dramatic "Ecce homo" scene.

(Mark 15: 15-20, Matthew 27: 27- 31, Luke 23: 11, John 19: 1 ff.)

One difficulty with Mark's account is that the unspecified clothing is purple. Beware of translations which put "cloak" in 15: 20, the kind of clothing isn't specified in Mark, or even that what the soldiers place on Jesus is clothing in the usual sense.

The kind of purple that would be most associated with royalty is Tyrean purple. This was very expensive stuff. You wouldn't likely have something like that lying around and even if you did, you wouldn't drape it on a bloody, pus-covered scourged criminal.

Luke is silent about the color. Herod just might have something purple on hand - but the gesture would still be gratuitously expensive (unless it was some kind of gift for Pilate, delivered in a weird way). Matthew uses another color word, scarlet maybe, although that mightn't be a bad description of the actual shade "royal purple" was. Famously, a genuine Tyrean dyed article looked different depending on the light and its age. John confirms Mark's purple.

Although the point of being dressed in purple is to suggest royalty for the purposes of mockery, no Gospel says the color actually was Tyrean purple.

OK, that's all I know. My questions would be, emphasizing the oldest account, the one in Mark: What did happen in Mark 15: 15-20, assuming that something like the reported incident really happened? And, as always in Bits' Bible Studies, who is the gospel writer's witness? This takes place inside Pilate's compound, out of public view (unlike Luke and John), and, as already noted, Jesus is dressed again in his own clothes before he is led to the crucifixion, which trip was in public.

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Leopard print thong?

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OK, that's all I know. My questions would be, emphasizing the oldest account, the one in Mark: What did happen in Mark 15: 15-20, assuming that something like the reported incident really happened? And, as always in Bits' Bible Studies, who is the gospel writer's witness? This takes place inside Pilate's compound, out of public view (unlike Luke and John), and, as already noted, Jesus is dressed again in his own clothes before he is led to the crucifixion, which trip was in public.

Since our recorded witnesses are "the whole company of soldiers" and we know that later at least one Centurion believed him to be the Son of God due to the manner of his death - that Centurion would seem to be a viable sympathetic witness.

As to the cloak colour discrepancy - that's interesting. Perhaps Mark claimed purple for dramatic purposes and realizing the unlikelihood of that, Matthew walked it back to Scarlet and Luke decided to not mention it, as there was no agreement between the two.

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Tiggs

OK, 15: 39,

When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"

And yet, even though Matthew 27:54 confirms the centurion's line, and Luke 23: 47-49 confirms that the centurion spoke, there the centurion says only that surely Jesus was innocent or righteous. And moving on to Lucan Acts, the only Roman military I can remember being involved with the early Jeruasalem Jesus movement is the centurion Cornelius (chapter 10, whole, retold in 11, through verse 18).

Cornelius doesn't seem to be our guy. He also doesn't seem to know our guy.

Another problem is that the centurion's line, so close to the end of what genuine Mark we have, plainly echoes the opening line of Mark as the canon has it:

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ [the Son of God].

You know what the brackets mean: there are manuscripts that have introductory sentence, but don't have that phrase.

I don't have a solution for this, but I don't think the centurion is our man. But, of course, for the Marcan account the only witness-candidates mentioned are the soldiers.

As to the color problem, I agree that Mark is going for the color-word appropriate for the occasion. Matthew of the two-asses might not even know what color that would be :), although as far as color-sensation is concerned, what a witness might report, they aren't necessarily very far apart. Luke, it seems to me, isn't just declining to referee the earlier synoptics, he's got his own, wholly other, parallel incident.

Anyway, I do appreciate your remarks.

Edited by eight bits
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From memory, he was stripped before being put on the cross. As with most prisoners who were crucified, his clothes were take off so they could be kept undamaged for later use or sale. Once on the cross he wore a loin cloth and a crown of thorns. :innocent:

Sorry. Not really pertinent to the question.

It wouldnt have been purple. It was a serious offence for other than those allowed by law to possess or wear purple. Only roman "nobility" had that right. I am not sure even herod, being non roman, would have had purple robes.

As the roman soldiers would have been unlikely to possess or have access to any rich clothing (certainly not an imitation of royalty's,) the garments either came from herod or one of the rich jews there to see christ executed.

While the story certainly has a point/purpose, and as such might be just a literary device, it is precisely the sort of thing roman soldiers might have done at such an event, just to liven things up a bit and have some fun at the expense of the victim.

