This is the second page comparing Chapter 75 of Desire of Ages, with F. Farrar and W.Hanna's writings on the same events.
On this page we cover the Second Trial of Jesus before Caiaphas
Page one: Chapter 75, The First Trial, before Annas
Page three: Chapter 75, Peter at the Trial
Page four: Chapter 75, The Third Trial Before the Sanhedrin
Following I have simply placed the accounts of each writer, as they wrote the story. Similar words have been highlighted so the reader can compare and see not only the similarites but also the difference.
Purple = similarities with F. Farrar
Red = similarities with W. Hanna
Green = significant words that are similar in meaning
Underlined = similarities in both Farrar and Hanna
Bolded portions are direct quotes from the Bible
Frederic Farrar Publisher: A.L. Burt Company, NY
William Hanna Publisher: The Religious Tract Society, Londan
Ellen WhitePublisher: Pacific press Assc.
|But, what ever may have been the nature of the tribunal over which Caiaphas was now presiding, it is clear that the Priests were forced to change their tactics. Instead of trying, as Hanan had done, to overawe and entangle Jesus with insidious questions, and so to involve Him in a charge of secret apostasy, they now tried to brand Him with the crime of public error. In point of fact their own bitter divisions and controversies made the task of convicting Him a very difficult one. If they dwelt on any supposed opposition to civil authority, that would rather enlist the sympathies of the Pharisees in His favor; if they dwelt on supposed Sabbath violations or neglect of traditional observances, that would accord with the views of the Sadducees. The Sadducees dared not complain of His cleansing of the Temple; the Pharisees, or those who represented them, found it useless to advert to His denunciations of tradition. But Jesus, infinitely nobler than His own noblest Apostle, would not foment these latent animosities, or evoke for His own deliverance a contest of these slumbering prejudices. He did not disturb the temporary compromise which united them in a common hatred against Himself. Since, therefore, they had nothing else to go upon the Chief Priests and the entire Sanhedrin “sought false witness” such is the terribly simple expression of the Evangelists--”sought false witness against Jesus to put Him to death.” Many men, with a greedy, unnatural depravity, seek false witness--mostly of the petty, ignoble, malignant sort; and the powers of evil usually supply it to them. The Talmud seems to insinuate that the custom, which they pretend was the general one, had been followed in the case of Christ, and that two witnesses had been placed in concealment, while a treacherous disciple--ostensibly Judas Iscariot-- had obtained from His own lips an avowal of His claims. This however, is no less false than the utterly absurd and unchronological assertion of the tract Sanhedrin, that Jesus had been excommunicated by Joshua Ben Perachiah, and that though for forty days a herald had proclaimed that he had brought magic from Egypt and seduced the people, no single witness came forward in His favor. Settling aside these absurd inventions, we learn from the Gospels that though the agents of these priests were eager to lie, yet their testimony was so false, so shadowy, so self- contradictory, (463) that it all melted to nothing, and even those unjust and bitter judges could not with any decency accept it. But at last two came forward whose false witness looked more promising. They had heard Him say something about destroying the Temple, and rebuilding it in three days. According to one version His expression had been, “I can destroy this Temple;” according to another, “I will destroy this Temple” The fact was the He had said neither, but “Destroy this Temple” and the imperative had but been addressed, hypothetically, to them. They were to be the destroyers; He had but promised to rebuild. It was just one of those perjuries which was all the more perjured because it bore some distant semblance to the truth; and by just giving a different nuance to His actual words they had, with the ingenuity of slander, reversed their meaning, and hoped to found upon them a charge of constructive blasphemy. But even this semblable perjury utterly broke down, and Jesus listened in silence while His disunited enemies hopelessly confuted each other’s testimony., Guilt often breaks into excuses where perfect innocence is dumb. He simply suffered His false accusers and their false listeners to entangle themselves in the hideous coil of their own malignant lies, and the silence of the innocent Jesus atoned for the excuse of the guilty Adam.||
That the appearance of justice may be preserved, (It would appear that in holding their Council during the night, and in condemning Christ solely upon his own confession, the Jews violated express enactments of their own code) they must have witnesses; these witnesses must testify to some speech or act of Christ,|
(480) which would involve him in that doom; and as to any specific charge, two of these witnesses must agree before they can condemn. They could have got plenty of witnesses to testify as to Christ's having within the last few days openly denounced themselves, the members of the Sanhedrim, as fools and blind, hypocrites, a very generation of vipers; but to have convicted Christ upon that count or charge would have given to their proceeding against him the aspect of personal revenge. They could have got plenty of witnesses to testify as to Christ’s having often broken and spoken slightingly of ordinances and traditions of the Pharisees, but there were Sadducees among their own members, and the Council might thus have been divided. They could have got plenty of witnesses to testify as to Christ’s frequent profanation of the Sabbath; but how should they deal with those miracles, in or connected with the performance of which so many of those cases of profanation of the Sabbath had occurred? They are in difficulty about their witnesses. They bring forth many; but either the charge which it is proposed to establish against Christ comes not up to the required degree of criminality, or the clumsy witnesses, brought hastily forward, undrilled beforehand, break down in their testimony. Two, however, do at last appear, who seem at first sight to agree; but when minutely questioned as to the words which they allege that more than two years before they had heard him utter about the destruction of the Temple, they report them differently, so that “neither did their witness agree,” The prosecution is in danger of breaking down for want of proof.
