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analyzing the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew as evidence for understanding the historical Jesus.

by | Jun 5, 2022 | History | 0 comments

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analyzing the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew as evidence for understanding the historical Jesus.
Matthew 27:15-26 (NRSV) — Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
As historians of religion your analysis needs to evaluate the reliability of this story with critical questions: Where did the author get their information? Does the author have reliable sources of information? Whose interests are being served by this story? Do these interests undermine the reliability of this story as evidence for reconstructing the historical Jesus? What is the relation of myth and history in this story?
A good essay will interact with all relevant information from the readings and lecturettes for the course. Your essay should be six pages (1500 words), double spaced.
work cited included

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