This article examines the textual arguments offered for and against the reading Jesus Barabbas in Matthew 27.16–17. While siding with the position that the longer reading, Jesus Barabbas, stood in the original text of Matthew's Gospel, this article argues against the tendency of scholars to deduce from the longer reading that a historical figure called ‘Jesus’ with the patronymic ‘Barabbas’ was released by Pilate, and that this man's name was suppressed by Christian tradition out of reverence for the name Jesus.
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