'Jesus Barabbas' or just 'Barabbas'?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Bluefalcon, Aug 27, 2006.

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  1. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    The character released for Jesus is traditionally known as Barabbas (Mt. 27:16, 17). Some recent versions (TNIV, CEV, The Message), following the standard critical Greek text rather blindly, call the bandit 'Jesus Barabbas'. It is supposed that orthodox scribes omitted 'Jesus' from Barabbas' name for doctrinal reasons. But, alas, to hold this view one must believe that every Greek MS before the 9th century is corrupt at this point, for the earliest surviving Greek MS to read 'Jesus Barabbas' is Codex Coridethianus (Theta/038) from the 9th century!
     
  2. TaterTot

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    This is true. The crowd chose the wrong Jesus. There would be an awesome sermon in that, but ya might get thrown out, lol.
     
  3. Magnetic Poles

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    I have heard some skeptics use this to assert that Jesus actually was not crucified. They say that "Barabbas" is derived from "Bar Abba" or "son of the Father", hence "Jesus, son of the Father" was released from custody. Jesus is actually Greek for the same name as Joshua, and apparently was quite common. I imagine this scenario could play into speculation such as The DaVinci Code, although I admit to not having read it.
     
    #3 Magnetic Poles, Aug 27, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2006
  4. robycop3

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    Yes, there was a sorcerer named "Bar-Jesus". I agree with MP that it was a common name. However, there is inly one CHRIST! (Messiah, one of His titles)
     
  5. DeclareHim

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    I guess we must assume that there were theological terrorist all over the place and everyone of them was waiting to attack and delete anything they felt weren't up to their views. Got to stick with the just 'Barabbas' here.
     
  6. StefanM

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    To me, explaining the addition is far more difficult than explaining the omission.

    But, that doesn't completely solve the problem. If I were translating, I'd use brackets, but I'd include "Jesus."
     
  7. Bluefalcon

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    I'll try not to laugh as I await your explanation how _all_ Greek MSS from every century from which Greek MSS of the passage exist came to be corrupt except only two MSS and one family from the 9th century and later.

    If Jesus Barabbas was actually his full historical name, but the Gospel writers chose to use the shortened Barabbas instead (as was common), it is easy to imagine that a scribe would attempt to make the account more historically true, by adding 'Jesus' to what Matthew originally wrote. Such a "holy" attempt to improve Scripture was not widespread, as the MS evidence shows, and could not even begin to make an impression on the already widely developed tradition when the "holy improvement" took place. This has all the signs, as Hort says, of combining "the appearance of an improvement in the sense with the absence of its reality."

    Another explanation why only a minute and obscure Caesarean reading should creep into the text is the better rhetorical emphasis that Jesus Barabbas has in direct comparison to Jesus Christ. For, as Griesbach wisely noted, "polished scribes, like commentators, love and seek out rhetorical emphases."

    These two examples are enough to show that the scantly attested 'Jesus Barabbas' reading is actually the smoother and more polished reading upon further examination, and that the 'Barabbas' reading on both external and internal grounds is in fact the original without any question.
     
    #7 Bluefalcon, Aug 30, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  8. StefanM

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    D.A. Carson, Matthew, EBC:

    "16-17 Only witnesses of the Caesarean text (e.g., Q f1 700* syrs) preserve the name "Jesus" before "Barabbas"; but Origen knows the reading, as do several marginal glosses (in one uncial, S, and in about twenty miniscules); and it is probably presupposed in the ancestors of B 1010. The external evidence is not strong enough to be at all certain; but on the whole it is more likely that scribes deleted the name out of reverence for Jesus than added it in order to set a startling if grotesque choice before the Jews. The problem is compounded in v. 17, where, in an uncial script, the abbreviated form of the accusative of "Jesus" could be easily lost by haplography (YMININ)."

    It's not so cut and dry as you suppose, Bluefalcon. I did not say that "Jesus Barabbas" was the definite correct reading; I merely think that the evidence at present leaves the reading questionable but possibly valid.

    Yes, it is difficult to explain why this reading is absent in so many manuscripts, but the "rhetorical" argument is far from absolutely conclusive. It requires that the value of this rhetoric device would outweigh the possibly negative connotations of placing the personal name of the Savior in front of Barabbas. That is possible but is far from something to be assumed automatically.

    The weight of the evidence, IMO, warrants at least mentioning it while clearly indicating its doubted status.
     
  9. Bluefalcon

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    So this is a text-book example of a marginal reading creeping into the text, woopdeedoo! Barabbas' full name probably was Jesus Barabbas, and some scribe long ago thought to note it in the margin. Eventually it crept in and became merely a local reading in a few MSS. I have to admit, it does sound better...who do you want, Jesus the Barabbas or Jesus the Christ? And that is no doubt what some scribes, but only the fewest of few in comparison to all the rest, thought also.

    The funniest line in the quote from Carson above is: "The external evidence is not strong enough to be at all certain." Nope, just every Greek MS from the 4th-16th centuries save 2 from the 9th and one family later than that, and every MS from every version from every location in the world save one Old Syriac MS. Sure, that's not strong enough at all to be certain. Eclectic scholarship at its best!
     
    #9 Bluefalcon, Aug 30, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  10. franklinmonroe

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    Conversely, its a choice between the son of a human (father, small 'f') and the Son of God (the Christ-messiah).
     
  11. Deacon

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    The reading was noted as a variant quite early in history.
    I can’t locate the exact quote but it’s reported that Origen [182-251 AD.] argued against the reading out of reverence to the name of “Jesus”.
    [can anyone find the exact reference in his works?]

    Rob
     
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