Getting at the Truth Concerning Ancient Trials


Trial of Socrates:

---Convicted (280 to 220) for "corrupting the youth" more than for his "impiety"
---Compare to post 9-11 civil liberties crackdown
---Socrates wanted to be executed rather than banished (360 to 140!)
---Death of Socrates was, in effect, a suicide

Trial of Jesus:
---Incident in Temple unlikely to have been as dramatic as overturning tables (military presence)
---Authorities probably didn't know who instigator of trouble was (plea bargaining with Judas?)
---Decision to execute rested primarily with Pilate, but was supported and even urged by high priests, who saw Jesus as troublemaker
---Ratio of "history remembered" to "prophecy historicized"?
---Two branches of Christianity
-----------Nationalist branch, led by Jesus' brother, James
-----------much smaller Gentile branch, led by Paul (transformation)
-----------Nationalist branch crushed by 70 AD

Socrates Trial