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E.P. Sanders and the ‘Trial’ of Jesus

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image of Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

This study outlines E.P. Sanders’ views on the Jewish ‘trial’ of Jesus, paying particular attention to the following topics: ‘who ran what’ at the time of Jesus; the involvement of the Jewish leaders; the role and character of the high priest Caiaphas; what sources we can rely on at this point; and the differences between Sanders’ views in Jesus and Judaism and the later (and more popular) Historical Figure of Jesus. It concludes by suggesting ways in which scholars can build on Sanders’ insights, not only in terms of historical reconstruction but also as a starting point for a fuller appreciation of the evangelists’ narrative and creative art.

Affiliations: 1: University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK,


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