The Gospel accounts of the trials of Jesus before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod have considerable agreement, and some interestingly unique statements. While all four accounts agree on the essential details of what happened early in the morning of Good Friday, only Luke records that Jesus was interrogated by Herod Antipas (see Luke’s Sources). Only John—writing long after the three synoptic Gospel writers—adds the detail of the name of the location in Jerusalem where the trial took place (Gabbatha). And in writing that one word John left a great clue for modern archaeologists to find the location of the trial before Pilate.
There is so much to be gleaned about the veracity of the Gospel accounts from reading about the trials of Jesus. The accounts are not identical—but they are not inconsistent. An argument could be made that if this material was contrived, all four accounts would be…
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April 16th, 2014 at 1:18 pm
If you are interested, Walter Chandler wrote a fascinating book about the trial: The Trial of Jesus from a Lawyer’s Standpoint (1908). He starts by examining whether the Gospel accounts would be admitted as evidence in a court of law, then proceeds to discuss the Jewish and Roman trials. The defense of the Biblical account is reward enough, but as a lawyer, I enjoyed the study of how far the authorities deviated from their own laws in putting Jesus to death.
Chandler’s book is not easy to find in print, but it is available from several sources online, including the following:
Vol 1 https://archive.org/details/trialofjesusfrom01chan
Vol. 2 https://archive.org/details/trialofjesusfrom02chan
April 17th, 2014 at 7:10 am
Thanks Jim, I am very interested and will check out the book. I have always been aware that rules and laws were broken to get the Sanhedrin what they wanted, but it would be interesting to dig a little deeper. I know archaeologists rely on their understanding of Jewish laws and customs to piece together the biblical history, so it would be good to have some insight. Thanks!