They had a rough and ready sense of humour and such clowning around is recorded at other executions.

Edited by Mr Walker
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In Mark and Matthew, Jesus' tormentors are Roman soldiers, who dress him up as if he were a king to mock him. In Luke, it is Herod and his soldiers who mock Jesus, and send him back to Pilate in a luxurious robe. John takes the prize, his Jesus wears a purple garment during the hugely dramatic "Ecce homo" scene.

Note that Philo of Alexandria describes an almost-identical scene involving a mentally-deficient man named Carabbas. This incident occurred in 41 AD when Herod Agrippa (?) was visiting in Alexandria on his way back to Jerusalem from Rome. The Hasmonian kings (Herod's line) were Arabs and the Jews were not at all happy about Rome's imposing them as kings on the Jewish nation. The title "King of the Jews" was created by the Roman Senate and used derogatorily by the Jews.

Were it not for the verses depicting this scene, the Book of Mark would contain 666 verses. It appears that the authors of Mark borrowed this story from Philo so as to avoid the 666 curse. Note also, that if you change the "C" in Carabbas to a "B" you have the Jewish phrase "Son of the Father." - the name of one of Jesus' companions in execution. It is asking a bit much of history to say that the "Son of the Father" and the "Son of God" were executed side-by-side.

Philo's story was written at least 20 years before any version of gospel history claims the gospels were written. It is hard to believe that this is not a case of ancient plagiarism.

Doug

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For some reason, courtesy of this thread, I imagine him dressed like Mister Gumby from Monty Python....

Edited by Wearer of Hats
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For some reason, courtesy of this thread, I imagine him dressed like Mister Gumbly from Monty Python....

HAHAAHAHAHAHHAHA.

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A frown ..

Edited by Beckys_Mom
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I guess he was completely naked. And probably he was raped by Roman soldiers. Maybe I should stop watching Spartacus on Starz....

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Thanks to all who've written in. On some of the points arising:

Ron J

I guess he was completely naked.

Well, he may have been, but then they draped something on him. What that was is one of my questions.

BM

How ya doin'?

A frown, very probably.

Doug

The Philo thing is interesting (Flaccus VI, 36-39). Thank you for bringing it up.

I don't think that there is a high expectation of originality in barracks humor (see Mr Walker's post on "clowning around" as attested on other occasions). Presumably the titulus (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews) is being prepared while all this mockery is going on. The theme of King of the Jews is in play, and so they play that theme.

On the other hand, even if there was a witness, the Philo incident might help the evangelist write his story, providing a model. It's hard to say. But yes, Philo died in 50, before even Paul wrote anything that survives. It is definitely available for the Marcan writer and editors to use or emulate..

The Barabbas thing is problematic, and the further coincidence with Carabbas doesn't help.

Mr W

Yes, he was naked on the cross. Maybe that cloak they were reluctant to divide was kept aside, but his other clothes, I think, were not in usable condition. Interesting question, though, what they did with those. There must have been a policy, since they did this sort of thing often.

While I am unsure that the sumptuary laws were as strictly enforced as all that, we don't really have any reaosn to think that anything actually Tyrean purple appears in the story. I think if the soldiers were treating the material as purple, then anything "close" could be called purple if the characters in the story are treating it as if it were purple.

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Why Is It So Important What He Was Wearing?? Just Curious ..

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Why Is It So Important What He Was Wearing?? Just Curious ..

For me, what intrigues is that Mark doesn't say. He's telling the story in a realistic way, and he includes a certain amount of detail. So, why use awkward grammatical constructions to avoid this subject? Why not just spill it?

Maybe interesting to more people is that a lot of folks argue that all four of the Gospels depict the Romans as "more fair" to Jesus than the Jews. Usually, they point to the contrasting trial scenes, The Temple kangaroo court versus Pilate's sober inquiry. The reasons offered for why the Gospels do that are payback that most Jews didn't just accept Jesus as their Messiah, plus an ongoing political need to gain toleration and favor from later Roman authorities.

But the earlier Gospels, Mark and Matthew, have this scene which is inflammatory and unambigously anti-Roman. The write-up of this incident was the Abu Ghraib pics of its time. Then comes Luke, and it's 180 degrees on Roman responsibility. It'd be like the United States saying, "Yes, those are nasty pix, but that wasn't us. Those were taken while Saddam Hussein was still running the prison." And John makes it look like Pilate was doing Jesus a favor - maybe that nasty Jewish mob will grow some compassion and relent.

