The textual variant “Jesus Barabbas” appears in the passion narrative of the Gospel of Mathew (Matt 27,16-17). Matthean commentators usually accept this passage as correct, and support its interpretation by means of methodological conjectures in the field of textual criticism. This paper criticizes such optimistic textual criticism by showing the difficulties concerning the authenticity of the variant. This article discusses the external (e.g. textual types, Origen) and internal evidence (transcriptional and intrinsic ones) and shows how the use of the methodological mechanism of both kinds of evidences prevents optimism regarding the realism of the passage “Jesus Barabbas”.
Textual Criticism; Textual Variant; Origen; Jesus Barabbas