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God, Justice, and SocietyAspects of Law and Legality in the Bible$
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Jonathan Burnside

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199759217

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759217.001.0001

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The Trials Of Jesus

The Trials Of Jesus

(p.427) 13 The Trials Of Jesus
God, Justice, and Society

Jonathan Burnside

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how particular biblical laws such as blasphemy, false prophecy, and false teaching were understood at the time of the New Testament, and how they interfaced with other legal traditions, such as Roman law and custom. It shows how each of the main charges in the Jewish and Roman proceedings is introduced and developed in advance of Jesus' trials. They included charges of false prophecy, false teaching, leading Israel astray, blasphemy, forbidding payment of taxes, and threatening to destroy the Temple. The charges against Jesus were suitable because of their salience both for the religious establishment and for the Romans. The chapter shows that there are hitherto-unnoticed structural parallels between the proceedings before Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate, as well as parallels between the trials of Jesus and modern miscarriages of justice.

Keywords:   blasphemy, Caiaphas, false prophecy, Jesus, miscarriages of justice, Pontius Pilate, Roman law, false teaching

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