Bart Ehrman: “…someone like Jesus, an “enemy of the state” who was executed for treason.”
Jesus wasn’t an enemy of the state until Palm Sunday week and the Jews brought him to Pilate’s attention?
John the Baptist supposedly preached “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
Jesus, continuing the element of John the Baptist’s message also preached, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
Neither of these two instances made either of the two speakers “enemies of the state.”
John the Baptist was not executed for treason by Pontius Pilate (26 – 36 A.D. after Gratus before Marcellus) under the reign of Tiberius.
John the Baptist, in the gospels, not necessarily in Josephus, preached a kingdom other than the Roman Empire for which people should set priorities.
Jesus preached a kingdom other than the Roman Empire for which people should set priorities.
This gets a pass by Rome.
Both speak of a Kingdom of Heaven which implies a king–and that king is not Tiberius.
That’s a little bit too much leeway.
So, what made Palm Sunday and Monday’s turning over the tables treason?
The turning over the tables was not an act of treason, it was an act, as reported by the gospels, of Temple spiritual integrity: “Is all this commerce a house of prayer or what?”
Even this does not sound right. This sounds right if Jesus was not Jewish and thought all the slaughtering was not necessary. A Jewish Jesus would have known the necessity for sacrifices to be arranged. He didn’t like the layout of Herod’s Temple? Prayer is done in deeper courts of the Temple. Passover is not Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur (Hebrew: יוֹם כִּפּוּר, IPA: [ˈjom kiˈpuʁ], or יום הכיפורים), also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.
Leviticus 16:29 mandates establishment of this holy day on the 10th day of the 7th month as the day of atonement for sins. It calls it the Sabbath of Sabbaths and a day upon which one must afflict one’s soul.
Leviticus 23:27 decrees that Yom Kippur is a strict day of rest.
I’d like to make a criticism that a singular biblical Jesus did not make a scene on Passover saying this is a place and time for prayer. It is not historical.
Okay, and it’s not a reason for treason against Rome. So, we’re left with Caiphas explaining to Pilate that Jesus’ entry was Jesus’ way of saying, I, like Solomon, am a Davidic king of Jerusalem and the Jews. Then, in Roman simplicity, they put this over his cross and crucify him.
Now, if Jesus’ entry is not historical, we have a problem.
Dr. Ehrman, I have a problem with the Monday event (turning over the tables) of Passover Week. Is there any criticism of the Sunday event, the manner in which Jesus entered Jerusalem?