A Roman Perspective on the Execution of Jesus

Date: November 28, 2011

Time: 7:30
Location: Scarsdale Library, 54 Olmsted Road, Scarsdale (914) 722-1300

This lecture will examine the execution of Jesus as an historical event.  It will focus on the attitude of Pilate, as the Roman official who oversaw the decision to execute Jesus.  It will be argued that current constructions of the event have allowed spokespersons for the defendant, the gospels, to act as spokesperson for the entire event.  This has resulted in a number of misconceptions of Jesus’ execution. Attention will be paid to a number of crucial questions that Pilate would have addressed in order to have arrived at the decision to execute Jesus.

James McLaren is an Associate Professor and Reader in the Faculty of Theology at Australian Catholic University. He is currently the Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty. James completed a BA (hons) and an MA at the University of Melbourne in History.

He then completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford in 1990. As an historian his main research interests relate to the interaction between the Jewish and Roman worlds and the emergence of Christianity in the First Century CE. He is the author of numerous books, book chapters and journal articles on aspects of Jewish, Roman and early Christian history.

A current major project is a book exploring the execution of Jesus as an historical event. He is also a member of the Brill Project, a team of international scholars translating and writing a commentary on the works of Flavius Josephus.

He is a member of the editorial Board for the Society of Biblical Literature’s Early Jewish Writings monograph series and is New Testament Editor of Australian Biblical Review.