Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kangaroo Court, cont. (Mat. 27)

Strangely enough, Pontius Pilate is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox church. After all, he did try to short-circuit the judicial lynching Jesus was being hustled into. And his wife did have that disturbing dream the night before, right? The historical record doesn't support that optimistic speculation. Pilate was a provincial governor who was noteworthy for his brutality. Once, when exhorting his hearers to repent, Jesus cited the example of some Galileans, "who blood Pilate mingled with that of their sacrifices." After one massacre too many, Pilate lost his job, retired to the Swiss mountains, and drowned himself in Lake Geneva. Yet to this day, the name of this petty and venal Roman satrap is recited day after day in the creeds of the Christian faith:
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
The third day, He arose again from the dead.
Let's take a look at a memorable selection:
Mat 27:23 Pilatus, "O ne kötülük yaptı ki?" diye sordu. Onlar ise daha yüksek sesle, "Çarmıha gerilsin!" diye bağrışıp durdular.
Mat 27:24 Pilatus, elinden bir şey gelmediğini, tersine, bir kargaşalığın başladığını görünce su aldı, kalabalığın önünde ellerini yıkayıp şöyle dedi: "Bu adamın kanından ben sorumlu değilim. Bu işe siz bakın!"
Mat 27:25 Bütün halk şu karşılığı verdi: "O'nun kanının sorumluluğu bizim ve çocuklarımızın üzerinde olsun!"
And, a few phrases:
  • O ne kötülük yaptı ki? -- This one, what evil has he done?
  • Onlar ise daha yüksek sesle, "Çarmıha gerilsin!" -- They again more loudly screamed, "To the cross compel him!"
  • elinden bir şey gelmediğini-- from his hands this thing had gone / become impossible
  • kalabalığın önünde ellerini yıkayıp -- the crowd in front of his hands he washed
Finally, we find in this selection the phrase that Jewish folks call "the infamous blood libel" -- O'nun kanının sorumluluğu bizim ve çocuklarımızın üzerinde olsun! -- His blood guilt is ours, and our children's, will be upon. Well, they got their wish, quite literally. The penalty for demanding Barabbas rather than Jesus, for preferring a murderer to the Lord of Life, was paid in full a generation (40 years) later when Roman armies and internal warfare turned Jerusalem into a charnel house, which experienced a catalogue of horrors unsurpassed before or since.

The grandchildren of the self-accursed did not inherit the guilt of their fathers. However, it's pretty hard to admit it when your folks made a monumental blunder. Add a few thousand years of being in denial, and opinions can really harden. Still, throughout history, Jewish people have become Christians. Including the founding pastor of our church.

OK -- one piece of unfinished business from yesterday: for a detailed handbook on dealing with the police, you can go to this website. Probeer is die beste verweer, our Afrikaaner friends tell us. Preparation is the best weapon. Or, as the old English proverb has it, Better safe than sorry!

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