Matthew 27:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas.

New Living Translation
This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas.

English Standard Version
And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.

Berean Study Bible
At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas.

Berean Literal Bible
And at that time they were holding a notable prisoner called Barabbas.

New American Standard Bible
At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.

King James Bible
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.

International Standard Version
At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas.

NET Bible
At that time they had in custody a notorious prisoner named Jesus Barabbas.

New Heart English Bible
They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But one of their prisoners was a notable prisoner called Barabba.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At that time there was a well-known prisoner by the name of Barabbas.

New American Standard 1977
And they were holding at that time a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

King James 2000 Bible
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

American King James Version
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

American Standard Version
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he had then a notorious prisoner, that was called Barabbas.

Darby Bible Translation
And they had then a notable prisoner, named Barabbas.

English Revised Version
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

Weymouth New Testament
and at this time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.

World English Bible
They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

Young's Literal Translation
and they had then a noted prisoner, called Barabbas,
Study Bible
The Crowd Chooses Barabbas
15Now it was the governor’s custom at the feast to release to the crowd a prisoner of their choosing. 16At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17So when the crowd had assembled, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”…
Cross References
Matthew 27:15
Now it was the governor's custom at the feast to release to the crowd a prisoner of their choosing.

Matthew 27:17
So when the crowd had assembled, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?"

Romans 16:7
Greet Andronicus and Junias, my fellow countrymen and fellow prisoners. They are distinguished among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
Treasury of Scripture

And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

a.

Mark 15:7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that …

Luke 23:18,19,25 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release …

John 18:40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now …

Acts 3:14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer …

Romans 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things …

(16) A notable prisoner, called Barabbas.--There is considerable, though not quite decisive, evidence in favour of the reading which gives "Jesus Barabbas" as the name of the prisoner. The name Bar-abbas (=son of Abbas, or of "a father"), like Bar-timseus and Bartholomew, was a patronymic, and it would be natural enough that the man who bore it should have another more personal name. We can easily understand (1) that the commonness of the name Jesus might lead to his being known to his comrades and to the multitude only or chiefly as Barabbas; and (2) that the reverence which men felt in after years for the Name which is above every name, would lead them to blot out, if it were possible, the traces that it had once been borne by the robber-chief. Of Barabbas St. John (John 18:40) tells us that he was a robber; St. Luke (Luke 23:19) and St. Mark (Mark 15:7) that he had taken a prominent part with some insurgents in the city, and that he, with them, had committed murder in the insurrection. The last recorded tumult of this kind was that mentioned above (Note on Matthew 27:2), as connected with Pilate's appropriation of the Corban. It is so far probable that this was the tumult in which Barabbas had taken part; and the supposition that he did so has at least the merit of explaining how it was that he came to be the favourite hero both of the priests and people. As the term Abba (=father) was a customary term of honour, as applied to a Rabbi (Matthew 23:9), it is possible that the sobriquet by which he was popularly known commemorated a fact in his family history of which he might naturally be proud. "Jesus, the Rabbi's son "was a cry that found more favour than "Jesus the Nazarene."

Verse 16. - They had then a notable prisoner. The plural verb must refer to the multitude, to whose class the man belonged. The Vulgate, with Origen, reads, "he had," habebat, referring to Pilate, whose prisoner he was. The man was notorious; as St. Mark tells us, "He lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, men who had committed murder in the insurrection." We have no account elsewhere of this particular rising, nor of its leader, but such commotions were very common, and under the guise of political aims were utilized for purposes of robbery and assassination. Called Barabbas. The word means "Son of the father," which some explain "Son of a rabbi," which is improbable; and it is a question whether this was his real name, or one applied to him with reference to his pretensions to being "a political anti-Christ" - "a hideous caricature of the true Jesus, the Son of the eternal Father." It is a strange fact that in some (not very trustworthy) manuscripts the name is given as Jesus Barabbas, which affords a remarkable antithesis in Pilate's question in the following verse, "Wilt ye that I release Jesus Barabbas or Jesus called Christ?" There can be no reasonable doubt that the prefix is not genuine, but has crept into some texts inadvertently. And they had then a notable prisoner,.... The Vulgate Latin reads, "he had"; that is, Pilate, who had committed him to prison, and under whose power he was: for the Jews had lost all authority of this kind, at least in capital cases. This prisoner is called a "notable" one; that is, a famous, or rather an infamous one: he was a thief, and a robber, and had been guilty of sedition; had made, or joined with others in an insurrection, and had committed murder in it; and so, on more accounts than one, was deserving of death: nor could it be otherwise expected by himself, or others, but that he should die: his name was

called Barabbas; that is, as the Syriac version reads it, , which signifies "the son of a father": a father's child that was spoiled and ruined, and a child of his father the devil. This was a name common among the Jews. Frequent mention is made of R. Abba (h), and Bar Abba is the son of Abba: hence we read of Abba Bar Abba (i), and of R. Samuel Bar Abba (k) and of R. Simeon Bar Abba (l), and of R. Chijah Bar Abba (m). In Munster's Hebrew Gospel it is read "Bar Rabbah, the son of a master"; and so Jerom says, that in the Gospel according to the Hebrews it is interpreted, "the son of their master"; but the former is the right name, and the true sense of the word. The Ethiopic version adds, "the prince", or "chief of robbers, and all knew him"; and the Arabic, instead of a "prisoner", reads, a "thief", as he was.

(h) Juchasin, fol. 70. 1, &c. (i) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 18. 2. & Hieros Pesachim, fol. 32. 1. & Juchasin, fol. 104. 1.((k) T. Hieros. Pesachim, fol. 32. 1.((l) T. Hieros. Succa, fol. 53. 3. Juchasin, fol. 105. 1.((m) T. Hieros. Succa, fol, 55. 3. Juchasin, fol. 91. 2.27:11-25 Having no malice against Jesus, Pilate urged him to clear himself, and laboured to get him discharged. The message from his wife was a warning. God has many ways of giving checks to sinners, in their sinful pursuits, and it is a great mercy to have such checks from Providence, from faithful friends, and from our own consciences. O do not this abominable thing which the Lord hates! is what we may hear said to us, when we are entering into temptation, if we will but regard it. Being overruled by the priests, the people made choice of Barabbas. Multitudes who choose the world, rather than God, for their ruler and portion, thus choose their own delusions. The Jews were so bent upon the death of Christ, that Pilate thought it would be dangerous to refuse. And this struggle shows the power of conscience even on the worst men. Yet all was so ordered to make it evident that Christ suffered for no fault of his own, but for the sins of his people. How vain for Pilate to expect to free himself from the guilt of the innocent blood of a righteous person, whom he was by his office bound to protect! The Jews' curse upon themselves has been awfully answered in the sufferings of their nation. None could bear the sin of others, except Him that had no sin of his own to answer for. And are we not all concerned? Is not Barabbas preferred to Jesus, when sinners reject salvation that they may retain their darling sins, which rob God of his glory, and murder their souls? The blood of Christ is now upon us for good, through mercy, by the Jews' rejection of it. O let us flee to it for refuge!
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