"called king of the Jews" vs "called Christ"

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"called king of the Jews" vs "called Christ"

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:16 am

So Mark 15:9:
“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate

And so Matthew 27:17 :
So when the crowd had assembled, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

I am persuaded, by this article of Couchoud/Sthal, that the Barabbas episode's function is a polemic against some Christian rivals - not necessarily Gnostics - who adored yes a Jesus Son of Father, but not one identified with the (Jewish) Christ.

But while this is particularly true for Matthew 27:17, since the Jesus opposed to Barabbas is explicitly shown as the one "called Christ'' (while Barabbas is named explicitly ''Jesus Barabbas'' to emphasize even more the contrast between the two), I am going to doubt that ''Mark'' (author) had a similar intention about the function of the Barabbas episode, insofar the Jesus opposed to Barabbas is in Mark 15:9 introduced as ''the king of the Jews'' and not as ''called Christ".

In particular, I think that ''Matthew'' (editor) deliberately changed the markan ''king of the Jews'' in ''called Christ'', for the more obvious anti-marcionite function: the crucified Jesus was the Jewish Christ, period.

The question thus is raised for Mark:against whom was "Mark" polemizing, by inventing the first time the Barabbas episode?

Surely the reasonable premise is that ''Mark'' was polemizing against Christians who didn't like to identify Jesus with ''the king of the Jews'', even if they identified Jesus with the Jewish Christ.

So, ''the king of the Jews"''Christ''.

The answer, I think, is to be found in the famous inscription:

The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS.

(Mark 15:26)

The irony of the passage, when read in the light of Mark 1, is evident:

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

(Mark 1:14-15)

For Mark, the "Kingdom of God" (on the Jews themselves) is realized by the crucifixion of the Son of God. But the basic feature of this ''Kingdom of God'' is that it was preached in advance by an itinerant Jesus. The itinerant Jesus was invented by ''Mark'' for the first time.

Therefore, who wanted free Barabbas had to allegorize predictably, in the real History, these Christians who would have rejected immediately as blasphemy the ''kingdom of God'' preached on the earth by the same ''king of the Jews''.

These Christians adored a Jesus Son of Father who was guilty of murder. This Jesus Son of Father was not crucified.

A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising.

(Mark 15:7)

We know which Jesus, in all the NT books, was particularly (in)famous for both the his Zealot ferocity and anti-Romanism. And famous also for not being notoriously a crucified Christ. And in surprising addition, a Jesus who was connected someway with the Jewish Passover.

Revelation 1:15-17
15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.

So, invented originally by ''Mark'' as polemical episode against the celestial not-crucified Christ-Lamb of the Apocalypse (not a historical figure), the Barabbas episode was transformed by ''Matthew'' in an anti-marcionite episode.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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