The Barabbas connection

There is another possible connection between the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus and the discovery of the remains of a crucified man likely to have been the last Hasmonean king of the Jews, Antigonus II Mattathiah.

In 1970 a decorated ossuary – a limestone box containing the bones of the deceased – was discovered inside a a rock-cut tomb in Jerusalem’s Givat Hamivtar neighborhood, dating back to the first century BCE. It had an Aramaic inscription which referred to “Abba, son of Eleazar the priest”:

I am Abba, the oppressed, the persecuted, born in Jerusalem and exiled to Babylon, who brought back Mattathiah son of Judah and buried him in the cave that I purchased.

An article by Ariel David in Haaretz  refers to a paper published last year in the Israel Exploration Journal by Yoel Elitzur, a Hebrew University historian, which notes that in Jewish texts and manuscripts the name Abba and Baba were often used interchangeably, and identifies Abba as the head of a family mentioned by Josephus as the “the sons of Baba” and described as being supporters of the Hasmoneans long after Herod had taken power. Abba later also appears frequently as a personal name in the Gemara (a section of the Talmud).

All four canonical Gospels refer to an incident where Pilate asked ‘the crowd’  if they wanted Jesus to be released (referring to a custom of releasing a prisoner at Passover) or Βαραββᾶς Barabbas (several ancient manuscripts give his full name as ‘Jesus Barabbas’). Βαραββᾶς is a Hellenised form of the Aramaic בר אבא Bar Abba, or son of Abba. Barabbas, or Bar Abba, is described in the Gospels as a δέσμιον ἐπίσημον desmion episēmon, that is, a ‘notable (or notorious) prisoner’ (Matthew 27:16), and Mark 15:7 and Luke 23:9 say he had been imprisoned with the στασιαστής stasiastēs or insurrectionists because of his role in an uprising in the city. John 18:40 calls him a λῃστής lēstēs which is sometimes translated ‘robber’ but a better translation would be ‘rebel’ or ‘insurrectionist’.

Barabbas or Jesus?

Barabbas or Jesus?

Barabbas/Bar Abba was no ordinary thief or murderer. He had been caught up in one of the several unsuccesful insurrections against the Romans and was possibly a member of the prominent priestly Abba family in Jerusalem. He was almost certainly facing crucifixion. According to my reading of the Gospels ‘the crowd’ which called for his release was not the same group of people who just days before had hailed Jesus as the Messianic ‘Son of David’, but rather a mob consisting of or backed by the religious leaders. If I have read this correctly, then they were calling for the release of one of their own sons.

One comment on “The Barabbas connection

  1. Raymond D Howard says:

    The Abba Cave, has been tentatively identified with Antigonus II Matthiatas. The ossuary found within the cave aside the inscriptions, suggest highly by the stature of the person of the bones represented and a hack mark of a botched decapitation, that it is very likely Antigonus II M., whom died in 37 BCE, not 33 CE. However doing the math is interesting. 33 CE to 70 AD, of course is 37 years from the for now per this post urban legend of Jesus being crucified. Work backwards from 33 CE, and count back to Antigonus II’s death, it is 70 years. Between the two a total of 140 years passage from the time Antigonus II was deposed from his ‘3’ years serving as Judah’s King. The 70 number in Hebrew with Gemartria in mind is the sixteenth Hebrew letter ‘ Ayin ’ The spiritual number 16 means ‘ Sacrifice ’. In Hebrew the character Ayin is used to represent the number 70. The number 70 means ‘ Elder ’: a ‘ Righteous.

    Currently Israel as of 2018, is 70 years old. What it appears although of course Christian apologists will counter facts of the 1st Century Jewish Revolts, Antigonus II M, not playing into the dogma per doctrine of Christianity, but very much into predictive programming of ancient Jews, is yes what becomes Joseph Atwill’s Caesar’s Messiah. And Atwill of course is not the only Christ Myth Theorist of course. As is Antipitas Herod was in power in 33 CE,and Pontius Pilate was concerned about only two rivals for Judah’s Kingship, being the Hasmonean Dynasty, as represented in the end of his demise, with heirs, Antigonus iI Matthiatas, and that of the Herod’s, whom were Edomites. The marriages of Hasmonean women into Herodian lineage secured the power base in Herod, with the backing of Rome. Thus there were Mariamne’s… granddaughter’s and great granddaughter’s that married into the Herodian line, but as of 4 BCE, with both Herod the Great, and his son Atipater, they died then, and there was no edict of killing innocents during that time, as is in the narration of the NT. The very concern of the nom de plume’s of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, with Matthew and Luke’s genealogies should raise every scholar’s eyebrow, as well as the layperson to consider why does this genealogy differ slightly between the two and what does the Davidian lineage REALLY factor into the Hasmonean Dynasty, as to figure what specific real person existed other than Antigonus II M., himself as to generate over his own sacrifice, as to net the result of an urban legend in Jesus, and as well an alter ego in the manufacture in composite other figures for rivals during Antipitas’ reign, as to represent Antigonus’ head in the composite character then of John the Baptist.

    Cleta M. Flynn has done as much as one can an extensive study on the Hasmonean Queens & Mariamne, and Barbara Thiering has as much cited the tentative regard of the “Wicked Priest” among scholars being Antigonus II Matthiatas, in the Qumran Community Scrolls, aka Dead Sea Scrolls.

    If we consider the convenience and coincidence of these events, while synchronous their way too coincidental in the contrast of what had to be invented into the NT narrative, which probably started with the Maccabees themselves in a cult development of deep contempt both at Herod and Rome in use of the demise of Antigonus II Ms untimely death otherwise. It appears Antigonus II M, being the first time Rome had decapitated a foreign leader, and this was prompted by Antigonus II M., in rival of Herod the Great, in Antigonus II M, killing or having him killed Herod’s brother and having the brother beheaded.

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