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December 22, 1967 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-12-22

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which could not have ruled to con- i the crucifixion, the charges against

Many biographies of Jesus have' of the Qumran community." Bap-; or on the orders of Mary of Beth-
appeared through the centuries. In tism, although its sacrament was any and her family, or at the corn-
the past half century there were of later origin, and John's role mand of the Sanhedrin or of the
notable works, by Renan, by Prof. in Jesus' preparation for preaching former brethren of Jesus, the Es-
Joseph Klausner a n d scores of land his escape from the Nazarenes senes."
others. Few of the works are as when they objected to his likening ' Attribution of guilt for Jesus'
challenging as "The Life of Jesus" himself to Elijah and Elisha are death to the Sanhedrin is basis for
by Marcello Craved, ably trans- accounted for in relation to the review of the Sanhedrin's role.
lated from the Italian by Charles Synoptic Gospels.
"Various scholars," Craved
Lam Markmann, published by
The historic events, the Ro-
points out, "including the his-
Grove Press.
man rule, the Herodian era are
torian of the Church Lietzmann,
thorougt* reviewed here, lead-
This stirring account of Jesus
ing up to Jesus' execution. Cra- Omodeo, and Salvador, maintain
and his times, of the Roman rulers
that the whole Synoptic account
and their domination and of the veri asserts in his reference to
of the proceedings before the
Jews who revolted, of Jesus and Judas Iscariot: "Some students,
Sanhedrin is untrue, and that
such
as
Charles
Guignebert,
out
the Gospels, does not follow the
Jesus was condemned by the
no credence in the betrayal by
usual routines. It accepts many
Romans
alone. Others, such as
-
inven
Judas
but
consider
it
an
Jewish interpretations, such as the
Lion designed to make the arrest Loisy, Cullman, and Goguel, are
term "young woman" in Isaiah, in-
inclined
to
concede that the San-
of Jesus more believable and to
stead of the Christological "vir-
hedrin tried to hold some infor-
gin" which is rejected in Jewish justify the tradition that Jews
must have betrayed the Naza- mal proceedings, a simple inter-
translations.
rene. Hence he believes that the rogatory intended to furnish
The author Of this impressive
very
name Judas was expressly enough evidence to enable it to
work does not accept the preach-
chosen as a synonym for Jew. ; lodge charges against Jesus with
ments of Paul, Christianity's archi-
the Roman authorities, who
That
this is its etymology is in-
tect. and speaks of the Pauline
alone had the power to condemn
Epistles as "twisted, ungrammati- dubitable; but there is also the
him. T h e traditionalists, how-
fact that Judas was a very com-
cal, full of repetition, disjunctions.
ever,
impute to the hearing be-
mon
name
in
Palestine."
contradictions," a n d states that
all the char-
Craved insists that "the indeci- fore the of Sanhedrin
they reveal "a disordered mind
a full and formal trial
and a chaotic culture and a hardly siveness ascribed to Pilate, his in- acters
leaders,
'
that
required
only
formal
ratifi-
personality: while dulgence of the Jewish
sym pathetic
cation by the Romans."
Paul was angry and arrogant in and, at the same time, his good
his letters, when face to face with- , will toward Jesus are all equally
There are references to some
his opponents he lacked the cour- without historical foundation."
irregularities and fabrications. On
age to state his own ideas."
"They are the products," he the score of the Sanhedrin Craved
Jesus in the Craved account ; declares, "of an opportunistic
also states with reference to the
distortion of truth perpetrated claims of "the traditionalists:"
did not wish to be considered
by the Christians, as their re-
a Messiah and only accepted a
"Even if this were so, the proce-
role of teaching the word of God. ; ligion spread over the empire, dure that was followed, to judge by
in order to exculpate the Ro- what the Gospels report, was al-
It was "the political and social
mans of all responsibility for together irregular. The sanhedrin,
decadence of Palestine" under Ro -
the death of Jesus. This rehabili- presided over by the high priest
man rule, in the era of the Hero-
dian cruelties, that Jesus com - tation of Pilate (down to the under the title of nasi ('prince')
proverbial gesture of washing his and composed of 71 members
menced h i s teachings. "Jesus."
hands) has resulted in the im- drawn from priestly families and
Craveri writes, "could not have
of
position
of the entire guilt on the from those lay families most not-
been unmoved by the events
Jewish people, who for centuries, able for their wealth and racial
his time: Sepphoris was only two
consequently,
have undeservedly purity, held its sessions in a part
leagues from Nazareth, and the
suffered exercration by the of
whole of Galilee had traditionally
the Temple called Gazith, near ,
Christian
world
under the in- the Court of Israel. Its day was
been a hotbed of fierce national-
famous charge that they are limited to the hours between the
ism. It is incredible that the young
Jesus did not share the fears and 'the nation that murdered God.' "
two ritual sacrifices of the morn-1
The vastly informative work by ing (about the ninth hour) and the
the hopes of the people among
whom he lived. But, even if later Craved points to the Roman resort evening (about the sixteenth hour).
some Zealots were drawn to the to crucifixion and he explains the An interval of 24 hours was re-
ranks of his disciples, it is per- various methods of punishment:
quired between the conclusion of ,
haps rash to suppose, as does Os-
"The Romans employed various testimony and the rendering of a ;
car Cullman (in 'Deo e Cesare'). forms of capital punishment: de- verdict. Deliberations could con-
that Jesus himself was a member capitatio or capitis obtruncatio tinue into the night only when the
of this bloodthirsty sect. He was ('decapitation'), which was the judges found it impossible to agree
much more inclined for an attitude most merciful and the noblest, in- at once on the guilt or innocence
of hope for better times, based on • asmuch as it meant instant death; of the accused. This was the pro-
his faith in divine providence. Dur• damnatio ad bestias ('condemned cedure prior to the Roman oc-
ing his youth, he had probably to be eaten by the beasts') which cupation, which, however, ac-'
subjected himself frequently, as a was more painful; combustio at cording to the Gospels, was not
means of mortifications, to t h e the stake: and the crux. The last observed in the trial of Jesus.
Nazirite oath, which, as we know, was the most shameful form of Furthermore, the Sanhedrin never
consisted of a vow of fasting, ab- execution, reserved for slaves and sat on the Sabbath or on religious
foreigners. Cicero calls it 'crudel- holidays, still less during Pass-
stitence and chastity."
The author explores the era that issimum teterrimumque supplici- over.
involves Essenes' activities with um'; Tacitus, 'supplicium servile.'
"A keen analysis by the eminent
which Jesus was associated but Instances of the crucifixion of
he points out that "Jesus was ini- men who had led social revolts scholar Nicola Jaeger emphasizes •
tiated into his public life not by were well known in Roman his- the trial's many procedural flaws
and deviations from the rules of
the Essenes but by a preacher. tory."
Jewish law: the taking of testi-
himself a leader of a community
In his account of the crucifixion.
mony at night, the immediate pro-
destined to outlive that of the Es- Craven states:
nouncement of sentence in defi-
senes: John the Baptist. Neverthe-
"The whole story of the death
ance of the prescribed interval of
many
students
believe
that
less,
of Jesus is a theological-ritual 24
hours, the lack of a minimum of
John himself had been a member dramatization. The details (the
two witnesses whose testimony
two thieves, the vinegar, the divi- was absolutely identical, the credi-
sion of his garments, the
arbitrary given to state-
spectator's insults, the darkness, bility
ments by the accused that had
the rent veil, the earthquake, the
elicited by the prosecutor's
Every year we fail
last words of Jesus) are all ful- been
to educate thousands
fillments of prophecies of edify- tricks, etc."
(In
his
scholarly work on the
lying symbols.
of potentially
"The reality was simpler and trial of Jesus, Prof. Solomon
successful citizens
more tragic. Jesus was tried and Zeitlin indicated there were two
executed as a political criminal, Sanhedrins, one under Roman
because they're
died in agony, forsaken by domination but not the recognized
he
mentally retarded.

