Best one yet. But maybe that’s just because I grew up in the 80’s.
Mr. T is actually a minister now isn’t he?
Jesus definitely did commit the crime he was punished for. His crime was sedition – and he most definitely committed it – as would I had I been him. The Roman Empire was brutal and oppressive to the Jews and he was one of many who were put to death for standing up against the injustice.
No Jesus did not commit the crime of sedition. Pontius Pilate proclaimed that he found no fault in this man. Further, Pilate knew that the only reason the pharisees brought Jesus before the Romans is because they were jealous.
Jesus was Crucified – a punishment reserved exclusively for sedition. His plaque – “King of the Jews” clearly states his crime was sedition – as if he is the King of the Jews, then the the Emperor in Rome is not. Jesus spoke repeatedly of the Kingdom of God being established, and consistently fought against the Scribes and Temple Aristocracy that were in league with the Romans. Jesus explicity said “Give back to God what is God’s” – in reference to the Holy Land of Israel. He rightly resisted Roman occupation and was executed for it alongside two fellow “bandits” (a term used for rebel fighters or insurrectionists.)
oh dear – my GCSE short course RE class could point to many faults in that argument. King of the Jews clearly states nothing… the Romans allowed Herod to be King of the Jews did they not? Jesus argued against the Scribes and Temple Aristocracy but his teaching was against their hypocrisy never because they were ‘in league with the Romans’ although many obviously were.
Jesus’explicitly’ – laughable – can’t be that explicit if so few people interpret Matthew 22 the way you do. All of creation is God’s, the passage is about taxes and money, I don’t think he was in anyway referring to the ‘Holy Land of Israel’.
Herod was never “King of the Jews” he was the Tetrarch of Galilee/Perea (I assume you’re referring to Herod Antipus “The Fox” – as that was the Herod that was alive at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus). “King of the Jews” is sedition. It means you are the king of the Jews. I don’t think that’s particularly unclear. Herod never called himself King of the Jews, he was just a Governer or Tetrarch in the Roman system, the same rank (pretty much) as Pilate.
The reason so few people understand Matt 22 is because the translation to English is so poor. “Render unto” or the even worse “Give to” just doesn’t capture the true meaning of the phrase Jesus used, which automatically implies returning something to it’s rightful owner.
Add to this Jesus’s attack on the Temple, his questioning of the authority of the Scribes and Temple Aristocracy (which is equivalent to questioning the authority of Rome) – and his sedition becomes obvious.
The whole thing just gets played down in the gosples because they were written at a time when the Church wanted to be as pro-Roman and anti-Jewish as possible, in order to survive. But Jesus lived in a time when anti-Roman sentiment was the norm amongst the lower classes in Judea and even more so in Galilee. Even presenting oneself as a “Messiah” is to be anti-Roman. The term “Messiah” was explicitly understood in that period to mean someone who would liberate the Jews from Roman occupation. Other Messiahs of the time such as the two Simons, Ethronges, the Samaritan and the Egyptian all re-enforced this concept. To be a messiah is to commit sedition. Jesus is proposing a separate authority to that of Rome, and is therefore guilty of sedition.
Jesus was convicted of an punished for Blasphemy by the Jews.
He was guilty of being a King, for which the Romans punished Him.
(The accusation being inscribed by the order of Pilate).
He did not commit nor sanction sedetion.
And technically it was only blasphemy IF Jesus was not who He said he was. 🙂
Jesus was “officially” crucified for sedition–but only because a cowardly Pilate gave-in to a raging crowd’s demands. As someone stated above Pilate had already publicly declared Him innocent of the lying charges of sedition which the Sanhedrin brought against Him–even sending Jesus to Herod–to avoid the issue, and later, actually publicly physically washing his hands to try to avoid the responsibility of executing an innocent man. To try to assuage the crowd’s blood-lust Pilate even tried to release Jesus, and released a real seditionist instead, Barabus,but the crowd screamed “Crucify Him!” all the more…so Pilate went along.
Jesus had made it clear to Pilate that “My Kingdom is not of this world” hence Pilate knew He was not guilty of sedition–even though he officially proclaimed so, in the sign, and in crucifying Jesus. But Pilate of course, was not above officially lying or deception.
Additionally–when speaking of taxation–Jesus using the Roman coin–said “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s”…the context had nothing to do with the land. Show me ONE place where Jesus “resisted Roman occupation.”
The whole Jewish generation of Jesus too, became involved in revolutionary action against Rome culminating in the utter destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70…EXCEPT for Jesus followers…who did NOT take part in that military resistance to Rome. (this was greatly resented by the Jews too–that one Jewish sect refused to fight…) Most of the 12 would of died or been executed by then (John was still alive) and certainly other disciples who knew Jesus were still alive during that Jewish war…. But the Church did not resist Rome–by the direct guidance of the Apostles and the Apostolic Fathers–following the example of Jesus, who was not a political savior.
You can try, but you cannot make the real Jesus described in the gospels into a political revolutionary. Marxists have never been very good Bible scholars.
