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Fishman, G.G. (1986). American Imago. XXXIX, 1982: Barrabas. Bronson Feldman. Pp. 181-194.. Psychoanal Q., 55:554.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XXXIX, 1982: Barrabas. Bronson Feldman. Pp. 181-194.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:554

American Imago. XXXIX, 1982: Barrabas. Bronson Feldman. Pp. 181-194.

George G. Fishman

In the Gospel according to John, it is alleged that "Barrabas was a robber." The analysis conducted in this article leads to a startling alternative conclusion. Feldman begins by offering evidence to suggest that the word translated as "robber" denoted a political bandit on the order of, for example, Pancho Villa. The epithet was earned by this shadowy man during a Jewish insurrection against the legions of Pontius Pilate. The occasion was Pilate's pillage of the temple treasury for the alleged purpose of building better aqueducts for his Jewish subjects. The point is made that Pontius Pilate was no friend to any of the Jews, except to turncoats like Josephus. Even his chronicles attest to this fact. Thus it is unlikely that Pilate was the innocent vehicle for Jewish wrath against Jesus. The explanation offered instead is that Jesus (or Yeshua) was brought up in the tradition of Jewish rebellions of those times. The Zealots had been active insurgents in Galilee during his early years. Finally, the author gives us his theory. Feldman argues that the Evangels may have tried to make peace with the Romans for the sake of the early Christian community by expunging all evidence of Jesus' anti-Roman activities. To this end, they created Barrabas who is none other than a split-off part of Yeshua himself. For twenty centuries, a progression of zealous Christian accounts of the deicide have clashed with an onslaught of equally ardent Jewish vindications. This historical rhythm continues.

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Article Citation

Fishman, G.G. (1986). American Imago. XXXIX, 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 55:554

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