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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Barabbas

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(bay rab' buhss) A murderer and insurrectionist held in custody at the time of the trial of Jesus (Mark 15:17 ). All four Gospels record that when Pilate offered to release Jesus, the assembled crowd demanded the release of Barabbas instead. Pilate gave in to the demand, ordered Jesus crucified, and set Barabbas free. Nothing is known of his subsequent history.

According to Origen, supported by a relatively small number of late manuscripts at Matthew 27:16 , Barabbas was named “Jesus Barabbas.” Though not well attested, the reading is possible. If it is correct, Pilate's question to the crowd in Matthew 27:17 would have added poignancy. See Christ; Cross; Crucifixion.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Barabbas'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/b/barabbas.html. 1991.

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