> > seriously folks, I'd like to know more about BarAbbas.
WE DON'T know much about Barabbas. As far as I know, he's
not mentioned in any historical source other than the
Gospels. He does appear in all four, though:
Mat 27:16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
Mat 27:17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
Mat 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
Mat 27:21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
Mat 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered [him] to be crucified.
Mar 15:7 And there was [one] named Barabbas, [which lay] bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.
Mar 15:11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
Mar 15:15 And [so] Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged [him], to be crucified.
Luk 23:18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this [man], and release unto us Barabbas:
Luk 23:19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
Luk 23:25 And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
Jhn 18:40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
Two of 'em make him out to be a seditionist, not just a common criminal. (John's
dismissive parenthesis about him being a 'robber' is very much in John's lordly
style.) This is pretty good evidence, as New Testament criticism goes, that Barabbas
was somebody of some note. Most historians think the Gospels were written down between
70 and 100 years after the events they recount, Mark and Matthew being the earliest
and John the latest. The writers are thought to have depended on earlier (now
lost) written sources and likely on oral tradition as well. Barabbas might well
have been remembered at the time the way us boomers' parents might remember Huey
Long or John Dillinger.
Reading between the lines, he seems to have been a popular fellow -- though
one could argue that it was a manipulated crowd, taking its cues from
the Temple authorities, somewhat like Democrats in our own day.