Well, here’s the thing. The good news of the kingdom of God is in and of itself an ultimatum against all other kingdoms. Ultimately, the kingdom of God is the eternal rock of Daniel, which falls from the heavens and smashes all other kingdoms to bits. All other kingdoms cannot endure. When it comes down to it, that kind of “political subversion” is a heavy subtext in the message of the kingdom of God. Now, you’re right in saying that the gospel is not PRIMARILY about political subversion, but that subversion came about as a prominent side effect of the message of the kingdom. I mean, just look at the statement “Jesus is Lord.” It doesn’t take an expert to see that’s directly contradictory with a statement that would have been made at the same time: “Caesar is Lord.” That statement could easily be viewed as political subversion, in an inherent declaration of loyalty to a different Lord. That might actually be why Paul has to give his reminder in Romans 13: “Hey, guys, make sure you still obey your authority. Sure, we say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ but remember, Caesar and the people under him were still given their power by God, the same as Jesus was (not in the same way or the same extent, but power was still given by God to both parties). So, because God gave both Jesus and Caesar authority, we have to respect both of them in kind.” And there are other evidences that this same kind of stuff happened. So, while it would be easy to see what Christ was doing as sedition, and the kind of message which he delivered, as interpreted by the chief priests and scribes, could have been easily mistaken as such, that’s not entirely what he came to do. Or, at least, he came to start that work…
It’s important to note that the whole story of Pilate finding Jesus innocent is absolutely ludcirous. It’s clearly a fabrication designed to make Christianity more accepteable to Romans. It gets gradually more and more mad as you work through the gospels in the order they were written. It is at odds with everything we know about Pilate and his relationship with Judaism.
1 – Releasing a prisoner at passover is not a Jewish custom – it’s a complete fabrication of Mark’s that is never recorded anywhere in Jewish writings – and no other accounts of that period ever mention it – even when it would have been hugely relevant had it been true
2 – Even if this had been a custom – Pilate would not have respected it. Pilot was a total asshat who hated the Jews and had lots of fun trampling their customs. He was so brutal and evil that even the Romans thought he was over the top and eventually removed him because he killed so many people.
3 – As you gradually work through the gospels in the order they were written (Mark, Matthew/Luke, John) then you can see Pilate gradually portrayed as more and more powerless and the Jewish mob as more and more responsible for the death of Jesus. It’s clear, as they were all written after the supression of the Jewish Revolt around 70CE, that this is a gradual and deliberate way of distancing Christanity from Judaism and making it more accepteable to Rome, which at that time was so anti-semetic that Hitler looks positively Zionist.in comparison.
4 – Pilate had absolute control. He didn’t listen to the Jews, even to the Temple Authorities that were in league with the Romans. If Pilate wanted Jesus spared – he would have been spared. Jesus was crucified with a plaque (as was normal for crucifixion victims) detailing his crime. His crime was detailed as Sedition. Pilate was in absolute control of these proceedings.
So we can be sure that was why he was executed – but was he really guilty?
1- Though he never referred to himself as the Messiah, he called himself the “Son of Man” – which was almost certainly a reference to Daniel. In this context the Son of Man is the earthly king of God’s kingom made manifest on earth. He also used “Son of God” very occasionally – which is used to refer also to an earthly king, a human who rules God’s kingdom on earth (most Jewish kings of old are called “Son of God” – most notably and often King David) He is claiming earthly kingship.
2 – He enters Jerusalem like a conquering hero would. The message is clear.
3 – He railed against Rome constantly. His constant attacks on the “Scribes” are attacks on Rome. The Scribes and Temple Authorities were widely hated for being Roman collaborators (the temple even had a roman golden eagle above the entrance). To attack the Scribes is to attack Rome.
4 – He said “Give back to God what is God’s” when asked directly about the legality of roman occupation. The word he used in Aramaic means “return to the rightful owner”. He wanted the Romans out.
To summarise – all evidence shows he was executed for Sedition by Rome (the story of Pilate finding him innocent is simply nonsensical) – and Jesus’s teachings scream Sedition at every stage.
“Jesus’ teachings scream Sedition at every stage.”
This is only true if read very selectively. Jesus teachings are often subversive – especially of received Jewish wisdom. He rails against the temple authorities and is frequently critical of a variety of Jewish groupings, whether Sadducees, Pharisees, Herodians or others. But the gospels rarely portray him on direct conflict with the Roman authorities. On occasion he finds positive faith among the officer class and when directly confronted about paying taxes to Caesar refuses fall into the trap laid for him (and this is about *taxes*, not the Land). Although his band of disciples seems to have included at least one “freedom fighter” Jesus refuses the temptation to a political or military “solution” and make himself scarce when crowds come to make him their leader in rebellion against Rome. Moreover, he is a known associate of hated collaborators with Roman power, the feared and unpopular tax collectors with whom he shares table fellowship, unlike most of his Jewish contemporaries.
Of course, there are aspects of Jesus teaching that threaten all empires who would claim our total allegiance. The attitudes Jesus commends challenge many political regimes. So subversive, yes. But “seditious”? I don’t think so.
It’s very important to bear in mind, when reading the gospels, that they were written at a time when the fist of Rome was coming down against Jews like something unearthly. Jesus, and thus Christianity, had to be portrayed in as pro-Roman a light as humanly possible (hence the concoted stories about the trial before Pilate, which become gradually more and more silly as you read through the gospels in the order in which they were written.) Therefore – a lot of effort has been made to make Jesus look as peaceful and other-worldly and unconcerned with politics as possible. Even doing this, they couldn’t cover it up completely. When he was asked about paying taxes to Ceasar, he was clear: “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s [the currency] and give back to God what is God’s [the land of Israel].
When you take into account the overt pandering to Rome that was necessary for Christianity to survive in the time the gospels were written, and then also remember the extreme anti-roman sentiment and revolutionary fervour and zeal in Israel at the time when Jesus actually lived and preached – then his anti-Roman and anti-Temple feelings are much clearer.
Even without reading what he said, it can easily be seen that he incited Sedition to some extent, because he was crucified. Crucifixion is for Sedition only. Pilate had total control (he was so brutal even Rome had issues with him) – and if Jesus was Crucified it’s because Pilate willed it. No other man or group had any authority on these matters.
This has been fascinating, but let’s be quite clear – Jesus didn’t die for any crime he’d committed, he was utterly innocent, he died for my sins and to buy my salvation (and yours).
“buy salvation”? Whatever happened to forgiveness?
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