A New Trial for Yeshua?
James Scott Trimm
On March 9, 2009 the International Nazarene Beit Din officially found errors with Yeshua's original trial, heled a new trial and overturned the prior conviction.
The following was the finding of the Beit Din:
We, the International Nazarene Beit Din find the following errors in the trial of Yeshua (“Jesus”) of Nazareth:
1. Defendant's trial was held at night. The Mishna clearly states that a capitol trial may not be held at night (m.San. 4:1)
2. Defendant was remanded to Rome for sentencing immediately. The Mishna requires sentencing to be delayed by one day in order for the judges to properly consider the case. (m.San. 5:5)
3. The trial was overseen by Caiphas. Caiphas was appointed in 18 CE by the Roman procurator who preceded Pilate, Valerius Gratus. The Torah directs that a High Priest serves for life, however, the preceding High Priest was still alive when Caiphas took office. Because Caiphas was improperly installed in the office of High Priest, his rulings were and are invalid.
Due to these errors in the original trial, the International Nazarene Beit Din rules that Defendant is entitled posthumously to a new trial.
The charge is that of blasphemy (Matt. 26:65) . Having reviewed the transcript of the original trial (Matt. 26:57-66) and read the transcribed testimony of the witnesses, as well as that of the Defendant, we do hereby reverse Caiaphas' ruling and exonerate Yeshua (“Jesus”) of the charge of blasphemy.
We do also find based on Caiaphas' own statement before the trial "that it was better that one man should die for the people" (John 18:14) that Caiaphas engaged in a conspiracy to use his office in order to intentionally convict Defendant without a fair trial for political gain. We the International Nazarene Beit Din do therefore posthumously find Caiaphas guilty of murder.
Now there is a move in Orthodox Rabbinic Judaism to have a new trial.
PAST ATTEMPTS FOR A NEW TRIAL
Twice in the past there were attempts in Rabbinic Judaism to grant Yeshua of Nazareth a new trial.
PARIS FRANCE 1935
The Pittsburgh Press October 2, 1935
Retrial to Tell If Christ Was Condemned Unjustly
By The United Press
Paris, Oct. 2 - A retrial of Jesus Christ was the aim today of a movement started by a group of influential, learned Jews.
They propose to determine whether under the civil laws of ancient Jerusalem or the canonical laws of the Temple. Christ was condemned to death justly or whether he was crucified because of personal jealousy.
If the latter proves to be the case, leaders of the movement believe Christ not only will cease to be considered heretic by the rabbis and a revolutionary by the legalists, but will assume an almost equal place among Jews that he has among Christians.
These men feel that a "new trial" will show that neither Pontius Pilate nor the rabbis had grounds for executing the Jesus of Nazareth. To prove this, they intend to reconstruct the situation as faithfully as possible, recreating both the famous Sanhedrin, ancient religious tribunal of Jerusalem, and the provincial Roman court.
They will plead the case according to the laws of the land and the ancient dictates of Torah, leaving out no feature either of the civil or religious side.
The movement to recreate the Sanhedrin gained momentum as a result of that legal and religious debate in Jerusalem some time ago in which Public Prosecutor Dr. Blandeisler upheld the death sentence for Christ and Dr. Reichwehr pleaded the defence. Five judges of the debate upheld Reichwehr's arguments, four to one, and rendered a "verdict" of not guilty.
TIME RELIGION: MOTION FOR REHEARING
Monday February 21, 1949.
Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the son of the Blessed and Jesus said, I am. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, what need we any further witnesses? We have heard the blasphemy: what think he? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
So went the most famous trial in history. For centuries, scholars have argued over the legality of Jesus' trial. Some experts contend that the court's midnight meeting and its casual rules of procedure indicate that Jesus was not brought before the Sanhedrin (i.e., the supreme tribunal of the Jews), but before a synedrion, that political court and advisory body at the disposal of Caiaphas, the high priest.
Last week the case was once again before the courts. The Supreme Court of the new state of Israel was officially considering a duly filed petition asking for an retrial of Jesus of Nazareth. The petitioner was a sandy-haired Dutch Protestant named Henri A. Robbe Groskamp. No scholar, Groskamp first became interested in Christ's trial through reading religious books in his mother's library while he was hiding out from the Germans during the occupation. In the end he began to feel that he was divinely inspired to do something about it. Groskamp first appealed to the World Council of Churches meeting in Amsterdam last summer; then he lodged his carefully drawn legal brief with the supreme court of Israel.
