Hugh Fogelman


Before listing the contradictions regarding the trials of Jesus, one should be advised that the whole episode is only a fabrication. Anyone familiar with Jewish law recognizes the impossibility of the chief priests and scribes arresting Jesus and assembling to question him during the most holy of Jewish festivals―Passover.

1. Where was Jesus taken immediately after his arrest?

a. Matthew, Mark and Luke say that Jesus was taken directly to the high priest (Matthew 26:57, Mark 14:53 and Luke 22:54).

b. John says that Jesus was taken first to Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest (John 18:13) who, after an indeterminate period of time, sent Jesus to the high priest (John 18:24).


2. When did the priests and scribes gather together to question Jesus?

a. Matthew 26:57 says that on the night Jesus was arrested the priests and scribes were gathered together prior to Jesus being brought to the high priest.

b. Mark 14:53 says the priests and scribes gathered together on the night of Jesus' arrest after Jesus was brought to the high priest.

c. Luke 22:66 says the priests and scribes assembled the day after Jesus was arrested.

d. John mentions only the high priest - no other priests or scribes play a role in questioning Jesus.


3. Was Jesus questioned by Herod?

a. Luke says that Pilate sent Jesus to Herod who questioned Jesus at length and then returned Jesus to Pilate (Luke 23:7-11).

b. Matthew, Mark and John make no mention of Herod. This, in itself, means nothing, but it brings about another contradiction later.


4. Who was responsible for Jesus' death, Pilate or the Jews?

The unknown gospel writers go to great length to absolve the Romans in general, and Pilate in particular, of Jesus' crucifixion and to blame it on the Jews. The reason, of course, was that Christianity was going to have to exist under Roman rule for many years, which is why the New Testament contains nothing critical of the Romans, even though they were hated for their heavy taxation, and Pilate was hated for his brutality.

For the church, the Jews made an appropriate scapegoat because the Jews were a thorn in side of the early church ― "the Jews" killed the Christian god; deicide.

The Christian biblical account of Pilate's offer to release Jesus, but the Jews demanding the release of Barabbas, even though pure fiction contains both contradictions and historical inaccuracies.

a. What had Barabbas done?

1.  Mark 15:7 and Luke 23:19 say that Barabbas was guilty of insurrection and murder.

2.  John 18:40 says that Barabbas was a robber.

b. Pilate's "custom" of releasing a prisoner at Passover.

This "custom" is purely a Christian invention. The only authority Rome gave to a Roman governor in situations like this was postponement of execution until after the religious festival. Release was out of the question. It is included in the gospels for the sole purpose of further removing blame for Jesus' death from Pilate and placing it on "the Jews."

c. Pilate gives in to the mob.

The gospels have Pilate giving in to an unruly mob. This is ridiculous in light of Pilate's previous and subsequent history. Josephus tells us that Pilate's method of crowd control was to send his soldiers into the mob and beat them into submission.  

This peaceful loving Pilate was eventually recalled to Rome because of his brutality.


"Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we are just making him madder." -Homer Jay Simpson, The Simpsons debuted on Fox December 17, 1989.