I’m sure arguably everyone knows atleast somewhat the story of the crucifixion and how Ponchus Pilat gave the Jewish people the choice of whether to
pardon Jesus or a murderer named Barrabus.
The pop culture version of the story makes it just an insane choice...
On one hand you have a vicious criminal, but o the other you have a nonviolent rabbi with a new brand of religious doctrine..
So how could the Jewish people choose Barrabus over jesus?!?! Seems like an easy answer to the modern POV, even if your not a believer personally.
However, like many things in modern doctrine the nuance behind that decision is COMPLETELY lost.
Matthew refers to Barabbas only as a "notorious prisoner". Mark and Luke further refer to Barabbas as one involved in a στάσις (stasis,
a riot), probably "one of the numerous insurrections against the Roman power"  who had committed murder. Robert Eisenman states that John
18:40 refers to Barabbas as a λῃστής (lēstēs, "bandit"), "the word Josephus always employs when talking about
In a nut shell it was because he wasn’t a murder in the traditional sense.. He was a revolutionary.. from the Jewish POV he was basically John brown
of civil war fame/infamy..
He was a pro-Jewish anti-Roman activist that had killed a man in an earlier uprising..
Not some bandit who killed people for drinking money..
The earlier gospels (Luke and mark) are telling their stories from a Jewish converts POV. So Rome is the bad guy and the Jewish people made the wrong
choice (in marks pov) but an understandable one. It would be the choice that hurt their overlords , Rome the most..
So the choice the crowd was really making was the difference between a violent rebellion and a nonviolent one.
The Jewish people wanted their warrior king messiah to throw off the yoke of Rome.. well Barrabus is WAY closer to a messiah than jesus was. So they
backed him.. not that they thought Barrabus was the messiah, but just closer to what they wanted , to expel Rome from Judea, rather than some poor
carpenter saying turn the other cheek.
By the time John is written Christianity no longer has a majority of Jewish converts. It is primarily Roman converts. So from the author of Johns
gospel. Murder in a failed rebellion to Rome was still just plain old murder.
So the fact Barrabus was a freedom fighter gets omitted and he becomes just a common criminal murderer..
Which just paid dividends when demonizing Jews over the next almost 2000 years.