All this time, the accused as observed a strange--to his judges an unaccountable and provoking silence.
Caiaphas, perceiving the influence that was obtaining, hastened the trial. The enemies of Jesus were in great perplexity. They were bent on securing His condemnation, but how to accomplish this they knew not. The members of the council were divided between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. There was bitter animosity and controversy between them; certain disputed points they dared not approach for fear of a quarrel. With a few words Jesus could have excited their prejudices against each other, and thus have averted their wrath from Himself. Caiaphas knew this, and he wished to avoid stirring up a contention. There were plenty of witnesses to prove that Christ had denounced the priests and scribes, that He had called them hypocrites and murderers; but this testimony it was not expedient to bring forward. The Sadducees in their sharp contentions with the Pharisees had used to them similar language. And such testimony would have no weight with the Romans, who were themselves disgusted with the pretensions of the Pharisees. There was abundant evidence that Jesus had disregarded the traditions of the Jews, and had spoken irreverently of many of their ordinances; but in regard to tradition the Pharisees and Sadducees were at swords' points; and this evidence also would have no weight with the Romans. Christ's enemies dared not accuse Him of Sabbathbreaking, lest an examination should reveal the character of His work. If His miracles of healing were brought to light, the very object of the priests would be defeated.
DA.705.002 False witnesses had been bribed to accuse Jesus of inciting rebellion and seeking to establish a separate government. But their testimony proved to be vague and contradictory. Under examination they falsified their own statements.
DA.705.003 Early in His ministry Christ had said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." In the figurative language of prophecy, He had thus foretold His own death and resurrection. "He spake of the temple of His body." John 2:19, 21. These words the Jews had understood in a literal sense, as referring to the temple at Jerusalem. Of all that Christ had said, the priests could find nothing to use against Him save this. By misstating these words they hoped to gain an advantage. The Romans had engaged in rebuilding and embellishing the temple, and they took great pride in it; any contempt shown to it would be sure to excite their indignation. Here Romans and Jews, Pharisees and Sadducees, could meet; for all held the temple in great veneration. On this point two witnesses were found whose testimony was not so contradictory as that of the others had been. One of them, who had been bribed to accuse Jesus, declared, "This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days." Thus Christ's words were misstated. If they had been reported exactly as He spoke them, they would not have secured His condemnation even by the Sanhedrin. Had Jesus been a mere man, as the Jews claimed, His declaration would only have indicated an unreasonable, boastful spirit, but could not have been construed into blasphemy. Even as misrepresented by the false witnesses, His words contained nothing which would be regarded by the Romans as a crime worthy of death.
DA.706.001 Patiently Jesus listened to the conflicting testimonies. No word did He utter in self-defense. At last His accusers were entangled, confused, and maddened.
