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Re: [XTalk] Zealot trials

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Emergency situations are famously used as excuses for extralegal procedures. But should it be taken as given that Mark s portrayal of this as an emergency
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 12, 2003
      At 11:26 AM 10/12/2003 -0500, you wrote:

      >Bob Schacht wrote:
      > > David & Jeffrey,
      > > Thanks for the interesting material. One suggestion: I think several
      > > things
      > > may bear some investigation:
      > > * What were the standards and protocols for trials among Jews under
      > > Roman occupation-- not just the theory, but the practice?
      >If you are speaking of capital trials, then you are opening a rather
      >large can of worms. The issue of the competency of the Sanhedrin is one
      >that has generated an enormous amount of literature. It's summarized by
      >Brown in his _Death of the Messiah_
      >But one interesting thing to note is the fact, noted by Gaayla Cornfeld
      >in his(her?) edition of _War_ is that to try Zacharias, the Zealots set
      >up a court of 70, like a Sanhedrin, and that "they would not have taken
      >the trouble to do so had it been customary to try capital cases before a
      >smaller number of judges" (p. 284 n. 335c).
      > > * What were the standards and protocols in Roman courts-- again, not
      > > just the theory but the practice.
      > > * Did these standards and protocols differ between Judea and
      > > Galilee?
      > > * Were there differences among legal standards, social legitimacy, etc?
      > > One of the things that these investigations presage is the question of the
      > > formality (or lack thereof) of Jesus' trial(s), both the Jewish and Roman
      > > parts thereof.
      >I wonder if it's really germane to try to establish these things if, as
      >is often argued, Jesus Sanhedrin trial is portrayed by Mark as an
      >emergency situation.

      Emergency situations are famously used as excuses for extralegal
      procedures. But should it be taken as given that Mark's portrayal of this
      as an emergency situation is correct? Besides, I think that many of my
      questions would still be germane. Furthermore, I forgot one bullet:
      * Were jurisdictional issues involved-- not only between different
      Roman administrative units, but also between areas covered/not covered by
      Roman Law, and whether citizens were involved or not?
      These are all clearly at issue in the Gospels, as the "Sanhedrin" trial, if
      that is what it was, was only a prelude to the trial before Pilate, who had
      to authorize the crucifixion. Furthermore, the issue of Roman interests
      came up as well-- was Jesus' "crime" merely that he violated Jewish laws,
      or did he violate Roman law as well?

      How Mark "spun" these is of interest, and therefore the difference between
      whatever the reality would have been, and Mark's "Spin", if any, is of

      Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
      Northern Arizona University

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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