not a reasonably genuine recounting of events, how would this democracy in america and two essays on american story get by Jewish readers who would remember all too well what restrictions the Romans placed upon them? What would Rome have made of such carelessness? (It is serious conjecture to 'read in' some Roman anti-Semitism in NT passages). That they did not raises the real possibility that the grounds for the execution were entirely different, perhaps political, as many scholars have held. Because throughout the Empire, the Romans would not dismantle the local institutions of justice; rather, they would use them to their own ends,. Let's look at the actual charges that they brought to Pilate: Mark (15:1-3 Matthew (27) and John (18) do not give the specific charges, Mark saying only that Jesus was accused of "many things." But the implication of Pilate's question, which is the same. (This is in direct contrast with the Gospels which attempt to contradict Jesus' action and claim that he was not seeking an earthly kingdom-clearly absurd given the circumstances.) Here is the one place where Still is partially correct. This, indeed, seems well-agreed to by critics: * Brandon, 139 even takes the issue too far, insisting that the problems between the trial accounts "stem from the embarrassing fact of the Roman execution of Jesus for sedition" - though he fails to explain why. Brandon cites the reports of Josephus, but he errs in doing so - for the truth is that bar Kochba was the "first recorded" of the Pseudo-Messiahs. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken.
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Now let us examine a passage that gives some of the historical revisionists heartburn - the so-called Testimonium Flavium : Antiquities.3.3 Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men. However, I believe that Schonfield is wrong here; throughout the Gospels, "sinners" is used to refer simply to those who sin - it has no exclusive reference to Gentiles. A colleague reproaches him: "How long will you profane the Shekinah?" In the late book III Enoch, the exalted Enoch is given the divine Name and a throne next to God's. 63 In 1935, Colonel Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel in a report about the military capacity of the Red Army wrote that the commissars were "mostly of the Jewish race". When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. (Antiquities.4.85) The anti-Semitic Pilate was not the sort of governor that would have acted with even the slightest civility toward a Jew who openly admitted to sedition.