History of Easter: The Players: Where are They Now?

HEROD ANTIPAS

Caligula

PONTIUS PILATE

LEGENDS

Pilatus, Switzerland

THE SANHEDRIN

Among the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees had two main schools of thought, those that followed Rabbi Hillel, who stressed moderation and a certain amount of compromise, and those who followed the stricter Rabbi Shammai, who would allow no cooperation with the foreign overseers. The school of Shammai eventually found expression through the Zealots, who ultimately fomented the rebellion against the Romans in A.D. 66 leading to the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70. It was the school of Hillel that was able to survive and modern Judaism traces its roots back to this school.

THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS

Two historical facts remain; the tomb was empty, and the lives of the disciples were changed. It should be added immediately that an empty tomb does not prove a resurrection, although a resurrection would require an empty tomb. Its occupancy, indeed, would effectively disprove it. Nevertheless, the disciples claimed that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to many. As they spread the good news (Greek: eu + aggelion “good message” or “good news,” to the Latin: evangelion, to the English: “evangelical”) this brought them into conflict with the Sanhedrin who were amazed that these unlearned men had filled Jerusalem with their teaching. The faith spread to all points, and in Antioch, they were first called “Christians.” This name comes from the Latin christiani, like the word caesariani meaning slaves or “members of the household of Caesar.”

Writer and technologist. Author of fascinating articles about history, tech trends, and pop culture. billpetro.com @billpetro

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