For the sake of brevity I'll not respond seriatim.
I'm not going to engage at length with the statement that you only take
seriously eyewitness accounts. This is not only needlessly prejudicial
(since when does the mere relating of an event mean that the relating must
therefore be discounted simply because it was related) but it would
effectively mean the end of historical studies... and certainly the end of
your unsubstantiated hypotheses since you were not an eyewitness.
Two major concerns:
1. there seems to be an underlying assumption along the lines of Sandmel's
parallelomania, namely, that if two accounts are similar one must be
dependent on the other. As Sandmel pointed out long ago this fallacy ignores
another equally valid option: they share a common source.
2. If your hunch is to be credible a) you need to demonstrate that there are
clear features that can only be explained by borrowing and b) your overall
reconstruction must be convincing in terms of parsimony and what we know of
I think hunch fails on both counts.
1. you have not been able to demonstrate dependence at the literary level.
And a more likely historical explanation is that because Jesus was already a
significant figure (e.g. his cleansing of the Temple) non-Xn Jewish people
knew about him and therefore most likely his death on his own account. I.e.
Jos talks about Jesus' death because he regarded it as a significant event
as indeed with all the other items he relates; so also for the baraita and
2. re a consistent explanation: let's try your reconstruction again. The
Jewish leadership was not responsible for Jesus' death. The Christians,
lying, said they were. What's the natural response? On your reading,
instead of simply denying the libel (what most people do, except those
unfortunate souls who turn up at police stations confessing to crimes they
did not commit), they not only accept the libel but then insist that they
did the right thing during a trial that never happened? But if doing the
right thing/truth is so important in the second half of this account, why
not do the right thing/tell the truth from the very outset and deny the
charge outright? Sorry but this is such a bizarre reading of human nature
that it is difficult to believe you are serious. The only explanation I can
come up with as to why you go past the obvious and simply explanation is
that you have determined in advance that the leadership at the time are not
to be held responsible, in spite of what the united Jewish testimony itself
says, and hence this highly unlikely reconstruction to save that prejudice.
No, the simplest and most parsimonious explanation is as is so often the
case the right one: the reason they talk about Jesus being a bad man is
because that was the issue. Responsibility for his execution never was, as
the extent documents on both sides confirm. If you can show any
inconsistency is this explanation, them I'm willing to listen. But mere
hunches from someone who claims we can never know and that create far more
problems than they solve are hardly worth considering.