So, my own opinion is that this incident helps clarify the charges of Gospel anti-semitism and Roman pandering. I've always thought that both trials were depicted as unjust, in all four Gospels. And no matter how you slice it, Pilate is shown as a wuss who can't make up his mind, and it wouldn't matter much if he did make it up, because the mob is calling the shots anyway.

But the abuse of a broken man by Roman soldiers in uniform is unambiguous. Roman occupation is unjust, arbitrary and brutal. That indictment would have resonated in a lot of places besides Jerusalem. Then the Roman atrocity disappears from the later Gospels.

So, I think this is the smoking gun for charges that the Gospel writers pandered to Roman sensibilities. Not all the Gospels, and the church obviously didn't rewrite the older versions, but something like pandering does seem to have occurred. Alternatively, Luke had it right, and the early writers falsely pinned the incident on the Romans for reasons that made sense while Jerusalem was still a functioning Jewish city under Roman rule, direct or through puppet-kings.

What do you think?

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I think the Romans appear to look less worse than the Jews in the Gospels because eventually Christianity became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire.

Then you can't have Romans look bad and their opposers look good in comparison.

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I think the Romans appear to look less worse than the Jews in the Gospels because eventually Christianity became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire.

Yes, but the Gospels were written about 200-250 years before Christianity, along with all other religions, became legal Empire-wide. Dominance was another generation after that.

Personally, I think the changing treatment of the mockery had something to do with changing expectations about what Jesus would do when he came back. Apart from granting his followers immortality, I think the very early expectation was that he would restore Israel's independence and make her a world power.

By the time Luke was written, ~80 CE or maybe later, Jerusalem was gone as a political and religious center. Besides, it was becoming clear that Jesus wasn't coming back soon. Who knows? Maybe sacking the city and razing the Temple was preached as Jesus' revenge on his Jewish tormentors, another step on the road to his return, rather than yet another delay.

So, I think the shift in telling this incident, from a one-man Abu Ghraib, then onto a Herodian dynasty problem, and then its incorporation into the Cecil B. Demille Passion maybe reflects late-First and early-Second Century events contemporary with the Gospels' composition.

Compared with what Jesus promised, or Paul promised for him, running the Roman Empire would have been seen as a consolation prize. Even Satan got more than that.

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...

But the earlier Gospels, Mark and Matthew, have this scene which is inflammatory and unambigously anti-Roman. The write-up of this incident was the Abu Ghraib pics of its time. Then comes Luke, and it's 180 degrees on Roman responsibility. It'd be like the United States saying, "Yes, those are nasty pix, but that wasn't us. Those were taken while Saddam Hussein was still running the prison." And John makes it look like Pilate was doing Jesus a favor - maybe that nasty Jewish mob will grow some compassion and relent.

So, my own opinion is that this incident helps clarify the charges of Gospel anti-semitism and Roman pandering. I've always thought that both trials were depicted as unjust, in all four Gospels. And no matter how you slice it, Pilate is shown as a wuss who can't make up his mind, and it wouldn't matter much if he did make it up, because the mob is calling the shots anyway.

But the abuse of a broken man by Roman soldiers in uniform is unambiguous. Roman occupation is unjust, arbitrary and brutal. That indictment would have resonated in a lot of places besides Jerusalem. Then the Roman atrocity disappears from the later Gospels.

So, I think this is the smoking gun for charges that the Gospel writers pandered to Roman sensibilities. Not all the Gospels, and the church obviously didn't rewrite the older versions, but something like pandering does seem to have occurred. Alternatively, Luke had it right, and the early writers falsely pinned the incident on the Romans for reasons that made sense while Jerusalem was still a functioning Jewish city under Roman rule, direct or through puppet-kings.

What do you think?

