Blaming the Romans for the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
By Michael Hoffman
In our time of nearly universal apostasy the churches have taken to blaming the Roman authorities for the death of Christ on the Cross while exculpating the Pharisees.
We see this fashion everywhere, from the Vatican to revered American “Conservatives,” such as Judge Andrew Napolitano and chat show host Bill O’Reilly of Fox News.
Napolitano wrote: “On the first Good Friday, the Romans executed Jesus because they were persuaded that by claiming to be the Son of God, He might foment a revolution against them...they feared a revolution that would disrupt their worldly power, and so they condemned Him to death by crucifixion." (Jews are not mentioned anywhere in Mr. Napolitano's column, which was published online by Lew Rockwell on April 17, 2014).
Bill O’Reilly, in his book The Last Days of Jesus: His Life and Times A Special Illustrated Edition of Killing Jesus (Henry Holt: 2014), states: “...the responsibility belongs to Pilate” (p. 221). As part of O’Reilly’s blame-game he falsely writes: “Only the Roman governor possesses the ius gladii — the right of the sword. Or as it is known, the right to execute” (p. 221).
Really? Then who killed St. Stephen, Mr. O’Reilly? The Pharisee text Mishnah, in tractate Sanhedrin, gives a variety of types of executions to be carried out by the Sanhedrin. It is true that the Jews could not crucify anyone in Roman territory, but they could execute by stoning, as they did to Stephen. Note that Stephen was stoned after a council of the Sanhedrin had met (Acts 7:54-59).
I remember sitting through a Holy Week sermon by a talented Jesuit homilist who, like the skilled orator he was, lifted his voice at key moments for dramatic effect. At one point in his sermon, this otherwise mild priest shouted, “Pontius Pilate was a thug!” He had offered not a word of disapprobation for the Pharisees, or the generality of the Jews of Jerusalem. It was the Romans who were made to bare the onus of guilt for decide. We have witnessed this falsification at colleges and universities, and in Hollywood movies and on television.
The popes have their own elite theologians who offer sermons to the pontiff and the papal household. Rev. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, PhD., is a Franciscan priest. In 1980 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II to the stellar position of “Preacher to the Papal Household,” and confirmed again in that position by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. He continues in this role under Pope Francis. In this capacity he preaches a weekly sermon during Advent and Lent in the presence of the Pope, cardinals, bishops, prelates of the Roman Curia and the general superiors of religious orders.
The point emphasized with the finesse of Machiavelli by Cantalamessa, is that the Pharisees are not guilty, or they are of lesser guilt, painted in existential shades-of-gray. The main villain in his account is the Romans. Here is an excerpt from the text of a sermon by the personal preacher to the last three popes. Note how Cantalamessa blames the Sadducees and lessens the guilt of the Pharisees (with the requisite qualifications of course):
“The Gospel data is just that much more credible insofar as the contrast with the Pharisees is not at all prejudicial or general. Jesus has friends among them (Nicodemus is one of them); we find him at dinner in one of their houses; they are willing at least to dispute with him and to take him seriously, unlike the Sadducees...Of course Pilate was not so sensitive to the demands of justice to be worried about the fate of an unknown Jew; he was a hard and cruel type, ready to suppress with blood the tiniest hint of rebellion....he did not try to save Jesus out of compassion for the victim but only to score a point against his accusers with whom he had been in a cold war since his arrival in Judea.
“Naturally, this does not at all diminish Pilate’s responsibility in Christ’s condemnation. He was just as responsible as the Jewish leaders...” (end quote from Cantalamessa).
Seeking to ingratiate himself with his rabbinic masters, Fr. Cantalamessa is eager to find anything positive to say about the Pharisees. In the Roman Pilate, who declared he could find nothing evil in Jesus, the papal preacher locates the axis of iniquity: “...he did not try to save Jesus out of compassion for the victim but only to score a point against his accusers.”
How does Father Cantalamessa know this? Pilate risked the ire of his superiors in Rome by seeming to seek to spare Jesus, a “rabble-rouser” who a majority of His own Jewish people despised and wanted dead: “Pilate sought to release Him: but the Jews cried out, saying, if thou let this man go, thou are not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.” (John 19:12).
And Pilate only really risked this, according to the “Preacher to the Papal Household,” not because of any justice in himself, but as a “cold-warrior” merely seeking to score some “points” against his Pharisaic adversaries? How does Cantalamessa know this? What is his evidence — his own prestige as capo of the ecclesiastic Mafia in the Vatican?
Cantalamessa concludes with two lies, the latter a real whopper: 1. that the Sadducees were more guilty of deicide than the Pharisees, and 2. that Pilate was “just as responsible as the Jewish leaders.” The latter is a satanic falsehood that mocks his listeners for their ignorance of the Gospel of John. In John 19:11 Jesus tells Pilate, “He that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin.”
Writing in Oxford University’s The Oxford Bible Commentary, Protestant “Scripture scholar” C.M. Tuckett engages in the modernist fad of casting doubt on the authenticity of the New Testament account of the life, trial and death of Jesus. For Tuckett, the rabbinic Mishnah is credible. The Gospel of Mark is not. Tuckett is so duplicitous however, that he omits quoting from the rabbinic texts when the citation would undercut his thesis. For example, he leaves out all reference to the Babylonian Talmud’s account in Sanhedrin 43a of Jesus having Roman friends in high places when he wants to echo Cantalamessa and make the point that Mark’s “picture of Pilate...in no way squares with what we know from elsewhere of the man, viz., a cruel tyrant who would not have had the slightest compunction in executing an odd Jew or two...Pilate simply ordered Jesus’ crucifixion without any compunction at all.”
