The Gospels say that Jesus was wildly popular so that the Jews could not have him arrested and had to take him in secret.  So they captured him and suddenly they get very open about trying to find him guilty of a capital crime to get him put to death.  So where was the crowd then?  The publicity does not ring true.

They supposedly got him questioned by Pilate the Roman Governor who was forced by their mob to have him crucified.  Pilate who had several of their friends on crosses that week is now portrayed as so feeble that he lets a dangerous criminal Barabbas be released on their request.

That narrative does not ring true either.

The Talmud says that Jesus was sentenced to death and the Jewish people were given forty days to change the mind of the leaders and spare him and this didn’t happen so he was executed by the leaders.

In some cities, it is certain that the people could execute without expressly appealing to the Roman authorities. Christians state that the permission was limited to these and was not extended to Palestine. That is unlikely and unprovable. Some say it is likely because Palestine had a murderous religion, Judaism had scriptures commanding the killing of sinners by stoning, that made it differ from the rest which killed on political grounds. But most of the countries put people to death for very little. They were religious countries so even if they had no Bibles to tell them to commit these crimes, religion still had a part to play. According to unimpeachable sources, Pilate was a butcher of Jews so Rome did not mind if Jews stoned one another to death over the Mosiac Law. It wanted rid of them in case they would overthrow Roman rule for their Bible told them that the land belonged to nobody else so their patriotism was stronger than that of others nations.

The ancient book, The Golden Ass, says that Rome did let nations execute without its permission. Despite some of its historical content being questionable it should be taken as correct in this because other things support what it says and the Law would have been too well-known for a mistake to have been made.

Pilate would not have told the Jews to put Jesus to death themselves unless they could. He could not have been joking or sarcastic when the Jews answered him as if he wasn’t being. And no hint of sarcasm exists. What he said could have been used against him if he didn’t mean it if it were against Roman policy to let a person be executed without permission. Also, he was empowering them to execute Jesus themselves. So why didn’t they?  The scandal of Jews being granted the power to stone Jesus to death or execute him and insisting the hated Romans should do it would have generated the greatest Jewish scandal of all time had it happened. There was no explosion of uproar recorded in the world at the time over it so it didn’t happen.


The gospel story that the Jews forced Pilate to kill Jesus by crucifixion is incredible. It cannot be true. Even if Pilate wanted to he could not have avoided sentencing Christ to death.

When Pilate told the Jews to judge Jesus by their own law and put him to death (John 18:31) they replied that they could not put any man to death. Did they mean at that time of year? No for they could have waited until after the feast and then they would be free and there would be no danger of a riot among the visitors. The Jews would not have threatened to riot over when Jesus would be killed as long as it would happen.

Pilate knew they wanted Jesus dead when they accused him of capital crimes. His telling them to judge him by their own law received the reply that they couldn’t execute reveals that the Jews knew he was saying they could kill him. They had Pilate’s permission to kill and Rome allowed them to kill when permitted. Their refusing to kill Jesus themselves is totally improbable. If Pilate’s arm was successfully twisted over something so immaterial as who has to kill a holy man when that is his legal fate then he would have been sacked for he was not doing his job. The emperor would not have had that.

In John 19, Pilate tells the Jews to take Jesus and crucify him themselves. They answer back that their Law needs him dead meaning that they want Pilate to kill him though they can do it themselves. We are told both that this answer scared Pilate who was afraid of violence in the crowd and that he killed Jesus against his will. This is absurd. The Jews would not have rioted when they could kill Jesus themselves by stoning and string him up nor would Pilate have expected them to. The gospeller is lying.

Jesus was claimed to have had been carrying royal blood and to have been King David’s real heir to the throne. Had Pilate been keen to save Jesus he would not have said so in public despite the gospel report that he did. He would not have told the world that King Jesus was innocent when royal blood and Messiahs were just not tolerated in the Roman regime. Pilate would have known that arguing with the Jews was nonsense so there was no point in him standing up for a Messiah. Caesar would have been furious and would have fired him for a man who approves one Messiah is giving the wrong message to other would-be Christs who could hide their political aspirations behind a spiritual façade.

In real life, Jesus would have been taken away in secret for crucifixion at a carefully chosen location if there was an issue with crowds supporting him.  And the Jews had nothing to do with it.  Pilate was a liberal killing machine.


No Copyright