Crucifixion Of Jesus – Were The Jews Responsible?

Crucifixion of Jesus is the sole responsibility of Jews. That was the long-held belief – a belief referred to as the Jewish decide was the cause of much suffering to Jews for 2 millennia.

Matthew 27: 24-25 is probably main reason for the Jewish decide:
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!’ All the people answered, ‘His blood is on us and on our children!’

This account by Matthew directly linking Jews to the crucifixion of Jesus does not appear in any of the other Gospels.

According to John 18:31, Jesus was taken by the Jewish authorities to Pontius Pilate and sought his execution because they did not have the authority to condemn an accused to death. This reason is in all likelihood not correct as the Jewish authorities were subsequently responsible for “the stoning of Saint Stephen in Acts 7:54 and of James the Just in Antiquities of the Jews and did not require the consent of the governor.”

The reason for blaming the Jews directly and downplaying the role of the Romans was probably because that was a time “when Christianity was struggling to gain acceptance among the then pagan or polytheist Roman world.”

Matthew’s attempt at blaming the Jews as being responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus has at times been described as “redactional fiction” invented by the author. Some think that Matthew’s anti-Jewish polemic was responsible for sowing “the seeds of later Christian antisemitism.”

However the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) of the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Paul VI “repudiated belief in collective Jewish guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus.” It declared that “the charge can be made neither “against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today”. (1)

“On November 16, 1998, the Church Council of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted a resolution prepared by its Consultative Panel on Lutheran-Jewish Relations urging any Lutheran church presenting a Passion play to adhere to their Guidelines for Lutheran-Jewish Relations, stating that “the New Testament … must not be used as justification for hostility towards present-day Jews”, and that “blame for the death of Jesus should not be attributed to Judaism or the Jewish people.” (2)

Pope Benedict XVI also repudiates the Jewish decide charge in his 2011 book Jesus of Nazareth, in which he changes the translation of “ochlos” in Matthew to mean the “crowd”, rather than to mean the Jewish people. (3)

What is blatantly unfair is the two thousand year old accusation that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.

It is important to remember that like Judas Iscariot the Jews and the Romans were only a means to the fulfillment of the prophecies of David and Isaiah.

Probably Jesus himself is the primary cause of his own death. The Gospels tell us that Jesus was only fulfilling Old Testament prophecies, and he himself had predicted his fate. He reconciled himself to what was decreed in heaven and did nothing to change the course of events that eventually lead to his crucifixion. (4)

(1),(2) & (3)
(4) Aiuto, Russell. (n.d.). The Trial of Jesus Christ and The Last Supper. Retrieved 2011, from


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