The gospels differ significantly over Yeshua’s trial

The gospels differ significantly over the details of Yeshua’s trial and committal:

  • In the First Gospel (‘Mark’), they took him to Caiaphas, the high priest’s, house where the Jewish governing council (Sanhedrin), had assembled. The Jewish leaders gave false and conflicting testimony; Yeshua remained silent. Then Caiaphas asked him if he was the Messiah. Previously he had refused to claim the title, but this time he answered, ‘I am.’ ‘Blasphemy!’ exclaimed the Jewish leaders, ‘The punishment is death.’ But the Jewish authorities had no power to execute a prisoner, only the Roman Prefect could do that, so Yeshua was sent to Pilate. ‘Mark’ claims that Pilate was unconvinced by the evidence and told the Sanhedrin to prosecute Yeshua themselves since blasphemy was not his concern. The Jewish leaders then accused Yeshua of claiming to be a king; this could be seen as sedition, a capital offence under Roman law. Still Pilate could find no reason to execute him. Finally he caved in, had him flogged and then sent for crucifixion. (Mark 14:53-15:15)
  • In ‘Luke’s’ Gospel, and only ‘Luke’s’, he was also sent to Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, who questioned him but took no action and returned him to Pilate.
  • ‘Matthew’ added a further dramatic gesture – Pilate washed his hands to signify that he was innocent of Yeshua’s blood.
  • And typically the Fourth Gospel added several lengthy passages of preachy dialogue at all stages of the proceedings.

What are we to make of this? Is it enough to say it’s true if you believe it’s true? Is any of it true? Which parts? Or none? Only you can decide.

©David Lawrence Preston, 11.3.2016

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