And we're supposed
be so smart.

to

1).....,;;;,;thil;;_!. A fc.,1,—;:let .
you can help.
:.;;; y;;:;

r

■ '.ers•,

D C :C:201

Name

Address

State

all, even by God (in the Garden
of Gethsemane Jesus had con-
fidently declared that God could
have sent a band of angels to
rescue him), and his suffering
would have no other witnesses
than his executioners."

Craved states that "the whole
story of the Resurrection and the
apparitions belongs to the category
of miracle inventions," that "an-
cient and modern students of
Christianity agree that the belief
of the Resurrection is founded on
the hallucinations of a female vis-

ionary, Mary Magdalene, or on a

1.; Ccde

L

P,Ibbsht-cl
;r7CCCP-
featiOn n•;!, in° A5.e7tis-r5 Courocit.

collective hallucination, and they
believe variously that in actuality
the body was removed from the
tomb by the gardener of Joseph of

Arimathea, or by Joseph himself,

THE DETROIT JEWISH HEWS

16. Friday, December 22, 1967

Cra' errs =Life of Jesus' Exposes Deicide Libel,
Shows Irregularities in Reference to Sanhedrin

vict Jesus as charged in - the the Jews and especially in present-
; ing an iluminating portrayal of
Gospels).
The author of "The Life the historic events in Jesus' time.
of Jesus," Marcello Craved, was
born in Turin in 1914, earned a
doctorate in arts and philosophy
at the University of Turin in 1940, I
was called upon for military serv-
CALL
ice and during the war was pun-
ished for refusing to cooperate
with the Germans. He aided the
American forces when they landed
in Sicily. He became a newspaper
editor after the war and is now a
teacher of Latin literature and
15751 W. 101/2 Mile
Italian.
His "Life of Jesus" is a distinct
353-6750 or 862-0963
contribution to research and serves
to present the true facts regarding

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