A Biblical character who was guilty of serious crimes but was released in preference to a man known to be innocent when the responsible public official, claiming to be personally opposed, staged an act of democratic theatre, knowing that the mob's choice would be to his own political advantage. Today, mobs still scream for the release of the culpable and the deaths of the innocent and public officials still wash their hands.
For Aramaic Bar-Abba, meaning â€œson of fatherâ€. Jerome notes in the 4th century that the name in the Hebrew version of Matthew meant â€œson of the teacherâ€. The 16th century DuTillet Hebrew Matthew manuscript found in Rome from the Jewish community reads â€œBar Rabba,â€ meaning â€œson of the teacher.â€ Mt 27:16.
In the Christian narrative of the Passion of Jesus, Barabbas, according to some texts Jesus bar-Abbas, (Aramaic Bar-abbÃ¢, "son of the father"), was the insurrectionary whom Pontius Pilate freed at the Passover feast in Jerusalem. The penalty for Barabbas' crime was death by crucifixion, but according to all four Gospels there was a prevailing Passover custom in Jerusalem that allowed Pilate, the praefectus or governor of Judaea, to commute one prisoner's death sentence by popular acclaim, and the "crowd" (ochlos) â€” which has become "the Jews" and "the multitude" in some translations â€” were offered a choice of whether to have Barabbas or Jesus Christ released from Roman custody. According to the closely parallel canonic gospels of Matthew (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2027:15-26;&version=72; 27:15-26), Mark (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2015:6-15;&version=72; 15:6-15), Luke (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2023:13-25;&version=72; 23:13–25), and the more divergent accounts in John (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%2018:38-%2019:16;&version=72; 18:38-19:16) and the apocryphal Gospel of Peter, the crowd chose Barabbas to be released and Jesus of Nazareth to be crucified.