Did Jesus break Roman civil law?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Marcia, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    This issue was raised in the marriage thread but since it's really another issue, I thought I'd post Gina's question (from the marriage thread) here:
    1. Was there such a law? Don't just speculate - let's get a real answer.
    2. Did Jesus make a claim to have higher authority in such a way that it would be seen as a violation of that law?
    3. Did Jesus break any civil law?

    We are not talking about the Pharisees' rules here or Sanhedrin rules, so please don't answer for that.
     
  2. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Pilate said he found "no fault" in Jesus. So did Herod.

    The Jewish leaders said that he deserved to die for claiming to be the son of God. But, he had cured the leprosy which was the sign that he was God.

    Jesus did not even break the Pharisaical laws (either spirit or letter of the law), although he permitted his disciples to observe only the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law.
     
  3. donnA

    donnA
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    Apparently He didn't break a roman civil law then did He.
     
  4. JamesBell

    JamesBell
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    In the Gospel of John, the author makes it clear that Pilate was going to release Jesus until the Jews told him that Jesus had called himself a King, and that there could be no king other than Caesar. However, it is difficult to prove whether or not Jesus actually broke any laws. The ancient Romans did not usually codify their laws (other than Lex Duodecim Tabularum, or Twelve Tables at the beginning of ancient Rome and the Corpus Juris Civilis, or Code of Justinian towards the end of the empire). Thus, it is more difficult to look back and see what would have been a violation of Roman law. There are many texts on the subject of Roman law, but I have never seen one that looked at the case against Jesus.

    Of course, we also have to remember that in Israel, the Jewish law was given great weight. The Sanhedrian, while outside the scope of your question, is something that must be considered. These people had the authority to establish civil law, and to enforce it by punishment, but not to impose the death penalty. Thus, to be honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that a violation of Jewish law in Israel was, in fact, a violation of Roman law. The Romans gave the Jews the authority to establish the law in their land, and they did so, under the authority of Rome.
     
  5. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    And the only stated violation of the law was that he called himself the Son of God. Only the Son of God could make that claim and not be in violation of the law.
     
  6. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
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    Whew-I won't feel so bad next time I speed.
     
  7. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Rubato, I don't think anything said here justifies you being okay with speeding!

    I was reading the passage in Mark today where Jesus is before Herod. Jesus admits to being the "King of Jews" and he was! Herod did not find a problem with this, instead asking what crime had Jesus committed.

    The note in the NIV study Bible stated that since Jesus did not claim a military or earthly royal right over the rulers, his claims did not matter to them. Also, Jesus was not fomenting uprising against the rulers, which would have been a crime (and for which Barrabbas was arrested).
     
  8. JamesBell

    JamesBell
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    Marcia, it is a theory that he did not break the law because he did not claim to have an earthly kingdom. However, since we have no way to prove differently, it is just as valid to assert that he was in violation of Roman law for claiming to be a King (even though it was totally true).

    He was, in all probability in violation of Roman law, even if you ignore my point above of the Jewish law being Roman law in Israel.
     
  9. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Well then, why didn't Herod and the others want to execute him for this?

    I have to go by the Bible. Herod said Jesus had committed no crime and the soldier at the crucifixion said "this man has done nothing wrong."
     
  10. JackRUS

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    Read Matthew 17:23-27 and you see Jesus saying that His disciples are free, but they should keep the local law and pay tribute (tax).

    And what a timely message for April 15th! (sigh)
     

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