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
But that majestic silence trouble, thwarted, confounded, maddened them. It weighted them down for the moment with an incubus of intolerable self-condemnation. They felt, before that silence, as if they were the culprits, He the judge. And as every poisoned arrow of their carefully provided perjuries fell harmless at His feet, as though blunted on the diamond shield of His white innocence, they began to fear lest, after all, their thirst for His blood would go unslaked, and their whole plot fail. Were they thus to be conquered b the feebleness of their own weapons, without His stirring a finger or uttering a word? Was this Prophet of Nazareth to prevail against them, merely for lack of a few consistent lies? Was His life charmed even against calumny confirmed by oaths? It was intolerable.
Then Caiphas was overcome with a paroxysm of fear and anger. Starting up from his judgment-seat and striding into the midst--with what a voice, with what an attitude we may well imagine! (464) “Answerest Thou NOTHING?” he exclaimed. “What is it that these witness against Thee?” Had not Jesus been aware that these His judges were wilfully feeding on ashes, and seeking lies, He might have answered; but now His awful silence remained unbroken.
|The prosecution is in danger of breaking down for want of proof. All this time, the accused as observed a strange--to his judges an unaccountable and provoking silence. He hears as though he heard not--cared not--were indifferent about the result. It is more than the presiding judge can stand. He rises from his seat, and , fixing his eyes on Jesus, says to him, “Answerest thou nothing?” hast thou nothing to say? --no question to put, no explanation to offer, as to what these witnesses testify against thee? Jesus returns the look, but there is no reply: he stands as silent, as unmoved as ever. Baffled, perplexed, irritated, the High priest will try yet another way with him.||
As Caiaphas now looked upon the prisoner, he was struck with admiration for His noble and dignified bearing. A conviction came over him that this Man was akin to God. The next instant he scornfully banished the thought. Immediately his voice was heard in sneering, haughty tones demanding that Jesus work one of His mighty miracles before them. But his words fell upon the Saviour's ears as though He heard them not. The people compared the excited and malignant deportment of Annas and Caiaphas with the calm, majestic bearing of Jesus. Even in the minds of that hardened multitude arose the question, Is this man of godlike presence to be condemned as a criminal?)|
DA.706.001 The trial was making no headway; it seemed that their plottings were to fail. Caiaphas was desperate. One last resort remained; Christ must be forced to condemn Himself. The high priest started from the judgment seat, his face contorted with passion, his voice and demeanor plainly indicating that were it in his power he would strike down the prisoner before him. "Answerest Thou nothing?" he exclaimed; "what is it which these witness against Thee?"
DA.706.002 Jesus held His peace. "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth." Isaiah 53:7.
And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
But he held his peace, and answered nothing.
Then, reduced to utter despair and fury, this false high Priest--with marvellous inconsistency, with disgraceful illegality--still standing as it were with a threatening attitude over his prisoner, exclaimed, “I adjure Thee by the living God to tell us” what? Whether thou art a malefactor? Whether Thou hast secretly taught sedition? Whether thou hast openly uttered blasphemy? --no, but (and surely the question showed the dread misgiving which lay under all their deadly conspiracy against Him)
“WHETHER THOU ART THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD?”
Strange question to a bound, defenceless, condemned criminal; and strange question from such a questioner--a High Priest of His people! Strange question from the judge who was hounding on his false witnesses against the prisoner! Yet so adjured, and to such a question, Jesus could not be silent; on such a point the could not leave Himself open to misinterpretation. In the days of his happier ministry, when they would have taken Him by force to make Him a King--in the days when to claim the Messiahship in their sense would have been to meet all their passionate prejudices half way, and to place Himself upon the topmost pinnacle of their adoring homage--in those days He had kept His title of Messiah utterly in the background: but now, at this awful decisive moment, when death was near--when, humanly speaking, nothing could be gained, everything must be lost, by the avowal--that Eternity, which is the synchronism of all the future, and all the present, and all the past--the solemn answer-- “I AM; and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven,” In that answer the thunder rolled--a thunder louder than at Sinai, though the ears of the cynic and the Sadducee heard it not then, nor hear it now. In overacted and ill-omened horror the unjust judge who had thus supplemented the failure of the perjuries which he had vainly (465) sought-- the false High Priest rending his linen robes before the True--demanded of the assembly His instant condemnation.
“BLASPHEMY!” he exclaimed; “what further need have we of witnesses? See, now ye heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” And with the confused tumultuous cry, “He is ish marveth” “A man of death,” “Guitly of death,” the dark conclave was broken up, and the second stage of the trial of Jesus was over.