The modern world conspires to qualify, modify, moderate and mitigate, like a shyster lawyer, the guilt of the founders of the religion of Judaism. This is crucial to them due to the fact that the religion of Orthodox Judaism is the direct descendant and continuation of the religion of the Pharisees. As this truth leaks out, it is more than ever incumbent upon Right-wing media celebrities like Napolitano and O’Reilly, and the Vatican’s Cantalamessa and Oxford’s Tuckett, to make certain that the Romans take the lion’s share of the blame for that which the Jewish leaders, including the Pharisees, are guilty. What is there to debate after 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15? “...the Jews Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.”
The Testimony of St. Paul
To assert that the Romans bear the principal share of responsibility for the death of Jesus is a contrived argument motivated by a desire to serve and appease rabbinic and Zionist power on earth. We have the unambiguous statement of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15. This Scripture statement was made by the Apostle Paul without qualifications of any kind. “It is generally agreed that I Thessalonians was written about A.D. 50, and certainly Paul would have had the idea that Jews killed the Lord Jesus long before he wrote this letter. Indeed, Paul was in Jerusalem shortly after Jesus’ death (Gal. 1:13, 18).”
It was by the Jewish leaders’ malice that Christ was killed and there was nothing new in that: “This is the heir, let us kill him” (Matt. 21:38). Those who killed Jesus were, by their own testimony, “the descendants of them that killed the prophets” (Matt. 23:31). The spirit of persecution was a tradition with them, descending from one generation to another and Jesus prophesied that they would continue these crimes: “Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town” (Matt. 23:34).
St. Paul testified that this was transpiring in his time: they were contrary to all men, that is, hindering the course of the Gospel appointed for humanity’s salvation and despising all other nations in comparison to themselves. This situation continues in our day, with the difference being that those priests and ministers in our time who call themselves followers of Jesus and imitators of Paul, assist Judaism in hindering the course of the Gospel.
In the next passage in Thess., v. 16, Paul states that the leaders of the Jews are under God’s “wrath” for these actions of theirs. So too are all the ones masquerading as “Christians” who, so as to be seen as respectable in the eyes of the world and its media, and to advance their business, career, celebrity, power or bank account, defend to lesser or greater degrees, the Pharisees, the Talmud, Midrash or Kabbalah, the rabbis or the Israeli Zionism that is the product of these spiritual plagues, these Christ-killing ideologies.
If we are indeed Christians, then it is certainly fitting, necessary and just, to dare to speak as Jesus and Paul did, and to call the ideology of Judaism a Christ-killing phenomenon whose recurrence was prophesied.
Granted, gentile racists do the work of the rabbis when targeting some hapless Judaic child, who did not choose his or her Judaic ethnicity, as a “Christ killer.” This is contrary to Scripture: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12). A synonym for this spiritual wickedness is the Christ-killing ideology. The Romans embodied no such spirituality or ideology. Roman citizenship protected the Apostle Paul. Roman armies fulfilled Christ’s prophecy concerning the religion of Judaism by destroying the Temple of Jerusalem.
The Reformation doctrine of identifying Rome as the Antichrist, was a factor in producing the lamentable predicament in which we find ourselves today, wherein the Gospel has been counterfeited and “Rome” has replaced the leaders of the first century Jews as the alleged central malefactor in the New Testament.
Much rabbinic deceit is based on distraction. It is an irony that some Reformation biblicists removed Judaism from principal focus as the primary example of spiritual wickedness in high places, as indicated by the preceding Scripture verses, and, by derogating those passages, replaced Judaism with Rome, a move which continues to disarm Christians of the twenty-first century by distracting attention away from the premier Christ-killing ideology on earth, now as in the first century A.D: rabbinic Judaism.
That Judaism allies with a subordinate, apostate Rome we neither deny nor minimize. But for Protestants to believe that Rome surpasses Judaism in iniquity, or for Catholics to believe the same about Protestantism, is the sucker trap that undergirds centuries of shameful sectarian wars of religion that have pitted Christian against Christian to the delight of the rabbinate, who, depending on the time and circumstances, gave aid to one side or the other, the better to fan the flames of Christian fratricide, and divide and conquer.
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Of whom is Jesus speaking?
There is also the oft-heard claim, echoed by the papal preacher, Cantalamessa, that “...the New Testament sources....excuse them (the Jews), attributing their actions to ignorance (cf. Luke 23:34; Acts 3:17; 1 Corinthians 2:8).
John MacArthur’s comment on Luke 23:34 is insightful: “...their ignorance certainly did not mean that they deserved forgiveness; rather, their spiritual blindness was itself a manifestation of their guilt (John 3:19).”
St. Thomas Aquinas stated:
“...their ignorance did not excuse them from crime, because it was, as it were, affected ignorance. For they saw manifest signs of His Godhood. Hence, He Himself says of them in John 15:22: ‘If I had not come, and spoken to them they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.’ And John 15:24 ‘If I had not done among them the works that no other man had done, they would not have sin....Bede likewise says, ‘It is to be observed that he does not pray for those who, understanding Him to be the Son of God, preferred to crucify Him rather than acknowledge Him.’...
“All this shows that while they beheld Christ’s marvelous works, it was owing to their hatred that they did not allow him to be the Son of God...The rulers of the Jews knew that he was Christ: and if there was any ignorance in them, then it was affected ignorance, which could not excuse them...” (The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, part III, question 47, articles 5-6).
We know we are in a world turned upside down when the Babylonian Talmud, with its admission that Jesus had friends among high Roman officials who sought his acquittal, is more truthful than the crooked “Christians” and “Conservatives” who perversely place the main burden of guilt for the deicide on those very officials.
Michael Hoffman is the author of Judaism Discovered: A Study of the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self-Worship, Superstition, and Deceit, from which portions of this column were excerpted.