Tag Archives: Leiden

What Were The Names of the Two Thieves Crucified With Jesus?

Alin Suciu knows– because a Coptic text names them:

Among the unidentified Coptic literary manuscripts deposited in the collection of theRijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, there are two parchment fragments that bear the inventory number F 1976/4.31. According to the museum acquisition book, the items were purchased in 1976 together with other Coptic fragments from the Dutch antiquity dealer Johannes Möger. In the same lot of manuscripts was a fragment from John Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Epistle to the Romans, which I identified in a previous post.

To the best of my knowledge, the two fragments inventoried as F 1976/4.31 were neither identified, nor discussed yet in any scholarly publication. That’s what I’ll try to do in the following lines.

And he does.  Brilliantly.  Here’s the fun bit:

coptic-fragment-evodius-de-passioneIf you want to know why they were seized, I will inform you […] …several lines are missing… (p. 105) […] of Herod and Pilate, because it is they who were guarding the law of the Romans at that time. They were afraid lest the emperor would hear and blame them. …several lines are missing… […] the three. Barabbas and Demas were Jews, Kestas was a Gentile which lived with them. And Barabbas was the chief of the thieves. Because of this, when Pilate said to the Jews mocking: ‘You want […]’ …several lines are missing…(p.106) […] will ask for a man because of which much blood was shed. But when they heard the name of Barabbas from the mouth of the Governor, they demanded to release him, being afraid that he […] …several lines are missing… (because) the Romans command that one should listen to the majority, Pilate was uncertain. He did not know what to do when he heard the voices of the crowds asking (him) to release […]

I’ve bold-faced the names of the thieves.  Fun huh?  sure, it’s an apocryphal bit but I like that someone somewhere wanted to know their names.  Read the rest- it’s really a great post.

Hebrew and Jewish Studies in Leiden…

Viv Rowett writes

A matter of concern has been sent by Mervyn Richardson with a petition to sign should you feel moved so to do: As you may have heard, Leiden has decided to scale back the status of Hebrew and Jewish studies which has caused great outcry in town and gown circles nationwide. Muraoka has sent this formal petition which has been instigated by the Dutch OT Society (Sec. Eibert Tigchelaar).

I have signed it.  I hope others will as well.