Baffled, perplexed, irritated, the High priest will try yet another way with him. Using the accustomed Jewish formula for administering an oath--a formula recited by the judge, and accepted without repetition by the respondent--”I adjure thee,” said the high priest, “by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God,” Appealed to thus solemnly, by the first magistrate of his nation, sitting in presidency over the highest of its courts, our Lord keeps silence no longer. But it is in words that must have struck every auditor with wonder that he replies to the high priest’s adjuration. He sees quite through the purpose of the High priest. He knows quite well what will be the purpose of the high priest. He knows quite well what will be the immediate issue of his reply. Yet he says, “I am;” I am the Christ, the son of the Blessed: |
(481)“ and ye--ye who are sitting there now as my judges, --”ye shall see the son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” It is our Lord’s own public and solemn assertion of his claim to the Messiahship, and Sonship to God. The time for all concealment or reserve is past. Jesus will now openly, not only take to himself his own name, assume his office, and assert his Divine prerogative, but in doing so, he will let those earthly dignitaries, who have dragged him thus to their tribunal, before whose judgments-set he stands, know that the hour is coming which shall witness a strange reversal in their relative positions, -- he being seen sitting on the seat of power, and they, with all the world beside, seen standing before his bar as on the clouds of heaven he comes to judge all mankind.
The effect of this unfolding of his true character, and prophecy of his second coming, was immediate, and, though extraordinary, not unnatural. The High Priest, as soon as he drank in the real meaning of the words which feel on his astonished ear, grasped his mantle, and rent it in real or feigned horror, exclaiming, “He hath spoken blasphemy,” Then rose up also the other judges who were sitting round him, excited to the highest pitch, each more eager than the other, to put this question to the accused, “Art thou then the Son of God?” to all of whom there is the same answer as to Caiaphas, “I am,” “What further need, then,” says the president of the Court to his brother judges, “have we of witnesses? Now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye?” “What need we,” they say to him, taking up his own words, “any further witnesses? For we ourselves have heard it out of his own mouth.” And they “answered and said, He is guilty of death,” The unanimous judgment of the court is delivered, and the sentence of death pronounced.
Is there not one among all those judges within whose heart there rise some strange misgivings as he dooms this man to die; not one whom the calmness, the serenity, the dignified bearing of the Lord, as he made the great revelation of himself before them, have impressed with wonder and with awe? Perhaps there is; but the tumult of that vehement condemnation carries him away; or if any inward voice be pleading for the accused, he quenches it by saying that if Jesus really submit to such a sentence being executed upon him. He cannot be the messiah, he must be a deceiver; and so he lets the matter take its course.
At last, Caiaphas, raising his right hand toward heaven, addressed Jesus in the form of a solemn oath: "I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God."
DA.706.004 To this appeal Christ could not remain silent. There was a time to be silent, and a time to speak. He had not spoken until directly questioned. He knew that to answer now would make His death certain. But the appeal was made by the highest acknowledged authority of the nation, and in the name of the Most High. Christ would not fail to show proper respect for the law. More than this, His own relation to the Father was called in question. He must plainly declare His character and mission. Jesus had said to His disciples, "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven." Matt. 10:32. Now by His own example He repeated the lesson.
DA.707.001 Every ear was bent to listen, and every eye was fixed on His face as He answered, "Thou hast said." A heavenly light seemed to illuminate His pale countenance as He added, "Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."
DA.707.002 For a moment the divinity of Christ flashed through His guise of humanity. The high priest quailed before the penetrating eyes of the Saviour. That look seemed to read his hidden thoughts, and burn into his heart. Never in afterlife did he forget that searching glance of the persecuted Son of God.
DA.707.003 "Hereafter," said Jesus, "shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." In these words Christ presented the reverse of the scene then taking place. He, the Lord of life and glory, would be seated at God's right hand. He would be the judge of all the earth, and from His decision there could be no appeal. Then every secret thing would be set in the light of God's countenance, and judgment be passed upon every man according to his deeds.