Greetings 8 Bits,

Great post. Admittedly I am one who suspects much anti-Semitism in the NT regardign the judgements of Christ and the what ensues. However There also appears anti-Semitism among the Jews own ranks. Not solely Romans. But the Essenes as well and why they abandoned the rest of their nation suspecting the devil even among their ranks and thus racism, judgementalism (probably more apt) persisted in their own ranks. And we see time and time againfellow Jews condemning one another for worshiping other nations Gods or growing to other nations customs of just for flat out dissagreements. All that said, your topic pertaining to the garments Jesus wore...it seems all the more significant after reading this topic. :)

On a side note in regards to Pontii Pilatus (Pilate)...he's always been one of my favorite figures. Portrayed as weak and aloof. Other times portrayed as realizing the divinity in Jesus, other times a rational individual weighing heavy consequences, even up to today Pilate remains so controversial and mainly so I suspect because we have so little about him to go by. Whether it's hating or blaming him for the death of Christ of "saintifying" him as the Coptics did, he remains nonetheless mysterious. But one scene in the Bible that is so interesting...it conveys Pilate (at least to me) as his role was suited for as a dignitary in prominance maintaining a sense of peace. Pilate asks Jesus a poignant question, "What is truth?"

That question in all we have of Pilate IMO makes him the most human. Certainly the most philisophical moment we get of Pilate it seems. Jesus before him making bold, statements and so sure of himself, that Pilate is inquisitive and asks the question "what is truth?" it was like Pilatewas asking Jesus philosohically, how can you be so sure of yourself?

SINcerely,

:devil:

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Hey, DS

Thank you for the kind words.

Jesus does intrigue Pilate, doesn't he? And the intricacies of Jewish politics also seem to baffle Pilate.

He is, as you say, a very human character. I like him, too. But, the soldiers who mock Jesus in the early Gospels are under Roman military discipline. If Pilate wasn't OK with their treatment of Jesus, then it wouldn't happen. When Luke moves the mockery to Herod, then it isn't an aspect of Pilate's character anymore. What's left of the character in Luke makes Pilate come off as kind of bureaucratic, or middle management. But John ! The extravagantly theatrical Pilate of John is many actors' favorite small part.

Edited by eight bits
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All four Gospels depict Jesus wearing something other than his own clothes shortly before his crucifixion. He apparently wears his own clothes again when he arrives at his crucifixion, since these are presumably the clothes that the soldiers cast lots for.

In Mark and Matthew, Jesus' tormentors are Roman soldiers, who dress him up as if he were a king to mock him. In Luke, it is Herod and his soldiers who mock Jesus, and send him back to Pilate in a luxurious robe. John takes the prize, his Jesus wears a purple garment during the hugely dramatic "Ecce homo" scene.

(Mark 15: 15-20, Matthew 27: 27- 31, Luke 23: 11, John 19: 1 ff.)

One difficulty with Mark's account is that the unspecified clothing is purple. Beware of translations which put "cloak" in 15: 20, the kind of clothing isn't specified in Mark, or even that what the soldiers place on Jesus is clothing in the usual sense.

The kind of purple that would be most associated with royalty is Tyrean purple. This was very expensive stuff. You wouldn't likely have something like that lying around and even if you did, you wouldn't drape it on a bloody, pus-covered scourged criminal.

Luke is silent about the color. Herod just might have something purple on hand - but the gesture would still be gratuitously expensive (unless it was some kind of gift for Pilate, delivered in a weird way). Matthew uses another color word, scarlet maybe, although that mightn't be a bad description of the actual shade "royal purple" was. Famously, a genuine Tyrean dyed article looked different depending on the light and its age. John confirms Mark's purple.

Although the point of being dressed in purple is to suggest royalty for the purposes of mockery, no Gospel says the color actually was Tyrean purple.

OK, that's all I know. My questions would be, emphasizing the oldest account, the one in Mark: What did happen in Mark 15: 15-20, assuming that something like the reported incident really happened? And, as always in Bits' Bible Studies,who is the gospel writer's witness? This takes place inside Pilate's compound, out of public view (unlike Luke and John), and, as already noted, Jesus is dressed again in his own clothes before he is led to the crucifixion, which trip was in public.

Greetings 8 Bits,

I have what may seem a rather juvenile question but it remains honest and plays with some of your statements. IF the Romans were insulting Jesus and mocking him as "King of the Jews" why would they waste such a expensive garment on Jesus? Wouldn't this also be insulting for Herod/Pilate/and any Roman soldier for that matter to place expensive, royal Roman Imperial clothing on such a rabble rousing individual? By dubbing him "King of the Jews" is this not mockery? Why compliment it with such expensive garb instead of say a potato sack cloth or sheepskin garb or other clothing more fitting to Jews? After all they are in a region where plenty of such clothing is accessable and while Roman infiltration is at hand, are they still not the minority in Judea and that whole region (after all Roman occupation in Judea and the like is only to keep the peace and collect taxes for Rome right)? It just seems that in Roman eyes such would be a waste of money and to such a individual they spend all this time mocking. So that said...is the addition of the color of garb intended to imply Roman Imperialism at play in the death of Jesus? Or is this robe or cloak or whatever something more suited to a "trouble making" Jew? Is the clothing mentioned because there was indeed some clothing handed to Jesus to wear? Likely, however I remain skeptical on the color and can't help but feel it an attempt to further convey Roman Imperialism at the hands of Jesus' death.

