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Of all the characters that make an appearance during the Passion Week, Barabbas is one of the few names found in all four gospels Matthew ; Mark ; Luke ; John But, who was this man? Because of this, many individuals arose taking on the moniker, only to fall flat on their face.

The New Testament authors describe him as: notorious, a rebel, a murderer, an insurrectionist, and a robber. None of these terms are endearing or give you a feeling that this guy had any good in him. Barabbas deserved to be in prison. In each gospel account we are told Pilate wanted to release Jesus, finding no wrong in him deserving death or imprisonment. Yet, wanting to avoid another revolt, which would look bad on his part, he thought he would be clever.

Both he and the people knew how evil Barabbas was, so it should have been obvious that Jesus would be the easy choice to be freed. So, Pilate obliges and frees the insurrectionist and murderer, washing his hands of any guilt in the matter. Barabbas, no longer getting the death sentence he deserved, was now a free man who could go about his way. When we look at the gospel, we are very much like Barabbas.

The Bible tells us our hearts are wicked and seeking evil at all times. Not only that, but we rob God of his glory and harbor murder in our heart. Just like Barabbas, we were on death row, awaiting our penalty. But then Jesus enters the picture. When faced with the choice between Jesus and Barabbas, it was easy for the crowd to ask for Barabbas because he was just like them.

Give Us Barabbas! - Olive Tree Blog

At least Barabbas was fighting, so they thought. He was giving the people what they wanted, so he fit right in. Sep 27, Warwick rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , christianity , ancient-rome , biblical-middle-east. My kids love churches, but not having been brought up religiously, they don't understand any of the iconography.

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Trying to explain to a six-year-old why they all have statues of this beardy guy slowly dying on a stick has really brought home to me what a hideous and morbid idea Christianity is built on. I understand that some people find it very touching and beautiful, but I find it difficult to see it that way. Telling people that this man went through agony, and then died, on your behalf, whet My kids love churches, but not having been brought up religiously, they don't understand any of the iconography.

Telling people that this man went through agony, and then died, on your behalf, whether you like it or not, is a heavy load to lay on someone and entails a serious amount of what I suppose psychologists would call guilt. They spoke of his having died for them. That might be.

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But he really had died for Barabbas, no one could deny it! So the reactions of Barabbas — relief, disbelief, morbid curiosity, survivor's guilt — become a kind of study in what Christian dogma might imply for the human mind. Barabbas is a great figure to expand upon, since in the source material he is both crucial and barely mentioned. The Bible gives very few details about him, though there's some suggestion in Luke that he took part in riots in Jerusalem.

This may reflect a later mythological tradition, but even so, it points to a deep sense in which the two are equated — indeed, there are serious Biblical scholars who believe that they are one and the same person. This duality is fully explored in Lagerkvist's story, which sees Barabbas go through similar ordeals and, for that matter, end up nailed in the same place. His state of mind and his state of belief at that point are open to interpretation.

It's a very incisive way of looking at the challenges and mysteries of such big topics as atonement, the crucifixtion, and faith — and one which goes to the heart of them in a way that theological texts generally do not. View all 19 comments. Shelves: reviewed , r-goodreads , cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die , r , translated , pure-power-of-gr , 4-star , nobel-prize-people , shorty-short , 1-read-on-hand.

They'll ban them for epithets, they'll ban them for sex, they'll ban them for witchcraft. More often than not, they'll ban them for raising uncomfortable questions in the minds of children who have not yet been conditioned to follow the proper path. Ignore, and if you cannot ignore, condemn until you can, and if you cannot condemn until you can.

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You could ban this book for any of those reasons, much as you could ban the Bible. Either one poses much more danger than most literature deemed unsafe. For one has resulted in millenia of misguided atrocities and the other is, well. A glimpse of the New Testament's birth, before all the context, before all the history, before all the rules.

Of what could have resulted without it. I really have to wonder how seriously they took it.

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It's true that it's not that long, and has religious underpinnings. The 'conveying a truth, religious principle, moral lesson, or meaning' part, though. To put it succinctly, in comparison to this 'parable', nihilism seems vastly more definitive, even encouraging.

At least the latter has an end goal. I will admit to bias, seeing how I was raised Catholic without once grasping the concept behind it all.

The question has always fascinated me, though. The meaning of existence. And what a broad field it is! Sophisticated existentialism, misinformed agnosticism, misinterpreted atheism. The hydra of faith. It's all very fascinating, really. To see what extensive lengths humanity has gone to in its attempt to reconcile the matter of its wandering in the world.

All the shields it has built up between it and the dark. If this book doesn't make you question whatever shield you have chosen, I would be worried. It doesn't matter that this is framed within the context of one of many religions.

Barabbas: The Annoyance of Enlightenment

It is a human story, subject to the facts of life, the whims of fate, and the maelstrom of the mind. Ultimately, it is cruel, and strange, and will not divulge its secrets, for the truth is that it has no secrets to divulge. What it has is a chain of events that could mean one thing, or another, unless perhaps you missed a lesson here, or heard something incorrectly there, and maybe that person really wasn't the right one you should have listened to, or it was that one happenstance that really messed things up, and if it wasn't for that one specific moment in time you'd know exactly what you were supposed to do, and how things were going to happen, and what it all meant.

Chitterings in the void. You know what, go ahead and think that this is a parable. Settle on some kind of conclusion, at least, and get it out of your head. It's not conducive to living, this kind of talk. Banning is a bit much, but temperance. Temperance is a must. View all 12 comments. Barabbas is the guy who was acquitted in Christ's place - and, so, the only person Christ literally died for.

And so, perhaps he might invite a parable for the whole Christian world? Personally, I can't see this book as a parable though. Personally, I think the story is called Barabbas because author talking about humanity in general needs a person around whom story could pivot the word always reminds me of Ross around and Barabbas happened to be a good choice.

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Since he is living because Jesus Barabbas is the guy who was acquitted in Christ's place - and, so, the only person Christ literally died for. Since he is living because Jesus died for him, he has a very direct connection with him, he is closer to Christ than anybody else and can't get him out of his mind. But this connection exists only in blind side. He hasn't talked with same - and has seen him only in the last moments when he was being humiliated and suffering miserably for having spread the message of love. Plus, Barabbas himself has a past filled with hatred - his father was a bandit, his mother gave him birth cursing the world Jesus was to bless, his own brother tried to kill him, and he is himself a bandit.

Naturally, he finds the idea of 'loving one another' lunatic. And thus, even miracles he comes across aren't enough for him to believe in a messiah he doesn't understand. As I said Barabbas is only a pivot thoigh, the story is just as much about characters around him. Despite being the Son of God, Jesus doesn't seem to have bother considering much as to who shall have the luck of being in his divine presence during his tour de Earth; asking total strangers to his scriptures to follow him and so on - there is hardly anything to suggest they deserve it.

Just think some Roman soldier must have got the chance to nail Christ divine hand to cross and we don't know the name of notorious fellow! This seems a common problem with other Abrahamic messiahs too - God decided to put Mohammad in a desert too. Mosses was an exception, being born in a royal family of one of best civilizations of his time - but he quickly corrected it by taking his folks to deserts. Anyways, the point being that like Barabbas, the early Christian folks seem to be mere everymen lacking any charisma whatsoever.