DA.708.001 The words of Christ startled the high priest. The thought that there was to be a resurrection of the dead, when all would stand at the bar of God, to be rewarded according to their works, was a thought of terror to Caiaphas. He did not wish to believe that in future he would receive sentence according to his works. There rushed before his mind as a panorama the scenes of the final judgment. For a moment he saw the fearful spectacle of the graves giving up their dead, with the secrets he had hoped were forever hidden. For a moment he felt as if standing before the eternal Judge, whose eye, which sees all things, was reading his soul, bringing to light mysteries supposed to be hidden with the dead.
DA.708.002 The scene passed from the priest's vision. Christ's words cut him, the Sadducee, to the quick. Caiaphas had denied the doctrine of the resurrection, the judgment, and a future life. Now he was maddened by satanic fury. Was this man, a prisoner before him, to assail his most cherished theories? Rending his robe, that the people might see his pretended horror, he demanded that without further preliminaries the prisoner be condemned for blasphemy. "What further need have we of witnesses?" he said; "behold, now ye have heard His blasphemy. What think ye?" And they all condemned Him.
DA.708.003 Conviction mingled with passion led Caiaphas to do as he did. He was furious with himself for believing Christ's words, and instead of rending his heart under a deep sense of truth, and confessing that Jesus was the Messiah, he rent his priestly robes in determined resistance. This act was deeply significant. Little did Caiaphas realize its meaning. In this act, done to influence the judges and secure Christ's condemnation, the high priest had condemned himself. By the law of God he was disqualified for the priesthood. He had pronounced upon himself the death sentence.
DA.708.004 A high priest was not to rend his garments. By the Levitical law, this was prohibited under sentence of death. Under no circumstances, on no occasion, was the priest to rend his robe. It was the custom among the Jews for the garments to be rent at the death of friends, but this custom the priests were not to observe. Express command had been given by Christ to Moses concerning this. Lev. 10:6.
DA.709.001 Everything worn by the priest was to be whole and without blemish. By those beautiful official garments was represented the character of the great antitype, Jesus Christ. Nothing but perfection, in dress and attitude, in word and spirit, could be acceptable to God. He is holy, and His glory and perfection must be represented by the earthly service. Nothing but perfection could properly represent the sacredness of the heavenly service. Finite man might rend his own heart by showing a contrite and humble spirit. This God would discern. But no rent must be made in the priestly robes, for this would mar the representation of heavenly things. The high priest who dared to appear in holy office, and engage in the service of the sanctuary, with a rent robe, was looked upon as having severed himself from God. By rending his garment he cut himself off from being a representative character. He was no longer accepted by God as an officiating priest. This course of action, as exhibited by Caiaphas, showed human passion, human imperfection.
DA.709.002 By rending his garments, Caiaphas made of no effect the law of God, to follow the tradition of men. A man-made law provided that in case of blasphemy a priest might rend his garments in horror at the sin, and be guiltless. Thus the law of God was made void by the laws of men.
DA.709.003 Each action of the high priest was watched with interest by the people; and Caiaphas thought for effect to display his piety. But in this act, designed as an accusation against Christ, he was reviling the One of whom God had said, "My name is in Him." Ex. 23:21. He himself was committing blasphemy. Standing under the condemnation of God, he pronounced sentence upon Christ as a blasphemer.
DA.709.004 When Caiaphas rent his garment, his act was significant of the place that the Jewish nation as a nation would thereafter occupy toward God. The once favored people of God were separating themselves from Him, and were fast becoming a people disowned by Jehovah. When Christ upon the cross cried out, "It is finished" (John 19:30), and the veil of the temple was rent in twain, the Holy Watcher declared that the Jewish people had rejected Him who was the antitype of all their types, the substance of all their shadows. Israel was divorced from God. Well might Caiaphas then rend his official robes, which signified that he claimed to be a representative of the great High Priest; for no longer had they any meaning for him or for the people. Well might the high priest rend his robes in horror for himself and for the nation.
But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
26.57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
26.58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
26.59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
26.60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
26.61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
26.62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
26.63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
26.64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
26.65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
26.66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
14.53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
14.54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
14.55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
14.56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
14.57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
14.58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
14.59 But neither so did their witness agree together.
14.60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
14.61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
14.62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
14.63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
14.64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
18.13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.
18.24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
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