...

Jesus does intrigue Pilate, doesn't he? And the intricacies of Jewish politics also seem to baffle Pilate.

He is, as you say, a very human character. I like him, too. But, the soldiers who mock Jesus in the early Gospels are under Roman military discipline. If Pilate wasn't OK with their treatment of Jesus, then it wouldn't happen. When Luke moves the mockery to Herod, then it isn't an aspect of Pilate's character anymore. What's left of the character in Luke makes Pilate come off as kind of bureaucratic, or middle management. But John ! The extravagantly theatrical Pilate of John is many actors' favorite small part.

He certainly does seem to be very intrigued by Jesus. And as far as the intricacies as you pointed out...Pilate certainly does seem baffled by Jewish customs and politics. However in a sense understandably so (although not justifiably so IMO) in seeing what little evidence we do have to go by of Pilate.

In regards to Pilate having a say in the treatement of Jesus, in a sense I must respectfully disagree. You are certainly correct in that the transfer of the court in front of Herod opposed to Pilate removes Pilate and thus blame on him from the scene. However IF Pilate did indeed not like the treatment Jesus was recieving...he could've still remained unsympathetic about it could he not? After all wasn't Pilate out of touch in a sense?

A few things to consider.

1. Pilate as mentioned appears to have been baffled and unfamiliar with Jewish customs and politics.

2. Pilate it is often thought knew influentual people to put his foot in the door, and the other common acceptance is that Pilate likely served in the military. If so this would harden anyone seeing death all the time (thus a little toying with Jesus in his eyes maybe wouldn't hurt). And if he did spend time around influential people (ie Sejanus was Anti-Semetic and possibly Pilate picked up such sentiments?)

3. Pliny talks somewhat extensively about the region of Judea and surrounding regions. Strabo does as well. Geographically speaking the area Pilate was "governing" (or 5th prefect to) was not a desired post but one handed down. And Pilate was given the unfortunate task to be posted in this region. The region had Asphaltites emerging from the ground which created a nasty stink all over the region. Not only that fire and fumes constantly emerged from the ground. This is imperative because Pilate was thrust into a rather unpleasant region.

From my understanding it is often presented that PIlate likely arrived in this region around AD 26. THis would give PIlate some time to have some experience in Jewish customs before encountering Jesus. It is supposed that Pilate and Sejanus may have been friends. Sejanus was very anti-Semetic and had no trust of Jews. If Pilate after hardening through years of war before a role of prominence would likely pick up many of the same sentiments. But this us again supposition.

4. The point of Roman occupation in the region was solely to secure tax revenues and maintain a peaceful trade route for Rome. Thus most of Jewish life in the region was held at Jewish courts or councils and thus PIlate would hardly if at all handle any cases regarding Jews and thus further isolate him from their customs and politics (this isn't to say he didn't have a hand in Crucifixion not just of Christ but of others-but mainly to convey how possibly out of touch Pilate could have been).

5. It is supposed that Pilate was married (or am I thinking of Herod?). However while in Judea she is not in the picture isn't she? Also note that Pilate had a very small entourage with him in Judea whereas other regions of occupation, prefects or governers had huge entourages (this partly also testament to how undesirable a location Judea was and how much of a lost cause the Romans saw this region). If Pilate was married and came to Judea and abandoned everything he loved and cared for and missing his homeland...naturally there would be a disconnect with him and the people of Judea. ANd understandable why Pilate would never want to leave outside the temples Herod built there.

All that said you could very well be correct that IF PIlate did not like the treatment his own men were offering Jesus, he could've stopped it. Just can't help but feel that Pilate even if a philosopher, or a brutal man, or a mix in between that regardless there would still be a disconnect in this Roman patron in such a foreign land.

