trial of JC: 12 angry pharisees

Was Christ condemned to death by the Jews, as tradition has held for so long, or was he really executed by the Romans as a political offender?…

The author of Mark endeavors to meet the difficulty by transferring the responsibility for the Crucifixion from the Roman governor to the Jewish leaders. He prepares for this by showing that the Jewish leaders, variously described as the Pharisees and scribes,” and the “high priests” had planned to destroy Jesus from the very start of his ministry. Thus we are told that after Jesus had healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, “The Pharisees went out, and immediately held council with the Herodians against him,how to destroy him.” The theme of the malicious intent of the Jewish authorities is gradually developed as the narrative proceeds. How this intent would be implemented is foretold in detail in a prophecy assigned to Jesus himself: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles. “They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”

Shmuley Boteach has a book soon to be released about how non-Jews can save Judaism and how Jesus is a prophet, but not divine or any kind of messiah. Judaism is a failure, he says. It’s too tribal. It has no appeal in a world where people want to share life and culture, not remain separate. Jews left Judaism 200 years ago in the Emancipation and they’re not coming back, he says. 
So, Shmuley is showing people a way that is ancient and can be made new: a sort of associate relationship to Judaism like the God-fearers and Judaizers of the Second Temple Period. Ten percent of Romans kept Sabbath, some of the sources tell us. And non-Jews today, says Shmuley, can practice Jewish spirituality in modified forms without giving up their own identity or joining the tribe.
Shmuley’s upcoming book is about Jesus. Jesus the prophet, he says. But not Jesus the divine man or Messiah. Problems? You bet . . .
Before Reading Shmuley’s Book, Here Are a Few Problems
(1) If Jesus is a prophet (I certainly think so) then his words are from God. There is no way Shmuley can believe this….
(2) Paul, says Shmuley, needed a way to make Judaism’s God more accessible, which he did by inventing a human-deity that is somehow (Shmuley doesn’t say how) more compatible with Greco-Roman ideas about deity.—Read More:

After describing further encounters with Jesus during the last days in Jerusalem, the Gospel of Mark relates how the Jewish leaders finally succeeded in arresting him, owing to the defection of one of his disciples. The fact is significant, for it indicates that Jesus was too strongly supported by the crowd for the Jewish authorities to arrest him publicly. The author of Mark does not say specifically why they then seized Jesus; we have only this earlier, general assertions tha they had determined to destroy him from the beginning of his ministry.

The author of Mark admits that the Jewish authorities sent a heavily armed band to arrest Jesus, and that there was some armed resistance to his arrest in Gethsemane. He minimizes this resistance,saying “one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear.” He does not disclose, as the later Evangelists do, that the disciples were armed and that it was one of them who struck the blow. After his arrest,according to the Gospel, Jesus was taken before the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish tribunal.The trial that follows is described in a way that raises a host of problems, both with regard to the procedure and to what really happened.

—Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable. “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. —Read More:

Mark’s opening statement reiterates the theme of the evil intent of the Jewish leaders: “Now the chief priest and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, and their witness did not agree.” The impression that Mark’s statements are evidently meant to convey is that the Jewish authorities, determined on destroying Jesus, used the trial as a legal pretext for accomplishing their aim. What is said about the “false witnesses,” however, indicates a rather different situation. If they had suborned persons to give false evidence about Jesus,the Jewish leaders were strangely punctilious in rejecting that evidence when it was not mutually corroborated- surely they would have arranged things better, or been less scrupulous about the rules of the evidence, if they had “rigged” the trial.

Francesco Hayez. Destruction of the Second Temple. 1867.—Have the Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality buried treasures from the Second Temple under a giant lavatory? That possibility is just one of the problems cited by opponents of a plan to improve a spring in the city’s Ein Karem neighborhood, at one of Israel’s most important Christian tourism sites.
The spring is the fourth most important site in the Holy Land to Christian pilgrims, after Jerusalem’s Old City, Bethlehem and Nazareth, and about one million people visit it each year. According to Christian tradition, this is the place where Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, and Mary, Jesus’ mother, met when both women were pregnant. But for the last two years, these visitors have been greeted by the adjacent sight of a huge, sealed building that, according to the approved plan, is supposed to serve as a public lavatory and a municipal warehouse for gardening tools.
It’s hard to see why a combined bathroom and toolshed needs a 314 square meter building, but the plan is to build a large plaza on its roof, as the building is below the level of the road.—Read More:

But the author of Mark was obviously more concerned with establishing the responsibility of the Jewish leaders for the Crucifixion than from presenting a l

ally coherent narrative… ( to be continued)


(see link at end)…According to Jewish turncoat Flavius Josephus, an “Egyptian false prophet” led 30 thousand followers from the desert to the Mount of Olives (!). Claiming that the walls of Jerusalem would fall at his command, he planned to overcome the Roman garrison.

In Acts 21:38, a Roman mistakes Paul/Saul of Tarsus for the Egyptian, who here is credited with 4000 followers and is called a leader of the revolutionary terrorists known as the Sicarii.

How interesting, don’t you think so? Why would a Roman officer confuse Paul with a rebel leader who had promised his followers to destroy the walls of the Holy City?

Could it be that Paul’s alleged Master, who had also spent some time in Egypt if we are to believe Matthew’s Gospel, had made similar pledges?

During his nightly trial, Jesus was repeatedly accused of planning the destruction of the Temple, a charge he never denied. Of course, the Synoptic Gospels want us to believe that these accusations were mere slander and that the people who made them were just venal false witnesses paid by the Sanhedrin. But were they?

We have seen already that Jesus forbade people to pay taxes to Caesar (the land of Israel and its riches obviously don’t belong to Cesar, but to God!). But when this particular point arises in the Gospel narratives, it is presented as a false, groundless accusation.

We therefore have good reasons to be extremely cautious before we take what the Evangelists say about Jesus at face value. Obviously, for Pauline Christians of the second century, when the Gospels were compiled and began to circulate, to find that Jesus had been a radical tax protester would have been a huge embarrassment. Hadn’t Paul claimed that paying taxes was an act of charity? And that all authority, including secular authority, was of God?

Now a Jesus promising he would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days would have been an even greater embarrassment. The fact is it din’t happen that way.

But in my mind this may have been what Jesus said. John preserves this tradition in his own Gospel, albeit in a slightly modified version: unsurprisingly for an archantisemite like “John”, the demolishing is now attributed to the Jews themselves, while Jesus blithely presents himself as the one who is going to do the rebuilding. Lest the reader should misinterpret Jesus’ saying and see him as a predecessor of Josephus’ Egyptian rebel or Theudas, “John” hastens to explain that he was speaking of the temple of his body. Of course, how could it have been otherwise, dear John ?Read More:


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