EXPLORING PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANITY
"son of the father"
This Webpage is listed in the Topical Index of Commentaries and Cross-references.
Pierson Parker, in The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 1 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1962, page 353) writes,
BARABBAS... [son of (the) father]. A man who, according to all the NT gospels, was held in prison by the Roman authorities at the time of Jesus' trial. Matthew calls him a "notable prisoner," but does not indicate what his crime was. The Fourth Gospel says that he was a robber, whereas Mark and Luke state that he had been arrested for insurrection and murder. The latter may indicate that he was of the party of Zealots, who desired to throw off the Roman yoke by force. According to Jerome (On Matthew), the name in the apocryphal Gospel According to the Hebrews was filius magistri eorum -- i.e., "son of their teacher." Since "father" might be applied to a rabbi, both forms of the name may indicate that Barabbas' father held a position of leadership in the Jewish religious community...
Origin (Commentary on Matthew) said that the name appeared in some old MSS as "Jesus Barabbas"..., and this form appears also in the ninth-century Codex [Theta] at Matt. 27:16. While the reading is not well attested, it is not impossible, from the historical standpoint. Jesus was a common enough name. Then Pilate's question would take the poignant form: "Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?"
For links to some other Bible-related Web pages, browse http://www.bibletexts.com
To contact the BibleTexts Web site administrator, email or click on firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 1997, 1998 Robert Nguyen Cramer