Oh man, John's Jesus, John's Pilate...certainly takes the cake. Apologies for kind of getting off topic and delving in Pontii Pilatus so much as the subject is pertaining to the garb of Jesus.

SINcerely,

:devil:

Edited by Dying Seraph
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DS

IF the Romans were insulting Jesus and mocking him as "King of the Jews" why would they waste such a expensive garment on Jesus?

I don't think the Roman soldiers, not even the ones in John, actually put anything really (Tyrean) purple on Jesus. If Luke has it right, then Herod wouldn't be giving the robe (of unspecified color) to Jesus, but rather to Pilate, and Jesus hadn't been scourged yet, so it would arrive in good condition if Jesus transported it.

There is one other thing that was described in the First Century as being the color of Tyrean purple: clotted or congealed blood (Pliny the Elder, Natural History Book IX, paragraph 62). Homer apparently agreed. There would be bloodstained rags, aprons and thin floor mats wherever scourging took place. It was messy, splattery wetwork.

So, that's what I personally think Jesus was draped in, whether in the Marcan holding area, or the Cecil B. DeMille version in John, was: a bloodstained something, as much a "royal robe" as a crown of thorns is a "royal crown."

I agree with your assessment of Pilate's career. He was of the knightly clas, I am told, so a military careerist, "getting his ticket punched" by serving as military governor would fit. And yes, Judea was a lousy assignment, although I understand that Caesarea could be nice, and by an amazing coincidence, Pilate is said to have spent a lot of time there.

Pilate is depicted as married in Matthew. I don't know of any secular source for it. She has a dream in that Gospel, and warns her husband about it, so she is onsite, at least according to the one source we have. It would have to be Matthew.

Pilate doesn't feel off-topic :).

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...

Pilate doesn't feel off-topic :).

Greetings 8 Bits,

Thank you for the informative response.

If you'll indulge me...What are your thoughts on Pilate putting the decision to the crowd to either free Jesus or Barrabus? In your opinion was it a sign of weakness, a democratic/political gesture or...?

SINcerely,

:devil:

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Hi, DS

If you'll indulge me...What are your thoughts on Pilate putting the decision to the crowd to either free Jesus or Barrabus? In your opinion was it a sign of weakness, a democratic/political gesture or...?

I probably hang around lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians too much, but I think Pilate was making an easily remembered spectacle about who's idea it was to kill Jesus. He is doing the Temple bosses a political favor by killing Jesus, but he sees the possibility of a doublecross. So, to make sure that nobody comes back later and says "The Romans killed our innocent beloved hero Jesus," he gets everybody on record as to whose bright idea killing Jesus actually was.

That behavior, I think is realistic. Of course, the thing got turned around into an excuse for anti-Semitic activities by Chrisitians ever after.

There are unrealistic elements to the "prisoner choice" thing specifically: no record of such a custom, the odd name, and the idea that Pilate would actually release a genuine bad-ass.

So, I like the idea of the crowd calling out their wish for Jesus to die well enough, but the details might be wrong.

I see your thread about Pilate and Judas; I'll be thinking about that for a while.

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Hi, DS

I probably hang around lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians too much, but I think Pilate was making an easily remembered spectacle about who's idea it was to kill Jesus. He is doing the Temple bosses a political favor by killing Jesus, but he sees the possibility of a doublecross. So, to make sure that nobody comes back later and says "The Romans killed our innocent beloved hero Jesus," he gets everybody on record as to whose bright idea killing Jesus actually was.

Greetings 8 Bits,

I guess that's partly why I remain confused. On one hand we have the whole scene where Pilate offeres to free Jesus or Barrabus and then we have him washing his hands to rid himself of guilt. On the other a scene where PIlate really has no Jurisdiction as it would've been an issue for the Jewish court wouldn't it? Although we also have the portrayal of Pilate sending Jesus off to Herod as Jesus would've qualified as under his jurisdiction. Damn gospels and their confusion. <_<

That behavior, I think is realistic. Of course, the thing got turned around into an excuse for anti-Semitic activities by Chrisitians ever after.

There are unrealistic elements to the "prisoner choice" thing specifically: no record of such a custom, the odd name, and the idea that Pilate would actually release a genuine bad-ass.

I think your view makes more plausible sense particularly because all these events apparently occur near such a sacred holiday, understandable Pilate would not want to tolerate any trouble and deal with it swiftly.