Groskamp's main points: 1) High Priest Caiaphas violated several Jewish legal procedures in his conduct of the trial; 2) the Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah because he was no national liberator. Israel's present rebirth without the help of a Messiah proves that the Messiah did not have to be a national liberator, Groskamp contents, hence Jesus' rejection on those grounds was an error.
In Jerusalem last week, Supreme Court President Justice Moshe Smoira regarded as the petition as having raised and interesting question. Said he: "The action we will take turns on the question of jurisdiction-on whether our court can be considered a successor court to the Sanhedrin or can go into a purely religious question."
Legal and religious experts are sure Israel's court will eventually drop the case for lack of jurisdiction. But first, Mijnheer Groskamp's petition will be given careful consideration and an official reply.
SO WHY A NEW TRIAL NOW?
There have been numerous Rabbinical attempts to re-establish a Rabbinic Sanhedrin including by Rabbi Jacob Berab in 1538, Rabbi Yisroel Shklover in 1830, Rabbi Aharon Mendel haCohen in 1901, Rabbi Zvi Kovsker in 1940 and Rabbi Yehuda Leib Maimon in 1949.
However, in October 2004 (Tishrei 5765), a group of rabbis representing a variety of Orthodox Rabbinic communities in Israel undertook a ceremony in Tiberias, where the original Sanhedrin was disbanded, which is claimed to re-establish that body according to the proposal of Maimonides and the Jewish legal rulings of Rabbi Yoseph Karo.
Therefore, it has only been in very recent history that an Orthodox Rabbinic Sanhedrin could successfully authorize such a retrial.
Now a group of Orthodox Rabbinic Jews are working toward a retrial of Yeshua before this Rabbinic Sanhedrin. Its being called The Official Jesus Anathema Removal Project ( http://www.redeemzion.com )
Ariel Cohen Alloro, an Orthodox Jewish priest is building a team to bring a formal petition to the Rabbinic Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, Israel. This attempt at a retrial of Yeshua is being undertaken by Orthodox Rabbinic Jews who believe that Yeshua was falsely accused.
I believe Yeshua had to die for the sins of the world, but did he also have to be falsely accused? The retrial will examine elements of Jewish and criminal law and matters of justice that effect everyone.
The idea of such a retrial considers Biblical Commandments that require innocent men to be exonerated, those who speak evil against or condemn an innocent man must make restitution and bear witness of his innocence.
Is this an idea whose time has come?
I had the opportunity recently to spend several hours dialoging over two days with a highly placed representative of this team, and while we disagree about much, he absolutely respected me regardless of my belief in Yeshua as the Messiah, and there were many things about which we could agree. I have agreed at least in some limited ways to work with this team as a Nazarene representative and advisor.
It is their goal, in their own words, to "remove the legendary age old Jewish Anathema of Jesus of Nazareth Through a LEGAL Orthodox Jewish Rabbinical Court Procedure."
And while I do not agree with them in every regard, I can agree with the worthiness of this goal. Both Jews and Christians have suffered greatly because of the false trial that Yeshua endured.
Over the centuries Jews have been accused of being "Christ-killers" by millions of Christians because of what they believe was a "Jewish" trial that put Yeshua to the gallows. Moreover Jews have been robbed of a great Jewish sage who has been Gentilized. In Judaism one of the worst things you can do is rob a Jew of his Jewishness, but that is exactly what has happened to the great Jew Yeshua. Imagine the benefit to Rabbinic Judaism if Yeshua can be reclaimed as a great Jewish teacher!
Christians have suffered from this gulf between Jews and Christians by having little or no access to the original Judaism that Yeshua taught, in no way did Yeshua start a new religion called Christianity. Moreover Christians have suffered by being marginalized and demoralized by Jews who see Christians as Jew-haters, missionaries and evangelists determined to destroy Judaism and the Jewish state of Israel.
Rabbinic Jews, Christians, Messianic Jews and Nazarenes all stand to benefit from a new trial of Yeshua in Rabbinic Judaism that could remove the anathema attached to Yeshua in Rabbinic Judaism for some 2,000 years.
It will be interesting to see if the Sanhedrin of Rabbinic Judaism will succeed in a retrial and exoneration of Yeshua as the International Nazarene Beit Din accomplished in 2009.
For more info see:
The Official Jesus Anathema Removal Project ( http://www.redeemzion.com )
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