So, I like the idea of the crowd calling out their wish for Jesus to die well enough, but the details might be wrong.

I see your thread about Pilate and Judas; I'll be thinking about that for a while.

Indeed please feel free to dispense some of your thoughts/wisdom on the thread. After all it this topic that got me to ask the question. :D

SINcerely,

:devil:

EDIT: just had to say that it was rather hilarious you mentioning, "I probably hang around lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians too much." :lol:

Edited by Dying Seraph
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OK, that's all I know. My questions would be, emphasizing the oldest account, the one in Mark: What did happen in Mark 15: 15-20, assuming that something like the reported incident really happened? And, as always in Bits' Bible Studies, who is the gospel writer's witness? This takes place inside Pilate's compound, out of public view (unlike Luke and John), and, as already noted, Jesus is dressed again in his own clothes before he is led to the crucifixion, which trip was in public.

Greetings 8 Bits,

After having had some time to indulge and stew the question in my head I believe I have a response maybe rather unorthodox and admittedly not well put together but bear with me.

First and foremost the bold states my view. I do not believe Cornelius to be the guy you are seeking if "inside Pilate's compound." And I could certainly be incorrect but I suspect Pilate or Joseph of Arithmea are as good a candidate as any and thus submit Pilate as "chief witness" and Joseph as a possibility.

I trust you'll understand if I negate the Centurion/Cornelius/Mark 15.39 issue as it's been discussed. An issue that does arise though is that didn't Pilate wish to be informed when the act/death was carried out? Mark suggests that it wasn't a soldier at all that went to Pilate but Joseph being first to notify Pilate, and interestingly enough Joseph was wealthy and prominent enough to have been able to "have a seat in the house" so to speak and watch the proceedings and then the scene outside of Christs death. Another issue arises in that the bible implies Joseph was a secret follower of Jesus. Had he gone to Pilate for the body it would've not only informed Pilate of Christs death but also notified Pilate that Joseph was a follower thus not a secret anymore. Something to consider possible is thus Pilate having sympathy for this Jesus guy? :unsure2:

Why Pontius Pilate? After all even fellow countryman Herod Agrippa described Pilate in a letter to Caligula as "naturally inflexible, a blend of self-will and relentlessness." I propose that while Pilate was skeptical of Jesus he appears sympathetic in the gospels to varying degrees (ie Matthew where he washes his hands, or in John where he goes on to even recognize the divinity of Christ).

1. The bold above-Pilate's Compound where Pilate presided of course.

2. Even Mark gives implications that Pilate doesn't want much of a hand in this mess of killing Jesus.

3. The gospels present that the desire for the death of Christ is already apparent by the audience and can best be summed up by Caiaphus-"What need have we for further evidence?" Pilate however would have to be careful in navigating such a process. Romans would be present, soldiers, noblemen, as well as Jews (prosecuters) presenting the case, and perhaps an audience, in all the statements Pilate makes they appear inquisitive if not at times back handed. Marks gospel conveys that even witnesses were gathered although none were in agreement with one another.

4. ALL gospels (although with different wording) present more or less the same inquisitive question and response. "Are you the son of God?" "You have said it." This ticked the Jewish leaders off however Pilate doesn't appear to be offended at all if anything it appears to spark interest. It would appear that both Pilate and Jesus are "feeling" each other out. Pilate in both Mark and Matthew after questioning and silence on the part of Jesus, finally sympathetically asks, "Have you nothing to say? See how many charges they bring against you."

Mark implies that Pilate was more astounded (thaumazein) than anything.

5. Mark portrays Pilate as attempting to let Jesus go, and the audience demands the death of Christ.

And then Pilate in Luke and John gives his verdict:"I find no fault in this man." Mark and Matthew have Pilate contesting the Jewish high priests demanding to know what wrong he'd commited. Pilate contends them and tells the Jews essentially to handle Jesus themselves. However they finally present their argument, that PIlate can't ignore. "It is not lawful for us to put a man to death." THIS statement makes it clear that the high priests were expecting a death sentence.

I am under the impression that Pilate was "chief witness" to Christ and to a degree sympathetic. Could it be that maybe Pilate saw something "special" in Jesus? What do you think?

SINcerely,

:devil:

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A yellow polyester leisure suit?

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A yellow polyester leisure suit?

Oh come on we all know Jesus was put in a gimp suit!! :w00t::whistle::innocent:

SINcerely,

:devil:

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